TO: All Parents
FR: Your Principal
Here we go! Another great year at Cherry Street Elementary is underway! I'm looking forward to more wonderful achievements by all students.
Okay, enough happy blab. We all hope the next nine months go by without the Mother of All Catastrophes, but wow, the world is a really bad neighborhood at three in the morning and anything's possible. Coast-to-coast earthquake, North Korean nuclear suicide bombers, super bird flu epidemic, or asteroid right down the terrestrial strike zone, it's all the same cloud of dust and everybody needs to cowboy up and be ready.
As stated in the information packets you received a few weeks ago, standard emergency procedure is to hold the kids at school until parents or designated friends can pick them up. Make sure your contact information is up to date.
If, however, a disaster of gigantic proportions does erupt, and Cherry Street School is the lone outpost in an otherwise desolate landscape, we're committed to giving each child the knowledge and wisdom to become active participants in their new world order.
So take a moment to answer a few questions that will help us carry on in your absence, and raise your student in a manner that honors family traditions and values.
1) Supposing the school is cut off from outside contact and we must become self-sufficient, would your child best be suited for:
a) animal husbandry
b) planting and harvesting
c) rain maker
d) fire management
e) Punisher of those who lie, steal, or disobey the elders
2) What form of government do you feel your child will flourish under?
a) One person, one vote
b) Proportional representation
c) Utopian commune
d) Caste system
e) Compassionate Feudalism
3) How do you want us to handle the subject of religion?
a) Continue with existing denomination and corresponding holy text.
b) No specific beliefs -- but don't let him/her get into some pagan tree-worshipping New Age claptrap.
c) Secular humanism with occasional vision quest.
d) The Ten Commandments augmented by the Bill of Rights
e) Generic spirituality (with the understanding that Oprah is NOT a deity)
4) Which of the following books best exemplifies the type of reading material we should encourage your child to explore?
a) Of Mice and Men
b) Atlas Shrugged
c) Jonathan Livingston Seagull
d) All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
e) The Da Vinci Code
f) Rich Dad, Poor Dad
5) What sort of marriage framework would you like us to emphasize?
a) Monogamous relationship, formal wedding ceremony, for better or worse, the whole nine yards.
b) Sincere commitment to one person, realizing that feelings can change over time, especially during periods of plague or famine.
c) Multiple partners acceptable if all parties sign collective pre-nuptial contract and agree to submit disputes to arbitration panel.
d) What happens outside the stockade, stays outside the stockade.
6) If another group of survivors threatens to conquer us by force unless we submit to their authority, how should we respond?
a) Fight bravely and, if death comes, let your last words be a vile curse on the enemy.
b) Poison the water supply, kill the livestock, then flee.
c) See if they'll accept some corn and a few of the loser kids as tribute.
d) Send a delegation to negotiate. If the invaders express fond memories of American Idol, Law & Order, or Project Runway, make the deal.
7) The guiding principle most likely to help your child achieve a lifetime of success and satisfaction in a post-apocalyptic society is:
a) Living well is the best revenge
b) There is no 'I' in 'Team'
c) Caveat emptor
d) It ain't over 'til it's over
e) And the Lord said, "Let there be Texas"
f) Friends don't let friends vote Republican
Please mark your answers clearly and bring this sheet to the office ASAP.
P.S. -- The Welcome Back Open House and Potluck has been cancelled because no one volunteered to bring a non-fat, gluten-free entree. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Follow Jeffrey Shaffer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ShafferJeffrey