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Warning on a Halloween Batman costume: 
”This cape does not give the wearer the ability to fly.”

Has the whole world gone mad?

Parents today have reached a new low. I’m not kidding. This is utterly psychotic. My youngest, Eli, has been begging me forever to be on a flag football team. So I signed him up with a league in the neighborhood. I’ve heard great things about the organization that runs the league. It was close by. Sure it was adding an extra burden to our already jam-packed after-school schedule. But he seemed so intent on playing that I couldn’t say no.

The first slightly annoying incident occurred when I signed him up. “What day will the practices be on?” I inquired. “That’ll depend on which team he’s on and coach availability,” the impatient voice on the other end of the phone responded. “You’ll find out after the first game. “But what about all of his other activities?” I asked. “I mean, he’s not free every afternoon.” This clearly was an idiotic point to even bring up and i quickly surmised that if you want your kid on a team, you’d better be prepared to make some serious sacrifices. After all, what could be more important than flag football? I mean, come on.

Then about a week before the opening game, I got an email telling me to bring my son’s birth certificate to the first game. I thought it was an odd request and promptly deleted the email and forgot about it. But a few days ago I got another email reminding me that no child will be allowed to play without a valid birth certificate on file. This seemed rather draconian to me. But, since we live in a post “SB1070” world, I figured they needed proof of citizenship in order to be thoroughly legal. But I have come to learn that neither legality nor citizenship figure into this picture. The actual rationale for collecting my six year old son’s birth certificate is that apparently parents lie and try to surreptitiously slip their older children into younger leagues so that they will have some kind of height/weight/talent advantage. Really? What kind of parent would do that?

The fact is that some parent somewhere must have actually tried to sneak their kid into a younger league, right? I mean, just like the ridiculous warnings on baby strollers to “remove child before folding,” or the printed caveat on irons to “never press clothing while being worn,” or the label on my cardboard car sun shield, to “not drive with sun shield in place,” someone somewhere must have committed these inane acts. And there must have been more than a few parents who did this, right? Which brings me back to my initial hypothesis; Parents today have reached a new low.

About gettrich

Debra Rich Gettleman is a professional actor, playwright and journalist living in Oklahoma City with her husband Mark and two amazing boys, Levi and Eli.

2 responses to “Warning on a Halloween Batman costume: 
”This cape does not give the wearer the ability to fly.”

  1. Mack Burly ⋅

    Oh, for shizzle, Debra, for shizzle as the youngsters say. I know a guy, 35 years old, tried to sign HIMSELF up for T ball. This fat-ass was so desperate to reign supreme over somebody – anybody – that he stooped to this humiliating level. Yes, people do try underhanded things that our children must be protected from, thus those ridiculous warnings. Now, with seniors it is a different story. I found it soooo easy to sign up for geriatric sports because people don’t care so much about old folks as they do the kids. I’m 42 but I got some rough miles on me – overweight, bald- so I look a lot older than I am. But hey, even in this shape, I’m still stronger and faster than an arthritic 80 year old. I’ve been registering successfully in various shuffle board leagues on the nursing home circuit. These old feebs cannot touch my slapshot (Yeah, look it up – no rules banning a slapshot in shuffle board). Well, long story short, I am the state nursing home league shuffle board Champion. But seriously, until they institute the same requirements for geriatric sports as they do for the kids, I think I stand a pretty good chance of setting an all time record for consecutive championship titles. But anyway, I couldn’t agree more, Debra, parents have reached a new low. Sad.


  2. poisedpen ⋅

    Goofy. Silly. Ridiculous. Absurd. All of the above, yes. But not psychotic. There’s an MSNBC pundit who titles a portion of his show “Psycho Talk,” but you are better than that. Your writing is perfectly insightful and delightful when devoid of terms that stigmatize people living with mental illness. You have every right to use the word, but please know how painful it is to those of us who have friends and family members living with mental illness.


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