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The babysitter

“I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.” Not only are these the lyrics to a popular, early-1980s anthem by the heavy-metal trio “The Pointer Sisters,” but it also pretty much sums up how I’m feeling right now. I usually write about stuff that happened in the past but today I’m going to try and wax poetic about the future.

You see, as I’m writing this, I am but a mere two days from some vacation time from work. I’m like a little kid two days before Christmas. I have a whole laundry list of things I want to get done over the next week. Ironically, none of those things involve laundry. If I get a fraction of these items accomplished, it should be a fun time.

Let me tell you about the first thing that I’m going to do on this wild, devil-may-care furlough. I am accompanying my wife to Bloomington and/or Normal, Illinois, where she will be attending a two-day, high-school business teachers conference. She goes to one of these just about every year, and she thought it would be fun if I went with her this year. I figured, it’s the first day of vacation, why not?

Upon first glance, this may not sound like a raucous, full-tilt adventure to you, but allow me to explain. My 20-year-old son goes to college in Bloomington and/or Normal, and I get to play with him and his buddies while my wife attends the conference. That’s right, I get to become an honorary member of “Animal House,” and it was all my wife’s idea. I’m going to be like James Bond with a license to kill.

My wife has kept telling me that this will be a great chance for my son and I to bond. Also, she thinks that it will be good for my son and his roommates to have an older, more mature presence in the house to help them along the road to becoming rational-thinking young men. I have learned something from this line of thinking. I’ve been writing this semi-regular column for over two years now, and apparently, my wife has not read one of them. I couldn’t figure out why she thinks that I will all of a sudden start speaking with a voice of reason.

And then, on the drive to work today, I had an epiphany. My wife doesn’t really think that I’m going to be a guiding light to these young men. No, my son and his friends are the cheapest form of babysitting that my wife can find in the Bloomington and/or Normal area for a two-day period. Basically she’s dropping me off with my son, so I don’t wander off and get into any trouble.

Now, I usually tend to believe that my wife is the intelligent one in our relationship, but I don’t think that she has thought this one all the way through. Does it really seem like it’s a good idea to have me babysat by a younger version of myself? He’s too young to know any better, and I’m too old to care. Add three other guys that are oblivious to common sense, and that’s a recipe for disaster. A hilarious amount of disaster.

I remember what I was like when I was a 20-year-old college student and from that perspective, this is a horrible idea. When all this is said and done, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Department of Human Services comes in and takes me away from my wife to place me in a home with more responsible caregivers.

As far as the next few days go, I can’t wait to see what it’s like to hang out with four guys half my age. If my memory is any good, I’m not sure that I will survive the festivities that are about to ensue, but I’ll give it my best shot, at least until 7:30, maybe a quarter after 8. Ever since the time change, that’s about the time that I’m ready for bed anymore.

By the time that most of you read this, I should be back and confined to the safety of my home. If not, I may need to raise enough bail money to get five guys out of the Bloomington and/or Normal jail. But don’t worry, I’ll pay you back. Since I have written about this excursion, I’m sure that it’s all tax deductible.

The best part about this whole adventure is, no matter what happens over the next couple of days, I have all of next week to recover. So if you’re not doing anything, come on over to my house and we can play ... My other babysitter will be at work.

You can contact Wallace at gwallace@bcrnews.com. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.

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