Friday, April 29, 2016

The Gift That Refuses To Quit Giving

Sweet Gummi Mary! The influx continues! Sixteen days and counting DOWN, and guess who gets another new student. That’s right. Mrs. Hillbilly Freakin’ Mom! Bet you didn’t know she had a middle name, huh?

Continuing with the theme of Stick it to Mrs. Hillbilly Mom While She’s Gone, I give you more evidence that the universe conspires against Mrs. HM. I rushed in this morning to gather things for the state testing that my course was taking part in 1st hour. Scratch paper. Pencils. Assignments for my other classes, who were being relegated to the library. I printed a roster for the librarian at 7:55. Then headed off to the computer lab for testing.

When I returned at the beginning of 2nd hour to take over my own class, I discovered a new pupil. In fact, Mrs. Not-A-Cook had taken him into my room and placed him in a seat. So much for Mrs. HM’s seating chart. So…between 7:55 and 9:05 my roster changed. What’s up with that?

Let the record show that this is the fourth new pupil Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been gifted with in four weeks. The universe shouldn’t have. Really. Mrs. HM is not worthy of such gifts.

At this rate, she stands to get three more new pupils before retirement.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

When Educators Talk Shop, People Shouldn't Listen

You know there are certain professions that are high stress, right? And the members of such professions are sometimes misunderstood and misrepresented when they are overheard talking shop. It's not that they are poking fun at their situation. It's that they need a way to blow off steam. Firefighters make firefighter jokes, policemen make policemen jokes, doctors make doctor jokes, and lawyers...well...lawyers are simply b*stards. point is that nobody understands an educator like another educator.

At The Pony's luncheon for his special award this past weekend, parents and awardees and administrators were assigned places around the table. Uh huh. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom got the worst space, with her back to the dais, at at table shoved closer to the next table than necessary, so that the back of her chair was repeatedly rammed by the woman behind her, and the servers declared the area no-man's-land.

Of course Mrs. HM was all set to sit in another seat. But there was the business of those pesky place cards. And the other scholar with both parents and her administrator were already bearing down on our table. See,here's how those geniuses had it set up. The two scholars sat next to each other. The two administrators sat next to each other. And the mom sat opposite the mom, with the dad sitting opposite the dad. This was done, I'm sure, so the scholars could converse, and the administrators.

Well, converse our administrators did! Don't repeat this. I'm probably the only one who finds it funny.

The other scholar's administrator was a woman. She shared some of the requirements of her school. Graduation garb and ceremony. As did The Pony's administrator. Then the other scholar's administrator related the worst thing that's ever happened to her.

"At one graduation, a boy fell off the top bleacher. He was seriously hurt. We were very careful not to move his neck and spine. I called for an ambulance right away. I could tell how bad it was. But for some reason, there was a shortage of ambulances. They said, 'Try to make him comfortable. It's going to be a while.' Can you believe that? I knew we couldn't wait. We got him immobilized as best we could, and I ended up driving him to the ER. Thank goodness he came out of it okay."

"Huh. At one of OUR graduations, a graduate's grandma died of a heart attack in the audience during the recessional."

The other scholar's administrator looked at him. "You win."

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Ugly American Is Abroad Without A Net

Woe is Farmer H.

He's in France, you know. Perhaps reason enough to be woeful. Or not. Depending on whether or not one is a Frankenphile Francophile.

The specific reason Farmer H is woeful is because his phone will not work. At all. So much for translating the language with that phone app. And only Monday, I discovered from blog buddy Joe H that waiting to see who comes out of the restroom is not a reliable way to figure out the words and symbols denoting the facilities meant for one's proper gender.

Farmer H thinks the #1 son did something to his phone to make it not work, since he turned off Facebook so as not to eat up whatever it eats up with updating. Especially in a foreign land. #1 says nothing he did would make Farmer H's phone not work. He thinks it has something to do with what Farmer H did to his own phone while being walked through instructions from the Sprint people.

If I was a betting woman, WHICH I AM, I would place all of my money on #1's theory.

Anyhoo...I only know all of this because I am now the go-between. Farmer H called me Monday after school, which p.m. in France time. How did he call with no phone? He used his work partner's phone. Not a work partner from Farmer H's U.S. factory. Oh, no. He used the phone of Heinz, the German from Switzerland. I'm sure Felipe, the Colombian with the wife related to Castro (according to Farmer H, even though he can't explain why he thinks it's common for a Colombian to be related to a Cuban), would have done the same. Or Ben, the Chinese man Farmer H brought home from work to ride our 4-wheeler and shoot a pistol while wearing dress slacks and a white shirt. I have to text #1 to get answers to Farmer H's inquiries. Then email the responses to Farmer H, (three times, because he uses two work emails, and one personal email, and I don't know which one he will check) for when he eventually has access to the internet. According to Farmer H, "Me and Heinz are still trying to figure that out."

I'm not even that sure of where Farmer H IS, actually. He told me about a hundred times, "Row-eena." Then left me a note that said, "Roena, France." But it seems to be spelled Roanne. IF Farmer H knows what he's talking about. Because I tried to look up do hotels in Roena, France, have English TV? By request of Farmer H. You can imagine how well THAT search turned out. I kind of think he makes Clark W. Griswold look like a seasoned world traveler.

