in the collection
Dear Type-A Parent
Ohanian Comment: I put this in Eggplant because it is written as humor. I admit I'm not laughing. Humor is an oddball thing. I suspect most of my subscribers aren't amused by what I write for The Eggplant . . . but I think those pieces are funny. And so I persist.
In any case, this piece can be read as a companion piece to the New York Magazine piece on kindergarten admissions.
by Bruce McCall
Congratulations! The application on behalf of your child for a place in the pre-kindergarten class for the 2012-13 academic year at The School has been rejected. This permits you to begin the Type-A Parent Appeal Process. We think of it as just the kind of challenge that makes the type-A parentâ��s life worth living.
Type-A Parent Appeal Process
Necessary forms: A hand-delivered letter on the stationery of a New Jersey waste-haulage firm, folded around a rock and thrown through the stained-glass window of The School's library, will secure you the pamphlet "Explaining the Type-A Parent Appeal Process." Not everyone needs to submit a formal appeal; if you prefer, The School's admissions officer will assign your child a number between 56,000 and 61,000, which makes him or her eligible for the lottery that will establish the preliminary pool of alternate standby pre-kindergarten candidates for the class of 2013-14.
If, like many type-A parents, you find this option unsatisfactory, you may take one of the following steps:
1. Threaten to introduce bedbugs to the pre-kindergarten blankie-storage cubbies if you are not granted an immediate personal interview with the full Board of Trustees.
2. Send money. The School cannot bow to parental pressure, of course, but it will accept cash in exchange for reconsideration of your childâ��s application.
3. Many type-A parents in your situation have found that blackmailing a School faculty member is a nonviolent attention-getter and has the additional benefit of saving you heavy legal-defense costs if your efforts to gain admission for your child have been accompanied by ethnic slurs, phony claims of physical handicaps, or the forging of the child's date and country of birth.
About the Negatively Gifted Child
Once you have succeeded in having your application reconsidered, you may wish to appeal to the admissions committee to reclassify your child. For instance, instead of Brat / Head Case / Dull-Normal, ask that he or she be identified as Negatively Gifted.*
If the Appeals Board allows your Negatively Gifted child to proceed to Phase III (consisting of an interview with a panel of forensic accountants, genealogists, and phrenologists), you may attend the interview along with your toddler. Anecdotal evidence suggests that locking eyes with each panel member for five minutes while fondling a bowie knife can help assure an "admit" vote.
Special note to the type-AA parent: Kidnapping a successful candidate for pre-kindergarten enrollment can instantly open up a place for your child.
Gift-giving children are preferred to gifted children.
What Is "Le Droit de Special Rich Bastard" Status?
If you would like to know more about "Le Droit de Special Rich Bastard" status, poison the Head of School's Labradoodle and wait for a School official to hand-deliver a full explanation in the form of the pamphlet titled "Insider's Edge."
Prospective Parent Questionnaire
1. Every parent dreams of having his or her child accepted by The School. As a prospective School parent, which of the following do you think are most important to maintaining The Schoolâ��s well-being and competitive edge? (Check all that apply.)
Funding a new gymnasium ____
Spring class trip to Borneo ____
New faculty sauna ____
Other capital improvement ____
2. To assist us in getting to know prospective parents better, please complete the word-association exercise below by writing a complete, grammatical sentence incorporating the following words:
Endowment / Capital Fund Drive / Old-Boy Network / School Building Fund / Anonymous Gift / Top Bid at School Auction / Bequest / Richest-Student Scholarship Fund / Swiss Bank Account Routing Number.
The School's curriculum is established through thoughtful discussion and interaction among educators, parents, psychiatrists, trust-fund administrators, attorneys, and family crisis counsellors. The amount of input that is expected of you will be determined by the score assigned to you by The Schoo's time-honored formula:
Donations/I.Q. + Pedigree x Physical Attractiveness + Annual Net Income
If The School's Final Verdict Is "No"
1. Check to insure that the applicant is in fact your natural child. Even wealthy parents have been surprisedâ��and relievedâ��to discover that the babe sleeping peacefully in the nursery has been masquerading as legitimate kin when in medical fact he or she is an impostor.
2. Put your child up for adoption by a better family in order to improve his or her chances for acceptance.
3. Adopt a replacement child from a superior gene pool.
*Children designated as Brats, Head Cases, or Dull-Normal may benefit from our new Midas Touch program. Consult your hedge-fund manager or estate planner for details.
INDEX OF THE EGGPLANT