Downsize My Education


Tyler Stoddard Smith takes a satirical stab at the budget crisis.

Dear Sherman OfficeMax High School students, parents, teachers and staff,

I know many of you are concerned about the budget shortfall and the potential impact to education. I want to put you all at ease. I have it under control. Remember 2003? We filled a $10 billion dollar budget hole and barely broke a sweat. It was like taking candy from a baby. Actually, it was more like taking health care from a baby, but let’s not sweat the details.

I, your new principal, have an MBA in corporate downsizing. OfficeMax High will be implementing something I like to call a “value-add.” First, you’ll notice that we are no longer the Sherman Rebels. That’s fine: It’s high time we put the Civil War and all its complications behind us—specifically, behind the laser printer donated by our new corporate sponsor, OfficeMax! Second, I’ve brought in a subcontractor to staff the teaching positions. Most of these recruits were hired out of a parking lot at Home Depot for half the cost of our current teachers. They’re all extremely qualified for leading our new landscaping and construction magnet program.

I think you’ll find our new library exceedingly spacious now that we’ve gone digital. We’ve repurposed the espresso machine from the degenerates at Krispy Kreme High. It’ll be just like 1920s Paris. You can sip espresso and pretend to discuss music, literature and the horrors of vitamin deficiency. With the money we collected from gutting the library and hawking those dusty books, we can afford three laptops with eBooks! Our 3,000 students will be able to buy term papers online and post videos of themselves smoking salvia.

As the saying goes, nothing comes for free, not even lunch. This brings me to lunch. In the midst of a budget crisis, it’s always prudent to attach a fee here and there to keep folks honest. Some new surcharges will include:


$175 surcharge for Free Lunch card.
Water fountain donation: 54 cents per second.


This cuts down on those show-offy kids who tormented me in second grade by threatening to “drink it all.” (I found out later it’s impossible to drink it all, but that doesn’t mean it was OK.) 

We’re still negotiating with TacoBell KFC, but for now OfficeMax runs the cafeteria. Sometimes the lowest bidder doesn’t have the tastiest stuff, but printer toner can taste a lot like licorice if you open your mind. Lunch condiments will be limited to zinc tablets and sand you can pretend is mustard.

The smart money says you can always bet on Texas for forward-thinking adjustments to get us through tough times. I can’t think of a single instance Texas and Texans haven’t come through huge! Sure, it got a little hairy at the Alamo, but we prevailed! If you want, I suppose it could be considered a tie. The point is, nobody is going to tell us how to run our state. 

I’m proud that Gov. Perry doesn’t want to spoil us with state funds. He did the right thing by not applying for President Obama’s Race To The Top initiative. The liberal establishment is keen on standardizing mediocrity and pandering to the masses by promoting reading. Can you remember the last time the book was better than the movie?

You could argue that 2 Fast 2 Furious was deeper before it hit celluloid, but in the original Russian, the novel demonstrates an embarrassing misunderstanding of the Edelbrock intake manifold. And no Eva Mendes.

So here we are, the OfficeMax Rebels, ready for the new school year and a freer, more efficient future. I’ll close with a message to the rogues at Krispy Kreme High: It’s our espresso machine now.

Come and Take it!  


Principal Edwards