Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When Sloths Fly

There are two things you need to know before reading this post.  First is that last Friday was a half day for the students at my school.  Not for the teachers, just the students.  Teachers have to stay for the full day and get to work in blissful silence.

The second thing you should know is that teachers who leave the school during designated working hours must sign out.  They must do so using a pencil tied securely to the desk in the main office and clearly write the reason for abandoning their post on the forms in the handy red binder.  I signed out half an hour early on Friday with just one very silly word.  I did this in full view of Mr. Assistant Principal and even directed his attention to it.  He waved me out the door without so much as a "how dare you defy the laws of our school district, you sad excuse for an educator!!!"

It all started when, for reasons I don't really recall, Mrs. Secretary Who Sits At The Back Desk decided to tell me a story.  It was a rather gripping tale entitled "Why My Mother Is Crazier Than All The Other Mothers Combined."  I didn't ask to be told this story since I was working very hard that day, but what are you gonna do?  MSWSATBD is the one in charge of the red binder and sometimes I need to sign out of the building.

Besides, once the tale began, it was absolutely impossible to stop listening.

It seemed that MSWSATBD and her daughter went to the zoo one day and became rather enamoured of the sloths.  And really, who wouldn't be?  Sloths are the epitome of cool.  They spent a great deal of time talking about sloths, thinking about sloths and dreaming of sloths after that.

When the lovely little girl's birthday drew night, MSWSATBD decided to order her a stuffed sloth to mark the occasion.  She scoured the Internet for just the perfect specimen and did not rest until it was found.  When she finally located the elusive creature, she had it sent to her mother's house in order that the surprise not be ruined.

She told her mother that a package was coming.  She did not specify what was in the package because, by then, she had already begun to suspect her mother was a little bit crazy and that she might not think sloths were as cool as they really be.  She did, however, remind her of the package no fewer than four times.  To be on the safe side, she also told her sister just in case her mother didn't remember the four package related announcements.

On the day the gift was slated to arrive, MSWSATBD called her mother to check upon its well-being and to arrange for pick up.  Her mother did not answer the phone.  Her sister answered the phone.  She did not really have time to talk, though.  They had something of a "situation" going on at the house.

It seemed that Mom got the package.  And, as MSWSATBD suspected, she did not recall the four reminders.  She was intrigued by a delivery.  Who was sending her packages?   And why were they addressed to her daughter when her daughter clearly lived elsewhere?  She asked her other daughter, who happened to be visiting, if she should open the package and they agreed that nothing on earth would be more fun.  Sister to MSWSATBD wasn't any better at remembering package announcements than her mother.  I guess it runs in the family...

Apparently, it was one of those really realistic stuffed sloths.  The kind that has all sorts of fluffy, slothy fur.  Fur that, when seen in a box, might prove confusing to mothers who don't think about sloths arriving in the mail.

And so it was that MSWSATBD called the house shortly after her mother screamed heartily, threw the offending sloth across the room and cried, "Why?? Why would someone send me a DEAD ANIMAL???"

Mom was hysterical.  Sister was beside herself at this insult upon her maternal unit.  MSWSATBD required oxygen because who isn't going to be laughing themselves sick by then?  I know I was and I was only hearing it third hand several years after the fact.

I really did try to get some work done Friday afternoon.  Hand to God, I did.  But a lot of that work required that I use the main office and how the heck is a person supposed to photocopy when the school secretary is snickering and all you can picture are mothers who think they have dead sloths in a box?  I ask you....HOW???

I signed out at 2:30.  I did so with one stupid word and with the blessing of Mr. Assistant Principal.  I wrote the word in block capital letters so there would be no confusion.  Sure, some people might think I meant something else, but he'd been listening to the childish giggling long enough to know.  Right there, in the box where teachers put their reason for leaving school early I wrote:




Anonymous said...


trek said...

How appropriate that my word verification is "manics".

Good thing that MSWSATBD's mother doesn't belong to PETA, eh?