On Sabbatical | HumorOutcasts

On Sabbatical

December 12, 2017
By

cat1I suspect that some of you out there in ha-ha-land didn’t realize I was on sabbatical. Some of you probably just thought I was a lazy lump of human ectoplasm who couldn’t hack the routine of daily deadlines and diet cokes. Or that I forgot to contribute my two-cents worth and was busy doing more important things like rearranging my closet or finding the cure for cancer.

Well, I’m here to tell you I did none of those things. I was merely taking a sabbatical from my regular job of Critic of the Universe.I couldn’t stand the pressure of having to enumerate all the things that bothered me on a day-to-day basis, so I talked myself into a sabbatical. It was really hard to do since the people who grant sabbaticals are kind of like politicians. To get a medium length sabbatical you have to suck up to these boobs and promise them all kinds of things–it’s your basic non-disclosure package that you sign in triplicate and blab about at cocktail parties. You promise these players you’ll never vote for a sexual predator or anyone with ties to Russia and you’ll always take naps at socially appropriate times.

The sabbatical grantors liked the part when I promised that I would not actively seek a terminal illness or write a book of my memoirs. They said too many people are either dying of a dreaded disease or publishing dumb stuff about where they were when JFK died or 9-11. I told them I never cared to remember where I was on those important dates, and as a result, I could only remember two short psalms from the Bible and a recipe for matzo balls.

They said I was the 300th person this week to apply for a sabbatical, but since I made no sense they were going to grant me one so I could get a little rest and update Windows 10.

What did I do over my sabbatical? The usual: I slept 23 hours a day and ate for the remainder. My cat liked the sleep part, but the dogs thought I was headed for trouble what with my no-walks-let’s-skip-the-leftovers policy. They were all right with the no-baths ruling, though, so no one mutinied except my husband and you can’t count him because he did the self-pity thing and ended up with a two-week sabbatical to the French Riviera.

My sabbatical wasn’t as frivolous as his. After six or seven months I got tired of sleeping in a fetal position and eating popsicles and vowed I’d accomplish one item on my bucket list. I’d been procrastinating about it for years, but now I took it on like the trooper I was taught to be. I finally memorized the entire three verses of the Star Spangled Banner, but I’m going to leave the vocals for my next sabbatical, which should be coming up shortly.

Janice Arenofsky

I write humor, but also serious essays, features and profiles, usually for national venues. I'm a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. I live in Arizona, where it's hot, hot, hot (but very dry of course), and I have eight dogs and a cat. Oh yes, a husband, too.

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