Last night, I was almost a victim of The Cleaner. You know what a cleaner is, don't you? Someone who cleans up a crime scene. Disposes of evidence. Or unwanted muffin stumps, like Newman with his briefcase full of milk.
The problem was...I did not need a cleaner. Let it be said that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is unclean. I don't need no stinkin' cleaner gettin' rid of my evidence. My evidence that might be needed to slam shut a circumstantial case. That was my plan last night. You might recall that it was conference night at Newmentia.
I only stepped away from my desk for a moment. There had been limited action for two hours. Only one consultation. Surely I would be able to dart up the hall to use the facilities. I could not have been gone more than five minutes. It's not like I was washing my hair in the faculty restroom sink, you know.
When I returned, I gasped in horror. There was Cus, the custodian, holding my evidence between thumb and forefinger. "You don't need this empty Gatorade bottle, do you?" Cus was already striding from the evidence storage locker, aka the space between assignment-thirsty, stacking in-boxes on a row of four desks against the back wall, toward the wastebasket in the opposite corner.
I momentarily froze, with a beady stare like that chipmunk I once tried to rescue from a cat gave me just before sinking its sabretooth into the fleshy pad of my left index finger. "YES! The kid who left it on a desk this morning said he's bringing his mom to conferences, and I'm going to have him throw it away. Just because. It's the principle. I am not here to pick up after him. And neither are you." I did not stop to think about how 100% personal responsibility would affect Cus's livelihood.
Litterer did show up later. And complained that he'd been wanting that bottle all afternoon to fill with water. Too bad, so sad. You leave forbidden trash in Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's room, you will dehydrate. Karma, baby!
Another lesson learned with the aid of evidence saved from The Cleaner. Action. Consequence. Don't even think about dumping a bag of trash on my gravel road.