Chapter Description: Images for this story can be found at the following web...... https://sites.google.com/view/comedy-ars-characters/home
It seemed like a very long first day of school, but I finally made it to my eighth period study hall, returning to the cafeteria. I was glad study hall was in my last period so I could work on homework and not have to take it home. This would be a good time to start reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ for English class.
The teacher monitor for this period was my Geography instructor, Scary Harry Torrain, and yes, he was still carrying his yardstick … so I figured there wouldn’t be too many kids fooling around this period.
That may have been wishful thinking. The students in this school enjoyed participating in a ‘finger popping sport’ that I, also, used to play when I was in middle school the first time around.
‘Finger-popping’ was easy to do as long as your fingernails were filed down flat and short. At the bottom of every pair of fingers, most humans have a little bit of skin or webbing between their fingers.
The way I used to do it was to put the back of my left hand against my thigh, and take the middle finger of my right hand and place it in the webbing between the middle and ring fingers of my left hand … and just snap the the middle finger upward to create a very audible ‘pop’ … similar to when someone puts their finger in their mouth and ‘pops’ it on their cheek.
When the bell rang to start study hall, it didn’t take long to start hearing the pops from a good variety of locations around the cafeteria … coupled with a lot of students putting their hands over their mouths to suppress laughter.
One person not laughing was Scary Harry Torrain. I could see him tapping his yardstick on the rostrum he sat behind. When Harry stood up and started making the rounds amongst the cafeteria tables, the frequency of popping sounds diminished … but it didn’t entirely stop.
It should have been no surprise to me that the most expert of poppers in the seventh grade happened to be Randy Pantz. He tried to carefully time his poppings to when the teacher wasn’t looking in his direction. He followed the man’s movements out of the corner of his eye … but maybe not perfectly.
Harry was seemingly crossing behing the back of Randy several table rows back. But suddenly he doubled back and ducked, giving him a good diagonal view of Randy. The boy quickly put his left hand against his right facial cheek and used a finger on his right hand to create an authoritatively loud pop. It took him no longer than half a second.
But unfortunately for the boy, the jesture was in the line of sight of Scary Harry. I wasn’t sure if punishment would follow, but I was sure of the next sound … one that would scare the shit out of every kid in the cafeteria.
“******* W H A C K !!!!!!!!!!**********
Everyone jumped a little, but Randy jumped the highest, as the yardstick hit his table, missing the boy’s elbow by about an inch.
Scary Harry went around the table and grabbed Randy by the back of his shirt collar … and then lifted.
“Walk with me, Mr. Pantz,” said the instructor.
The silence was ‘deafening’ as the man lead the boy to the center of the cafeteria. All the students were genuinely in fear of this man.
Scary Harry announced boldly, “Is there anyone in this cafeteria who does NOT wished to be entertained by the undisputed class clown of the the seventh grade? Raise your hand now.”
I had to give Harry credit for the psychology he employed with his question. He knew that no sudent would want to draw attention by raising his or her hand so he posed the question as a negative.
“Well, Mr. Pantz,” he continued. “It seems the response is unanimous. Since all of your classmates would like you to entertain them, then you will oblige them by creating one audible finger pop every second … till the end of this period. You may begin.”
Randy looked confused. Did the teacher really mean that? The boy froze.
With no satisfactory response, the man took a step back diagonally to the nearest lunch table.
“******* W H A C K !!!!!!!!!!********** … and he shouted ‘BEGIN!!’.
The boy began.
Scary Harry returned to his rostrum … while the first few minutes of the boy’s punishment seemed to be a laughable matter for both Randy and his classmates. He definitely had the talent to meet the task both right handed and left handed.
The human anatomy provided us with a total of six webbings, three on each hand … and Randy had no problem alternating between all six for the first ten minutes. Then some of us students began to notice a potential problem.
All six of Randy’s webbings had turned to a bright red color. After another five minutes, they looked raw and peeling. After another five minutes, they were starting to bleed.
“I couldn’t hear that last pop, Mr. Pantz!” yelled Scary Harry. “Make them louder!”
A number of students gasped as Randy scraped his webbings hard enough to cause small amounts of blood to drip to the floor.
After another few minutes, my conscious started bothering me. I knew that what I was witnessing was wrong. It was cruel. But, as an adult, should I do anything? Sammantha had warned me not to be a school policeman. It could only bring me trouble and could derail our experiment of me attending middle school. If I wasn’t here, everything I see would go on anyway.
I thought about this morning when I interfered with Starline and Duchess when they were verbally abusing Sally. On the surface, I made a kind gesture, but it may have saddled me with a ‘needy Sally’.
I could explain to Mr. Torrain that Coach Parker might take issue if one of his players showed up to practice today with bleeding hands. But honestly, I was scared too. This teacher had already singled me out in class just for asking if the geography names on his list were real.
What if I did something really bold like walk up to Randy and start popping my fingers to take over his punishment? No, the possible consequences for doing that scared me even worse.
