What do you like to do when you play hooky?

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Typically, I sleep away my days off. Or clean, which, despite having a cleaning lady, ALWAYS needs to be done. But with six cats, Little Kitty (rabbit's new nickname we use so Bailey herds him back into his cage "Go get the little kitty!") and Dog, there is always a clump of fur or a patch of slime to pick up.

Anyway, we used to call it "bagging off" when we skipped school rather than playing hooky. What did you and your friends call it?

-- Christine (chris@gta.igs.net), October 05, 1999


I was living in New Orleans about two blocks from the old famous French Quarter, that place where the world comes to explode on one night and talk about it in their standard American homes for the next ten years as though that is the example of their life style, and I knew that I was a writer but I just needed someway to eat so I went out to find a job where I could make enough of a living to pay the rent and enable me to just continue to experience the life I wanted to write about. I could earn money as a writer, but I always felt dishonest about it because i was never writing anything I believed in or in any kind of style that I knew as my own, but I was always willing to prostitute the ability which came from some internal fount that I have never understood, just so I could continue to be, to exist to, always in my mind, do nothing. I was just about to run out of my last stash of money, which I had gotten by my usual method of journalistic deception, having overheard in a bar that some writer had been fired from Field and Stream for not conforming to their standards of journalistic excellence, and I promptly got up and went to the library and pored through back issues of the magazine until I understood completely their style of writing and especially that of their roving contributors. I sat and dreamed and fantasized about some absolutely fantastic adventures and then I spent the next afternoon studying the various geography texts so that I was completely familiar with one particular area. Then I sat in my apartment and having done no fishing to speak of except with my grandfather and an old cane pole on the banks of the red river and its tributaries with a can or worms, and drawing from one shred of reality in my experiences of tramping around the Ouachita and Ozark mountains with a sleeping bag and a backpack and a few cans of pork and beans, I began to recount the dishonest adventure stories of my personal experiences fishing for trout in the high rockies or tracking the kodiak bear in Alaska or any other wild and crazy adventure that caught my mind's eye, often stimulated by studying the massive catalog which I had gotten from the Image Bank or other such photography service. I would look until I found a photo or especially a series of photos and then I would escape to flights of fancy and perhaps an hour later a finished manuscript would emerge, written by one of my alter egos, Rex Hankins, and very carefully and faithfully penned in the breathless style so favored by the magazine. The next day a quick trip to the photography service to snare the photos and then to the post office and a next day postal package to Field and Stream, where the editors always awarded me, or actually Rex, with a fine check, which I had to cash under the most unusual constructs, along with their demands for more of my "true" adventures, which would have to wait until I was very hungry again. So work for me has always been something I have done on a lark, in a spurt of prostituted inspiration in order to survive, and has really been what I do on my time off, my "day off" in the terminology of the workaday world. And so as my money ran out I looked for yet another writing scam and I found it at an ad agency on canal street where I convinced them that I worked best at home and so I would take an afternoon and write a months supply of ads and catalog descriptions which I would trickle back to them a few everyday where they would marvel at their good fortune for having found someone so prolific and sent the checks around by courier and one day by the owner of the agency himself because of reports that I was never there. So my life has consisted of a carefully cultivated career of wandering and spending idle time watching and listening to and following the facinating creative people who can sing and compose music and paint and photograph and yes write and do all of the things which seem to fill the lives of others with pleasure while they continue to intoxicate themselves with every diversion and chemical to drown out the voices which never seem to stop.

-- Sam Redman (sam@samredman.com), October 05, 1999.

I had forgotten in this forum to provide my standard disclaimer for any web postings by Sam Redman:

All stories are entirely fictional and do not have any autobiographical significance. They represent the musings of a fictional character, Bo Hawkins. Any similarity between persons living or dead is entirely coincidental. Under no circumstance do the recollections of these fictional characters resemble, or are they meant to be confessions or recountings of any personal misdeeds on the part of the author or descriptions of any misdeeds by any of his acquaintances or any corporate or other business entity described or alluded to in these writings.

Now, I can continue to write with reckless abandon, and the reader is free to enjoy whatever inferences come to mind.

-- Sam Redman (sam@samredman.com), October 06, 1999.

We used to refer to it as ditchin, or bagging off, or skipping but mostly just a fabulous way to spend an afternoon!! Till you got home, anyway! Well, unlike "Sam" I don't have time to write the next great American Novel here in your forum, but when my crew at home permits, a good snooze is alway first on the list of priorities on a ditch day!!!! Or if I'm feeling more ambitious working in the garden at home. Gotta watch the weather though, sunburns can be a dead give away at work the next day. Yep, reaaaal sick I was, caugh, caugh, hack, phlegm, hork. Cleaning somehow seems wasted on a ditch day.

Disclaimer: All of the above writing is purely fictional and truely the product of a self admitted slightly bent personality, so go ahead faithful reader amuse yourself!!

-- Barb (barb@kw.igs.net), October 06, 1999.

For me, it's doing whatever inspires you at that very moment and knowing you are completely free to follow the inspiration. I remember being in high school and having the better part of a week off because of a huge snowstorm that closed the classrooms. My brother and I got up at the same time in the morning and went to school to meet our friends and play sports in the gym for as long as we wanted to, which was most of the day. We also got to play our own records (yes, records...) on the crappy sound system in the gym, and I remember The Who "Who's Next" being a regular selection. It was great. Nobody had any shedule, and nobody wanted to do anything else but just hang together for as long as the storm lasted. We also spent one night pushing strangers' cars out of drifts on the main street on the first night of the storm, just to do it. Nowadays, everybody is too busy to just get together and see what happens. So, if the time was mine and I was going AWOL (our catchphrase, living close to a military base then), I would want to take photographs, paint perhaps, look at old photos, write a letter or two by hand, and listen to some of those old records...

-- Michael (meaford@hotmail.com), October 07, 1999.

this is gonna sound bad to most of you ( probably ) but when i play hooky or ditch or skip or "slag off" or loiter or nock off or just plain not go in, i like to get really high all day and ride my bike and then eat a lot of food that is really good but bad for you.

tee hee hee

-- thekid (frorider76@hotmail.com), November 26, 1999.

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