How to Get Out of School

"Hey, did you hear the news, did you?"

“Hey, did you hear the news, did you?”

My three children came up with a plan at the dinner table after hearing that I was going to be on the radio the next day for an interview about the news in Argentina.

“I know, I know, he’ll talk like this,” my 11-year-old daughter said, cupping her hands around her mouth and speaking in a deep and steady voice like a newsreader: “It’s a cloudy morning in Buenos Aires and there is a chance of rain.”

“Of storms!” her nine-year-old brother said, perking up after a weekend of tiring activities.

“That’s right, big storms are approaching the city,” the newsreader said. “The wind is blowing hard and the government is calling for people to stay indoors.”

“There are danger warnings!” the boy said.

“Yes, there are storm warnings across the city… and across the country,” his sister said.

“And, and,” said the youngest girl, joining in, “they have to close school!”

“Yes!” her brother said.

“That’s right, the government has declared that school must be closed,” the 11-year-old said.

“For the rest of the year,” the six-year-old said.

“Yes, this is the latest information from the government. The authorities have declared that all schools must close for the rest of the year!”

“Yippee!” her younger brother and sister cheered, both standing up and jumping up and down.

“The storm has damaged the school and it must be rebuilt,” the 11-year-old newsreader continued. “But that will take months and so the government has closed down the school and told kids and their parents that they can have a long, long holiday. A very long holiday!”

“Yippee!” her keen listeners cheered.

I watched rather amazed at the transformation of these three tired children to a jubilance of newfound energy, and thought, yes, that would be wonderful, but that would be far from the topics of my interview on finance, sport and society.

But the kids continued with their scheming and in unison turned to me and said, “Will you do it, Daddy? Will you say that school is closed for the rest of the year, will you?”

They batted their eyes at me with wishful thoughts.

“Well, maybe,” I said.

“Yes!” they cheered. “No more school!”

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