Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Us 67%ers Don't Have Good Sheets

“What’s this? A 67%? Isn’t that three points above an F?”

“No.” Here we go again.

“What do you mean, no. When I was in school 64% was an F. And that’s what I see here. You’re barely above being a failure.”

“Yeah but. It’s not three points. It’s seven at my school.”

“Who gives a damn how many points it is.”

You do, apparently.

“I mean F’s are almost better than a D. At least an F shows that you gave up completely. Hey, with an F maybe you could be an Einstein. With an F there’s still a chance that maybe you’re too smart for school, but with a D, you tried, you struggled, you made some attempts to succeed and now its clear you’re a failure.”

Takes one to know one.

“You think all those kids in India and China are pulling D’s? You think there is a chance you’ll ever compete on the world stage? That maybe you’ll make something of yourself, make your mark on the world. Hey I’m talking to you. Don’t roll your eyes at me. I’m serious.”

“Yeah I know.” As usual.

“Why can’t you be serious? Why can’t you just buckle down, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and tow the line?”

Nice string of clichés Dad. “What-ever.”

“Did you just say what I think you just said? Do you just think this is all just a video game. You think you can just screw up and get a new life and start over? Is that how you think the world works? Well you’re wrong. You’ll make your bed and lie in it the rest of your life. Right now you’re pulling out the dirty poor sheets you’re gonna use the rest of your life. Don’t make the same mistakes I made. You’re better than that.

“Oh, umm.”

“Come look at these sheets she left us. She was like an expert in sheets and how many threads they have. Feel ‘em. So soft. So strong. This is an A+ sheet for an A+ guy. What I want is for you to sleep in good sheets the rest of your life. I want you to buy ‘em with money from a good job, and put them over a new mattress in a new big house. I want you to be, comfortable. Do you understand me?”

“Yeah Dad. You want it to be better for me.”

“Exactly. A 67% just wont get you there.”


  1. Wow. You just got deep with the thread count, Neil. Bravo.

  2. Neil! This is a great sketch! I agree with Jake- the thread count on sheets as a metaphor for an entire lifestyle. I totally felt that way when I was a kid - only with gym socks. I was always jealous of everybody else's socks. It killed me that people spent money on fancy socks, only to cover them up. And conversely, I was grateful that my old socks were hidden from view.

  3. Show us your socks, Jed. In 4th grade, kids made fun of my hand-me-down clothes and 70s style of dress. That summer I watched Miami Vice and got me some Don Johnson pants and a flat-top. When the next school year came around the same kids said, "What happened to you? You're cool now."

    I love elementary school.

    And I felt a similar pain as I read your sketch, Neil. I like how you simply wrote the kid's thoughts in simple sentences--not even a 'single quotation'. Effectively puts us in the kid's shoes (or socks, if you're Jed.)