Friday, September 11, 2009

It Just Wasn't My Time

There's a conspiracy afoot. My freshman students are trying to kill me. Oh, they try to make it seem perfectly innocent, a simple accident that just happens to result in my departure. Perhaps they heard that the world's oldest woman died, and think I am next in line.

The first incident was a young lass who is very quiet. Seinfeld fans might term her a lowtalker. She doesn't want to draw attention to herself. Her work is always done, she follows the rules, and she doesn't make waves. In fact, her handwriting is even faint, a lowtalker of the written word. A dimwriter, if you will. Imagine my surprise as I walked past her desk one day, handing out papers, only to stumble and nearly concuss myself on the cold tile floor of my classroom. "Oh, I'm sorry," she whispered, pulling her book bag out of the main aisle down the center of the room. She had laid a trap for me, like a bunch of leaves on sticks over a deep hole. Like the steely jaws of a bear trap. Her bag sat there, silently, biding its time, straps looped out like a big ol' Mrs. Hillbilly Mom snare. I recovered, what with having the balance of an Olympic gymnast, but without the anorexic stunted growth.

The next incident was a thoughtful gift from a giving child, a young lady who declared she was buying me a squirrel. Sure, it sounds nice, doesn't it? A student buying the teacher a cuddly pet. But there seems to have been an ulterior motive. It started because the #1 son insisted that one time, by our mailbox area, he saw a squirrel catching fish in the creek. He swears that squirrels will eat fish. I object. Squirrels do NOT eat fish. The young lady agreed with me. To test #1's theory, she grandly offered him a squirrel off eBay. She told her mother to set up an account. The squirrel's name is Henry, and he has only bitten six people. Her mother is driving to Chicago to get Henry. The hope is that Henry does not bite her throat out on the return trip, what with not being in a cage for the ride back. Then the young lady will leave Henry on my desk Monday morning. Yeah. I almost fell for this story, until the young lady was tripped up by demon geography. "My mom is going down to Bourbon Street to get Henry." BUSTED! I know that Bourbon Street is not in Chicago. She had me going there for a while. Kind of like that Toe Story many years ago.

The latest attempt on my life happened right after lunch. I was walking around the room to see what mischief might be fomenting. Then it happened. A mechanical pencil shot through the air, like a poison dart launched out of a long bamboo tube aimed for a monkey in the canopy. Except we were not in the rain forest, we were in the back of my classroom, and the pencil was not poisoned, thought it was very pointy, and I am a human being, by cracky, not a monkey. The incident was blamed on The Concussor, but I know it was not him. He looked at me without fear. The Leg-Hair Puller next to him, though, blushed brightly. I called him out. "You say it was your buddy there, but he is not red in the face like you are. Since your face admits your guilt, I declare that you are the pencil-launcher." He apologized. And when he passed me in the hall later, and I rubbed my neck, he apologized again.

Thank the Gummi Mary, the school year is 1/8 over.

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