Thursday, April 30, 2015

He Was Pickin', and He Was Grinnin'

Last night we attended the Backroads High Top Ten Percent banquet.

It has nothing to do with earnings. At least not directly. It is recognition for the top ten percent of students in each class. Don't go all everyone-gets-a-trophy on me! Pupils who take pride in their grades and put forth more effort should be allowed one night a year to shine.

We enjoyed a fine repast of BBQ chicken, pulled pork, potato salad, baked beans and a choice of peach or cherry cobbler. What did you expect, filet mignon and escargot? It's still Backroads, after all. The best part is, the line for the buffet table always starts with the seniors, and works its way down. With The Pony being a junior this year, we were at the front of the stampede.

Let the record show that Val does not skimp on her three-sectioned Styrofoam plate. Every year, there is food left, and every year, the moderator announces that people may go back for seconds, and every year, there are a couple of pans of food left that the teachers feast on at lunch for two days. So I had a piece of chicken, a pulled pork sandwich, a tiny bit of potato salad that is nowhere near as good as my own, and a dollop of peach cobbler. Also let the record show that I squirted about half a bottle of BBQ sauce on my pulled pork, which I swear is laced with sponge fibers, and went without the baked beans, because they're messy and hard to eat with a thick-tined see-through plastic fork. No spoons this year, no knives, no rolls with tiny butter packets. Poor Pony had to eat pulled pork.

The awards were for grades 6-12. That part always starts with the little kids. It's nice to see brothers and sisters of some pupils I've already had. Nice to see how very proud the parents are of their offspring. I saw one young lady from my current class whose parents appeared awed by the whole affair. Like they were afraid they were out of place. Simple working people who had never achieved such an award for themselves. I wanted to go compliment them on what a joy their daughter is to have in class, but the crowded rows between us prevented movement.

Most of the youngsters were dressed up by school standards. Slacks instead of jeans. Collared shirts, even though many were not tucked in. Girls in dresses. This is a big deal here in Backroads, even though the event is held each year in the school cafeteria. It's kind of a throwback to Muskogee Oklahoma USA, I suppose. We are one of the poorest and smallest school districts in the conference, and other folks have felt superior to us for years. The parents know how far we've come. So do Newsweek readers, after we were named one of the top 500 school districts in the United States this year.

Sooo...after a proud evening of patting ourselves on the back, people began to trickle out. The mother and grandmother of one of The Pony's classmates stopped our boys in the hall. "Stand up against the wall. Let us get a picture of you! Now, pose like the valedictorian and salutatorian!" Let the record show that this year's valedictorian and salutatorian were a boy and a girl. For picture purposes, the boy put his arm around the girl as they smiled for the local paper. The Pony and his buddy are currently one/two in their class. So the odds are good that they will indeed be valedictorian and salutatorian. The were not about to pose as suggested.

"Did you see that?" The Mother said. "They looked at me like I was crazy." She was talking to Hick. I had just come out of the faculty women's restroom right across the hall from this impromptu picture party. Hick was standing up against the wall, smiling at her, being Hick, all friendly and garrulous.

"Yeah. I don't think they'll be posing like that next year."

And then I saw what he was doing. He was beaming at The Mother, the first time we had met her, them having sat at the table with us, and as he was talking, HE WAS DIGGING IN HIS RIGHT EAR WITH THE IGNITION KEY FOR T-HOE!

"I know you saw what he did. And you didn't even act surprised."

"Uh huh. He's a man. Nothing they do ever surprises me," replied The Mother, without missing a beat.

"What? What did I do now?" Hick was still excavating.

"That had better not be my key."

"Oh. It's not. It's the spare. My ear itched. I had to scratch it."

Thank goodness it wasn't his gonads.


  1. I prefer the plastic caps for Bic pens. They go deeper than car keys.

  2. Sometimes you just need to do a little housecleaning, but he could have picked a better spot to do it.

  3. The thing that really grosses me out with some people is after they dig, they examine what they unearthed... as if they're proud of it.

  4. joeh,
    Do not underestimate T-Hoe's ignition endowment. It's real, and it's spectacular. I'd say he's got a good 3 inches. Bic, on the other hand, in comparison, might just as well have stepped out of the pool. I don't know how you guys dig in your ears with those things.

    I really need to invent a tool for such activity. One that could be attached to a keyring. I could market it on the counter of my proposed handbasket factory, preceding Father's Day, and Christmas.

    I'm surprised they don't mount it on the wall, like a deer head.