Monday, August 13, 2012

Free is Free

Today was my first day back at school.

My ample posterior sat through a whirlwind of meetings. Then it sat through some more. And in one of them, I almost won a prize. Never mind that I didn't know what the prize was. I wanted it. The same as everyone else in the room wanted it. You could slap a pair of googly eyes on a cow pie, and teachers would clamor to win it. Because it's FREE STUFF! We'll find a use for it later.

I would like to say that my MENSA-level IQ and savvy gaming strategy led to my near-victory. But the Truth in Blogging Law puts the kibosh on that. The contest that I exited with only three players left was a battle of wits called BEAR/MAN/GUN. Perhaps you've heard of it. Now don't go thinking you can buy this game at Target. No. There is no board. No game pieces. You play it with your noggin and your appendages. Kind of like George Costanza treating his body like an amusement park. But not quite.

Most people would liken this sport to ROCK/PAPER/SCISSORS. But that's not violent enough. We are teachers, doggone it. We are tougher than the tools of our trade. The basic premise is:

BEAR beats MAN
MAN beats GUN
GUN beats BEAR

Yeah. So at the end of the technology portion of our meeting, we took five minutes to battle each other to the death. Figuratively, of course. Again, I would like to say that my MENSA-level IQ and savvy gaming strategy led to my near-victory. But the truth is, I had never played this game, so my main method of participation was getting the proper display of appendages in my head, and whirling around to spring it on my unsuspecting opponent.

Hey, y'all. I went out in a blaze of gunslinging glory, beaten by a man.

Too bad, so sad. I almost had that prize in my hot little hand. I couldn't wait to tell Genius about it when I got home.

"Hey, I almost won a thing at school."

"Great. What was it?"

"I'm not really sure. My buddy told me it was like a baby laptop. I think it's called a notepad."

"Um. I think you mean a netbook."

"Yeah! That's it! I almost won a netbook!"

I wonder why he walked off shaking his head. It's not like I would have known how to use it. He could have been the proud owner of a free notepad. Notebook. Baby laptop. I mean netbook.


  1. Most of the teachers at my school are getting some techno-doodad, and I'm excited about its "It'll-be-here-any-day" arrival day, yet I know I will have absolutely NO clue how to use it.

    And you're so right, Val. I've seen a teacher claw a colleague's eye partially out, over a plastic apple filled with tootsie rolls. It's appalling. (I really didn't mean to do that much bodily damage. I really didn't.)

  2. More. I need to know more. I think I can guess what the sign language is for GUN, but what is MAN and BEAR? I can imagine some good ones but if I'm gonna win a netpad, lapbook or whatever--I need to know the rules.

    I'd sympathize with you for having to return to work, but being married to a teacher who whined to my face every year about only getting three months in a row off in the summer while I continued to put in eight hour days--sorry no tears for you.

  3. I'm not familiar with this game. I think I'll stick with the rock, paper scissors one. Hopefully your school days will get better.

  4. Alas, I am not co-ordinated enough for rock, paper, scissors. I would not stand a chance and it would matter little, because I would not know how to use it anyway. Still, it would have been handy to stash away as a gift. I can do many things that my grandchildren have little knowledge of and I comfort myself with that thought.

  5. Sioux,
    A PLASTIC APPLE? Filled with TOOTSIE ROLLS? That's two FREEs in one. I'm sharpening my elbows as I type. Give me a chance at that magnificent prize! I've seen folks jostle each other over the free MSTA calendars. Tootsie rolls mean a fight to the finish.

    Gun is a double whammy. You point both fingers like six-shooters. MAN is hand on chin, elbow resting in other hand with arm across the body. BEAR is both hands stretched menacingly overhead. Imagine yourself growling, "Roar!"

    I must agree with the spouse. ONLY three months? For that high-stress, life-altering job? Poppycock! I worked for the state unemployment office for five years. Piece of cake. Didn't think about my work except between 8:00 and 5:00 M-F. I NEVER took that job home with me. Plus 10 hours sick leave and 10 hours vacation per month. Not too shabby. Alas, technology did away with my position. The mani thing I missed was two weeks off at Christmas.

    If, by "better," you mean that hopefully I won't lose consciousness due to overheating in my uncontrollable thermal environment(due to locked thermostats)while grabbing at a freebie...I thank you for your concern.

    Maybe you could learn to play BEAR/MAN/GUN. They will never think you know that game. Then you could beat them every time. Like my grandma whipped us all at croquet every summer. Then your gift could be letting them win.