Excuse Letters

It wasn't until I was in my 3rd year of high school that I started having terrible migraines almost every day. That very same year, my high school transferred to what I would describe as a "mountain", considering the new school building was sort of perched above a hill. I attributed all my migraines to that change in the environment. That part of the city was almost always very sunny and humid. It was that bad that I didn't even need exercise to sweat.

The staff at the school clinic almost always recommended me to go home when I had my episodes. If my dad was around, he would come to pick me up. If he wasn't, he sent someone else over. There really wasn't much family at that point of my life, so I was entrusted (as if there really was much of a choice) with most of the "school-related grown-up" stuff. For example, I had the privilege of receiving my report cards when my classmates could not. What I always had that they didn't were "authorization letters" that had my father's signature — authorization letters to pick up this, to receive that, and everything else I could fill in. Some of them were even notarized. More importantly, what I had that they couldn't easily get their dirty paws on were legitimate "excuse letters".

The true power my fourteen-year-old self wielded at that time was a computer and my father's enabling behavior. Since he always traveled for work, there really wasn't anyone who could do serious "parent" stuff for me. To make my dad's parenting easier for him, I came up with a few templates for excuse letters. Our names were filled in, but the dates and reasons were obviously left blank. Some of them were pretty serious as they already had the migraine situation explained along with a very direct "kindly see attached medical certificate". Now that I think about it, the blank ones were pretty sketchy. Still, I presented those printed copies to my dad, demanding that he affix his signature on every single one as if they were blank cheques.

I recall him laughing so much the first time he saw them. He didn't know much about computers, but he was delighted to know that I finally used the right printer for text-only documents. That was also my first time using a laser printer which my mom labeled with "for pure text and high volume printing only". It was high volume for sure. My train of thought then was if my dad was gone for two weeks, I needed a supply of at least ten copies of signed excuse letters just to be on the safe side. I don't recall how many I actually printed, but I knew in my heart that the quantity was enough to be considered "high volume". High volume, in my own fantasy and narrative, is anything more than ten. Whether or not that's what my mother had in mind when she made that rule, it didn't really matter. She was more than a thousand kilometers away.

My dad never failed to remind me that he also earned by signing papers, so each sheet had a corresponding price. Obviously, I couldn't afford a signature and he knew that too. I kept them inside a filer in his home office alongside his letterheads to make them feel legit. What he only asked from me then was to never run out just in case he doesn't come home as scheduled. I contested that I didn't get sick that often, but I seem to have forgotten that he had a stroke of genius in him.

"What happens if you just want to skip class?"

February 18, 2021
I don't know what this is but BOOOOO and it should not be rewarded with a beer. 😎
2021-03-17 16:00:41
Hahaha! Read again =)
2021-03-17 16:01:29
Ok that's better. Just keeping you honest. :) I enjoyed the part about the specific use case for a laser printer. 
2021-03-17 16:39:51
Wow great read. So is this the type of writing that you were doing within your Google Docs in private before you joined us? 
2021-03-17 16:57:45