Friday I headed to the bank to deposit a reimbursement check from Hick's workplace, for some materials he had bought at Lowe's. Since the bank is near a Casey's General Store where I buy scratch-off tickets if I'm in the neighborhood...I stopped to buy a scratcher. Just one. A single ticket. Not so much BUY it, as trade in a winner for it. I like to vary my source.
At the stop sign just before my
turn-in, three young boys walked along the road. Actually, two of them
walked along the road, and one of them walked IN the road. He was the
ring-leader, it turned out. Let the record show that only a block away
is a middle school. These youngsters looked to be about 6th-grade size.
The first thing I thought of was, "Is school out already?" Because that
district just had graduation Thursday night. And this was Friday. And
the time was 11:00 a.m.
Let the record show that I've never
known a school to let out at 11:00 unless it was for inclement weather.
Schools need a certain number of minutes of attendance to call it a
half-day. And I guarantee you that it's not just a HALF day. At my school
(oh, excuse me, I mean the school where I used to work before I
RETIRED), our half-day was always a five-and-a-half sevenths day. We
dismissed until the middle of 5th hour, which came at 12:45 p.m. Lunches
have to be served, you know, before you dismiss for a half day. And
even though my lunch period started at 10:53, we were not
done by 11:00, nor were the two later lunch shifts. I know all
districts' schedules are different, but that seemed a bit of a stretch
for school to be dismissed at 11:00. So I figured maybe they'd already
had their last day, and these were just 3 boys who lived in the
Until I walked into Casey's right behind them.
Ring Leader stepped up to the counter and said, "I want one piece of
gum." He picked it up from the under-counter shelf and laid it down,
proffering his change. A sandy-haired boy next to him did the same, and
therein exposed their truancy. "Me too. This is money I had left from
our field day. The school let us out early."
way did that school let them out early! I'm pretty sure they just
walked away from field day, thinking nobody would catch them. Too bad I
didn't care enough to blow my loud whistle like ROLF snitching out the
Von Trapp family on the roof of the abbey. I doubt the truancy officer
would have gotten there as fast as the Nazis, anyway. But those skippers
weren't fooling me!
Furthermore, while the two were
spending their coins on gum, Road-Walkin' Ring Leader nodded his head,
leader-fashion, and told the third young 'un, a slight, dark-haired
urchin, "The bathroom is through there." Because, you see, in this
old-time Casey's, the bathroom is a single-seater that is accessed by
walking into the break room behind the counter, which doubles as the
office of the manager. I'm an insider. I worked at a Casey's for six
weeks one time. That bathroom is not really for the public, but they'll usually let a customer use it if they ask.
Seriously. If the kid had to go so bad
that they'd talked about it on the way to this Casey's, not even two
whole blocks from their school...why didn't he just go before left school,
when they were being let out early? HUH? Yeah. Gotcha there, boys!
guess you can't really take the teacher out of Val. Even
though she DOES leave her loud whistle at home now, being RETIRED and