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Lunch Detail

By jb Stillwater, 2006

The only damned thing a bit out of sorts was the wind on this particular Monday morning, 2010. Not a real good omen, this wind. My alarm went off at 6:am and I was off and running. Today I was going to morph into a genius and squeeze all the crap I could into the heads of thirty sophomoric brats. Not an easy feat! Especially since, they knew as well as I did, that they would never again have to use quadratic equations They could not have cared less about polynomials or variables, and they damned sure couldn't have cared less about me. The feeling was mutual..

After gulping down some juice and nibbling on a dry piece of toast, I grabbed my satchel and out the door I ran.

"Mary.Mary, you forgot your gun!"

Damn, he was right. It never failed. If I let myself get too stressed out on these mornings when the wind was a bit stronger than usual, I always forgot to bring my gun.

Lovingly, Dick patted my shoulder and slipped it into the side pouch of my aging satchel.

"Thanks, Love. I never would have made it past security without it.. Those guards can be sticklers about that these days."

"I know, I know. I am always watching out for you, Babe I would not want one of your geeks trying to mess up your hard work. You know how proud I am of you, Mary."

Yeah, he was proud. I was not. Teaching algebra was not exactly the pinnacle of my life. I hated my job. God knows, I needed to put my brilliant mind to work at something far more profitable than teaching a classroom filled with ignorant, self-absorbed kids

It was, of course, no surprise to find that first period, Monday morning algebra was a bit rowdy. Trying to ignore the constant whispering and restlessness of the class was beginning to get old, damn.I was getting old! Most of my students would move on to remedial English after my class. This was a place they would have much rather hung out in, as that particular instructor was known to whip past security claiming lateness in order to get out of carrying a firearm. Good old cowardly Martha Johnson.eighty years old if not a day and still was trying to believe that children could be taught without the use of violence. She would be retiring soon, thank God!

Billy Waters, corpulent and loquacious, was my best student They didn't make them any better. Just sat there, absorbing like a used up sponge. Never asked any questions. Just too freakin lazy to raise his hand. Today, even Billy seemed a bit disgruntled at the prospect of having to spend an hour in a boring math class.

"All right class, let's get started. This is going to be on your final exam, so best that you pay attention. Class..class!"..

No one was listening to me.. Most of these kids seemed to suffer from one of those old, yet still prevalent diseases from back in the nineties.Attention Deficit Disorder, now more commonly known as sheer boredom, and what I personally like to call a "brain hemorrhoid" Reaching into my satchel, I found it necessary to pull out my .38 Special Amazingly, all I had to do was point it at the first row and silence would reign. I was not fond of having to do this, but damn, it always worked!

"All right, now. Sorry that I had to pull that thing out, but the sooner we get started on this stuff, the better.."

There was a s muffled, nervous giggle from the back of the class.

"Nothing funny about this stuff." I said. " I do not want to hear that obnoxious sound again!" Once again, I heard it

Oh God! I knew the giggle was emanating from a shy girl by the name of Julie Lamb. I did not particularly care for this girl. She was a whiz in every concept of the word, yet every Friday, there she was, wanting me to stay late for extra teaching. I was careful not to show partisan in my class, but if only she could have been more like Bobby Waters..

Once again, pulling my gun from my satchel, I waved it ever so slightly in the air. "

"Don't make me come back there."

Miraculously, a hush fell over the room. Well, this was going to be your typical wind-swept Monday morning, first period math . Better not put the gun back into the satchel. It would be far more effective on the top of my desk where they could all see it. Just one of those days!

The lessons progressed, albeit slowly, until Mr. Wolverson, my vice-principal, paged me to the hall. Was this class ever going to end?

"How are things going for you today, Mary? I hope you came armed and dangerous. I forgot to remind you that this is your week for lunch detail. Martha Johnson fell ill on Friday and will not be back until next week. Just as well. She seems to have a propensity for forgetting her firearm. The kids just walk all over her."

Oh joy! Just my luck! First, quadratic equations, and then lunch detail

"Oh, yes certainly, sir. I am prepared. Not to worry." After a few more complacent and somewhat sexually harassing "compliments," Mr. Wolverson sashayed down the hall, and I was finally free to return to my class. There would be just enough time to assign homework and review the day's lessons..

I was surprised to see Julie Lamb sitting at my desk .

"Julie, now what? I would appreciate your returning to you seat at once, so that I can complete our hour."

"Oh, I don't think so, Mary," and with this, she picked up my .38 Special.

"Now, Julie. This is silly. Just put the gun down, and return to your seat, or I shall have to summons Mr. Wolverson."

"Oh, I don't think you are going to summons anyone, Mary"

"Now, Julie" I said taking a few steps closer. I was calm. I had been through this many times before. Even if it was Julie Lamb. I could intimidate her just as easy as any of those geeks.

Suddenly, it was as if the gates of hell opened, fire and brimstone spewed forth and the voice of a demon fell from Julie Lamb's vocal chords.

"Don't make me come back there, teacher"

Could this day get any worse? As all questions eventually are answered, some faster than others, my ears were deafened

POP ! POP! The sound of my gun sent the students into nervous laughter as Julie sprayed bullets into the plaster walls and ceiling. What was happening?. I was losing control over my students. It seemed that the only one in control at that moment was Julie.

Suddenly, there was a soft rap on the door and vice principal Wolverson slipped carefully into the room.

"I thought I heard gun shots, dear. What is going on, now?"

At the sight of Julie sitting at my desk and brandishing my gun in the air, he gulped and took a step backward.

"Don't move!" shouted Julie in her devil voice, tears running down her face.

"Don't make me come back there. Please, don't make me come back there."

Wiping her hand across her tearful face, she fired another round into the ceiling and the light fixture, which I had called maintenance for on Friday because of its precarious hang, fell into the lap of Bobby Waters.. My chair squeaked as Julie Lamb turned on it and rose to her feet. "That does it! I'm comin' back there."

I did manage to wrestle Julie Lamb to the floor and retrieve my firearm but not without a few minor injuries, mostly to me ego. Julie Lamb, unfortunately, did not make it. Several of the students seemed concerned and made a quick call to her parents. Needlessly to say, they were not pleased.

Oh well! I knew when I woke up that morning that this day was not going to be a good one, wind and all. This was all in a days work and now, all I had to do was make it through lunch detail.

The end

Copyright 2006 jb Stillwater

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