What I didn’t do on my summer vacation

School is back in session, which for old farts merely means getting stuck in traffic behind the school bus that stops at every corner. Apparently, kids can no longer walk further than one block without being crushed under the weight of a backpack, tenor saxophone, and a $400 graphing calculator.

While drumming my fingers on the steering wheel until they bleed, I feel inspired to consider alternate routes, mindless of sidewalks, mail boxes, ornamental shrubs, and the occasional garden gnome. If you live on a bus route, you can kiss your plastic pink flamingos goodbye.

If your grocery list includes only the necessities: milk, bread, eggs, toilet paper, and Tootsie Pops, it would still exceed my list of accomplishments for the summer. In order to shed my status as a hopeless underachiever, I thought I’d share with you a small sampling of what I didn’t do this summer. I did not:

  • Spend the night in the emergency room with a gaping chest wound. I’m particularly proud of this achievement, since most accidents happen in the home. I’ve spent the better part of the last three months puttering around the house, laughing in the face of danger.
  • Collect commemorative plates depicting the Revolutionary War. My apologies to the Franklin Mint, but the Valley Forge plate was a little depressing, and I wouldn’t want to break up the set.
  • Gain weight. I still have my girlish figure: the one where my mother repeatedly told me, “It’s just baby fat. You’ll grow out of it.” Guess what, Mom. I grew back into it.
  • Get caught picking my nose in public. An acquaintance once asked me, “Do you pick your nose? You don’t seem like the person to pick.” Let me set the record straight, people. Yes, sometimes I even go up there with tweezers – but I usually leave the grooming implements at home.

Obviously, there are many more things I neglected to do this summer, some of which include avoiding work, clean underwear, and clowns. As long as there are hours in a day, even the most hardened of Type A personalities can fritter them away. If you’ll excuse me, I have some serious napping to do.

I prefer to think of it as underinformed

I’ve never taken an IQ test, but let’s just say that while my sister was joining Mensa, I was joining the bowling league. In school, we didn’t have calculators. A slide rule was standard issue if you wanted to take trigonometry or calculus. I didn’t.

My lack of interest in current events is legendary. My husband reads the newspaper cover to cover every day. He tries to point out those articles that might interest me. Example: “Lakeland, Kansas to outlaw farting in public.” How well he knows me!

Nation’s dentists can’t make teeth any damn whiter. –The Onion

I’m not totally without intellectual stimulation. I’m drawn to jigsaw puzzles like a dog to vomit. (At least, my dog). They teach spatial concepts and pattern recognition, and you just can’t have too many pictures of a fluffy little kitten wearing a red bow.

As for learning new things, I’m still working on a book trailer. Today I’m on the hunt for a cute little dog that I can photograph. So when you read the story on page 26 in the local paper of a woman who got her foot gnawed off at the ankle by a miniature poodle, that’s me.

“News” would imply new things, but there’s a sameness to reporting that just leaves me cold. The other day I was reading Us magazine at the dentist’s. There was an article about Jennifer Lopez (as always). It went into her relationship with Ben Affleck. That was eight years ago, people, let’s move on. At this point, I’m not sure if I could muster enough interest in a story if she had a sex change operation.

It says something that my main source for Current events is The Daily Show, a fake news show on Comedy Central. That Jon Stewart is a cutie. Even so, you’d be waiting a long time if you asked me to name any of the Supreme Court Justices.

If it weren’t for doctors’ waiting rooms, I probably wouldn’t read anything newsworthy. Maybe I can read about J. Lo’s sex change operation today while I’m waiting in the emergency room to get my foot reattached.