Monday, November 30, 2009

Free For The Reading

It is cold and lonely in a big ol' school after dark with no shades on the windows and a thermostat that has been set to stop heating at 4:00 and is not to be tampered with. The #1 son had practice from 5:00 to 7:00, and Petri Dish H woke up with a bug after being off last week for vacation, so I stayed after school to bring #1 home to the Mansion. The Pony was pawned off on grandma, who is truly a lifesaver, what with Pony-minding and picking up my Christmas shopping from the Post Office. The Post Office that smells like a dead mouse. I hope my Christmas presents don't smell like dead mouse. That would be OH SO HILLBILLY to give gifts smelling of dead mouse. One thing that doesn't smell like expired rodent is my 2nd Hour class, they who leave my classroom to take a shower and whatnot, always spraying cologne or perfume or slathering on the smelly lotion, even though I have told them I am a fragrance Nazi. Not in so many words, of course. I wouldn't want one of them to go home saying that I'm a Nazi. Like my friend Jim, the 5th Grade teacher who told his students on the first day of school that if they didn't turn in their homework, he would turn into a holy horror, and a little urchin went home that very night and asked his daddy if a man could be a whore, because Mr. Jim said he was going to turn into one. Or like my friend Karen, who told her 8th Grade basketball players to get serious about practice and stop acting like such twits, and a young lass whose daddy was on the school board told her brother at the dinner table one night, "Stop being such a twat." When Mommy and Daddy chastised her for her language, she said, "I don't know why I'm in trouble for saying that! Miss Karen calls us twats every day at practice."

And that's where I'm going to leave this free-association exercise.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Countdown

Three weeks until Christmas break. It's a four-day week for me, what with having a date with some radioactive iodine on Wednesday morning around 7:30. I can not say that I am looking forward to that day off from school.

The #1 son has late practice all week. That means that Chauffeur H will have to pick him up at 7:00. My duty ends at 5:00. Except on Thursdays, which is conveniently Pro Bowler H's league night. Only a week until #1's first basketball game, where we will proudly turn out to watch him ride the bench.

On that note, let me add that after four weeks of practice with these boys, Coacher was overheard to instruct The Pony to come out and shoot his free throw at the end of practice. That's right. Four weeks, and he calls #1 by his little brother's name. His little brother, who never had Coacher for class, who never steps foot into the gym, and who has picked up a basketball fewer times than I can count on two hands. Yeah. Coacher is sure giving everyone a fair chance to earn those playing minutes. Guess it's kind of hard to remember the names of players you shove off to a side basket all day, every day.

Another thing that was overheard, while I was talking to a star's mom while waiting for practice to end 30 minutes late: "We only have 10 days until the first game! You should know these plays!" Just a suggestion, but perhaps the lads would remember the plays if they had practiced them for the past four weeks, rather than playing 4 on 4 every day. Uh huh. Just a thought, from a woman who does not know basketball.

Next weekend I will prepare my holiday Chex Mix for the grand poobahs and my advisory kids. We still have a Christmas Concert to attend, and four basketball games, and building a pen for the partridge in a pear tree that I expect Hoarder H to drag home from the auction. Thank the Gummi Mary, I talked him down from buying that llama.

I regret to inform my students that there will only be ONE more test until the quarter ends, not two. We have other things to do that will eat up the time needed to cover another chapter. It's OK. We have covered the CLEs. Anything goes! If you can't wing it at the end of the semester, just before Christmas break, after covering the CLEs found in that text, ready to check out the new textbook...when CAN you wing it?

I love this time of year.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas, Bloody Christmas

Farmer H decreed that the Mansion would be draped in Christmas decorations by the end of today. There must be something about a 67-degree Saturday that brings out his Christmas spirit. In their shirtsleeves, #1 and The Pony dragged Farmer H's light show into place. Or as #1 referred to them: the really crappy decorations. He is right, you know. I can make excuses for the plastic light-up Santa and snowman, because they used to reside on my grandma's front porch. I wanted a little something from my childhood to pass on to my spawn. But the rest of the crappy decorations are all Farmer H's doings. I don't know where he got some of them. There are foot-high Santas and snowmen who sit on spikes with a light up their butt. There are snowflakes on spikes that Farmer H arranges with surgical precision. There are giant balls to hang on the cedar tree by the driveway.

The #1 son replaced about 20 lights in the string that we leave up around the front porch all year. Most chain gang workers (which is what he called himself and The Pony--Dad's chain gang) would have gotten a ladder. Not #1. He brought out a kitchen chair, set it with two legs on the edge of the porch, and climbed up to lean out over the yawning abyss to reach the light bulbs.

The Pony was injured in a freak lighting ceremony. Farmer H plugged in a string of lights and told The Pony to unscrew one of them. The Pony promptly broke the bulb, and shed his red, red blood all over the porch until he was told to hang his hand over the rail by the fish pond until Farmer H could get a band-aid. Then, adding insult to injury, Farmer H made the little chain gangster wipe up his own spilled blood with a paper towel, and commented, "Yeah, I should have remembered--I always break those lights trying to get them out."

And another holiday display is born.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Bottomless Gift

Farmer H got an 8-point buck. Notice I didn't say he shot an 8-point buck. Farmer H doesn't hunt. So when he called me after school on Wednesday and said he got an 8-point buck, I was eager to hear the latest installment of the Farmer H Unbelievable Coincidence Saga. The same saga that brought us the wild boars for Farmer H to butcher into bacon, the Hatfield & McCoy shotgun incident, and too-good-to-be-true Free Hairwad Hot Tub giveaway. The gist of this story is that Farmer H now has an 8-point rack hanging in his MiniMansion down by the creek.

Here's how it went down. A neighbor from up the road stopped Farmer H, and told him that he had a big deer laying on his upper 10 acres. That's the land we bought as an investment for #1 and The Pony, which does not adjoin our Mansion 20 acres. Farmer H drives past it regularly on his way to and from work, but he's been off this week. Farmer H went to investigate and found a big ol' buck laying there dead. As Farmer H put it: "He looked like he'd been gut-shot."

Farmer H called the game warden. Or the Missouri Conservation rep. Or whatever name they go by.

I found a dead deer on my property, and I'm going to cut off the antlers.
Funny how you found that dead deer the day after the season ended.
I wouldn't have called you if I shot it myself. It's on my land. Nobody would know. Why would I turn myself in?
Why are you calling now, if nobody would know?
I want to do things right. I found a dead deer, and I want the antlers.
I'm just kidding you. I'll give you a number.

That's so in case a conservation agent catches Farmer H stroking his rack, Farmer H can prove that he didn't take the deer illegally. I don't know what Farmer H did with the rest of the deer, but he went and sawed off that 8-point rack. I know, because I was sitting at the kitchen table peeling eggs for my famous Thanksgiving deviled-egg side dish, and Farmer H strolled in the back door proudly holding out that bloody rack. I sent him packing. He came right back without the rack to brag about it. "Who's minding the rack? Those dogs will be on it." Farmer H said they would leave it alone, but he beat a hasty retreat within a minute or two.