I hope Farmer H doesn't end up in a Turkish prison.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Beware Of A Farmer Bearing Gifts

Farmer H is off in France, taking apart 100,000 connections with hopes of hooking them all back up right when the machine arrives at his plant.  I’m not sure if he was exaggerating or not. He has to hire local folk to help with this dismantling project. Of course he speaks not an iota of French. He is planning to use a translator app on his phone. He’s a bit worried that he won’t know which restroom to use, but said he plans to watch and see what comes out the door. Let’s hope the French police haven’t gotten word of his predilection for sitting in his car at the public park, eating lunch and taking a nap. I’m sure the siesta countries would have been more understanding. Maybe he should have bought a machine from one of those locales.

I told Farmer H to bring back a souvenir for The Pony. You know. Maybe some francs. Some kind of trinket, hopefully not a miniature Eiffel Tower or a shirt that says, “My Dad Went To France, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.” The Pony overheard me soliciting French swag for him in the car.

“That’s a good idea. I wouldn’t mind a French maid.”

Nor would I. But for different reasons, I think.

Monday, April 25, 2016

You May THINK You Know...But You Have NO Idea!

I present, for your viewing pleasure, the following snapshot from our recent excursion to procure a special award for The Pony.

Yes. I heard you gasp in horror. That is a photo of our Holiday Inn Express bathroom counter. Oh, don't worry. They didn't leave a previous tenant's false teeth in our room. That's Farmer H's partial plate, surrounding The Pony's senior ring.

Uh huh. The Pony has a senior ring. I'm sure that's the part that shocked you.

Now cover up the toothy part, and imagine that ring not in the center of the picture. Go ahead. Yes, use your HANDS to touch the screen and cover those false teeth. See how that ring virtually disappears? The Pony had left it there while taking his shower, and did not pick it up when he left the bathroom. Good Samaritan Farmer H marked the spot with the very teeth out of his mouth. That's a loving father for you! That ring could easily have been left behind, all camouflaged on the counter.

Here's a little bigger view.

I hope none of you feel about teeth the way I feel about feet.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

So Much For That Sliver Of Hope

So...yesterday, I thought The Pony was growing savvy to the ways of women. Learning how you don't go out of your way to poke a snake with a stick. To let sleeping dogs lie. But after hearing the tale of his outing yesterday with his Old Friend, a college girl...I am inclined to believe that he's the same old Pony.

"So did you have a good time?"


"Did you have ice cream?"

"We were going to, but it was too crowded, so we decided not to."

"Did you have snacks at the movie?"


"What? I thought you were going to be the big spender, and buy her ticket and snacks."

"We got there late. It started at 4:00, and we got there at ten after. The previews had already started. But they still let us in. It was on the very last preview, then the move started right up."

"Okay...but you didn't think to go get snacks?"

"No. The movie had started. She didn't want to miss any of it."

" know that you can leave the movie and walk to get concessions for her, right?"


Uh huh. Same old Pony. I need to write him a primer for life in the real world.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Pony Is A Platonic Two-Timer

Hot off the press! The Pony is a platonic two-timer!

Yes, I know it's hard to believe. Our little Pony, the fellow who cares not one whit for helping people or what they think of him, is stepping out on his nonparamour!

Here's how it went down. As you may recall, The Pony snagged himself a last-minute prom date. It's not a love connection. Not necessarily even a friend. Just a fellow competitor on his smartypants team, junior division. The Pony tried to become more acquainted. Tried to arrange a meet-up for an evening of bowling. A movie. Was readily available for text conversations. But once the prom arrangements were made, it seemed as if The Pony was equina non grata. One- or two-word responses to his queries. And when trying to ask, in passing, in the hallway, about color preferences for tux and corsage, was bluntly told, "Don't EVEN!" Let the record show that The Pony may or may not have rolled his eyelids inside out during the exchange. But still. He's not an ogre. He doesn't stink. He's valedictorian, gosh darn it, and people are neutral to him. So in his loving mother's opinion, he did not deserve such treatment.

So...I advised that it was his business, but that if I was getting that level of communication, I would simply write it off, go to prom, and say goodbye. Chapter closed. The Pony, though, drifts through life in a fog, caring little about a lot of things. Including people.

Last weekend, The Pony was tied up competing in the district championships. He tried mightily to work in an after-tournament movie excursion with a friend home from college. Since he was not done winning the tournament and MVP until after 8:00, those frantically-texted plans made during half-times fell though. The Pony was off his feed for a couple days over that one.

Today, we traveled to Columbia for The Pony's special award tomorrow. This just happens to be the college town of that old friend. For two hours, ever since we left the #1 son after a lunch visit, The Pony was burning up the cellular phone lines with Old Friend.

"Oh, Dad. Old Friend says we can meet up while I'm in town."

"Okay. I don't mind if you want to ask her to supper with us."

"Hey. We have a pool where we're staying. Too bad you didn't bring your swim trunks. You could have asked her to come over to the pool."

"But I DID. Dad made me get them at the last minute. They're on the hanger handle of my suit."

"There you go!"

A few more frantic minutes of tap tap tapping.

"Swimming is out. She doesn't have a swimsuit."

"Oh, well. You tried."

"She says there's a movie theater two blocks away. And an art show. And she wants to get ice cream. I have money. I can pay."

"Okay. We'll drop you off after we check in. Then you let us know if she's coming to supper with us."

So...we got to the hotel. Farmer H went to check in. The Pony got a text from his prom date.

"Mom. I think she just got up. It's 2:30. But she says 'Good Morning.' I sent her one at 7:00 that said the same thing."

"Huh. Did you tell her that you're going out to a movie and an art show and supper with Old Friend?"

"Don't forget the ice cream!"

"Well...did you?"

"No. And I'm not going to."

The Pony is not one for burning bridges. Even Tacoma Narrows kinds of bridges.