Escape into childhood makes the ultimate gift

Parents of senior college students throughout the nation are facing a major dilemma this month. No, it’s not menopause. This is much more serious.

The concern is not whether their responsible offspring will pass their finals and/or suffer severe anxiety attacks over never being able to eat Weenie Winks at the dorms again. Such things are petty compared to the whopper worry—deciding what to buy their beloved child for a graduation gift.

After months of severe mental strain and massive investigation, I have come up with the ultimate gift for the graduating senior—a time machine. Not just any time machine though, a time machine that goes in only one direction—back to the past. Not just any past—but our own pasts.

At a time when having to grow up and act semi-mature approaches, students need to escape back into their childhood, back to the time when life was simple and major decisions didn’t exist …

Ah, the good ole days, when someone in kindergarten class threw up in the classroom or hallway at least twice a week. The vomit patrol would be there within seconds, pouring that orange sawdust gook over the mess. That ever-so-wonderful smell will never be forgotten.

Pleasure could be found in trapping numerous fireflies in a tupperware container and giggling with joy when it came time to letting them loose. There was a special art to an even more joyous pleasure, which was spreading glue on the palm of my hand, with the ultimate goal of pulling it off all in one peice when it dried. It very rarely worked out perfectly.

Toilet recess, however, was a nightmare. How embarrassing to be marched down the hall all at once and have everybody listen while it was your turn to “do your business.” I could never “go” under such tremendous pressure, which probably contributed to the several little puddles that mysteriously developed under my desk later in the day.

But outdoor recess was awesome. Except when it came time to playing “Red Rover, Red Rover.” Fat Chuckie always came charging at little ole‘ me with a grimace on his face and a twinkie in his pocket. Several broken wrists were suffered as a result of the dreaded “Let Chuckie Come Over.”

That first pair of bell bottom jeans and “boy’s” gym shoes were the highlights of my third grade career. The gym shoes could not be seen hidden under the one foot diameter pant leg, but girl’s gym shoes were only for the “queeros” and I, for one, wouldn’t be caught dead in them.

Why gym teachers allowed the game of “Bombardment” to be played as a class activity is beyond me. It was more a chance for the boys to slam an orange rubber ball at the ugliest girl and giggle their heads off when her arms started to turn red from rubber-burns. I guess it was better that than having the guys pull up the back of your skirt and scream, “IT’S DRESS UP DAY!” in ecstasy.

And some clown always would lick the monkey bars when it was cold out, just to see if it would really stick there forever. The kid actually thought he would walk around with monkey bars hanging off his tongue for eternity.

“Show and Tell” was a joke in my school. I always brought an ashtray that was laying around the house and told the class it was from another country. The teachers even fell for that one.

Buying school supplies every fall was a grand memory. I must have accumulated at least 15 protractors that went unused from first through sixth grades. A fight would always evolve at Walgreen’s when mom refused to buy me the Crayolas with 154 different colors, like “Yellowish-Orange” and “Greenish Sea Blue.”

Mom, now’s the time to make up for buying me the box with only eight Crayolas. A time machine, along with the latest edition of the “Curious George” book collection would make the perfect gift. But you better hurry; graduation is only 29 days away.