Farmer H. Big Game Hunter. Supplier of endless blog posts. The gift that keeps on giving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Five Questions And A Statement

How do you know HH has been off work? There are food particles stuck in the kitchen sink drain, gritty dirt on the kitchen floor, and mysterious grease blots on the kitchen counter. I might need to go count the chickens.


How does The Pony do his Christmas shopping? The same way any 11-year-old boy would like to do his Christmas shopping--out of the grabber machine at The Devil's Playground. The Pony has become quite adept at snagging partially-buried jewelry. He already harvested enough bling to give two presents each to Grandma, Aunt, Cousin, other Cousin's Girlfriend. Plus, he also derived the entertainment value from his shopping spree.


What kind of redneck lowlife do you have to be to write on the freakin' wall of the classroom when the teacher is replaced for 4 class periods with a substitute? Not artistic graffiti. Not a pencil on concrete block reproduction of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Scribbles. Graphite scribbles. What we need is a Rent-A-Mr.-Hand, like from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. A Rent-A-Mr.-Hand to go to the homes of the scribblers, and tag their domicile with unsightly etchings on drywall. Because that would be about as easy to remove as graphite on concrete blocks.


For all of you Mabelish label-readers out there, a surprisingly protein-rich and low-cal treat can be found in The Devil's shrimp eggrolls and mini beef-and-cheese tacos, found near the deli section. The shrimp eggroll has 110 calories and 10 grams of protein, while the 4 mini-tacos per serving sport 200 calories and 7 grams of protein. Just sayin'. Because I don't want Mabel to have to strain herself by holding the package over her head to read the nutritional information like the side-by-side comparison of those two pumpkin pies this afternoon.


Do shoes make the team? The #1 son's basketball cronies are dropping like flies. It's so bad that HE even got to play full-court five-on-five at practice, instead of being shuttled to a side basket. I blame those new team shoes, lightweight, but at the price of little lateral support. Two sprained ankles and a foot problem do not speak well for the Nike Hyperize. I want to get him a separate pair of shoes for practice, since I've already had to get him sports insoles due to lack of cushioning, and he said his ankle took a turn for the worse during the suicides. #1 might just be the last man standing if he can keep his hooves healthy. He even scored twice while playing against Concussor today.


How self-absorbed do you have to be to get hit by an oncoming car while walking to school? Game of chicken, or an unfortunate texting accident? I know that when I used to drive past the school my kids should go to, the students would NOT get off the road. Several times I had to come to a complete stop to wait for an oncoming car to pass, so stubborn were those urchins, demanding three feet of roadway to hoof it to school. They wouldn't step off the road for anything. Not even after that dude was whacked by the state representative's truck mirror on New Year's Eve and landed in a coma for a couple weeks.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We Have A Diagnosis

Mr. M was supposed to be on our trivia team Saturday night. It was $100 per table, and we thought we had 10 people. Eight of us showed up, with Mr. M and friend being among the missing. We paid our money, and told the trivia-runners that we were expecting two more. When we first arrived, I asked my teammies which one was going to inquire as to whether Mr. M had something up his butt. You know, because that's what a disgruntled student told me. They had a good laugh at that, but there were no takers to ascertain the health of Mr. M's posterior. And Mr. I wanted to know if the kid said that HE had something up HIS butt. I assured him that she was indeed talking about Mr. M, but secretly wondered if Mr. I truly held some contraband in his nether region, what with making it all about HIM.

When he didn't arrive, I chalked it up to Mr. M having something up his butt. "You know, I hear that it's hard to move around with something up your butt. That would surely cause someone to run late." Only nine chairs fit comfortably at our table. One was set off to the side, along the trophy case. "That can be Mr. M's chair. He might prefer not to be crammed in with us, since he could already be feeling a little crammed with that something up his butt." But when Mr. M and his lady-friend arrived, Mr. M carried that chair around the table over his head, and scooched it right up with the rest of us.

Between rounds, I leaned over the #1 son to ask Mr. M the burning question. Since nobody else would do the deed. "Last week, a student told me that you had something up your butt. Are you all right?" Mr. M eyed me for a minute.

"WHO said that?"
I'm not telling you WHO, because you will retaliate.
Was it music appreciation or concert choir?
I'm not telling you that so you can narrow it down.
Boy or girl?
I'm not telling. You will use your powers of deduction.
Well, several of them have been crying all week.
I'm surprised you weren't the one crying, with that something up your butt.
I don't have anything up my butt.
OK. If you say so.

While I wasn't minding him, since I was too busy recording the answers for our winning trivia performance, the #1 son gave Mr. M enough clues to deduce the disgruntled. I didn't find out until the ride home. I scolded #1 soundly. "But Mom! All I told him was that she wasn't in music appreciation, because I didn't want the freshmen being blamed, and then he said 'Alto or soprano?' and I said she wasn't a soprano, so he doesn't know WHO said it, because there are three altos!" Great. Narrow it down to three people from 60 people, and expect Mr. M not to guess the right one. "But Mom! I only improved his odds by 80%!" Spoken like a true mathlete. And traitor. I need to corral Mr. M and warn him that if he retaliates against the disgruntled, I will put in the announcements that Mr. M will be absent next week because he is having surgery to have something removed from his butt.

During the intermission, Mr. M got up to fetch a beverage for his lady-friend. One of the eleventy-hundred basketball-bouncing urchins who had spent the evening running amuck threw a basketball at Mr. M's butt. It bounced off. When Mr. M returned with the lady-beverage, I said, "Now we have proof." Mr. M replied, "I DO feel so much better now that that basketball fell out of my butt."

Because he was a good sport, I didn't bring up the issue of Mr. M holding students hostage in his classroom, or farming them out begging for batteries like his own personal UNICEF squad.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Up The Butt Syndrome

Last week, a disgruntled student told me that Mr. M has something up his butt.

It all started when she came into my room and asked if I had a AA battery.


What do I look like, a convenience store?

No. But Mr. M sent me to find a AA battery.

You can tell Mr. M that even if I HAD a AA battery, I would not give it to him. In fact, it could be the last AA battery on Earth, a battery that I had no use for, and I STILL would not give it to him.


Yesterday, I called down there to see if my son could come up to my room for the last 5 minutes of class. Did he show up? NO. And my son told me that Mr. M would not let out a kid that the office called out. Mr. M told him, "You can go when the bell rings."

Yeah. He wouldn't even let the seniors out to order their gowns.

See? That's why I have no AA battery for Mr. M. He has changed.

I KNOW! He's got something up his butt.


She parted ways amicably, still clutching her drained AA battery that I can only assume was a trade-in for a working AA battery, perhaps to tell Mr. M the reason for his batterylessness, perhaps not. Please let it be noted that if I truly had a problem with Mr. M, I would not speak this way of him in front of a student. Mr. M and I go way back. He organized our very first trivia team. I usually greet him as Mr. A$$hole. That's how I roll.

