Monday, November 14, 2016

Playing Hooky

Time for roll call.

S? Here.

C? Present.

H? Uh-huh.

O? [Raises hand.]

O? Here.

L? … L? … L? … L?

Where’s L?

Maybe he’s sick. After all, my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw L pass out at 31 Flavors last night.

Illness plays no part in L’s absence, in my estimation. I have a few theories about why that consonant, whose presence is as expected as “Have a great summer!” comments in your yearbook, is missing.

1. A child wrote the caption. I know lots of children dream of making school shorter.

2. The L wanted to be like Katy Perry, Al Pacino, Quentin Tarantino, Mark Zuckerberg and Charles Dickens, among others. They all dropped out of school. Some withdraw to support their family. Others do so to pursue Hollywood careers. Bullying, poor grades and an unexpected pregnancy are other reasons. Perhaps an expectant L was having a little l. Maybe L hoped to follow in the footsteps of his counterparts in the third and fourth positions on the famous sign overlooking Los Angeles.

3. An editor was careless.

Whatever the reason, my advice to the alphabet’s 12th letter remains the same: Finish school.

Mitra Farmand

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