Yesterday, I went to school with the purpose of putting my classroom in shipshape before the students arrive next week. The Pony went along to help, and Genius showed up later for the heavy lifting.
Last year, one of my rolling chairs inherited from the business lab suffered a major health crisis. He cracked a wheel. Still, he had five good wheels left. And if you could keep from rolling, he proved to be a regular throne in comparison to the hard plastic student seats. But the time came when I had to hang a "Broken Chair" sign on his back. That's because you really don't want the principal choosing him as a perch when he comes in to evaluate you.
I had another rolling chair just like Brokey. But he was not as comfortable. His back would not adjust to my back. Let's call him Inflexible. On the last day of school, I left the sign on Brokey's back. I didn't trash him, because some boys kept offering to take him to the shop and superglue his cracked wheel. Time got away from us, what with their final projects needing to be finished.
I returned yesterday to find Brokey, Inflexible, and a new chair in town. New Chair was exactly like the other two, but with all parts working. I came up with the idea for Genius to take the back off Brokey, and put it on Inflexible. Then I would have another sound seat, and we could do away with old five-wheel and stuck-back. I ran this by the custodian, who said that sounded fine to him, just carry Brokey to the equipment room so his exposed screw did not scuff the newly-waxed tiles.
Therein lies a mystery. What happened to Brokey's broken wheel? It was there all along. But if you turned wrong or leaned on that side, the wheel snapped and you could tip. If you propped it right, and sat still, Brokey didn't dump you. Stranger things have happened over the summer, when furniture is stacked in the hall during waxing. Having not staked out my equipment for nine weeks, nor viewed the surveillance tapes of the hallway, I can only imagine scenarios that might have led to the disappearance of Brokey's wheel.
Scenario 1-Wheelie fell off and was discarded. All equipment was carried back into the room. The crew wiped their collective brow. "Whew! That one's done. What's this? We even had an extra wheel left over. Huh. Throw that thing away before it scratches the wax." August wax is king.
Scenario 2-Wheelie was abducted by another teacher missing a chair wheel. "Hey! There's a wheel nobody's using. I might as well put it on my chair. No need to let that go to waste. There's no name on it." Because in the summer, it's finders keepers.
Scenario 3-Wheelie was chucked at a student during summer school. "Get back. I was first. There's enough water to go around. What's that? Man, this thing will hurt. Watch me nail Timmy between the shoulder blades." C'mon. Who among us hasn't picked up a loose chair wheel and had the urge to fire it at a friend?
No matter what happened to Wheelie, the fact remained that some type of intervention was necessary to salvage a seat. Genius borrowed a socket set from the custodian. The Pony handed him parts like an underage, unknowledgable surgical assistant. While I was away looking for the teacher resources for my new textbooks, Genius discovered that he could only remove the bottom seat cushion. The back cushion and metal part that wouldn't adjust were welded in place.
Then the lightning bolt of truth struck. That's why I was valedictorian, you know. Because I got some smarts. "Why don't you just take a wheel off of Inflexible and put it on Brokey?" He tried my brilliant plan. But my Genius could not make the wheels come off the chair. Unless he broke them. And that would kind of defeat the purpose. But it WAS the most sensible idea. If I do say so myself.
I hope nobody comes after New Chair. He was not marked. I found him in my room. But just in case, I'm going to flip him over and check his nether regions for a masking tape label. No need being caught red-seated.