Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Vets Leave, Rookies Suffer, Part IIa
Eileen Kutinsky, the magnificent middle school science teacher whom I wrote about yesterday, did have a monkey in her room for a while. In an old school newspaper (I'm a pack rat) from December 20, 1968, is a little story about the critter, Oscar, who was a "gift" from a student's family. (I picture the moment: MOM: Get that damn thing out of this house right now! KID: Where will he go? MOM: Mrs. K! She'll take anything!)
Oscar liked dog food, we learn in the paper, not bananas. (I prefer quite the opposite.) The waggish student writer noted that Oscar liked The Monkees, too, and believed TV was "stupid and only for people."
Well, one day after school ... I was in Eileen's room, talking. And in came another colleague, a man who'd become very bitter because he believed he should have been named assistant principal that year--but was passed over. The rest of us tried never to mention it because it usually occasioned a nasty explosion that went on for a while. His face got red as a monkey's rear, you know?
Anyway, that day he went over to Oscar's cage, opened it, removed Oscar, cradling him like a child in his arms. And the "child" promptly defecated all over our colleague's white shirt.
"That's been happening to you all year, hasn't it?" I said before thinking (I'm good at that).
Detonating another spectacular fiery outburst ...
By the way--that same student newspaper noted that "Oscar" was only a temporary name. The paper was holding a contest. With rules. Rule #2 (no kidding): "You can NOT name it after a teacher." (Sparing me some embarrassment.)
And tricky Mrs. K was also requiring that the winning name have a "k" somewhere in it ...
PART III in this brief series--tomorrow ...
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