The best laid plans of mice and men…

Summer fast approaches and you can’t wait to grab your board, head for the beach and catch some waves. Only one problem. You flunked a grade and find yourself in Summer School. To the errant student, it’s a shame he didn’t work hard enough. But what was the teacher’s crime? 


That brings us to our feature presentation for this afternoon.


A high-school gym teacher has big plans for the summer, but is forced to cancel them to teach a “bonehead” English class for misfit goof-off students. Fortunately, his unconventional brand of teaching fun field trips begins to connect with them, and even inspires ardor in some. 


Even though we’re all responsible people (at least some of you are, 😉 ) Think of a time when work took you away from something or someplace you really wanted to be. Even if it’s just anywhere but work! Have some fun with it and write your “escape”. 


  1. No summer school, but every summer I spent at Girl Scout Day Camp!

    The Summer of 1966

    Another regimented summer,
    idle hands (my mother warned),
    so I was never idle for fear
    the devil’d find me,
    and for eight weeks I
    whittled sticks, dipped matches
    into wax, waterproofed them,
    protected, and stored them
    in Kodak film roll cases.
    I sang to campfires that
    breathed hotter than July heat,
    drank bucketloads of
    blood-warm water from the tap,
    and made mosaics
    from pinecone scales.
    I hiked, I sang, ate sandwiches
    soggy from pickles
    and tomatoes and
    not enough cheese,
    I wore shorts and sunburnt
    my knees. Got heat stroke,
    and spent three weeks in bed.
    The neighbour boy visited,
    kept me company. I was 15.
    That was the summer
    the devil found me.

    Host Home Client at Niece’s Wedding

    We usually keep him from these events,
    because he wanders and makes noise.
    But since it was in a barn on a June day,
    we sat in the back near an open door.
    Distracted by keeping our man calm,
    I missed that moment when the groom
    sees his bride coming down the aisle
    and when they share their first married kiss.
    Those are the best parts of a wedding,
    And I missed them.


    It doesn’t take a crystal baller
    to read the minds of summer schoolers.
    One chews on his pencil,
    another stares out the window,
    envying the sparrow at the pane.
    I teach the ins and outs of language;
    I try hard to slay the beast of slanguage.

    Mark in the last classroom row and seat
    pouts through the lesson on his sheet,
    the one he claims is new to him;
    the one in April he daydreamed through.
    I suspect once more he rides the board,
    surfing high astride the ocean waves.
    It’s this, not passing English, that he craves.

    Wanda twirls her golden locks and dreams
    herself a Midas who can touch these themes
    and turn them into A+ gold.
    I think Betsy to her right is fast asleep,
    hiding her eyes behind her shielding hand,
    and the football hero, the field’s top brass,
    can turn in his helmet if he fails this class.

    No need for me to dig much deeper
    or beat my chest with mea culpas.
    The long hot summer soon will fade away.
    They’ll miss it all because of their neglect,
    but whose fault is that? I’m just the teacher
    confined here with them in summer school,
    dreaming laps around my swimming pool.



    It’s like this.
    We make our choices
    and voice our opinions
    but the decision we need to make
    is ours for the making.
    There is no derision or faking it.
    It’s about taking it where you need to be.
    No amount of goading or self-loathing
    should deter you from that.
    You have two hats to wear,
    what do they care which you choose?
    It is all fun and games until
    responsibility steps in.
    You should begin with that!

  5. Vacations Interrupted

    Beautiful weather for a change
    Travel plans and reservations made
    Relatives eagerly waiting for us
    No time now for refunds
    No time for changing anything
    No time for any interruptions
    But they say the best laid plans…..

    Sometimes the heart doesn’t get the memo
    Or some mysterious bug does its worst
    A plane can’t take off or the car dies
    Or Uncle Joe decides to pass away and
    Uncle Joe lived in the opposite direction
    Sometimes the best laid plans fall through
    And summer vacations end up staycations

    Se la vie

    © Earl Parsons

  6. Still Dreaming, But…

    Thought some about retirement,
    working 24/7 in those early days
    also about quietly basking
    in a summer sun’s rays.
    First had to put nuts away
    for the long winter ahead,
    fussing about future finances,
    about a more secure homestead.
    The work’s been done for a while,
    and there’ve been homesteads eight,
    all of them quite nice,
    a few of really great.
    Now late winter approaches,
    there’re still nuts in the bank.
    We’ve had a lot of good luck
    and some hard work to thank.
    That doesn’t mean, though,
    that we’ve stopped our dreaming,
    occasionally planning
    and adventure scheming.
    We have more time now
    for the things we hold dear,
    but not for future fussing,
    the future’s already here.
    So, what of past thoughts,
    when we thought we might roam,
    well, to tell you the truth, it’s
    just easier to stay home.

  7. Jarred Into Reality

    Visiting friends in California,
    I slide into vacation
    mode. No phones, no
    computers – I think.
    Early one morning,
    yawning out of sleep
    into a first cup of coffee,
    phone rings. To my surprise,
    my friend hands me the phone.
    I groan. I can feel knots
    retying themselves at the base
    of my neck. My boss in New York
    cannot find a piece of paper.
    “I need you to explain exactly
    where it is,” he shouts, hysteria
    creeping up into high decibel
    range. Many calls back and forth
    ensue. Morning is shot through
    with holes like a bullseye
    on a dart board. Realization
    dawns. It is a mistake
    to make yourself available
    when on vacation visiting friends.

  8. In the Bored Room

    Stuck in a room
    A/C blowing
    keeping us cool
    blowhard talking

    meeting at lunch
    who thought of this?
    clock hands spin ’round
    my mind wanders

    outside sun shines
    it’s a scorcher
    my friends gather
    the green grass calls

    I imagine
    running, passing,
    shooting, scoring…
    only dreaming

    since I’m stuck, cool,
    in a room, deaf
    to the droning
    that I slept through

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