Not only has Mrs. Hillbilly Mom been slowly relieved of her Germ-X and Puffs With Lotion by her sticky-fingered charges, but now she has been further victimized.
This morning, first cat out of the bag, a pencilless person asked to borrow one. Having recently hit the jackpot when homecoming king and queen candidates roamed the halls passing out bribes for votes, I had a stylus to spare. A school-bus-yellow Dixon No. 2 / HB, with a jaunty silver cap and a full eraser. So I loaned it. Who is Mrs. Hillbilly Mom to stand in the way of learning?
As you might assume, my Dixon was scarcer than a passenger pigeon flying over a woolly mammoth on his way to visit a dodo bird after the bell rang.
But that was okay. I still had five Dixons left. I loaned another one four hours later, because I am just stupid like that, and was delighted to see that the user must have feared that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a practicer of the voodoo art, and didn't want to take any chances on bad juju. Still five Dixons.
Oh, apparently there is a snatcher on the loose. Not so dangerous as a lopper in the park after dark, but still a nuisance. The snatcher must be a stasher as well, with a hoard of textbooks piled up to the rafters. If only he would also be inclined to fill the role of flasher, and open a raincoat lined with texts just outside my classroom door. Is it too much to ask for even 90% of the pupil congregation to hang onto their assigned textbooks for nine and a quarter months, AND BRING THEM TO CLASS? It seems that it is.
But WAIT! That’s not the kicker. In the midst of signing, eight, yes, that’s EIGHT absentee slips in one class period, my mechanical pencil disappeared from my desk. I don’t loan my mechanical pencil. In fact, touching such professional equipment is strictly forbidden. VERBOTEN! Of course Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has sleuth blood coursing through her veins. She carefully observed her surroundings.
“Hey! I need a pencil!”
“Here.” A student RIGHT IN FRONT OF MRS. HILLBILLY MOM’S DESK pulled a red mechanical pencil from his jeans pocket and hurled it across the room. It was JUST LIKE Mrs. Hillbilly Mom’s red mechanical pencil—with the exception of a protuberant eraser. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom’s red mechanical pencil had a worn eraser. She has, after all, used that very pencil for a year and a half. In fact, she flipped that eraser over just last week, showing the flat side with a dark ring of pencil lead around the edge.
AND THERE IT WAS! In the front row, clutched in the digits of a yesterday’s absentee. Was Pencie picked up accidentally while grabbing the absentee slip from amongst the other seven? Or jacked, in a cold-blooded act of larceny, on purpose?
Don’t know, don’t care. I got out another mechanical pencil, yellow this time, as a replacement. I don’t want a writing utensil that has been sullied by student hands.