Mrs. Hillbilly Mom avoided a potentially potent workplace faux pas today. An inadvertent mistake that could have caused far-reaching consequences throughout the upcoming school year.
I scurried off to Newmentia for a day filled with prepping my room for the arrival of students in three weeks. That was the plan, anyway. However...the best-laid plans of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom and Co. often go awry. The Pony hustled into position in the front row, and called for the resumption of his previous day's quadruple feature: Underdog. That got him busied, with his laptop open for multitasking.
My laptop was cantankerous. I KNOW I plugged him in correctly. If he was a patient lingering on life support, I was sure he would not succumb to a pulled plug on MY watch. I hailed The Pony, who came back to my control center, sighed, "Duh!" and pushed the power button in the top middle of my keyboard area. Well. I KNEW I had to turn on the power. But apparently using the push-button on the dock has been my habit, and it was showing a green circle around it already...so, perhaps those three brain cells were unplugged from my nogging during my recent unfortunate hospitalization.
I got all logged in. I could have printed a page for the first day of school. But I still have over two weeks and three work days to do that. Besides. I needed to check on which ACT to schedule for The Pony, and call about his upcoming dentist appointment, and read a Globe and a National Enquirer, and put together a little project for tomorrow. I had only planned on going in one day before the official return. It's not like I could commandeer the Kyocera and run off all my worksheets for the year. Kyocera just got hooked up again yesterday afternoon, it appears. And I didn't want to be responsible for turning him on, just in case there was a malfunction. Not gonna be MY papers that get ripped out of Kyocera's innards, singing my guilt like just-swallowed canaries.
I got to work on my little project. Let's just say it involved making a printout of my head. Not like I put my head on the glass like some people do their butts, and hit the "PRINT" button. No. I had a little photo of my face. A head shot taken by the #1 son. First I had to shrink my head. When it was about the size of a school photo that kids trade with each other, sometimes before the package makes it home for the parents to decide whether they're going to buy them, I printed it. That's not quite the truth. First I called The Pony back to show me how to move my head down the page. You see, my toner is low, and it wouldn't do for Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's face to be all blotchy for her little project. The Pony came back to my control center, sighed, "DUH!" and moved the invisible cursor above my shrunken head, clicked the mouse and hit the ENTER key several times. My miniscule head headed south like those Aliens soldiers on an express elevator to not-heaven.
"How did you DO that? I tried it, but I could never get the cursor to move above my tiny head!"
"Just because you can't SEE the cursor does not mean that it hasn't moved. Aye yi yi!" Let the record show that The Pony slapped himself across the forehead with his palm, much like he'd forgotten that he could have had a V-8.
With my new-found knowledge, I printed several pages of my miniscule noggin. Each came out a different hue of gray, depending on the usage of toner from that area of the page. I immersed myself elbow-deep in my project, which required The Pony to fetch my colored pencils and glue sticks and bendy straws from my classroom cabinets (which, my dear old ex-teaching buddy Mabel, were UNLOCKED).
Several hours later, and several movies louder, my project was done. I tidied up. Let the record show that The Pony and I bagged our trash in an old sack from The Devil's Playground so the custodial crew would not have to sully their dainty hands with it. Yesterday's Cheetos package, an individual bag of vanilla sandwich cookies, a Vienna Sausages can, a protein bar wrapper, and a can of Sardines in Mustard Sauce, with their accompanying black plastic fork, were all tied up, ready to pack out.
I gathered my tabloids and school bag and project and phone and glasses and Bubba mug of ice water, and announced that time was up, we were free to move about the rest of the world. As I went to push in my chair, I spied something under the desk. Two somethings. THEY WERE CUT-OUT ITSY-BITSY HEADS OF MRS. HILLBILLY MOM! The horror! I called for The nimble Pony to come scoop them up and shove them in the trash sack forthwith.
Can you imagine the next time Cus came in to sweep my room in preparation for opening day? Sweet Gummi Mary! What would Cus think? That Mrs. Hillbilly Mom had left her likeness to check up on Cus's cleaning habits? That it was a sick joke? A message to say, "I'll be watching you. Every move you make, every smile you fake, every wish for me to go take a jump in the lake...I'll be watching you."
Yeah. No need to start educational 2014-15 with a bounty on my heads.