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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Death Row Valedictorian

Somewhere down the long corridors of death row, wedged in between hatchet murderers and the people who skulk off and leave the office copier jammed, are the real menaces to society. Here, in a dim place where nobody’s day planner goes as far as the after dinner mint, dwell the people who cheered out loud at their child’s graduation.

What cruel lifetime drama brought them to this place? Are these people who held responsible jobs, or are they the type that siphon gas from an idling SUV to save a few hundred bucks at the pump? Loners, probably, who whiled away their time buying poster board at the 7-11 store every time Junior remembered that his science project was due in first period biology the next day. Trapped in the vacuum of stop-time, they raced for morning with an indelible marker in one hand and a bottle of Elmer’s school glue in the other.

Jump forward to graduation night: caps and gowns, sashes and speeches. And a reminder: Thou Shalt Not Jump With Glee When Your Child’s Name Is Announced. Failure to comply would result in A Very Bad Thing.

At my son’s high school graduation, we held our merrymaking like we held our breath. We bit our tongues so many times they were as tender as filet mignon. But one set of parents did not contain their exuberance so well.

After spending as much on school lunches, field trips, and fundraisers as Hillary spends on pantsuits, this set of parents could not contain a whoop and a cheer when their child’s name blasted from the loudspeaker and hovered like dwindling fireworks in the evening air.

The price of that happy shout? A $257 citation for disturbing the peace and a uniformed escort out of the stadium.

From the look on their faces, I’d say it was a bargain.


Karen L. Alaniz said...

What? Are you serious? Man, not listening to the principal who says, "Please save your applause until the end" is tradition at my son's school. It's a time honored tradition to yell, whoop and holler despite his embarassment. You inspired me and I'm going to go write about my son's graduation. Give me an hour and then go visit my blog. ~Karen-bob

michelle said...

this is always a touchy subject because the main fear the school has is that a family is too loud and the next student's name cannot be heard, or that the commencement ceremony just runs too long.

Nita said...

Oh man, ya'll live in the wrong place. The school's here don't worry about the commencement ceremony running long, it takes as long as it takes. Although, everyone tries to speed the process along because it's usually sweltering and everyone wants out in the relatively coolness. Here, we not only wait for the parents to cheer, we wait for them to take a picture preserving proof for all time that said child DID graduate.

Anonymous said...

That's just nuts, when you consider how many parents are excited that graduation day even arrived for their darling little charges. I wonder how they handle the real criminals? Perhaps the officers in question were all former librarians.

colbymarshall said...

HAHAHA! I've always loved that "there will be no happiness" rule. It's a good 'un!

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Hey Ms. Mullis- You've been tagged. Oh man, I hate saying that. But someone did it to me so I gotta pass the love on to you. Go check out my quirks for more information. ~Karen-bob