I had a bit of fun with his up-the-butt syndrome on Trivia Night. But that's a story for tomorrow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mulligan Stew

Last night, my team WON the trivia contest! That's right. We WON. There were no money prizes, but we all got a giant gold medallion on a wide red ribbon with 1st Place on it. I'm rockin' that bling tomorrow in the hallway.

Thing is, Arch Nemesis and her family and friends were ahead of us the whole game. Not by much, but by one or two points. AND, they bought mulligans! That is SO cheating! OK, we have bought mulligans before, like when they were 10 for $5 or some such outrageous bargain, with a limit of 10. But last night, they were freakin' $10 apiece! Being confident in our gray matter, but being more cautious with our pocketbooks, we refused to buy mulligans. Arch Nemesis bought the limit of three. That's $30 for you people who are not math teachers. Sure, it was for charity. But $30 mulligans are too rich for our team's blood. We're simple folk.

Anyhoo, in the 9th round, Archie was leading us by two points. And in our worst showing of the night, we only got six answers right. But Archie and friends only got 3 right. BOOYAH! Archie tried to put on a brave face, but I'm sure she was stewing inside. She had been rubbing it in all night. I had told her middle school daughter that we were breathing down their necks. Nothing wrong with intimidating a child in the name of charity.

I'm going to flaunt that medal for all it's worth every time Archie walks down the hall tomorrow!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cleanliness Is Next To Dressing Yourself

The previous Never Ever List addition, which I may or may not have reported here, was necessitated by Sweaty.

Sweaty comes to my class 2nd hour, after PE class. On the day in question, Sweaty raised his hand right after I took roll. "Can I go change shirts?" After grilling him on why he needed to change (because he got all sweaty playing basketball in PE), and why he needed to change it during my class (because they got out late for PE, and he didn't want to be tardy), I said he could go as soon as I was done with the lesson.

The minute I wrapped things up, right before I handed out the assignment, Sweaty raised his hand again. "Now?" I let him go. Sweaty has only been tardy once this year. And several times, an announcement was made between 1st and 2nd hour that the PE students might be late. So I believed Sweaty's story.

Sweaty was gone for 20 minutes. When he came back in, he walked around the back of the room, running his hand through his short haircut. He said something to the students. One of them said a little too loudly, "You took a SHOWER?" Sweaty sat down. "Thanks for letting me go."

I needed more info for the 20-minute shirt-changing excursion. "Is this the thanks I get? I let you go to change your shirt, and you repay me by taking a shower on my class time?"

I didn't take a shower.
That's what you told everyone when you came in.
No. I changed my shirt.
For 20 minutes?
Well, when I took it off, my skin was all cold and sweaty. So I just rinsed off my body.
Which is what we commonly call A SHOWER!
I didn't think it was a big deal. You said I could go.
To change your shirt. Not to take a shower!
I didn't take a shower. I just rinsed off.

Somebody is not leaving my classroom again this year.

Never Ever take a shower during Physics class when Mrs. Hillbilly Mom says you can change your shirt.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Karma Will Chew On You For Lunch

The students this year are giving me a whole new list of Never Evers to work into my First Day of School Speech. I have been lax in reporting them, but I must share today's brand spankin' new Never Ever with you.

A senior popped into my room second hour, and said, "Coach needs to talk to Starter." I let Starter go. This is a rare occurrence, as I normally do not let students out of my class without a note. Especially when another student asks for them. But I figured that this would be an easy one to verify later, what with Coach's office being just a closet, two bathrooms, and a teacher's workroom away from my door. Also, Coach is known for never writing a note. That's why I never let his athletes out of my class to hit in the batting cage or sit around with their thumbs up their butts, or whatever it is they do outside of my class.

Let the record show that 'Starter' is by no means a starter this year. He was the one always referring to himself as a starter on the 8th grade team. He is near the bottom of the barrel this year, so near the bottom that even the #1 son romps on him if they are opponents.

After five minutes and no return of Starter, I did something I have never done that hour, and left them unattended to walk up to the office to inquire as to Starter's whereabouts. It was OK. Eight kids were absent that hour. Almost half the class. And now Starter. Mr. Principal and Secretary, upon hearing that I was looking for Starter, who had been commanded for an audience with Coach, both said, "Oh, there was a problem with the basketball shoes. That's where he is." I was skeptical. I have a more suspicious nature, spending quality time with these little con artists every day. I scurried back to class.

When a total of 12 minutes had elapsed, I got to looking for a suitable subject to send on a reconnaissance mission. Of course there were many volunteers. But no. I had only one selection: the girl with the hurt back who uses BioFreeze on it every morning. I calculated that she was certain to return, being in too much pain to a) join in all the PE games, b) stand and watch the PE games, or c) sit on the hard metal bleachers. I told her I would expect a full report, and that she should tell Starter that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom said to get back to class.

While BioFreeze was gone, many others selflessly volunteered to go find HER. I politely declined. Next thing you know, BioFreeze returned. Right behind her was Starter. He was carrying a shoebox. His face was flushed. He was sweaty.

Where have you been?
Oh, I just had to get my shoes.
I thought the team already got their shoes.
Mine were 10 instead of 10 and a half.
Why are you so sweaty?
I ran up the steps to get here.
I don't think so. It looks like you were playing in gym.
No. I just got my shoes. See?
It took you 12 minutes to pick up a shoebox?
I don't know how long it took.

I turned my attention to Biofreeze.

BioFreeze, was Starter playing basketball in the gym?
Was he playing volleyball?
Was he playing dodgeball?
BioFreeze tilted her head to one side and raised an eyebrow.

BINGO! Starter was busted. I read him the riot act about not being where he was supposed to be. I told him he would never get out of my class again without a note. Coach could walk up and get him if it was that important. Starter apologized. Then he said, "At least I didn't take a shower."

Which is another Never Ever entirely.

FYI: Mr. Principal was informed of Starter's transgression, and called him aside at lunch for a little chewing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More From The Files Of Turkey Whisperer H

Farmer H won a turkey. There he was, sitting in traffic, listening to the local hick radio station, and as Farmer H told it: "I heard a turkey gobble, real faint, in the background, so I called the radio station. I was caller number four, so I hung up and called again. This time I was caller number ten, and all I had to do was guess how many shots it would take to kill the turkey. If you're wrong, the turkey laughs at you, but if you're right, the turkey dies. I said three shots, and I killed him. The guy said I could pick up my bird any business day, and to bring my axe. I told him no, I would just put it in the pen with my other turkey. He laughed at that. So now we have a turkey for Thanksgiving."

Farmer H. Always the provider, even if it means shooting a virtual turkey over the phone on the radio.

Who's a big turkey?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


We have a big trivia match coming up Saturday night. Basementia Buddy organized a team, and we will see what develops. This is a fundraiser for a really good cause, and I have no problem with donating back any money that we might win. I might even buy some tickets for the 50-50 drawing. Normally, I don’t. I resent that people expect you to donate those possible winnings back, too. Criminy! They already got to keep 50 %! But for this cause, I would make an exception and loosen the strings on my tightwad heart.

