Monday, December 11, 2006

Duty Call

Just when I thought I was going to have smooth sailing on this home stretch to the end of the semester, I got an e-mail from Ms. Hammer reminding me that I had morning duty.

This is my week to man a post (the cafeteria) to make sure order is maintained before the 1st bell.

For the uninitiated that have no idea what it's like to be in the cafeteria amongst the students before school, let me explain. Have you ever seen prison movies? They all have those cafeteria riot scenes. Well, it's kind of like that, except with an X rating for graphic violence, language and sexuality... Oh! And I don't have any riot gear.

You've got your hoochies in their full hoochie glory before any teacher can send them down to the office. I'd rather coat my eyes with whiteout than look at that; but I do my duty and start sorting out the mess.

I never get too far on that front because before I can even get through my first, "What's your name? Who's your AP?" an object has gone whizzing by my head (usually chocolate milk or flaming toilet paper). In my early years, I would have gone over to the vicinity of its launching point and demand for the culprit to identify themselves. Now I just go directly to the custodial office instead of putting up with their snickers and smart arse remarks. Plus, it's harder to hit a moving target.

On my way to find a custodian, I could stumble on all sorts of shocking sights. The theater group could be holding an air guitar contest. Or, a couple of boys applying duct tape beards to one another (Hey, I'm just happy that they decided to mimic facial hair.); you never know.

Probably the most memorable discovery was a craps game going on between a couple of vending machines. I'm not much of a gambler. My experience stops at having seen Guys and Dolls.

This was different...

These kids didn't break out into song and dance. Violence hung in the air as these feral beings frothing at the mouths as they howled for the next role.

I really can't tell you more than that. As soon as I had bellowed, "What's going on here?" they scattered like I had just turned a kitchen light on. I think one even scurried under one of those vending machines.

That's right. The curriculum has me teaching acatalectic verse to these very same kids.

Anyway, I just have to survive this week.

It seems like I say that every week.

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