I couldn’t read my book while a teammate suffered. I hated myself for being a coward, for playing it safe and doing nothing. When the bell rang ending eighth period, Randy would need to go to the school nurse, but I couldn’t even accompany him doing that because I had to quickly get to my detention with Senorita Gato.
I dropped my stuff off in my locker except for the paperback book and headed towards the Spanish classroom, all the while trying to imagine how Coach Parker will react when he finds out that another faculty member injured one of his players.
I just shook my head in wonderment. There were an awful lot of weird things going on in this school. I hoped that detention wouldn’t be one of them. My best bet, I figured, was to act cheerful and maybe Senorita Gato would let me out a little early so I could get to football practice.
She was, hands down, the prettiest teacher in this school … and if I was 28 years old again, I would do her seven days a week and twice on Sunday, but I wouldn’t tell Sammantha that. I just loved her name ‘Suave Gato’ which roughly translated to ‘soft pussy.’
I knocked on the open classroom door (which was in the back of the room) and said, “Hola, Senorita Gato.” (Hello, Miss Gato.)
She waved to me. “Hola, Diego. Bienvenido a la detencion.’ (Welcome to detention.) “Como estas?” (How are you?)
“Bien, gracias,” I replied. (I’m good, thank you.)
“Por favor, Diego, cierra la puerta cuando entres.” (Please close the door when you enter.)
“Si, senorita,” I replied.
“Y girar la cerradura de la puerta,” she added.
(I was having trouble translating that last line … do something something to the door?) I looked at the teacher. She repeated my name ‘Diego’ and then put her thumb and index finger together … and then twisted her wrist.
I repeated her words and her gesture … Did she really mean for me to turn the lock on the door?
She nodded her head. “Si, si, Diego.” (yes, yes.)
I swallowed hard. If I were Peter Parker, then my spider sense would definitely be tingling. Why would a female teacher want to lock a twelve-year-old boy in with her in a windowless classroom.
I already had a choice. I could obey … or I could leave and go directly to football practice and accept the consequences. If this would happen to me on Thursday with Epiginia Bullutis and her giant titties, then I’d definitely make a run for it. But Senorita Gato was so cute … and I already admitted that I would ‘do’ her … but what if she wanted to ‘do’ me?
I guess that was the crux of the issue. I thought that I might actually enjoy being molested by such a cutie pie … except I remember not being too fond of Kitti Power as my baby sitter, doing a real number on my ten-year-old body.
Maybe I shouldn’t pre-judge Senorita Gato. Maybe her reason is completely innocuous. Maybe she just wants to share cupcakes and fruit juice and she doesn’t want any other students butting in. Yeah, that’s got to be it. What an idiot I am for falsely accusing a teacher in my head.
I locked the door and paced down the first aisle, taking my normal front row student desk and opened my book.
The teacher shook her head. “No, no, Diego. Párate al lado de mi escritorio.”
On some of these words, my head takes a little longer to figure it out. So lado was side, and escritorio was desk. She wanted me to stand by the side of her desk. Okay, I can do that. I left my paperback on the student desk.
“Durante la detencion, trabajaremos en un leccion.” (During the detention, we will work on a lesson.”
I nodded and smiled. “Bien, Professora.” (That is good, teacher.)
“Diego, Nosotros tendremos una conversacion.” (We are going to have a conversation.) “Tome esta pila de tarjetas y lealas una a la vez.” (Take this stack of cards and read them one at a time.)
I replied, “Si, entiendo.” (Yes I understand.) “The first card says ‘Tuve un gran verano.” (I had a great summer.)
“Que hiciste este verano?” (What did you do this summer?)
I replied from the next card, “Juege beisball, me fui a nadar, y monte mi bicicleta.” (I played baseball, I went swimming, and I rode my bicycle.)
“Y como estuvo el tiempo este verano?” (And how was the weather this summer?)
I replied from the next card, “La mayor parte del tiempo, hacia mucho calor … mucho, mucho calor.” (Most of the time it was very hot … very, very hot.)
“Tambien hace mucho calor en nuestra escuela?” (Is it also very hot in our school?)
I replied, “Si, no se por que la escuela empieza en Agosto.” (Yes, I don’t know why school begins in August.) “Y no tenemos aires acondicionados en las aulas.” (And we don’t have air conditioners in the classrooms.)
“Dime, Diego … Crees que hay algo podamos hacer al respecto?” (Tell me, Diego, do you think there is something we can do about that?)
When I flipped to the next card, my arm hair stood on end. A sharp prickly feeling coupled with hot blood raced through my body. My brain kept trying to tell me to read the card again, over and over, because this could not be right. Maybe my Spanish wasn’t so good. That might be the answer. I cleared my throat and carefully read the card out loud.
“Professora, puedo por favor, quitarme la camisa?” (Teacher, may I please take off my shirt?”)