Or…Why One Should Avoid Public School Lunch
I have told this story to several friends over cocktails and they never fail to stare at me with an incredulous look and wonder aloud, “ Exactly how did he get the shit on his FACE?” Intrigued? I thought so…why don’t you grab a cocktail yourself and I’ll tell you my little story.
I’m not quite sure how to describe J. to you. He struggled more than most students, had a tough life at home and while I often fantasized about him being absent (yet boyfriend had PERFECT f’ing attendance) there was something about him that was endearing. And no, it was not the shit on his face. If you need a mental picture, picture your typical 7 year old boy…now picture that same boy with teeth pointing in every possible direction and even some directions you would have previously considered to be impossible…got it? Super.
One day while I was teaching word study, J. asked to go to the bathroom. Now usually I don’t allow my friends to go to the bathroom when I am dispensing genius, but this time J. looked particularly desperate and uncomfortable, so I let him go. Nobody wants the old puddle on the floor. We continue on with our game and at least fifteen minutes go by when I start to wonder where the hell J. is. I am mentally writing the scathing note home to his mother in my head when I hear the telltale slam of the boy’s bathroom door.
He’s coming, I think, what am I going to do….hmmmm…how wicked do I feel?
I look over at the woman who “pushes in” to my classroom each day at this time. For those of you who aren’t teachers, “pushing in” means having another adult interrupt your teaching, talk in an inappropriately loud voice at the same time you are, and generally undo all your good work. I’m not sure if that’s the technical definition, but that’s the way it goes down at my school. Basically, I spend the fifty minutes a day shooting the “push in” person dirty looks when she talks over me and muttering under my breath. Very professional, I know.
Anyway, I look over at Ms. Loud Talker When I’m Talking and wonder if she will think I’m a bitch for laying into J. about fucking around in the bathroom while the class is working. I am considering my options when…(insert sound of screeching tires here)…J. walks in and everything stops.
He is literally covered from head to toe in his own shit. It has apparently run down his leg and it is oozing out of his shoes. It is all over his hands. And yes, boys and girls, there is shit on his face. Kind of looked like war paint….
What the hell did they serve for lunch?
Shit!! (No pun intended…ok, maybe a little intended…) I have to think fast!!!
For some reason, the whole class is silent. It’s like time stopped. You think that a group of 7 year olds would lose their minds….I mean, someone COVERED IN SHIT has just walked into the room!!! What??
Me: J., are you OK?
J: Uh, I was trying to clean up.
Me: (to myself) Clean up? Did your ass explode?? How does that happen? And again, what did they serve for lunch?
(outloud) Ok, sweetheart. It’s OK.
J: I don’t feel good.
Me: Uh, Ms. Loud Talker When I’m Talking???? Do you think you could walk J. to the nurse? (I’m still not sure why shit on your face qualifies you for the medical attention of the nurse, but then again that seems to be the place to send most things you don’t want to deal with…although usually they come back with a
cough drop and a completely illegible note. Seriously, you slice your finger open
and that woman would give you a cough drop and send you back to class clutching a paper filled with hieroglyphics in your few remaining fingers…)
Ms. LTWIT: What??
Me: (to myself of course) Ha ha!!! That will teach you to talk when I’m talking sucka!!!
(out loud) Thank you.
Somehow I manage to spin J. around without touching him and go back to my lesson. He squishes out of the room and waits for Ms. LTWIT…what a good boy. I watch as she reluctantly follows his brown trail out the door and down the hall.
You can’t make this stuff up.