Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Someone once said, “There’s a storm coming ... You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.” I don’t know what Ms. Selena Kyle, aka Catwoman, is referencing in this scene (full disclosure: judge me all you want, I still haven’t seen “The Dark Knight Rises”) but if the world of Gotham City is anything like the world the rest of us live in, she is likely referring to the storm that is the back-to-school season.
I know what you’re thinking; “but back to school season is great!” People with children can revel in freed up days and decreased childcare costs, the childless can enjoy grocery shopping and day trips to the mall free of the grating screech that is a child’s laughter.
But let’s take a moment to step back and look at the larger picture. Do you drive to work on roads that are located in or near a town where people live? Then guess what, your commute is about to take a turn toward frustration boulevard. Hope you don’t enjoy making right turns at red lights, because if you’re anywhere near a school zone, you can kiss those goodbye.
Buses rarely turn on red, speed, or do any of the other things that make for an easy commute under the guise of ‘protecting precious cargo.’ A truck full of iPads is precious cargo, children for the most part are made of rubber and spend their days falling over while sprinting to get nowhere in particular, yet here you are, late for work and only getting later as you stare at a road free from cross traffic waiting for the light to change.
Some of us are lucky enough to be able to procure office supplies from unguarded storage closets, but for those who can’t I hope you weren’t planning on restocking your desk anytime soon as there will be a terrible shortage of pens, pencils and notebooks that starts the week after the first back-to-school sale starts and lasts until sometime in November. The same goes for calculators, microwaveable breakfast foods and lunchables which, contrary to popular belief, are not just for children.
Were you planning on picking up some new shirts? Does the store you were planning on going to also sell children’s clothes? Then enjoy wading through swarms of feral children playing hide-’n-seek in the racks while their parents, weary from a summer of living with them, buy last minute Spider Man shirts.
Parents, I know you’re looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel with its full school day plus extra hours for sports practices, but remember, it’s always darkest before the dawn and this darkness lasts a long time. Sure, you fought other parents to get a Ninja Turtles backpack (or whatever the kids are into these days … Power Rangers?) only to find it’s too big for your elementary schooler and too ‘for babies’ to give to your tween but soon those kids will be in their twenties and while they’ll probably still live with/off of you, at least they won’t wear backpacks, maybe.
This whole piece has come out much darker than planned, but it’s not all bad news. Let the next few weeks of increased policing of school zone speed limits, stores and playgrounds full of children and a pop-tart shortage serve as a reminder: winter isn’t nearly as bad as we all thought it was.
We all owe December an apology.Vincent Davis II is a Cornell graduate, DJ, and market development specialist in the IT industry. His column appears on the second and fourth Friday of every month. He can be contacted at email@example.com