The universe is not enough. You'd think the universe conspiring against Mrs. Hillbilly Mom all the live-long day in and day out would be sufficient karma for Even Steven. But no. Now the Newmentia ne'er-do-wells have to join forces with the cosmos to torment tired old HM and deny her the smallest pleasures of her workforce life. Pleasures like having her classroom furniture remain where she left it overnight. Pleasures like sitting down at the same place at the teacher lunch table where she has sat for the last five years. Pleasures like eating lunch in a relaxed manner while remaining dry and unmolested.
Today I slapped some home-brought mayo on my deli turkey on whole wheat English muffin, then grabbed a snack bag of Fritos and my water bottle, tore off a school issue paper towel from the huge white roll in my cabinet, and headed for the cafeteria. You'll never guess who was in my seat. Okay. You WILL guess. That's right. It was Jewel. She with no concept of personal space or staked territory. Had I been dead, my corpse would not yet have been cool. Sure, I was out Friday for the science fair. It's not like I took early retirement over the weekend.
Not only had Jewel consciously moved one seat to the right to steal MY seat, which is one seat over from the seat Jewel usually steals from Tomato-Squirter...but Jewel had deliberately left an empty seat, her USUAL stolen seat, between her and the seat Tomato-Squirter was in now. To me, that says that Jewel was in Tomato-Squirter's seat, then moved out of it into mine once Tomato-Squirter plunked down her soda cup and went in search of a tray. Well, of course this upset the apple cart of lunchtime interaction. I had to sit to Jewel's right, which put me in the empty seat usually left between me and Sir Gab.
Do you grasp the gravity of this situation, people? I WAS SANDWICHED BETWEEN JEWEL AND SIR GAB! On my left, Jewel gesticulated wildly, encroaching on my space, nearly whacking my turkey sandwich from my hand as she animatedly put her two cents worth into every conversation. On my right, Sir Gab chose this day to whisper conspiratorily about days gone by, past students, old incidents, like an bipolar low-talker in the manic phase. That meant I could not hear any other more interesting conversations, and had to nod my head like a back-windshield bobblehead on two miles of bad road, since he prefaced every sentence with, "Hillbilly Mom...you remember the time..."
As if that was not torture enough, the waterboarding began. Sir Gab leaned in close, and spoke emphatically for effect...AND SHOT A BLOB OF SPITTLE ONTO MY INNER ELBOW! Oh, the HORROR! Of course he pretended it never happened. I could feel that saliva start to evaporate. I could not lean away to my left without risking decapitation by the karate-chopping hands of Jewel. I gave one last nod, grabbed up my paper plate and other trash, and left that banquet from not-heaven.
Thank the Gummi Mary those women who wait until I head for the faculty women's restroom, and then dart in there like Wimbledon ball-girls on Red Bull, were not expecting me quite so early. Sometimes, in the course of the work day, it's necessary to take a sponge bath in the faculty restroom sink.