Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Fourth Grade Teacher was More Insane than Your Fourth Grade Teacher

I remember several things about fourth grade. I did exactly zero homework, no matter how much was assigned (because I really, really hated the things he assigned. They were called XLs and their gimmick was they were 11 by 24 inches of demonic runes, twisted with curses and beaten into the rough shape of numbers which barely formed themselves into equations, which we had to solve in order to save our souls. I said “screw it, if you want my soul that badly, you can have it,” the second week in and didn’t do another XL [or “excel.” This is what happens when mathematicians think they’re clever! This is what happens when they try to make puns like REAL PEOPLE!] for the rest of the grade. I still don’t know why I didn’t fail. Oh wait! I remember now! We’ll get to that in this story!), he loved ghost stories, and I messed up somebody’s joke once.
The joke story has to go first, because it was pretty great.
Here is how it was supposed to go:
A fellow would walk up to you and ask “Hey, what were you eating under there?”
and you would reply with “Under where?” which sounds a bit like “Underwear,” so they would then go “EEWWW GROSS YOU EAT UNDERWEAR?” and everybody would point at you and laugh as you discovered that society as a whole was worthless and irredeemable, and decided to become a super villain when you grew up.
The only reason that I am not a super villain right now (and maybe I am, you don’t know, do you?) is because the day somebody tried to pull it on me, I had sneaked (snuck?) corn nuts into class and had spent most of the class methodically dropping my pencil, reaching down to pick it up, and sneaking a few of the salty, honestly pretty disgusting snacks into my mouth underneath my desk.
So it went like this. “Hey Luke, what were you eating under there?”
“Corn nuts.”
“No… what were you eating under there?”
“I was eating corn nuts under there.”
“Under where? Wait! DANGIT!”
It was pretty funny.
Anyway. Fourth grade teacher. Loved ghosts. Our field trips weren’t to museums or water parks. He’d take us to places where ghosts had been spotted and try to get us to see them. He’d point behind us and yell “Did you guys see that?” He took us to preserved Indian villages (run by old white people). He showed us carvings and then told us that the previous time he was here the carvings were different. He took us to a magic spring that would grant immortality to our souls and then forbade us to drink the water because it might have bacteria in it. He even took us on a hike up a mountain on the hottest day of the year. When we were three quarters of the way up he set up a checkpoint to make sure that none of us were dehydrated. About half the class failed and had to wait and drink and pass out for a bit before they could go to the top. I wasn’t one of them.
He wrote a book about ghosts.
He insisted that there was a haunted elevator in the middle school nearby.
And he passed me when I did almost no work at all even a little bit in his class.
All is forgiven.

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