In our conversation about football here Tom reminded me of a childhood phenomenon: playing sick to get out of going to church. For some strange reason the only times I ever got sick as a child was on the Sunday mornings when the Seahawks happened to be playing at the same time as our church. I attempted this at least four or five times a season.
It was always difficult to prove you were sick enough to stay home without providing any tangible evidence of the illness. Therefore it usually resulted in a really sore throat or a really bad stomach ache. I’m not sure if my parents knew (they HAD to know) but they usually gave me the freedom to make my own decision. This always made me feel guilty, oftentimes enough for me to go to church, after which I’d try to make them feel guilty for making me go to church while sick. I have a feeling they didn’t feel too guilty. Of course there were important enough games that the guilt could not penetrate my dark, 13-year old soul enough to drag me to church.
They’d all leave, I’d stay in bed for another 10 minutes or so just to make sure they wouldn’t come back after having forgotten something and then I’d make my way upstairs to sit in front of the TV. I covered my bases, however, with a throw-up bowl, glass of water and a blanket in case they came home unexpectedly and found me on the couch watching football. Then I could act like I was sleeping or whatever. By the time they wrapped up everything after church and got home the game was usually over so I’d be back in my bed fake-sleeping when they’d all return. I know, I’m no Ferris Bueller but it worked. Of course by that night I was up and about enjoying America’s Funniest Home Videos with the rest of the fam.
Naturally after I matured (high school?) my two brothers did the same thing. Being the loving brother that I was I called them on it and told my parents they were faking it and that I knew so because I did the same thing. Bret would become indignant that I would even suggest such a thing. Bryce didn’t really react. My parents nevertheless allowed them the same freedom as they allowed me. It turns out Bret was doing the same thing as I was and was upset he was getting called on it. Bryce actually DID have stomach problems which have plagued him his whole life.
The sad thing is that I never pulled this trick to get out of school.