I can do that, you know. Because I’m Even Steven. Last Thursday, when the #1 son cracked open his eggshell noggin, the ER did not demand that $100 copay. They said they would bill us. Quite different from the hospital of Insurance Provider H, which demanded it before we left, after sending the #1 noggin through the MRI chamber to search for brain bleeding after his concussion in June. So I know there’s a bill for $100 floating around out there with Insurance Provider H’s name on it. Not to worry, though. For I am Even Steven.

That Friday night, the evening after the noggin-knocking, I stopped for gas at the Casey’s General Store by my mom’s house. Of course I had to cash in a $15 scratch-off winner and buy two $10 tickets. I did not have time to scratch them until 6:30 Saturday morning. Wouldn’t you know it? The second one was a $100 winner. I ROCK! I am Even Steven. Accrue an unexpected $100 ER fee on Thursday night…win $100 on a scratcher Saturday morning.

Can’t beat THAT with a stick!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hillbilly Mom's Day Off

Today I was absent from my classroom. Which does not mean I was absent from school. I was commanded to report to Basementia for a little curriculum alignment task. Lower Basementia, to be exact. Across the hall from my old room, which is now the ISS room.

ScienceBuddy and I were to report to the refurbished library at 8:15, which we did. We then cooled our heels catching up on recent happenings, resisted the urge to read the book Heredity (which was proudly displayed on a special shelf, the cover pic of Dolly the sheep smiling futilely at prospective middle-school readers), and mused over the absence of Hawaii from the mural of the world stuck to a 12' x 10' section of wall.

Really. Who expects a middle school kid to check out a book on heredity, even with a famous cloned sheep as the hook to lure him in? Even my own nerdish child would never had dreamed of checking out a book on heredity. Or sheep.

Hawaii is still a mystery. There was a rectangular box saying that Hawaii would be found at 20 degrees north and 150 degrees west, with an arrow pointing off the right border of the map. Funny thing, Alaska was showing up above that portion of the map. So I went to look at the left margin, where up above there was another Alaska. Nope. No Hawaii. The coordinates would have placed Hawaii somewhere on the Central America isthmus. That ain't right, people. Someone has stolen the Hawaiian Islands from Basementia! I'm thinking that we got a great big discount on that map, or that the volunteers who stuck it to the wall thought nobody would notice if they cut a few corners.

Anyhoo, getting back to our curriculum task...We had it done by 11:00, even though we didn't start until 9:15 when our leader showed up to explain what he expected. We got lunch delivered, if by delivered you understand that ScienceBuddy called it in and drove to pick it up. There we were, enjoying a brought-in lunch, which teachers seldom get ON TIME with ENOUGH TIME TO EAT IT in a SOOTHING ENVIRONMENT, when in walked the ISS contingent. Uh huh. Just when you're cutting into your grilled chicken sandwich with tomato and pickle, removed from the bun because HELLO bun on top of tomato and pickle slices in a foam container with hot chicken turns into a steam sponge, in traipses 8-10 young lads incarcerated for various offenses, instructed by the loud librarian to sit AT THE TABLES, not the comfy chairs, because they don't deserve them. The tables. Which is where a teacher doing curriculum spiffing tends to sit to eat the brought-in lunch. That's like flying your wife to a fancy restaurant on Air Force One, only to have the entire GITMO guest book file into the restaurant and sit down next to you and watch you eat.

I can't catch a break.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How The Mighty Have Fallen

It has taken me a couple of weeks to let it sink in, but I did not win the recliner in the local prep football contest. I am sorely disappointed. The paper ranked me as finishing in 4th place, but that's a dirty lie. There were only two people ahead of me, the winner and one other. I finished 3 points out of the lead. The winner garnered 135 points, a sports reporter for the paper earned 134, and me, myself and I brought up position #3 with 132. The person after me had only amassed 131, so tell me, please, how that puts ME in 4th place. If only two are ahead of you, isn't that 3rd? That's what I'm calling myself, anyway. The bronze medal winner of the prep football contest.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hillbilly Mom Harps Again

The #1 son raised $188 for his basketball team in the 99-minute game they played Saturday night. HooRah! An exemplary effort by #1, and kudos to his donators of Hillbilly Mom, Grandma, Mabel, Aunt, and two of #1's techy cohorts at church. THEY ROCK! And I'm not just saying that because I donated.

Here's the deal. Everyone on the team played in 5-minute shifts for a total of 99 minutes continuous clock-running. It was like a regular full-court game of 5 on 5. The teams were selected by the coaches to be competitive, with a mixture of varsity and JV on each side. Athletes garnered sponsors by the point, or for a set donation. For example, someone offered #1 a dollar per point, another dude gave him $2 per point, and my mom and I, loving the boy no matter how many points he can put on the board, agreed to $3 per point. That was a big mistake. We should have taken a page from the Book of Mabel and My Favorite Aunt, who each gave a finite donation. Donations that I told them at the time, "Oh, you don't have to give that much." Because I did not expect #1 to score more that 4 or 6 points.

That young whippersnapper scored 17 points. Or as my mom and I refer to it: 17 POINTS! What were we thinking? The good news is, each athlete owes $88 for shoes, and $27 for a hoodie, and they can pay that out of their fundraising money. The excess goes into a pot for team goodies. So I still came out ahead, since my donation was less than half of what I would have paid for his shoes and hoodie. If a kid did not raise any money, he still has to pay for his shoes and hoodie. No free ride here. No subsidizing the shiftless. The game was not the only fundraiser. They were also selling subscriptions to ESPN magazine, at a $30 profit per $40 subscription.

Here's the big deal about #1 scoring 17 points. It has given him back the confidence he had built by working out every day and being picked ahead of some of last year's starters for open gym scrimmages. The confidence that was stolen from him by a coach who shunted him aside to a side basket after two days of observing practice. The player who took #1's hard-earned, unofficial spot scored 16. The new kid who was thrust ahead of #1 on the first day the coach saw him walk onto the court scored 10. All I'm saying is...that coach needs to take a longer look at all these boys before he sets his top eight in stone for the next five months. Give a kid a chance to run the plays.

Of course, that's not going to happen. Guess who wasn't even at the 99-minute game? Sweet Gummi Mary! You guys must be psychic! That's right. #1's coach wasn't there. He won't ask or care that #1 scored as well or better than two kids playing ahead of him. He'll only care that Concussor scored 27 points. Not that #1 was the second-highest scorer of the freshmen. Nope. That won't matter to him. He filed #1 away in his mind as a scrub on the second day he saw him play, and that mind is now locked.

At practice Monday, #1 wants to call out to his replacement, "How many points did YOU score Saturday night?" I told him that's not a good idea. It will make his buddy feel bad. Better to announce, "Well, I guess those stitches in my head didn't slow me down too much. I still scored 17 points. Just think what I could have done if I didn't have nine stitches in my head." Actually, I told him the best thing to do was say nothing. It's not going to help, and is more likely to hurt, because he'll be seen as a malcontent. A malcontent scrub.

