Thursday, May 19, 2016

Let Me Eat Cake

The last day of school at Newmentia was a half day. Technically, it was a four-and-a-half sevenths day. But who's counting? Not Mrs. Hillbilly Mom anymore! That's a fact, Jack!

So...we had received an email the day before that we would have a meeting at 1:00 in the cafeteria, after the kids were dismissed at 12:45. There's no need for a meeting at the end of the year. What are we going to discuss, our summer plans? So Mrs. HM was suspicious that somebody was up to shenanigans. You know, like those people who, when everybody stops talking when they walk into a room, think that they are getting a surprise party.

Usually, Mrs. HM just thinks they are gossiping about her. But after that side-eye thing the day I asked if I HAD to have a retirement dinner, I have been overly suspicious. Just the day before, when I asked how long the pep assembly would be for our Final Four bound softball team, Mr. Principal told me it was really a ploy to give me a going-away send-off. He's a jokester like that. Thank the Gummi Mary I'm not Sweet Alabama Beige, who is much more gullible.

Anyhoo...the bell rang to let the kids out, the secretary blasted School's Out over the PA system, and I straightened my desks one last time. HEAR THAT? One. Last. Time. No need to hurry to that meeting. Plenty of seats in the cafeteria. I threw away some papers. Put a couple more things in the cabinet. Decided that the women's faculty restroom probably didn't have a line anymore. So I started up there.

"INCOMING!"

Yeah. That was my little foreign friend down the hall. WTF? What was going down? I saw the cooks standing in their side door, talking to the custodians. That's not so unusual, especially on an early out day. I went on to the teacher workroom. NO LINE! As I came out, Sweet Alabama Beige came in.

"Hey! Did you save a seat for me?" I like to shame her, ever since that faculty meeting where she let JEWELS take my rightful chair at the library table, after I have saved her a seat at the back-to-school breakfast EVERY YEAR SINCE WE BOTH CAME TO NEWMENTIA.

"Yes. Uh huh. I did."

Sweet Alabama Beige went into the FWRR. I sent a text back to my Basementia's Math Buddy, she thanking me for Chex Mix, and claiming me for future trivia contests. I started to go back down to my room, but as I almost made my exit, I saw the littlest cook was holding a stack of paper plates. Something was up.

Sweet Alabama Beige came out. I thought maybe she had been sent to stall me. But interestingly enough, she turned on her heel and started back to the cafeteria. Huh. She wasn't a very good staller, now was she? So I called to her, and told her I would walk out with her. Everybody else was already there. Some commotion was going on up at the front. I tried to ignore it and go sit down.

Mr. Principal called me up to a front table, where we usually convene the Semi Weekly Meeting of the Newmentia Lunch Time Think Tank. "Here, HM. I wanted to show you this cake we got."

IT WAS SPECTACULAR. And real. And not simply breathtaking. A huge sheet cake, with white BUTTERCREAM (I hear your saliva dripping, Mabel) icing, and purple piping around the edge. There were four paw prints on it as well, in honor of our doggish mascot.

"Congratulations on Your Retirement, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom"
"Best Wishes, Mrs. Not-A-Cook and Mr. Woodsman"

Huh. I took a picture with my phone. Can't show you, because I cannot edit the real names to protect the innocent. What a nice thing for Mrs Not-A-Cook and Mr. Woodsman to do for me! Certainly Mrs. Not-A-Cook is one of my closest friends here. But Mr. Woodsman? Well...I DO have lunch with him every day. Wasn't that sweet? I stopped short of thanking them there in front of the whole crowd. I could do that individually, later.

I went to sit down. I'll be ding-dang-donged if Sweet Alabama Beige had failed in her mission! There was no seat saved for me! At a long table of eight, there was only one seat left. And it was beside Very Special, who I was sure was saving it for Pinky. But what the not-heaven! You only retire once in life, and you might as well piss off as many people as you can.

"Is this seat taken? Do you mind if I sit here?"

"No! You go right ahead."

I must say that Very Special is always nice to me. We went to high school together. I sat down. And was immediately called up by Mr. Principal. He awarded me two cards, one with a gift card inside, and a gift bag. Mr. Super showed up, and presented me with a framed proclamation from the state legislature, and a certificate for my first year of retired membership in MSTA, paid by the school board. They both gave a little farewell speech for me.

I gave a little thank you speech. I opened my gift, and saw that instead of a gold watch, I was the proud recipient of a fancy clock in a wooden case SHAPED LIKE A BOOK! I love it! Someday, somewhere, I will post a picture of it.

I went to sit back down. And Mr. Principal asked for a volunteer to slice the cake, because he is all thumbs. I suggested The Hungriest Hippo, aka Arch Nemesis, who had earlier that morning won the Hippo contest at the pep assembly for the second year running. Next thing I knew, Mr. Principal was asking me to come up and get some cake, along with Mrs. Not-A-Cook, and Mr. Woodsman.

All that up and down was making my knees scream. Very Special offered to go get me a piece of cake, and I said that would be great.

Let the record show that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has been cutting back. She has not had cake since February 1st! She did not really want cake now. But it was a special cake. In her honor. So she kind of felt obligated to have some. She chose the chocolate side, and neapolitan ice cream.

YUM!

Let the record also show that Mr. Super had inadvertently stuck the corner of Mrs. HM's card in the buttercream icing just before presenting it to her. Such a happy accident, because Mrs. HM plans to send a thank you note saying her card was simply delicious! Anyhoo...some purple icing from the corner of the card got on the frame of Mrs. HM's proclamation.

I wiped off the icing with a paper towel that Very Special had brought me. Huh. Thinking I'm was a slob, I guess. Though she IS a fellow Think Tanker, and should know that I'm tidy. Anyhoo...I was chowing down on that cake, enjoying it immensely (as I became more immense, which probably constitutes irony), and wiping my mouth with that paper towel. When I looked down, I saw that the paper towel was covered in purple. I looked at Happy Camper, sitting across from me.

"Great. I must have this purple icing all over my face, there's so much on that paper towel."

"No. You look fine. It's not on your face."

Whew! I guess it was just where I had wiped off my proclamation frame.

Oh, and here's the height of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's egotism.

That cake I though said

"Congratulations on Your Retirement, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom"
"Best Wishes, Mrs. Not-A-Cook and Mr. Woodsman"

Really said

"Congratulations on Your Retirement, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom"
"Best Wishes on New Adventures,
Mrs. Not-A-Cook and Mr. Woodsman"

Shh...don't tell anyone. I am SO GLAD I did not thank them in front of the whole group!

3 comments:

fishducky said...

So it's now official!!

Sioux said...

A big cake honoring the three of you? I think there's more than 3 shifting around/leaving at our building, so not all of us will get a corner piece...

Hillbilly Mom said...

fishducky,
Yes, it's official. It hasn't sunk in yet, though. Still feels like just another summer.

****
Sioux,
Now that you mention it...I'd like to know what happened to the rest of that cake! I know we didn't eat it all. Yet there was no sign of it Thursday on our work day!