(Original Publication Date, 9 November 1990)
Because I mailed your letter after 4:00 pm, and because mail pickup is 11:00 am and 4:00 pm daily. I thought, “OK, yeah! I’ll be here when they open the box tomorrow and get my letter back!” That seemed like a great plan. What could go wrong with that? The mailman would realize my situation and of course he would let me pick through all the letters in the mail collection box until I found mine. I doubt it would take me much longer than an hour or two to find it. Plus, he would be helping out a Patterson, so he might get some free dental work out of the deal. Dad loves giving free dental to people who help me out of a jam.
Then I thought, ‘How am I gonna get here on time? - My bus leaves at 8:30, I don’t get home ‘til 4:15. Even in my thoughts, I could not pronounce “going to”. However, I was smart enough to realize that school was going to get in the way of my master plan. School was going to be a problem.
Then I thought, “How can I get outta school without lying to one of my teachers?!!” Even in my thoughts, I could not pronounce “out of”. You know me, Martha. When it comes to talking to teachers, I have to be completely and utterly truthful. “Honest Mike” that’s what the teachers call me. “The most trustworthy boy in school.” I just can’t lie to a teacher. Can't get a lie out of me. I would ruin my reputation in school.
Then I came up with my master plan. The flu. Mom knows nothing about the flu. She thinks you can take a person’s temperature by pushing their head into a pillow while holding onto a thermometer. Mom did that to me and she said, “Are you sure it’s the flu, honey? You don’t have a fever.” Then I said, “Remember what dad said the last time you tried to measure my temperature this way?” It’s hard for mom to admit she doesn’t know anything about taking a person’s temperature and even less about the flu. After all, the last time she thought she had the flu it ended up being a lot worse than that. Anyway, I got to stay at home. My master plan for getting into the mailbox was finally coming to pass.
Thanks for reading,