Who just happened to score 17 points Saturday night.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chicky Alert

The Hillbilly household was in a bit of a turmoil yesterday evening when Chicken H couldn't find Chicky. Chicky is the adolescent chicken that we have raised from an egg. Our ONLY fowl offspring. Chicky has a habit of squeezing through his pen and pecking to and fro in the goat pen. Sometimes, he will re-enter the chicken condo through the main chicken pen. He rarely roosts in the main chicken house. As Chicken H says, "Those other chickens don't like Chicky." Go figure. Isn't that the way of the world? The unwashed chickens envy Chicky for being hatched with a silver spoon in his beak. They shun him.

Chicken H relayed this fact to me as I was driving The Pony home from school. Little Ponies have big ears. He heard my half of the conversation:

Look in the goat pen.
I did. Chicky is not there.
Maybe he's in the yard.
No. He's not in his old pen with the turkey, either.
Last night, when I was out on the porch on the phone with The Veteran, I saw Ann eating something in the yard. It crunched like chicken bones.
Chicky was here last night after I got home from bowling.
OK. Then it wasn't him.
He's not on that roosting bar.
Look in the house.
I did. He's not there. They don't like him.
Maybe he's on his way up from the woods.
I did hear something in the woods.
Let me know if you find him.

The Pony was nervous. "What happened? Did one of the animals die?"
Your dad can't find one.
Which one?
No. Tell me.
I was afraid of that.

The Pony sat quietly. Every couple of minutes, he said something about Chicky. It was hard for me to listen to him being so optimistic. That's because I am just the opposite.

Thank the Gummi Mary, Chicken H called back about 15 minutes later. "I found Chicky. You'll never guess where. I opened up the wooden box where I keep the goat food, and something flew out. It was Chicky. I don't know how he got up in there."

The Pony was relieved. Chicky is like his baby.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Nothing To See Here

No blog tonight. The Mizzou basketball game is on TV.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

People Who Have Glass Heads Shouldn't Play Basketball

Well, I just got home from the emergency room about an hour ago. Not exactly the way I wanted to spend my Thursday evening after a morning duty, after-school duty, and faculty meeting.

My boy has a glass head. That's the only plausible explanation. It seems like only five months ago that we were at a different ER for his concussion.

Wouldn't you know it? On a day when he finally got into a live 5-on-5 scrimmage, he had to knock his noggin on the cinder block wall of the gym. Unbeknownst to me, of course. I have been staying away from the gym during real basketball practice, except for that little relapse yesterday when I stood at the rail talking to Mr. S.

There I was, sitting in my room about 4:15, ready to enter some assignments into my gradebook program, when I heard my #1 son out in the hall. He said, "I'm good." I turned to say, "Are you finished already?" There he was, holding a green towel to his head, blood dripping off the end of his nose to join the spots on his shirt and shorts and new basketball shoes. That's right. NEW basketball shoes, which came yesterday and were handed to him by the coach, worn for the very first time today, Nike Hyperize in purple and white. And red.

I jumped up to pull the towel from his head, and jammed it right back on his cranium. There was a cut over his left eye, just above the eyebrow, in the shape of an upside-down T, with the corner pieces pulled back, leaving a puckery-looking, gushing wound. All I could tell him was, "Everybody knows that facial cuts bleed a lot." I quickly locked my laptop, since my log-off feature does not work, which I found out Friday after logging off, and finding a nasty note from the Tech Dude about how I was a menace to society and I left my laptop unsecured, and kids could have broken into my room and fiddled with grades willy-nilly. I'm estimating that cut to be about an inch long and half-inch tall. If my boy was a maple tree, that would be the perfect place to drain the sap from him. Buckets of sap.

According to #1, he had blocked a pass from Concussor, and was jumping out of bounds at the baseline to save the ball. He threw out his elbow to stop from slamming into the wall, but the great inertia of his magnificent melon could not be stopped. His head slammed into the wall. Blood immediately gushed forth, and he ran to the locker room, trailed by about seven varsity players, while his own JV cronies stood on the court and watched. One of the assistant coaches ran in the locker room and grabbed the first thing he could find, that being the green towel off the floor. Sweet Gummi Mary only knows if somebody had used that towel to dry his butt after a shower. The AC told #1 to go wash the blood off his hands, and one of the varsity players shored him up in case of collapse. They had a short debate as to whether #1 needed stitches, and the AC told him, "Run to your mom's room and tell her to take you to the hospital NOW!" They're a mite bossy, those coaches. They need to thank the Gummi Mary that it was a teacher's kid who got the life fluid knocked out of him. A teacher who hangs around waiting for practice to be over and drive her kid home. And a kid who didn't faint from the sight of his own blood on the way up the stairs to his mom's room.

#1 was a bit shaky. He is not fond of doctors and needles. He kept urging me to GO FASTER. Paula Deen in my front yard eating a lobster tail! I told him to calm down, it's not like he was having a baby. We'd get there when we got there. All he needed to do was hold pressure on that gushing wound. On the way, I called HH and told him we were headed to the ER closest to the Mansion. I called my mom to tell her that meeting us with The Pony at 5:15 was out of the question. #1 declared that now was not the time to talk on the phone, and I needed to get crackin' on this trip to the hospital. I told him I was already going the speed limit, and he said to speed anyway and if I got stopped, we could get a police escort to the hospital. Man! You would think that kid thought he was indeed having a baby, like that matron in The Thrill of it All. I'm surprised he didn't tell me to boil some water.

The ER took him in and laid him down and put some nice alcohol wipes over his wound. Then we waited 45 minutes for the doctor to put Humpty back together again. He was a little old bald doctor around 80 years old. The nurse said #1 picked a good night to come in, what with the doc on duty being a former surgeon who could stitch like nobody's business. He pumped #1 full of local anesthetic and commenced to sewing with a long white thread that soon turned red. Then he used black stitches on the outside, nine of them, which will need to be removed in 5-7 days. Doc said they are not the dissolving kind of stitch. He sure took his time. The numbing agent began to wear off. #1 questioned him about it, but he said only five more and he would be done.

Somebody is going to be popular with the ladies tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Disturbing Tale From The Files Of Turkey Whisperer H

Perhaps I mentioned that Collector H bought a big ol' tom turkey on Sunday at the livestock auction. He put it in the segregated part of the chicken pen that has a roof. The part where he put the hen that hatched our only egg, now known as Chicky. The chick, not the egg.

Last night, as I was enjoying my porch walk, Collector H arrived home from work. He went to check on his animals (before his kids), bleating the whole way across the front yard. The goats answered him back. Goatherd H is the universal nanny.

Goatherd H fed the chickens. Then the goats. Then the rabbits. Round after round I tromped on my porch walk. Then it happened. I heard, "Who's a big turkey? Huh? Who's a big turkey? Him's a big turkey! Yes he is! Him's a big tom turkey! How heavy is the tom turkey? Huh? How heavy is the turkey?" There was Turkey Whisperer H, bent over, his arms around the turkey's breast, trying to lift him. After much heaving of the non-ergonomic kind, Turkey Whisperer H lifted that tom about six inches off the ground. "Him's a heavy tom turkey!"

Please. Call the Intervention show. Get Candy Finnegan, stat!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Google Is Not My CoPilot

Google is not my copilot.

