Column: A vacation you’re guaranteed to enjoy

Dear Parents,

Please forgive this intrusion on your time. I know how busy and challenging life can be when you haveGirls
children. Kids are such a joy! I have three little ones myself and let me tell you, when I’m at work, I’m constantly looking at my watch, counting how many hours are left before the peace and calm ends.

I went on vacation last year with my wife and kids. We spent seven days in Florida, and when we returned home, I was exhausted. I felt like I had run a marathon. Thankfully, I had to go to work the next day. I was able to recover. It occurred to me that I had just spent thousands of dollars on a vacation that allowed me few moments of rest and relaxation, moments that usually ended with someone pounding on the door and saying, "Dad, come out of there! I need to pee."

That’s why I decided to form a new company called Vacation Solution Inc. It’s what all parents have been waiting for, the solution to our vacation woes. Yes, now you can have a restful vacation, up to seven days and seven nights in a tropical paradise, with someone else’s children. Let some other parents take your problems. I mean, children.

Signing up for one of our relaxing vacations is easy. Just go to our website and pick the children you want to vacation with. You’d better hurry! The best children are going fast. (Mine are still available. If you want to take them for a week in December, I’m offering a free high-definition TV.)

Even if you don’t get the best children, don’t worry. Chances are, whichever children you get, they’ll behave better than your own. How do I know this? Well, it’s a scientifically proven fact that children behave up to 28 percent better when they’re with adults they don’t know. People are always saying to me, "Your children are so well-behaved. They’re such angels!" And I say to them, "How would you like a free high-def TV?"

Let’s face it: It’s hard to be strict with your own kids. They know
how to get their way, whether it’s putting on a sad face, saying
‘please’ a hundred times or making so much noise, you can’t hear what
Oprah is saying. But you can be as strict as you want with someone
else’s children. They don’t know which buttons to push, and even if
they did, they’d be too afraid you might leave them in Acapulco.

We recommend that you be tough on them, as tough as a drill sergeant
on fresh-faced recruits. Don’t think of them as family members. Think
of them as young people who have come along to handle your luggage.
They can do all sorts of jobs for you: make your bed, wash your
clothes, massage your feet.

You might be concerned that someone’s going to be really tough on your
children. Don’t worry. It’s only for a short time. Here’s the important
thing: once they’re back from vacation, they’ll think you’re the
greatest parents in the world. Yes, they’ll finally learn to appreciate
you. They might even kiss your feet.

You might also be concerned that someone else’s children, not yours,
will appear in your vacation photos, that you won’t be able to show
them to your friends and family. Don’t worry. We’ve thought of that
too. That’s why we’re offering all our customers a free trial of our
professional Photoshop service. Just send us your vacation pictures and
we’ll make sure your children appear in them. For an extra fee, we’ll
even put smiles on their faces.

Photo by Utpal Nath

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

Comments

  1. Hey, the pic is of your kids?
    Adorable !! Man, I can almost feel the ‘bratiness’ through their eyes.
    Good luck with your new website plans..hehe
    I am good, thanks πŸ˜‰

  2. No, they’re not my kids. At least I don’t THINK they’re mine. πŸ™‚

  3. lol u dont think they’re urs. ur wife shd read tht.

  4. Congratulations! Just 14 out of 78 humor submissions were included in Humor Carnival 2, and this was one of them. Thanks so much for your delightful contribution!

  5. Good stuff, Melvin. I know I’ve had a few family vacations like yours. Although my kids do behave well enough in public that I might take you up on that high-def TV offer. Does taking kids out to pizza count as “vacation?”

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