Today, Number Three Son is going through the same rite of passage that millions of other schoolboys have over the past few centuries. His 9th grade English class is covering Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and Number Three gets to dress the part and deliver such choice lines as:
“See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!”
As to “Juliet,” well, that’s a sore point. According to Number Three (who has been known to lay it on thick on occasion), he got stuck with the loudest, largest, and most obnoxious girl in the class, which will make his assignment all the more challenging. But in his case, there is no question of “to be, or not to be?”
Wherefore Art Thou Romeo? Because he has to.
He may need a little prompting with his lines, but he’s certainly going to look like an Elizabethan throwback. With a little help from Eyegal and the local Goodwill store, he’ll be outfitted in a red smock, wide leather belt (a grand total of $3.00), and Number Two’s black running tights. He has it all figured out: if he times it just right, he should be able to change in the boy’s restroom, wait approximately 30 seconds after the final bell sounds so that the hall is clear and then sprint like mad to his classroom without being spotted.
My suggestion a few minutes ago that he allow me to post a picture of him in his outfit on the ol’ blog was met with a look of profound contempt and scorn and some unintelligible curses uttered under his breath.
All this fun hearkens back to my own schoolboy days in the late 1970s and Mr. Edwards’ 11th grade World Literature class. We covered “Macbeth,” and I still remember the lines that I had to memorize. I’ve been known to recite them at parties (complete with a Scottish brogue) when things start to get a little slow:
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Not bad, huh?
And with that lovely thought, I bid thee a fond farewell, and may thou havest a nice day.