Remember the school lunch line? Nobody can queue up faster than a horde of hungry teens. Like a pack of Pavlov’s dogs, the line snaked out through the cafeteria door within minutes of the shrill clang of the lunch bell. My lunch buddy was already in line while I was still trying to dig my lunch out from the pile of debris littering my locker. When I approached she surreptitiously took a step back, suggesting I sneak into the line.
I admit … I considered it … but Mr. Barras, The Disciplinarian, was on patrol.
Mr Barras strode the halls, puffed up with his own authority and quite enjoyed the fear he instilled in hapless students. I knew the best course was to go to the end of the line. I knew I didn’t want to do battle with Barras. I had no sooner reached the end of the line when Mr. Barras approached. It went something like this:
Him: (said without preamble) “Go to the principal’s office.”
Me: (said Boldly, obviously foolishly, and definitely defiantly) “Why?”
(collective gasp rises from nearby students.)
Him: “Down to the principal’s office!”
Me: (tall girl looks The Disciplinarian in the eye) “Why?”
Him: “You tried to skip into the line.”
Me: (Incredulous – the Thought Police?! Indignant, tall girl heads to the office.)
Him: (strutting up when he thinks girl should be in a suitable state of anxiety) “You tried to skip into the lunch line.”
Me: “No, I did not.”
Him: “I don’t believe you.” … and then he released me.
Tall girl strides off – being reprimanded and made a spectacle of for thinking something that had not been followed up on seemed pretty high-handed; it seemed to be a case of Mr. Barras fluffing his own pillows.
Now, I recently heard within our writing group of another teacher/student confrontation that went something like this:
(Amorous teenage couple in the hallway getting a little too involved. Nun in full garb as appropriate for that time, approaches left to stand close behind the couple and taps boy on the shoulder. Boy turns.)
Nun: I’m next.
(Amorous lad can’t get away fast enough making speedy exit to right)
Two different disciplinarian styles. I think the Nun wins.
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