Day 349: Swap Day

Swap Day
Matt Zurbo


Someone in the school office typed the wrong thing.
(Small Italian working class kid, puzzled reading piece of paper. “Bring Dad Day” crossed out. “Swap Day” handwritten instead. Dad behind kid, whistling nervously.)

Today is ‘Swap With Dad’ day at school.
(Dad, running to small pile of kid’s things, backpack, skateboard, lunchbox, paper flung in the air. Boys still standing there, watching him.)

Hey, that’s not fair!
(Dad NEVER beats Johnny Snot.)
(Kid, looking small, in wrestling tights, standing beneath wrestling ring with oversized gym bag over shoulder, looking up and big, snorting, aggressively standing wrestler.)

HEY! That’s REALLY not fair!
(Dad, big grin, wrestling mask still on, looks huge riding on small skateboard, tiny backpack on back, computer under arm.)

I wonder if it’s the same for everyone?
(Big image of street. One kid in garbage collector clothes, so small they are dangling from top of bin they are trying to carry. One kid in oversized suit, carrying stuffed briefcase, looking baffled at hand full of papers. Two kids dressed as tradies, straining to carry plank of wood. One kid dressed as doctor, patient running away…. Etc…)

Nope. Just my Dad took it serious.
(Dad, oversized, happy, is standing in queue of small kids for school bus, skateboard in hand, talking very animated, with a kid about a comic.)

No way! I LOVE history!
(Dad, squeezed into class table. Scratching his head as he looks at his paper. All the other kids are tiny compared to him. Thy are all writing. Teacher pointing to the word TEST on board.)

This is so embarrassing!
(Dad, smiling, proudly holding up test result, D+.)

Quit hogging the food!
(Dad in canteen, food piled on his tray higher than his head. The kids in line are a bit baffled/annoyed. One is throwing up, one slurping milk, etc…)

I should warn you, Dad; the playground can be rough!
(Dad in sandpit, in full wrestling costume and mask, laughing, while about ten kids try to wrestle him down.)

The bullies won’t care how big you are…
(Dad looking startled as one bully, much smaller than him, pushes him backwards, over another kneeling behind him. Third bully laughing.)

At all!
(All three bullies handing from the basketball ring buy their undies. We can just make out Dad’s head as he walks away, whistling.)

And you’ll never make friends.
(Other kids laughing and cheering Dad on as he throws paper plane that is getting stuck in back of teacher’s head/hair.)

And there’s NO WAY they’ll believe your stories about how you became a wrestler! I mean, really, Dad? Giants!?
(Dad talking, animated. Above him is image of him small, watching two giant’s and a huge Viking wrestling. Kids listening, goggle-eyed, in awe.)

You’d better get back into class on time!
(Bell ringing, Dad running comically, biting tongue in concentration, bowling over other kids.)

No, Dad! Dinosaur drawings aren’t the answer to everything!
(Dad at his desk, concentrating hard, drawing, while teacher looks down on him, behind them is the class board with a math sum on it, 3×3=? They are surrounded by dinosaurs.)

At last! Dad’s heading home!
(Bell ringing, Dad turning, looking at it, horrified.)

SO embarrassing…!
(Two teachers and two kids pulling Dad out of the school by the legs as he claws the ground to stay there.)

“How was your d- YIKES!” Dad shouts.
(Dad, backpack on, shocked, standing on skateboard as enters front yard. Kid on porch with band-aide on nose and arms and legs tied into knots.)

You have no idea how much I need this…!

(Dad, school cap still on, warm smile, eyes closed, hugging frumpy, battered kid.)

(Kid, with dopy, tongue out, massive sigh.)

What do you mean, I still have to do my night shift as a storeman!?
(Dad, smiling, on porch with a toy fire truck, waving good-bye to comically frazzled/annoyed kid, now in work overalls, lunchbox and a reflector vest. Johnny Snot, now dressed the same as kid, with lunchbox, waiting outside gate for him.)

(Kid, exhausted, dragging himself along street, Johnny Snot, in work gear, waving good-bye..)

(Kid, holding kid’s bedroom door open, shouting. Room is dark, but for Dad holding torch. Dad is writing the word AGAIN, on the piece of paper that says; SWAP DAY.)


The End





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