No. I am not fond of Google as my home page. The #1 son set it up, after my contentious departure from my old internet provider. Since I was no longer using their home page, the boy thought he was doing me a favor.

Google is a crappy copilot. He's the kind of copilot who hijacks the plane. Ever type in a website address and end up at Google? Uh huh. The website still shows in the address bar, but you're on Google's home page. You can't fly where you want to with Google as your copilot. Google controls your destination.

Google is the kind of copilot who will argue loudly with you about airline scheduling, cause you to overshoot your destination, and make you lose your job.

Google is the kind of copilot who lights up a cigarette, sprays on cologne, chews peanuts with an open mouth to taunt your deadly peanut allergy, says your uniform makes you look fat, picks boogers out of his nose and flips them at you, emails you porn, takes off his shoes and socks and bites his toenails, yells "I know you are, but what am I?" every time you point out his transgressions, and plays Sean Connery to your Alex Trebek for the entire flight.

Google is a bad apple.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Most Scathingly Ridiculous Idea

Allow me to step up on my soapbox tonight. Or don't. I will step up on my soapbox whether you like it or not. Because I CAN. And you can't stop me. Try as you might, you cannot kick my soapbox out from under me over the internet. Now where was I...

The #1 son has been leaving skin on the floor at basketball open gyms for a month. He attended open gyms all summer, except for the last two days, during which he was sidelined by a concussion that he got playing basketball in open gym. He spent four days at team camp in Tennessee. He has worked on his own for an hour a day all summer. Now it is basketball season. Official practice started last week. #1's JV coach did not show up the first day. Nor had he attended any open gyms or the team camp. The point I am shouting out from the top of my soap box is that he does not know these freshman boys, and has only seen the sophomores play on his team last year.

On the second day of practice, Coacher showed up and proceeded to tell the boys, "Well, I don't know if we'll win any games this year. All of our points are down at the other end of the gym, practicing with the varsity. If we score at all, it will come from offensive rebounds. I will play 8 players each game. There are only seven minutes in a quarter, and that's not enough time to play everybody. In the next week or two, I will talk to each one of you and tell you where you stand." So much from Debbie Downer on his first day with his team.

For two days, he went over the offense, then had the players run stairs for the rest of the time. On the third day, he picked his 8. That's what #1 told me. I laughed at him. As no stranger to the coaching world, I told him that their first game was still five weeks away, and that nobody could decide which 8 players he's going to play all season after seeing them play for two days.

Au contraire. According to #1, the coach inserts the same 8 players into the plays each day. The other five are shuffled off to a side basket and ignored. I find it hard to believe that Coacher has made a decision in two days that will last from November to March, spanning 16 games. Hard to believe that he is prepping this team for varsity in a couple of years.

Who knew that coaching could be so easy? Take two days, whether you need them or not, and choose your players for the year. The rest can fill in if you actually need to scrimmage five on five in practice, and they can certainly take part in your fundraisers. But they dare not expect to play in games. There's not enough time.

Surely the #1 son is mistaken. Who could make such a snap decision? I am not saying all the kids should get equal playing time. I'm saying that it is still four weeks until the first game, and you never know which kid is going to grow to 6'5" in a couple of years, and just maybe they should all get a chance to run through the plays in practice at this early date so that they can be prepared in case there is an epidemic of swine flu or failing grades or sprained ankles.

Is that asking too much?

Can you help me drag this soapbox back into the garage? I need it when I rehearse with my garage band, Mommy's Got A Headache.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We Need An Intervention

Farmer H went to the auction this afternoon. That is not a good thing. On Sunday afternoons, Farmer H turns into Collector H. I really think he has a sickness. He can't help himself. He can never have enough animals. What started with three chickens has now turned into a hillbilly petting zoo.

Just today, Collector H bought 10 chickens, six of them roosters, a giant tom turkey, and a whopping gray buck rabbit. That's to replace the soft, spotted bunny, Spot, who tunneled out of his Farmer H defective rabbit pen with a dirt floor and was last weekend eaten by the bloodthirsty canines that call the Mansion home. Father of the Year H has not yet broken that news to The Pony. The Pony thinks Spot is still roughing it over around the BARn area.

I don't know why we have to have so many roosters. This makes AT LEAST 15 roosters. The handful of hens we have are going to drop dead. Roosters are not good for anything. They fight and they crow and they chase the hens. And they EAT. I would sooner pour my money down a lottery hole that feed these useless, stinking, feathered friends of Collector H. Nothing I say seems to phase him. I don't know how to get him help for his mental illness. Yesterday, he was saying how The Pony told him we needed some sheep. I don't think so. Collector H said they had a llama and a sheep and a prairie dog for sale at the auction.

I must find a way to stop him before he buys again.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our Distinguished Guest

Are you ready? Here's the story....of a Bennett Wallaby named Quigley...who was busy hopping all over Mrs. HM's room.

Yes, Quigley was our special guest on Thursday. His handler/daddy gave us a 50-minute info-packed look into Quigley's life. There are better pictures on the DVD the #1 son recorded, but this was quick, and was from his phone. Yes. I let all the students use their phones that hour to take photos of Quigley. Because really, when is the next time they're going to be that close to a Bennett Wallaby?

As you can see, Quigley was all decked out in his diaper. He's only 8 months old, you know. Still a bit of a baby, with a baby bottle for comfort if he needs it. He's lactose intolerant, though. So it's soy milk from The Devil's Playground. Not the Tasmanian Devil. But Quigley's roots are in Tasmania.

We learned that Missouri does not require any type of licensing to possess a little Quigley of your very own. He will set you back about $1300 to $1500, though. And you better know what you're getting into. He has to be taken away from his momma at a tender age, which may be 3 months if my memory serves me correctly. Then you have to bottle feed him every four hours. And he can't lie flat, because it messes up his insides, so you have to hang a laundry bag kind of contraption on your bed headboard so he can sleep on his back while hanging. It has to be where you sleep, because Quigley can't make noise, other than a hissing sound when he's upset, so you need him to be able to get up and hop on your head to tell you when he's hungry. He can travel around with you in a backpack, but don't let him get overheated or he can die, because he doesn't sweat, he only breathes hard, and his ears dissipate some heat. He needs shade to cool down, and a black backpack is not a good place to stash him.

Quigley likes salty snacks as treats, and when the six kids in his human daddy's family sit down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, Quigley somersaults over the back of the couch and lands in the middle of it. He also likes to play that trick when the young daughter sets up her Holly Hobby village. He will chew on electrical cords if you don't watch him.

A Bennett Wallaby does not have an odor. The only time Quigley smells is when his diaper is full. He does not like wearing a diaper, and at home, he gets to run around stark naked in his pen. Within 30 minutes of losing the diaper, Quigley does not smell. He's a really good groomer. For a special treat when Quigley is out hopping around during non-profit lecturing tours, he gets a cheese puff every now and then. At home, he gets only 3 of them a day. Quigley loves him some cheese puffs! He holds one in his hands and munches away. In the photo, Quigley was on his second cheese puff, and it slipped out of his hands momentarily.

