Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The (Third) Time I Almost Got Kicked Out Of School

Yeah, yeah… I know what you’re thinking…

How many more of these stories can there be?

Well, unless I am mentally repressing any memories of further misadventures, I DO believe that this story will complete my trilogy.

It was all because I had that damn window seat in Biology class…..

My seat was, as stated, next to the window. This was a highly coveted seat in the classroom, because not only did I have the window to longingly look thru when the class became especially boring, but under the window was a ledge that I could rest my arm on.

The ledge however, was not really a ledge, but one of the many air conditioning/ fan grates located throughout the room. The subtle electric hum emanating from this grate, and the cool air that would blow up from it throughout the class, were the only things that kept me calm during days when I was so damn bored I wanted to jump out the window.

As the summer drew closer, the room would sometimes get unbearably hot, and I would often put my face over the grate and relieve myself (that sounds like I peed on it) by feeling the cold breeze hit my face.

It was during one of these face-over-the-grate sessions that I happened to look down, inside the grating, so get a decent look at the machinery that was sending all that air up into my beautifully sexy face. It kind of looked like a big iron wheel… kind of like a big hamster wheel, spinning really fast.

Whenever I looked at it, it kind of reminded me of a big bicycle wheel. It made me think of my OWN bicycle, and the familiar noise my bike wheel made when strumming against the baseball cards I had inserted near the spokes.

I often imagined what noise THESE spokes would make, if I would be able to get a baseball card that far thru the grating.

Now, I wish at this point I would have been smart enough to let the thought go, but as you may have guessed from some of my other posts, I was a bit of a class clown, and I would really get off on making people laugh in class.

What better way to get a chuckle from my peers, I thought, than to try to get something into the grate that would make a soft little thumping sound like the baseball cards on my bike wheel?

So, when the teachers back was turned, I tried to push a folded piece of paper thru the slats of the grating, but the spinning mechanism was too far down for me to reach.

Clearly, I needed to use something better than a folded up piece of paper.

Well, as luck would have it, we were smack in the middle of doing grasshopper dissections that week, and I had in my possession a long metal knife, about the size of a butter knife.

“Hey, this will be perfect!”, I thought.

So again, while the teachers back is turned, I stealthily tried to push the knife in between the slats of the grate, but the damn knife was too thick.

So, like the genius that I am, when I had my chance, I stood up, and pushed down hard on the knife, putting all my weight on the damn thing in an effort to push it thru.

It finally went thru, all right.

The damn knife got past whatever obstruction was holding it back, and sailed right into the guts of the machinery.

Apparently, metal is less flimsy than a baseball card, because once the knife got between the spokes, the entire machinery locked up violently.


The first thing I heard was a loud BANG that literally shook the floor of the classroom.

Then, because I had forced the wheel to suddenly stop turning all together, the vortex of dust and dirt that was spinning in its center like a centrifuge suddenly shot up thru the grating, and into the air. All over the classroom, through every grate, puffs of black smoke shot high up into the air.

Some of the girls screamed. The teacher screamed. I think I screamed.

The teacher looked panic-stricken…

… until she turned her face to me.

Then her look of fear changed into that of blind rage.

“Andrew! What did you just do?”

“N-n-n-nothing.”, I stammered.

The entire class started laughing just then… I mean hysterically laughing, and I had no idea why.

That is, until I saw my reflection in the window.

My face was covered, from ear to ear, in black soot. I looked like Al Jolson about to get up on stage and sing “Mammy”.

Looking like that, there really isn’t too much I could say in terms of any kind of defense.

So, back to the principal’s office I went, where another call to my father took place.

I can still remember hearing his voice through the phone when he was speaking with the principal…

“Wait… He just did fucking WHAT to fucking WHO?”

All I can say is, whatever Hell my son has coming for me when he gets to school-age, I’m pretty sure I deserve it.

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