failed

You squirm in your desk as the moment draws near. Staring at the clock, it crawls to an angry snail’s pace (not like those happy snails you see in the movies). Each passing second clangs louder and louder. The hands on the clock now form a smiley face; it’s mocking you. And of course, why wouldn’t this Dickensian controller of time laugh at your pain? It knows what comes next. The bell rings…it is time to face the music.

The music of which I speak sadly has little to do with Beethoven, Bach, or even Weird Al Yankovich. No, the music you’ll hear is the ominous tapping of your mom’s fingers on the counter as she slowly reads your report card. Each individual tap is an accusation, sending shivers through your entire body. Even the shivers don’t last long; they know what’s coming, and it’s every man for himself. Time to get out of Dodge, son.

You can literally see your life floating out the window before your very eyes. In times like these it’s best to recall the cavemen. I mean, poor dental hygiene and some gnarly BO meant that they didn’t exactly have what we’d call a robust social life, but they still made it through, right? Oops. Not so much. So instead of focusing on the woolly mammoth-backed cavemen and the impending ice age about to emanate from your mom’s nostrils, you decided to throw a Hail Mary.

Hey mom:

Albert Einstein couldn’t speak until the age of 4 and, by the looks of his photos, stuck his finger in a lot of light sockets. And he ended up giving a speech to accept a little thing we like to call the Nobel Peace Prize.

Thomas Edison broke a lot of light bulbs. Then he stopped all those shenanigans and created one that worked. Students everywhere thank him for giving us more lighted hours to do homework.

Winston Churchill lost every election he participated in. Then someone decided to make him the Prime Minister of America’s favorite colony.

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” I’m pretty sure he used that editor as inspiration for Cruella Deville. Then he started a park and got to ride rollercoasters whenever he felt like it.

Colonel Sanders’ recipe was rejected by over 1,000 restaurants. Now there are more than 15,000 KFC’s worldwide making sure doctors will never be broke or bored.

Dr. Seuss’ first book was rejected by 27 publishers. Being broke, he ate some rotten eggs and ham, wrote a book about it, and now they let his cat be in movies.

Isaac Newton failed at running the family farm (I’m assuming because he just sat around watching apples). But he eventually found a way to use those apples to help people. Not by feeding starving countries, but by teaching them science.

And finally, Abraham Lincoln went to war as a captain, but came back a private. Then we put him in charge of our whole army. You also see copper engravings of him covering the streets in pretty much every city around the country. So you know he had to have done something right.

So you see, mom, my failure is really setting me up to be successful later on in life. The more I fail, the more successful I’m likely to be. And judging by my report card, there is no limit to what my future might hold.  So what do you say we just put this whole report card thing behind us and move on?

No go? I see. Making me fail even at failing? You’re setting me up for an extra dose of success later on. I get it. Touché, mom.

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