“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

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10 Things NOT to do on Your Child’s School Field Trip

school field tripWhat not to do on your daughter’s school field trip.

1. When the Earnest Docent informs all of the parents about the life-changing wonders their children will encounter in the Ballona Wetland wilds:

  • The blue-throated, three-phallused heron.
  • The life-spawning algae mold.

Then concludes her speech misty-eyed asking, “Do any of you have questions?” Do not raise your hand and ask, “But when do we get the peyote tabs?”

2. When the Bossy Docent yells at a child for absently pulling a pine cone off a tree, admonishing him to “leave this land exactly as you found it.” Do not whisper to your child’s teacher, “I can just imagine her in bed, ‘leave my vagina just as you found it; parched, spiny and uninhabitable.'”

Don’t do that.

3. Do not frighten a cute dad by saying, as you walk toward him, “And the cougar approaches her unsuspecting quarry.”

4. Do not be offended when he brandishes iphone photos of his wife at you, like a cross before a vampire.

5. Do not chase the three-phallused heron with your camera, inadvertently falling into the swampy bog.

6. Do not ask the Earnest Docent if she lives alone with cats when she says you’ve irrevocably altered the alkaline levels of the bog with your human skin.

7. Do not cut your tongue by licking a blade of salt grass to see if it’s really salty.

8. Do not secretly flip off the Bossy Docent behind her back when she tells you to leave the salty grass the way you found it. Unlicked.

9. Do not let your 10-year-old get away with flipping you off on the car ride home when you won’t buy her a McFlurry because, she says, she’s just following your example.

10. Do not make a u-turn and buy her (and yourself) a McFlurry, the seasonal pumpkin pie and a Big Mac when she reminds you that you were the only parent sent to the parking lot for the remainder of the field trip. Ever.


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  1. June Bug
    June Bug 3 November, 2014, 16:06

    I really need to go observe the three phallused Heron to add to my bird-watching list! Funny, funny stuff….. Do not forget your Dramamine, if you accompany the 3rd grade on a whale watching outing…..it was O K, though because someone had to be hanging over the back railing with a couple of the little ones, who were sick too. 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 3 November, 2014, 22:38

      June Bug I’ve found my perfect motion sickness antidote. It’s called Bonine and it doesn’t make you drowsy or leave the taste of acid-chalk in your mouth.

      Reply this comment
  2. Michelle
    Michelle 4 November, 2014, 07:16

    HAHHAHHAHA..omg..this is hysterical. Will you be my best friend?

    Reply this comment
  3. WendysHat
    WendysHat 4 November, 2014, 08:29

    Funny stuff! I never missed a field trip with my children. Good times for sure.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 4 November, 2014, 13:29

      Wendy I keep reminding myself I’m going to miss these field trips one day. Maybe.

      Reply this comment
  4. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs
    Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs 4 November, 2014, 11:06

    Oh, the stories your daughter will one day include in her memoir! I can’t wait to read it!

    Reply this comment
  5. Kelly
    Kelly 4 November, 2014, 15:53

    I laughed out loud on this one. Thank you so much, Shannon. As a reader and as a teacher who takes kiddos on field trips. 🙂


    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 4 November, 2014, 15:54

      Aw thanks Kelly. We love our kids’ teachers. There but for the Grace of God go I. That is some hard work.

      Reply this comment

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