Sheltered Islander: The School Year Can’t Start Soon Enough…

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Mid-August, the opening of school is in sight. The children have eaten all my food, taken all my money, and put hundreds of miles on my car, making me drive them all over. They keep saying they’re bored while they reject all my suggestions. They say my music is lame, my clothes are out of date, and that I just don’t understand what they’re going through. Our only chance is to call a friend and see if she can think of anything that I haven’t to get us through to September.

“Joy? It’s Sally. I’m losing it with these kids. Where can we take them that’s new?”

“Moscow. Let’s send them to Moscow. I hear it’s a mess there, and it would take them five weeks to get back at least.”

“I don’t have enough money for Moscow. There must be someplace closer that we can ditch them, I mean ‘arrange for them to have a cultural experience.’“

“I know! How about Missouri? They speak a bizarre version of English and it would still take the kids five weeks to find their way home.”

“It has potential Joy, is it in the U.S.?”

“It’s in that big gray area on the New Yorker map. You know, past New Jersey but still this side of California.”

“Tempting, but too risky. What if they sacrifice New Yorkers for some strange redneck ritual?”

“Well then Sally, I’m out of ideas. Maybe we should just tell them that a new IMAX theater opened up on the East End. If we’re lucky, they’ll spend a few days hunting for that.”

“Wait…East End….That’s it! Joy, you’re a genius! Let’s tell the kids that the adults couldn’t pull off the ‘Peconic County Now!’ movement! The idea they could succeed where adults failed would easily keep them occupied until Labor Day.”

“Yes! They could hold rallies, give speeches.”

“And wear ‘Peconic Now!’ t-shirts, make posters!”

“No no no Sally, not posters. That’s outdated. They could start a Facebook page with a link to Paypal for donations. Plus, they have that tweety thing.”

“What would they do with the donated money? Aren’t there rules about that?”

“Please Sally, if the politicians can spend campaign funds on girlfriends, Island kids will figure out a way to use these funds for a keg party at the end of the campaign, which will fizzle out when school begins.”

“What if they accidentally reignite the issue?”

“It will die as before because the five towns on the East End can’t outvote the majority of towns on the west end of Suffolk, so the motion to set the East End free is always outvoted.”

“Joy, what if our five towns walked out of the Suffolk County legislature? What if we just secede? What could they do? March on us?”

“They’d never get past the Merlot Line.”

“Is that anything like the Maginot Line?”

“Yes, but they pointed cannons at the enemy. We shall point Merlot from our vineyards at them. Any bottle that doesn’t break on their heads will be opened and drunk, rendering them helpless against phase two. Phase two is potatoes shot from homemade cannons. Hundreds of hungover people being pummeled by potatoes traveling just faster than the speed of smell. Potato Hampton will take the day.”

“And you know what? That gives the kids project reports for the rest of the school year.”

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