The Thought Police

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.)

Me: (On the bench outside the principal’s office, fuming, but apprehensive the principal would show up, and anxious about the pending confrontation with Mr. Barras.)

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.

More Write It Now stories

Images from Free Digital Photos


14 thoughts on “The Thought Police

      1. I remember one who walked around with a cane in hand!! I was never at the receiving end thankfully, but I used to be terrified of her nevertheless! On hindsight, I think it was more for effect than actual use 🙂


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