FROM: Geppetto@earthlink.com
TO: Sunnydale Elementary Listserv
RE: Hello!

Hello parents, I’m Geppetto, and I’ll bet I’m as excited as anyone to get the class list for Ms. Hudson’s kindergarten. Can you believe school starts next month?

In the class list I noticed that my son’s name is listed as Pinocchio. This is incorrect. Though many of his playmates call him that and the boy himself goes by that name, his full name is PinocchioWoodenboy Geppetto-Schwartz. Note it is PinocchioWoodenboy, without a hyphen. Woodenboy is not his middle name, but rather part of his first name. I know it’s faster to spell Pinocchio, but everyone has a unique and creative name these days.

Please make sure to honor my creativity and help empower my son by referring to him as PinocchioWoodenboy in the classroom and in all correspondence. I’ve sent numerous emails to the Sunnydale office, and new class lists should be coming with his correct name. Feel free to use the attached document with his correct name—you can print it out on self-adhesive labels for use on snack sheets, etc.

Sincerely,
Mastro Geppetto-Schwartz-Shearson-Lehman.

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FROM: Geppetto@earthlink.com
TO: Sunnydale Elementary Listserv
RE: the local park

When PinocchioWoodenboy and I drove to school yesterday I noticed a Cat and Fox sitting on the park bench near Sunnydale. I wasn’t quite sure but I believe they were smoking. Fortunately my son didn’t notice because he’s not tall enough to see from his booster seat and he was distracted—I’m so glad we got the minivan with the TV!

I’m not comfortable with the fact that Sunnydale Elementary abuts a public park. This park should be for the children, and not some frightful ruffians. Does anyone want to join a working group to address this issue? Please feel free to pencil in your name to the list on PinocchioWoodenboy’s back.

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FROM: Geppetto@earthlink.com
TO: Sunnydale Elementary Listserv
RE: A Real Boy

I’d like to clear something up about PinocchioWoodenboy. He told me after his first week of school, while we were at counseling, that some of the other students in Kindergarten have teased him about being made of wood. This breaks my heart. Yes, PinocchioWoodenboy was carved out of cast-off lumber but he is a real boy with thoughts and feelings and hopes and dreams. Though he is plant material, I think of him much more as a delicate flower.

I’ve contacted the district about mandatory sensitivity training. They’ve agreed to supply thirty-two copies of my book Marvin, Boy of Wood, Wood of Dreams to each student, at a subsidized cost, plus they have contracted the Five Finger Players to put on a play about inclusiveness.

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FROM: Geppetto@earthlink.com
TO: Sunnydale Elementary Listserv
RE: lice and other infestations

Yesterday after school I heard PinocchioWoodenboy playing over the baby monitor, and I noticed he was talking to someone in his room. It was a cricket!

This is totally disgusting and unacceptable and I cannot believe this is the kind of school environment all of you accept blindly. Are you so lazy you cannot check your children for crickets? It takes three minutes out of each morning, but every few months there’s another set of emails about how to deal with crickets.

Even though the rest of you cannot spray your children with industrial grade pesticides, please be considerate. I’m a single parent, and PinocchioWoodenboy and I share a bed, because some day I’m hoping he’ll need to know how to sleep. We have a daybed for naps and my normal bed. When he comes home with talking crickets I have to WASH SIX SETS OF BEDDING! This is unfair to me and my child.

I don’t think I’m being unreasonable. If your child appears in the morning scratching her head, or is covered head to toe in talking crickets, should you really bring your poor hygiene to school? When PinocchioWoodenboy was covered in Mexican corn smut, did I allow him to attend? Absolutely not. Please, do your job as parents and we will make it through the rest of the year without another mediated parent interpersonal communication workshop.

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FROM: Geppetto@earthlink.com
TO: Sunnydale Elementary Listserv
RE: Allergies

Tuesday was quite a scare. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: to expect to pick up your child exactly in the same condition as when you dropped him off but instead you find his nose has grown seventy-five inches. After a trip to my woodworking shop to whittle down PinocchioWoodenboy’s nose, we spent the entire night at the emergency room where THEY REFUSED TO SEE MY SON because he’s made of wood.

You can’t imagine the stereotypes we endure. When the district promised a play about inclusiveness, did they ever explain that the Five Finger Players would perform a PUPPET SHOW? Thoughtless and tasteless.

We left the hospital without being treated and I did some research on the internet. It turns out my boy’s nose grows because of lying. This is a very serious allergy and could cause all sorts of complications, not in the least to his already shattered self-esteem.

I’ve consulted with Ms. Hudson and she’s agreed to create a lie-free zone in the classroom: please ask your children from telling lies, inventing stories or in any other ways propagating falsehoods.

See you all at the field trip to Pleasure Island!