It was more than ten years ago I had to deal with one of my stepchildren’s upcoming high school graduation and her eventual attendance at some sort of citadal of higher learning. I had dealt with the calamity and misadventure of two stepchildren of the female gender.
I dubbed them Cleopatra and Bathsheba because they were spoiled beyond imagination and thought that they should be treated like royalty.
Cleopatra was the oldest and had already enrolled in a top party school. To put it mildly she did not drink out of the fountain of learning, as a matter of fact, she barely even gargled. My desire was that Bathsheba would be a little different, I hoped she would get an adequate education so she doesn’t have to be a bum or work for the government or something. I was also hoping that she could gain a modicum of maturity.
Bathsheba’s primary concern was choosing a school that had excellent party credential and a surplus of “hot” males. My concern was staying out of bankruptcy during her pursuit of these beer-soaked endeavors.
At first, it was tempting to regard this whole college enrollment as a benevolent plan of the college system to rescue me from the treacheries of having one less teenager in the home. (A scenario that was not without its appeal.)
Therefore, I need a not-so-common-place plan. I had to hatch some fiscal scheme in the quirky crannies or my own cranium that would be hailed by both me and the bank alike. And then I had an inspiration. I remembered one of my favorite stories by the author O. Henry that I read in the eighth grade. The story that I read was The Ransom of Red Chief. I believed that the jist of the story was the answer to my dilemma and it was as easy as scratching where it itches.
In the story of The Ransom Red Chief, two crooks kidnapped a child who called himself Red Chief after a wild Indian Chief. The crooks sent a ransom note to the child’s father, but in the meantime, he made the two so miserable with his behavior that after two days the father soon sent a message of his own, that he would take the boy back if the two kidnappers would PAY HIM! And so the kidnapper’s plan was foiled, and they ended up paying to have Red Chief returned to his father.
The way I had it figured, is that colleges and universities are paying money as scholarships to get student to enroll there. But what if I were to write a letter and convince some of these colleges that someone just as sinister as Red Chief was ready to enroll in their school? Bathsheba is usually wrong and abrasively loud at the same time. She has the tonsils of an auctioneer and was a letter winner in aerobic complaining. She comes equipped to inflict tantrums, destroy quiet and serenity and do so without explanation or remorse. I would write that this situation should scare you worse than a terrorist with a brief case and demands panic on your part.
I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that this is a plan that calls for an enormous stretch of reason, a total disregard for logic and tradition. Some of you may even call it extortion. Call it what you like, I am going to call it The Anti-Scholarship.
Instead of giving her money to attend their school, the colleges will give her money to attend someone else’s school. I was thinking we might end up with a reverse bidding war.
University X: “What! University ‘Y’ gave you five thousand dollars to come here? We will give you six thousand dollars to go to University Z.”
I would start a fund. The colleges could offer money to Send Bathsheba to School Elsewhere. The school sending the smallest donation would get a new student, (and their money back, after all it I am not a crook.). Remember, “a campus is a terrible thing to lay waste.”