Quigley is growing up, and starting to feel his testosterone. When the speaking tour abates, Quigley is going to have a little operation. Then he won't try to box with people. He's not very good at it yet. He tried it twice in the classroom, and got a good scolding from his daddy. That scolding was in the form of getting picked up by his tail, held upright, and daddy's nose being placed right against Quigley's nose, and "NO!" spoken to him in no uncertain terms. That's the right way to pick him up--by the tail. If you pick him up under the arms, you can crush his ribs, and give him internal bleeding, and he'll die. That was the main rule: don't pick him up. Also, to scratch his ears instead of pet him. That's what happened to the two boxees. They petted Quigley on the shoulder. That must be asking for a fight in Wallaby language.

The visit was quite enlightening. I hope we can get Quigley and his daddy to come back every year. You would be amazed at the visitors entering Mrs. HM's classroom during the Quigley hour. Three cooks waltzed right in. Mr. Principal came in twice, but he's entitled, because it was payday, and it is his ship to command. Numerous students and assorted faculty and staff pressed their noses up against the door window. I had to keep the door closed so Quimby wouldn't get out and hop willy-nilly through the school.

So...the kangaroo in a backpack turned out to be a Bennett Wallaby. But who's complaining? Certainly not my students. How much cuter can you get than a wallaby in a diaper in a backpack? Eating a cheese puff, no less!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nothing Of Interest To Report

No pictures yet from my Quigley visit. Maybe in a couple of days. He was as cute as a bug's ear, that little hoppy rodent.

Until then, there is nothing I care to report.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Random Thought Thursday 11/5/09

I feel like I need a hip replacement.

A TV personality touted that story of the bodies-in-the-basement raper by giving a brief synopsis, then adding, "...and you'll hear what the police found that was really weird." Oh, really? Keeping the bodies of his victims in the basement was not really weird? Really?

Thank the Gummi Mary, that full moon is on the wane.

Why is it that when kids get in trouble, they can't take responsibility for their rule-breaking actions? Why must it always be, "You don't like us, do you?" HELLO! Where were you the first day of school when I specifically told you that the way you would be treated was by the way you behaved? Yeah. Get over yourselves. If you don't want to sit alone for the rest of the week, maybe you should start following the rules like everyone else. It's not rocket science.

An inservice on METH when you were expecting HEROIN is quite a disappointment.

Wearing a T-shirt that is imprinted with The owner of this shirt may spontaneously burst into song is kind of like asking for a grape Slurpee to be flung in your face. You fans of GLEE will know what I'm talkin' about.

I found out that Lying Diabetic H has been scarfing donuts willy-nilly. Oh, but he thinks it's OK because he gets just the cake donuts, without any icing on them.

My school mailbox contained an invitation to the FCCLA Senior Citizens Dinner. I'm hoping that everybody got one.

I hate Google. It has this cute trick lately. A cute trick where no matter what you type into the search area, you are taken to Google. Against your will. But it still reads as the site you typed in. But you are on Google. That's hijacking. And when you TRY to go to Google, you get a blank page that says 'Done' at the bottom. Google is not my friend. I hate Google.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bet You Can't Top THIS!

On Thursday, I'm supposed to be having a kangaroo in my room. Not 'having it' as in giving birth to it. Not 'having it' as in scheduling a five-course meal and inviting it as the guest of honor. Not 'having it' as in consuming it as a source of protein. Nope. ScienceCrony has scheduled a guest speaker for her three biology classes, and has offered to lend him to us during 5th hour. The dude is supposed to speak on exotic animals, and he allegedly brings a kangaroo right into the classroom.

Who could pass up an offer like this? Not Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. It is reported to be a SMALL kangaroo. I asked, because I didn't know if I should rearrange my room to allow more space. OK, I also had a secret desire to select a certain student to box the kangaroo. But ScienceCrony says it is a SMALL kangaroo. Like they don't know how to defend themselves. I bet it's like tossing a child into the water to teach it to swim. Kangaroo mommas just might shove Junior out of the pouch and into a cage match.

And if the thought of a SMALL kangaroo doesn't make you say, "AWWW," then maybe finding out that the speaker dude carries his kangaroo in a backpack will do it. In a freakin' backpack, people! A SMALL kangaroo. It doesn't get any better than that!

I hope the little 'roo is not evil like that chipmunk I tried to save from my cats...unsuccessfully and necessitating a tetanus shot from the County Health Center. I hope my students don't scare the little 'roo to death. I hope the little 'roo doesn't get confused and jump into some student's backpack. And I wonder if the little 'roo will make that little hop and flip move and dive into the backpack like it's a pouch.

If this speaker dude does not show up, I will be very disappointed. I am going to take the #1 son out of his English class to record the event for posterity. And for The Pony. Provided the speaker dude will allow it, of course.

Don't hate me because I have the summers off, people. Hate me because I have a SMALL kangaroo coming to my classroom. In a backpack.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not Much Gets Past Hillbilly Mom

When I first entered my room on Monday, after my two-day Pony-sitting absence, I was pleasantly surprised. The desks were orderly. Only a minimum of candy wrappers were on the floor. No student had written on the whiteboard. My classroom had not been re-arranged, and I was not missing any pens. Then I saw it!

What had been an oversize schedule of all school sports for the entire school year was not in its place on the back wall. Oh, I found it, all right. Folded up like a giant burrito, carelessly tossed onto the back table that held my assignment-collecting baskets. I was livid. That is just not done in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's room. Ever. You do NOT remove anything from the wall, and you do NOT use it as your personal origami fodder.

It's not like that schedule cost me anything. They were stacked in the main office of Newmentia for the taking. In fact, I glommed onto another one before school on Monday. It's the principle of the matter, people. It's common sense. It's all about a lack of respect from one little DoNot.

Not being one to take such disrespect in stride, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom gassed up the ol' Mystery Machine. With no time to hotline her Mystery Inc. cronies, Mrs. HM decided to solve the case herself. She wrote in big black letters on the whiteboard: No partner work until I solve the crime of the century. With asterisks at the four corners. Of course this garnered their attention. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's heart skipped a beat when one young lad asked, "What happened to the stapler?" WHAT? Did something happen to the stapler? That required a beeline to the stapler drawer of Mrs. HM's desk. Whew! Stapes was safe and sound in the second drawer.

My 1st Hour students have their sticky, swiney hands on Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's pulse. They waited until after the lesson to inquire about the crime of the century. And they sang like little golden canaries. It didn't hurt that I casually mentioned that along with the return of partner privileges, I just might toss in a small prize to the class who provided information leading to the identity of the burrito bandit.

"Well...I found it on the floor when we came in Friday. I didn't know what to do with it, but I picked it up and put it on some empty desks." She pointed. I knew those desks well. Nobody sits there 2nd Hour. But I know who sits in front of them! I thanked Birdie for her beautiful warbling.

