Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's The Principal Of The Thing

It was cold this morning. Cold and raining. I considered myself fortunate because I heard tell that some places in this glorious state of mine might get snow. However, feeling that I was fortunate did nothing to make me less cold.

I arrived at school (late, although how that happened I don't really know) to find it rather chilly inside the building. We have two boilers. You'd think that two boilers would be enough. But it wasn't. Mostly because both of them were broken.

By the time the guy came to fix the thingie that broke (twice) we were all near to hypothermia. The clanking, grinding and pounding of radiators coming to life roused us a bit but not for long. Returning to school after a long weekend is always rough. Coming back to chairs that give you frostbite of the tuchas is just too much to bear.

I think that's how I ended up in the office at the end of the day exchanging witty banter with the principal and one of the guidance counselors (the one who had a horrible food allergy reaction this weekend and is still on massive doses of antihistamines). My staff will tell you that I just wandered off again. While I admit to sometimes doing this, I honestly think I had a purpose in going to the office this afternoon. I can't quite seem to recall what it was, though...

Mr. Principal: (waving from the far end of the main office) Ms. Sheep! Ms. Guidance Counselor! Wait right there!

Ms. Sheep and Ms. Guidance Counselor are startled and look at one another in order to size up the chances of laying blame for whatever may have caused this spate of administrative shouting

MP: (rushing over) I have a question for you.

MGC: Yes, sir. We are here to serve. Just remember that I've got a bit of an antihistamine high going on...

MP: Are you aware that everyone is wearing brown today? Ms. Sheep is wearing brown. Ms. Guidance Counselor is wearing brown. (Continues listing the names of staff wearing brown. It is a lengthy list.)

MS: Wow. That's really....something?

MGC: (too deep in her antihistamine haze to really be able to process this) Um...

MP: Why brown? Why?!

MS: I wear brown a lot.

MGC: Me too. I like brown.

MP: So you don't think it's some sort of collective expression marking a downturn in the overall mood?

MS: Well, yeah. I'm sure it is. It's a Tuesday/Monday, after all. But you probably shouldn't attach too much meaning to it.

MP: Wait right here!!!!!

Ms. Sheep and Ms. Guidance Counselor are, once again, afraid to move. A direct order is a direct order, after all. Even if it is sudden and doesn't necessarily make sense. Mr. Principal goes into a small room just off the main office and can be heard rummaging around. He periodically calls out for them to remain where they are.

MP: (emerging from the little room) Here you go! Chocolate! It's brown just like everyone's outfits today!

MS: Whoo-Hooooooo!!!!!!!!

MGC: Um...does this have nuts in it? I don't want to sound ungrateful, but the doctor says that nuts might kill me.

Mr. Principal snatches the offending candy bar from her hands and rushes off to the little room to find one of a less lethal variety. Ms. Guidance Counselor digs in eagerly. Both Mr. Principal and Ms. Sheep remain close by while she eats it just in case chocolate is the allergy trigger. You never know, right?

Having gotten chocolate as a reward, I was more willing to remain in the office. I could hear the sounds of restless children from my classroom at the top of the stairs. I could also hear my Cheerful Teaching Assistant pacing around up there and I knew I should probably be getting back. But there might be another mini chocolate bar for me. It was worth giving it another minute or two. I'm like a stray cat with chocolate. Feed me once and I'm slinking around for days until someone turns the hose on me. The conversation turned to movies.

Ms. Sheep: I saw Zombieland this weekend. It's good!

Mr. Principal: I'd like to see that one! Why, I may go this weekend. I think we'll go to dinner first then the movie.

MS: You should do it in that order. You probably won't want to eat after.

MP: Is it really that gory?

MS: Actually, it's not that bad. You don't have a weak stomach do you?

MP: (looking almost offended) Ms. Sheep, I have given birth to a baby daughter. I have seen the worst things anyone can see and survived.

Ms. Sheep and Ms. Guidance Counselor both want to point out that he did not give birth. There is a significant difference between being present at a birth and actually doing it, but they decide to let it go. Stumped for what to say next and still hoping for chocolate, Ms. Sheep does her best.

MS: You make it all sound like such a miracle, sir. That was beautiful. Like poetry...

I didn't get any more chocolate. Not even the dark stuff that no one else will eat. Maybe the poetry part was a little over the top. I dunno. I went back to my classroom with my one little candy bar and ate it in front of the children. That made me feel a little bit better.

I blame the cold. I don't think so clearly when I'm chilled. Maybe next time I'll wear a couple of extra layers and have the wherewithal to wax philosophical in the office until everyone is overcome with the urge to shower me with peanut butter cups.

Until then, I'll just sit here with my hot water bottle. It is all snug inside the new cozy I knit for it and helping to raise my core temperature to something resembling warm blooded. It's not the same as free chocolate from the principal, but you take what you can get on a chilly Tuesday night.

Tomorrow, I'm going to see if I can get into that little room. I'm curious how much chocolate he has in there...



Mel said...

You weren't watching Ms. Guidance Counselor so you could snatch away her chocolate and eat it yourself if it made her fall in a swoon, were you? 'Cause, you know, that'd be almost going a little too far.

Julia G said...

This sounds like a job for your beautifully adorned hot water bottle -- just make sure it doesn't melt the chocolate!

Julia G said...

Oh, and I just noticed that I'm wearing brown today too-- maybe Mr. Principal's onto something...

Kath said...

Yes, I'd say further investigation of the chocolate stash is definitely in order! I mean, this could bring your relationship with Mr. Principal to a whole new level! Anyone who stashes large quantities of chocolate is a good person to know.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah, it's brrrrr cold here too. I've gotta break out the winter coat soon. And the muff ::laughing::


trek said...

We haven't snow here but it is just 37°F round about chez trek.

I really don't want to engage the furnace yet. Perhaps I should check the weather - that will let me know if I need to go visit some well-heated public place for a while...

Donna Lee said...

Free unexpected chocolate! What a bonus on top of a short week. Everyone around here was in black yesterday for some reason. Since we're a mental health center, someone should investigate that....

Karen said...

Yum chocolate... It's a wonder you went back to your class at all.

Cursing Mama said...

I think I'm going to start wearing a lot more brown if it will get me some free surprise chocolate.

crzjane said...

I hate it when it's cold at work. Our break room Monday was like sitting in a meat locker. I had to wear my jacket for my 15 minute break.
A hot water bottle in a cozy sounds like heaven. Maybe you should keep one in your desk office, just in case.
Eat more chocolate and keep warm.

Anonymous said...

A principal with a chocolate stash? Excellent!