Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Don’t answer the phone before noon

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I have often wondered why the sales of body armor, industrial strength pepper spray in the gallon size, and tazers skyrocket in August. I recently found out why, first hand. Of all of the idiotic things I have ever done, this has to be one of the worst and that is saying something.

I have some extra time on my hands, so I volunteered to be a substitute teacher in the Harmony County School System. I figured, “How bad could it be”, all I have to do is show up, guide the little darlings through the lesson plan, and pick up my check. WRONG!

It all started with a pre-dawn telephone call. We all know that nothing good can come from a call before sun up. However, we are hardwired into picking up the phone and grunt. That should have been my first warning. The voice on the other end said they needed a substitute at a local middle school and would I come in. This time I responded with an affirmative grunt, my second warning.

The voice went on to explain I would be needed by 7:30 AM. I remember fuzzily thinking that was a rather uncivilized hour to start work, but I responded with another grunt agreeing to do so, my third warning.

After stumbling through my morning ritual that included not strangling myself with my tie and making coffee strong enough to float a horseshoe. I went to the school.

As I pulled into the parking lot I notice two things. One was that there was an ambulance and a police car in the parking lot, my fourth warning. I also notice that the school sign said, “Welcome to the Harmony County Middle School, Home of the Demons”. That should have been my fifth warning in that ‘Demons’ wasn’t a nickname like the ‘Wake Forest Demon Deacons’, but as it turned out, it is a descriptor of the student body.

Walking into the school office it became apparent where all the pepper sprays, etc. went. Needless I went to the classroom with some trepidation.

I walked in and was confronted with a situation that would make a brawl in an Irish saloon look like a game of ‘Paddy Cakes’. From there the day went down hill.

Middle school scholars think ‘substitute’ is spelled ‘s-u-c-k-e-r’. They clustered up in their clicks and yammer away. The all need to go to the bathroom and those that do not have a Class III Yellow Alert were in extreme danger of dying of dehydration. I was seriously thinking of conducting the class in the bathroom.

So went the day, nobody had a functional pencil, they all learned how to whisper in a sawmill and the plumbing system got a workout.

When Daniel was condemned to the lion’s den he was in a den of kittens in comparison to a classroom of middle school kids. Danny got off light.

The next morning the phone rang about the same time. I did not answer. © 2012 Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

October 18, 2012 at 4:42 p10

Posted in Americana, Humor

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