When 2nd Hour arrived, they were all hopped up about the crime of the century. They demanded to know what happened. I pointed to the bare spot on the wall. "Do you notice anything missing that was here before I was absent?" No. Nope. Nobody could think of anything. Then one of the jocks said, "A schedule, I think." Yes. Indeed. I picked up the much-folded cardboard burrito schedule. "Well, now it looks like this. It's going to be kind of hard to hang back on the wall, don't you think?" I tried to unfold it. All the while, I was looking at the back of my prime suspect. It's not what they DO that tips us off to the perpetrator. It's what they DON'T do. This burrito-folder did not turn around to look at me as I was talking. He ducked his head. He looked forward. The students around him snuck him furtive looks when they saw the burrito schedule. A couple of them chuckled.

"I don't know WHO could have done such a thing, do you? What kind of person would destroy something that didn't belong to him?" I drilled holes in the back of BF's head as I talked. It was hard for my stare to burn through that long, flowing hair of his. The class knew that I knew. Some pointed. Some catcalled. "All that needs to happen to regain your partner privileges is for me to find out who destroyed my schedule."

BF turned around. "OK, I didn't know what that was. I found it on my desk when I came in." His alphabetical buddy right next to him said, "You don't understand. It started out to be an airplane." That did not help BF's case. "So you just took something that wasn't yours, that wasn't even on YOUR desk, or in your way, and thought I'm gonna fold this sucker and fly it around the room. Because of course if Mrs. Hillbilly Mom was here, that kind of behavior would be all right with her. Is that it?" He ducked his head. " exactly. I didn't think it was anything."

Exactly. He didn't think. That he would get caught.

The rest of the class showed him no mercy. "So now we can work with partners again?" I nodded. "Of course you can. Except. For. Burrito-Folder." He was not happy. I did not care. "You are lucky that the only consequence is the lack of a partner. Oh, and picking up the trash in my room. For one day only. That is a real bargain that I'm giving you." He didn't seem to think so.

Another case closed by Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. Her 1st Hour just might get some gum as a reward. Providing there are no diabetics, and at the end of the class, of course. When they are on their way out the door.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome To My Daytime Nightmare

Did you re-watch the original Halloween for Halloween? The one with Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance and the spooky score? If so, you will recall the scene where Donald, the psychiatrist treating Michael Myers, drives up to the asylum at night with the nurse who is supposed to drug Michael out of his mind for a trip to court. Why they came at night is beyond me. I guess daylight hours would not have been scary enough.

Anyway, the nurse drives that unfashionable station wagon onto the grounds, and of course it just happens to be raining, and through the downpour we see white blobs. They are the patients, roaming about a field, wearing hospital johnnies, and shuffling catatonically in random directions. That scene makes my heart go thumpity-thump.

Imagine my sudden intake of breath when I drove The Pony home from his doctor's visit on Friday. It was around 10:00 a.m., but the rain was pelting down by the bucketfull, and T-Hoe's wipers were running full blast. The headlights were on, and the effect was more like evening than mid-morning. We crested a slight rise by the prison, and I was shocked to see seven state employees shuffling along the right-of-way in the driving rain. They were wearing state-issue dark gray ponchos, and waving metal detectors slowly back-and-forth. All that was missing was the spooky sound track. This was just too eerie for me. The hair on the back of my neck, right under my lovely lady-mullet, sprang to attention.

I have no idea what was going down. These dudes were on both sides of the road, fanned out from the main entrance to the prison grounds. All I could speculate was that a) somebody had flown the coop, and possible discarded some contraband keys, or b) somebody had stabbed another somebody, and the prison personnel were looking for a weapon that might have been carried out by an accomplice.

I really need to watch more prison shows, and fewer reruns of Halloween.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

He Ain't Exactly Bear Grylls

I have grown tired of Feeble H's shenanigans.

Friday, he was due to pick up #1 at a school event around 9:00 p.m. I was home with the unswined Pony all day. Feeble H had planned to drive his truck to work that morning, since he had a bunch of junk to haul home. Junk. Actual junk. Because sometimes, he is F Sanford H. Due to the heavy rain and flooding Friday morning, Feeble H drove his car.

Upon arriving home from work, Feeble H announced that he was getting in his truck and driving back to work, a distance of 30 miles and 40 minutes. I questioned whether he would be alone in loading his junk, as one never knows what catastrophe might befall Feeble H. He assured me that he would have one of the workers with him when he went to load his junk at the abandoned building across town. The whole plan sounded fishy to me. But Feeble H is not one for logic.

I heard a gunshot about 15 minutes after Feeble H left. So I called him. "Where are you?" Feeble didn't even bother to be civil. "I TOLD you I was going back to work to load my junk." Feeble H declared that I was hearing things or crazy, since nobody was over by the BARn shooting. Stranger things have happened. Just a couple of weeks ago, Feeble H told me that his Number One Son was bringing his elementary-school daughter out here to hunt deer on the Mansion grounds. I thought that perhaps he was giving her shooting lessons, unbeknownst to me. Nope. Feeble H said I was hearing things.

The next I heard from Feeble H was about 30 minutes later, after I had prepared supper for The Pony and me, and was just sitting down to eat. Seems that Feeble H had locked himself out of his truck, and needed me to look for my truck keys. Since I only drive the truck about once a year, when Feeble H is servicing my vehicle for some malfunction, I did not know what the truck key looked like. Feeble H was spitting his venom into the airwaves, decreeing that I must be the confounded stupidest woman on the planet. All this because I described an unknown key on my keyring, extra-long with grooves on both sides, and a square head. Feeble H had a fit because it did not say FORD on it, and I didn't have a round key to go with it, though there was a suspicious unknown smaller key with the keys I knew. As I told him, it's a key of the type formed and sold by THE DEVIL at his Playground, and so is the smaller unknown key. After asking me about 5 times if there were grooves on both sides, which I had already informed him in the affirmative, Feeble H blew a gasket. He said that his Number One Son was coming out to get those keys and bring them to his work, but that he might just go ahead and break the back window out of his truck, because it didn't sound like the right key. That's Feeble H's logic. Don't wait to make sure it's the wrong key. Break a window out of the truck.

After The Pony handed off all my keys except T-Hoe's key (because I couldn't get them off the keyring and T-Hoe was separate) to Feeble H's Number One Son, I got a call from Feeble H that he had told his Number One Son not to waste the gas driving up there, because he had pried open the back window with a screwdriver that a guy from work had brought over to him. How Feeble H squirmed himself through that sliding back window is still a mystery. But not the fact that he had been at that building ALONE, and had locked his keys in the truck while it was running. That's why he wouldn't bite on my suggestion that he leave the truck overnight and have his Number One Son bring him home so he could look for the spare key.

Oh, and today, Feeble H was down in the woods with The Pony and his Number One Son and granddaughters, wanting to roast some hot dogs that we didn't have, because even though I go to the store every weekend, nobody ever knows what they want me to buy. He heard gunshots. So did I. Feeble H thinks it was the people who shot up his MiniMansion with him in it. He said he was going down there to have a talk with them about their shooting background. Since he IS Feeble H, I warned him to go down the road, not walk through the woods.

Feeble H. How he's survived this long, I'll never know.