MojoFiction’s son is officially entering middle school. This brings a tear to our eye. A tear of joy, as the young man is that much closer to getting a job and spending his own money and not ours. But last Thursday was 6th grade orientation, a rite of passage for parents everywhere ever since school officials realized they could extract a lot more money up-front if they gathered everyone together and told them their child would fail miserably if they didn’t buy that spirit gear right now!
We arrived at the school after work, but a few minutes late thanks to heavy traffic and not because we stopped for an iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato at Starbucks. Our checkbook on the other hand, always so popular and in demand at school functions, arrived separately in a limo.
Since we got to the school late, there was no crowd to follow. We took a chance and walked in the front door where we thankfully ran into someone who looked like they knew something.
Someone: “Can I help you?”
MojoFiction: “We’re here for that, uhm, initiation thing.”
Okay, that was our first mistake. The person nodded knowingly and led us into a dark room lit by only 2 tall candles and occupied by at least a half-dozen cloaked human figures. There was also a goat. We’ve seen Goat Simulator. We know how deadly those things can be.
MojoFiction: “Oops, sorry, we meant orientation. 6th grade orientation.”
Someone: “Oh, sorry. For orientation, you want to go to the gym down the hall.”
We made a mental note: That was room 203. If our son has any classes in 203, withdraw him immediately.
We found the gym packed with everyone who arrived on time, eager for orientation and ready to stare down latecomers. But what is 6th grade orientation anyway? According to the school’s website, it’s that magical day when parents get to see all the wonderful things their child will be doing for the next nine months. According to reality, it’s a hot, sweltering gym that must have been built in Satan’s furnace because even the flies were passing out from heat exhaustion. After swimming through the humidity, we took a standing position at the back, near the open door, and mostly out of earshot of school principal. It’s not that we didn’t want to hear, but there was this giant fan back there meant to move air around the entire gym on school days. So we turned it on to cool ourselves down. And even though the mighty power of the fan blew several unlucky sixth graders into the rafters, several adults nodded their thanks in our direction.
After retrieving the students, members of the school staff took turns informing the crowd of all the forms they needed to fill out and all the checks they needed to immediately write. Large monetary grants would also be accepted. That sounded a lot easier than writing checks, so we quickly ran to the bank.
After we returned with a suitcase of money, we saw that the gym had emptied and the lights had been turned off. Some light spilled in from an open door that led deeper into the school, which, while ominous, was strangely inviting. As we walked across the darkened room towards the light, we heard a familiar clicking sound. Click clack, click clack. Then it stopped and we heard something else. Was that the bleating of a goat? Was it coming from underneath the bleachers? Without waiting to find out, we ran into the hall.
We found our son standing in front of his locker with his mom, trying to figure out the twist-dial lock. They had a sheet of paper with the combination. The idea was to let the kids get used to opening the locker so they didn’t have to waste time on day one. Of course, all the other kids were at their lockers doing the same thing, saying their locker combinations out loud to their parents to make sure they could remember the numbers. This is obviously a very secure way of doing things. Also, we’re pretty sure our son’s locker combination is 8-45-24-16-3-6-34-4-21. At least, that’s all the numbers we heard.
Next, we toured the various classrooms our son would occupy during his incarceration at the school. None were 203. We felt a small relief, but we still slipped a precautionary jar of goat repellant into our son’s locker. What repels goats? We find that wolf urine works best. Don’t ask us about acquiring the wolf urine. We’re not scared of wolves, we’re scared of goats.
Finally, the school staff ushered us into the “upper gym,” which really could have been called the “upper small empty pointless room.” Here they had set up tables with gym-wear that students were required to purchase and wear all year, even on weekends and holidays. Unfortunately, the sizes were confusing. If you’re a parent, you know that you can’t just call your child “medium.” But that was what they had. So we purchased shorts and a shirt that were large enough to double as a tent in case of emergency (they can double as a parachute in the case of a goat emergency). Thankfully, with the way MojoFiction does laundry, it will all shrink to fit, even though the tags say otherwise. Trust us.
Finally, after realizing that we had depleted our bank account, school officials unlocked the doors and told us we were free to leave.
Long story short, it looks like a good school and we’re sure our son will have great experiences there. He may even learn something.
We hope we’re there to see it, but this black SUV has been following us since we drove away from the school. The license plate says “BLY GOT” and we’re fresh out of wolf urine.