Friday, October 19, 2007

Idaho Joe

I am Uncle Joe today. You know, Uncle Joe. From that old TV show, Petticoat Junction. As in the theme song: "...there's Uncle Joe, he's a-movin' kinda slow at the Junction. Petticoat! Junction!" OK, so maybe none of you are as old as the hills, or even as old as me. I was but a child, after all. And I'm sure I just saw it on reruns on TVLand or somewhere.

But getting back to ME...I have been dragging all day. It was all I could do to discuss the Bat Hospital in Queensland that rescues Spectacled Flying Foxes after they become paralyzed by tick bites. They take the babies and pop pacifiers in their mouths and swaddle them, by cracky! I saw the pictures with my own eyes. It was in Science World, an educational magazine for kids. They are not very cute. They kind of look like chihuahuas in the face. (The bats, not the kids.) And the rescue workers walk around the Bat Hospital with those needy babies clinging to their shirts, like big awkward adoptive parents spoiling the young 'uns. Oh, we had an article on the world's first prosthesis as well. It was a wooden big toe. And there was a Chinese girl with hair 7 feet long. Those wacky Chinese gals! They'll do anything for attention. Of course, one of my students said that if he was walking down the hall behind her, he would step on it. And that was one of the good kids. Us Americans! Spreading good will throughout the world 24/7.

Yes, I was mighty tired. During SSR, I think I nodded off a couple of times. My bobbing head jerked me awake. Thank the Gummi Mary, my students were busy trying to look like they were reading, and didn't notice. I really must get a more interesting book. I've had this one since September, and haven't finished it. In fact, the only time I read it is for SSR. I've gone through about 5 other books at home in the meantime.

I'm blaming my lethargy on school mashed potatoes. I love them. I haven't had a school lunch since they switched to the card-scanning system of payment. I don't like it, by cracky! I want to pay cash when I want a meal. I have a bad taste in my mouth from the elementary school lunch program. Years ago, I paid two weeks worth of money by check for each of my kids. That's because they usually packed their own lunches (and by that I mean that I stuffed something in a bag for them at 5:30 a.m), and only ate if it was something extraordinarily delicious like Cheeseburger Mac. The littlest Hillbilly never ate all year. A school lunch, that is. But did I get a refund? Oh, NO! But you can bet that if he owed a quarter, his grades would have been held until I ponied up the coinage. So I would rather pay as I go. It's the principle of the matter. Let's get back to ME again. The kitchen staff should be cited for false advertising. We announce the lunch, take a count, and find that different foods are served once we get to the lunch room. It's bait & switch, I tell you. Yesterday was supposed to be chicken and noodles, but in its place was vegetable soup. I LOVE vegetable soup. But I had spent 7 minutes nuking a tasty Banquet BBQ pork riblet dinner, and by the time I got to the lunch table, it was too late. The soup would not have cooled to eating temperature in the time I had left to fill my gullet. And today, what should appear but unannounced mashed potatoes! Math Crony decided to get some. What a scathingly brilliant idea! I, too, lined up for a bowl of powdered, reconstituted goodness. I used to think they were made from real potatoes. That's because I got some lumps one time. I was set straight by Mr S. I can't imagine our ladies peeling and mashing real potatoes. These are the kind of people who years ago demanded a Salad Shooter before they would make salads. Or so I hear.

And that's why I was so exhausted all day. I had an extra carb load at lunch. Go figure. Those carbs are supposed to give you energy. But instead, I crashed to hard rock bottom of my energy reserves. I did not even put on a staged performance worthy of Teacher of the Year honors when Mr. Principal brought the checks around this afternoon. Nope. We had finished the assignment, and I let the kids have 10 minutes to chat while I entered grades in the computer to print out in the future and file in my robin's-egg-blue three-ring binder.

Taters. They do a body no good.

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