By Gus Pearcy
My mother died three years ago and we came across a folder that we did not know about. In it was a story she wrote about me when I was 12. No one in the family knew about it.
In this period between the parental holidays, I submit this article as a tribute to my mom and dad and as thanks for all they did for me. I love you both.
The title of the article is “Fair Packaging.”
We talk a lot about ‘fair packaging.’ People like to know what they are getting before they get stuck with it.
I’ve thought a lot about how I could merchandise my son, Gus. Frankly, in clear conscience, I don’t see how I can let him go into a marriage without slapping a label on him that reads, ‘Caution, this person may be injurious to your mental health.’
I have visions of some poor bride coming to me, tearfully, and saying, ‘You tricked me. Why didn’t you tell me your son doesn’t know how to…?’
Eventually, she will find him lacking in other basic skills and I will feel guilty. He cannot fold a newspaper after he has read it, hear a phone ring unless it’s for him, put a cap on a bottle or tube or carry on a conversation unless his mouth is full.
He hangs his clothes on a chair (sometimes), has three months’ supply of snacks hidden in his desk drawer and makes his bed by smoothing it over with a coat hanger once a week.
Unless he changes drastically, he will be impossible to live with. He insists on having his own window in the car, calls for seconds before he sits down to the table and once he confessed to a friend that he does not brush his teeth until school starts in September.
I would be a traitor to my own sex if I did not put a tag around his neck reading: Boy, 12 years old, made in the U.S.A., net weight 90 pounds (excluding packaging), natural coloring, light brown in summer, washed out in winter. Capacity: Eight meals a day. Contains 3,500 calories at all times. Artificially sweetened. Unaffected by sun, rain and mud. Standard ingredients: 80 percent charm, 19 percent goldbricking and 1 percent energy.
Read label carefully. Take boy with tongue in cheek, grain of salt and frequent check-up.”
Gus Pearcy is a contributing columnist to the Center Grove ICON. Hey may be reached at (317) 403-6485 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Gus blogs frequently at guspearcycommunications.wordpress.com.