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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on October 12th, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 31 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 11, Issue 31

Teenagers--am I right?

Krider wonders how his son gets through the day

By ROB KRIDER

My son is 13 years old, which means he already knows absolutely everything, except how to clear up acne. Sometimes I look at him in bewilderment and wonder, “Could you really have come from my loins?”—although, deep down, I know that he is definitely my son. I don’t know this because he and I share the same eye color or chin line (I don’t even have a chin line to share). I know he is built with my DNA because he is an incredible smartass. He has informed me that being a smartass is certainly better than being a dumbass. I’m actually not convinced.

In reality, my son has equal portions of myself and his mother swishing around inside of him. His mom, my wife, whom I love, is extremely smart, but a touch on the lazy side (when I say a touch, I mean a ton). I have a hard work ethic, but I also have a big mouth that doesn’t quit and gets me into trouble. So did my son get the best from his parents and become a hardworking genius? Nope, he’s a lazy smartass. He doesn’t stand a chance of surviving junior high.

My first-born boy came home from school the other day smelling like sweaty feet rubbed in armpits. I asked him when he last brought his P.E. clothes home to be washed and he admitted, “Last school year.”

I wondered if he was intentionally combining his P.E. clothes with his biology homework: “Are you getting extra credit for growing mold on your gym socks?”

My son, the smartass he is, provided justification for not washing his clothes: “You wear regular outfits all day long, and there are 24 hours in a day. I only have P.E. for one hour a day, so I figured I could wear my P.E. clothes for 24 classes. And, accounting for the occasional state holiday, that means I don’t need to bring my gym clothes home to get washed for at least five weeks.” I couldn’t really argue with his logic, but somewhere along the way he got the math all wrong, since we were already in the seventh week of school. Ironically, he is getting an A in math but a C in P.E. (and biology).

Since he is a master in the art of procrastination (a trait he picked up honestly from his mom), he and I spent a recent evening working on a history project well into the wee hours of the night. He and I typed and typed as we tried to come up with a reasonable report that didn’t border on copyright infringement from numerous websites. At 2 a.m., we finished the report. Unfortunately for him, as these things go when you wait until the last minute, when we went to print the report we realized our color printer ink only had one color left: purple. I tried but couldn’t find any place in town that sold printer ink cartridge No. 14 at 2 in the morning. So my son had no choice but to turn in his report in purple.

The next day I asked him what his teacher said about his report. He replied, “Well, I was the only person who turned in a report on paper. Everyone else had poster boards or gave a presentation.”

“What do you mean they had poster boards? Were you supposed to have a poster board? Were any of the poster boards purple?”

“The assignment said the report should be in the form of a poster board, power point presentation, etc. When I turned in my 8 1/2-by-11-inch purple printed report,
I told the teacher, ‘I’d like to classify this
as etc.’”

“What grade did you get for that?” I asked.

Proudly, he stated, “I got a C.”

“What do you mean you got a C?  I think you meant to say you gotta see about doing some extra credit.”

Mr. Smart guy said, “You know what they say? ‘C’s get degrees.’”

“Who says that?” I asked. “People who earn their GEDs in prison?”

“No. I heard you say that.”

“Don’t listen to the stupid stuff I say. Listen to the intelligent things I say.”

“How do I know what is intelligent and what is dumb?”

“It’s easy: When I have a beer in my hand and I start talking really loud, that is probably stupid stuff.”

“So, like every night at dinner?”

   Even though the boy is quite the slacker, my son is enrolled in geometry, which, in my opinion, is pretty impressive for an eighth grader. It is especially impressive if you have ever seen this kid try to find a pair of pants and a shirt that match. If he can’t figure out that orange horizontal lines on a shirt don’t match purple vertical lines on a pair of shorts, how is he ever going to remember that the sum of the outer angles of a polygon equals 360 degrees?

Regardless of his aptitude at math, no matter how long or difficult a math problem is, my son is convinced he can solve it all using only one single line of college-ruled paper. Have you ever seen those people who can write your name on a grain of rice? That’s nothing. My son can write out a 15-step geometric proof all within 3/16ths of an inch. Does he do this because he’s an environmentalist and doesn’t want to kill any more trees? Nope. He does this because he’s just too lazy to use the extra lines.

Even though my son is lazy, he’s a fidgeter. He won’t reach into his backpack for an extra sheet of paper to use, but he can’t sit still for 10 seconds. Anything on the table in front of my son ends up in his hands, and then 16 seconds later, dropped on the floor. He can’t keep his hands off things, except, of course, a pencil to do his homework.

Rob would like to put his son in a time capsule and open it when he’s 20.




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