Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Friday, March 23, 2012

One Lump or Twenty?

Today was the local Science Fair. Schools from miles around brought pupils to compete. Our school took five students, and earned two firsts, two seconds, and a third. A fairly successful outing. You would think a good day was had by all. But you are forgetting that Val Thevictorian was involved. So think again.

Only Val could return home beaten and battle-scarred.

The morning was uneventful. Projects were judged on the floor of the college field house. Our attending faculty staked out a spot in the bleachers to while away an hour or seven. At 9:30, sponsoring teachers retired behind the south bleachers to hash out the specifics of next year's fair, pick up complimentary T-shirts, and eat cookies. Participants were dismissed for lunch at 11:30. And at 12:30, the poo hit the fan.

Part of my contingent left for lunch off campus. I agreed to stay behind and supervise, even though they expressed concern at leaving me "unattended." I promised not to run amok, so they left. I returned to the general population from that cozy back-bleacher retreat, and saw that our original observation area had been usurped by parents from our district. Too bad, so sad. We snoozed and losed. Snost and lost. Gave up our seats because we did not leave anything to hold them.

Two sections over was a clear area. Nobody in sight. I took the front row and set out my bag and program to save enough space. Students began to trickle back into the gym from the cafeteria area. They milled around. Some went down to their projects. Others sat on the floor. Some came to the bleachers to run up and down the steps and tip over Coleman coolers. My section remained magically empty, save for a man who sat two rows up, directly behind me, with a foot stretched out on each side. I found that a bit pervy, but only because I had a bad experience long ago in another field house with a genuine, certifiable perv sitting behind me. But that's a story for, um, never.

Then my teacher people returned from lunch to share the front row with me. A boy student that apparently belonged to the two-footed man sat on the bleacher behind me, to my right a bit. A girl climbed over him to sit a bit to my left. Briefly. She crept closer. And closer. Each movement garnering me a kick to the kidney, a knee in the rib, a battering ram to my spine. After the third hit, I tuned to look at her. "Oh. Sorry." She did not sound very sorry. And the abuse continued. I would say that she poked and prodded me no less than fifteen times.

The boy beside her mentioned it several times. "You're hitting that lady. Stop. Go back over there."

"I don't want to go back over there."

"You're being rude."

"Oh, well. She's sitting in a bad place."

I turned around. "No. YOU'RE sitting in a bad place. I was here first. You squeezed your way in. Now you're kicking me. That's very rude."

She shrugged her shoulders. Her buddy told her to stop acting like that.

Another onslaught nearly sent me off the bleacher. I turned again. "You're killing me."

"I have a spasm in my foot."

"You've given me a spasm in my back."

The two-footed guy even told her to move. "I don't want to."

I turned to my support team, who had also been giving her the eye. "I've a good mind to drive to the emergency room and have them take pictures of my bruises, then press charges for battery."

Spastic Foot hoofed her way out the end of the bleacher, making sure to jostle me in the process, and left for parts unknown. Some more people from our school showed up, so a couple moved back behind us where Spastic Foot had been sitting before she attached herself to my back like a jockey in the home stretch on the third leg of the Triple Crown. Spaz's buddy sighed. "Finally, she's gone." The words were barely out of his mouth before she reappeared like the Dunkin' Donuts Coffee neighbor.

"Uh...now I don't have anywhere to sit!"

"Why don't you sit up there? Or on the steps?" Her buddy was downright helpful.

"Are you trying to get rid of me?"

"No. Yes. Unsuccessfully."

She plopped onto the steps until the participants were called back down. We had an hour-long lull in the action while Best of Fair was judged, and the public was allowed to peruse the exhibits. My compatriots took a hike, leaving me all alone to hold the seats. I set out my bag, stretched out the jacket of Genius, and laid his backpack longways. Then I took a lap around the field house to stretch my legs and determine whether I had been dealt a debilitating spinal injury by Spastic Foot. From the far side of the field house, I looked back at our saved section. It was completely empty. Except for Spastic Foot. She had forsaken the floor and her project to return to the scene of my abuse, and sit directly behind my stuff.

It was ONNNNNN!

To be continued...

8 comments:

Sioux said...

I'm hoping there is a public hanging. Or perhaps you pulled a boombox out of your pocket and tortured her with loud polka music. I look forward to the exciting conclusion of this tale.

Stephen Hayes said...

Outrageous! Can't wait for Part II.

Linda O'Connell said...

Round 2, can't wait to hear how you tripped that little brat.

Val said...

Sioux,
Public hangings are frowned upon, even here in Missouri. Silly Sioux! A boombox will not fit in a pocket! Did you spend the 80s with your head in a school bathroom sink? And polka music requires an accordion to set the proper tone. Just ask anybody from Minnesooooooota.

*************
Stephen,
I'm sure your blood is boiling along with mine.

*************
Linda,
If only. Witnesses are a BLEEP.

Josh Hoyt said...

I'm glad I read the next story first and you won. Question for you are kids getting ruder or have they always been this way. From my perspective it seems they are and that they have less respect than they used to have.

Val said...

Josh,
As a teacher who is very long in the tooth, I would say that kids are certainly getting ruder, and have little respect for the feelings or property of others. Of course, they DEMAND respect for themselves.

I think the whole problem stems from giving EVERYBODY a trophy in little kids' soccer and T-ball leagues.

Josh Hoyt said...

Oh I so agree. Kids need to learn as young as possible that "we are all winners" is just a lie to keep us working hard for nothing..... wait a second where did that come ignore that comment. No but seriously it is so important for us to learn to lose as well as to win. We had a science fair recently where everyone got those little neat ribbons that said participant.

Val said...

Josh,
I don't know what ever happened to intrinsic rewards.

Our science fair gave everyone a certificate. At least ribbons were reserved for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and Honorable Mention. That was pretty good, considering there were 30 entrants in some categories.