Friday, February 1, 2008

The Great Conspiracy Finale

A while back, I told you how a couple of students were holding my hall pass hostage. They were trying to extort two 20-oz. sodas from Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, for property that was rightfully hers in the first place. Unbeknownst to the perpetrators, a Good Samaritan who is normally quite the bad boy appropriated my hall pass from the gym locker of the head perpetrator, and returned it to me, not asking for anything, just out of the goodness of his heart. I seem to have a way with those kind of kids.

So I had my hall pass back for a little over a week, and kept pretending that the perps still had it. They stopped asking about it. Stopped telling me that they would bring me a picture so I knew they really had it, and could go buy their asked-for 'reward'. Silly boys! They could have taken a picture early on. But no. And when they first offered to bring me a picture, weeks after the disappearance of Passie, I already had Passie back in my hot little hands. Or at least in my bottom drawer under some boring forms. So I told them to make sure they posed Passie on a recent newspaper, something to show a current date.

Once they stopped bringing up Passie, I started asking about him. "Where is my hall pass? I thought we had a deal." They would duck their heads and mumble. Something about they would get it...they just kept forgetting to bring a camera. Hmpf! I suppose they are the only two students in North America who don't possess cell phones with picture-taking capabilities. Then I ratcheted up the tension. I started writing my own ransom notes, and blaming them on the perpetrators. For a bit, they thought one of their own had re-stolen Passie, and was trying to get the reward for himself. There is no honor among thieves, I hear.

So I worked out this scenario with the principal, where he would call the boys into the office during my class period, and pretend they were in big trouble for holding Passie hostage, and for the original theft. Even though I KNEW the original theft was just an accident and oversight from a completely different student, the one they turned on at the last minute, when they saw that Passie had disappeared from the unlocked gym locker where they stashed him. All plans were in place. The principal had the fake ransom notes. He had the full story. We were amped.

P-Day rolled around, and we were rarin' to go. The announcements were late that day. My second hour class walked in, and only one perpetrator was present! I could not stop the machinations. The principal was in a meeting in the library, planning to carry out the sentence in 15 minutes. There was no going back. I asked, "Where is Snake Boy? He's always here. He hasn't missed a day yet." His unofficial girlfriend said, "He's really sick. He stayed home today." WHAT? How could he do this to me? I had gone to such great lengths. My plan would be ruined with only one perp. There could be no blaming each other. No sidelong glances to see what story they were going to tell. I was OH SO DISAPPOINTED.

The intercom in the ceiling crackled. "Mrs. Hillbilly Mom? Could you please send Snake Boy and Politician to the office?" What could I do? I had to follow through. "I'm sending Politician, but Snake Boy is absent today." Politician went on his merry way. He was the main perp, anyway. Snake Boy was just his negotiator. The kids looked at each other. "I wonder what this is all about." I told them we'd find out when he got back.

Ten minutes later, Politician came in the door. "Good one. That's a good one," he said, with only the slightest hint of a very tiny smile. He was kind of quiet. He sat by the computer, where Snake Boy's unofficial girlfriend was looking up info on thesaurus.com for a bonus project I had given them. They asked why he got called to the office. "You can tell them," he said. So I went to the cabinet and got out my baby blue (Mabel says 'Olympic' blue) cloth tote bag with Catholic Something Something of Michigan printed in white on one side, even though I am neither Catholic, nor from Michigan, and only have that bag because there was a pile of about 20 of them in the Basementia teacher's workroom last year, and dug around through some work that I cart home and don't do every night, until I pulled out Passie, who had been put into the blue bag for security reasons when the plot thickened with the ransom notes. Their mouths dropped open, and the girl we usually play the practical jokes on, like putting her purse in the freezer of my mini-fridge, said, "You had it all along?" I nodded. Then I sat down at my desk to tell them the whole story. Of course, I did not reveal how I got my hands on Passie. I'll leave that to their imaginations. They can visualize me in a Mission Impossible rig, wearing latex gloves, searching lockers in the boys' locker room.

Politician took over the storytelling before long. "Mr. Principal called me in. He leaned back in his chair and said...

How've you been?
Pretty good.
That's good. We need to have a talk.
OK.
You know, there's this thing called 'thievery'. Do you know what that means?
Yeah.
It means taking things that don't belong to you.
Uh huh.
Have you taken anything that doesn't belong to you, Politician?
Um. Not that I remember.
Maybe you should try harder.
I really can't think of anything.
Well, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom says you have been asking for a reward.
Oh.
She found these ransom notes under her door.
Uh huh.
Do you know anything about them?
No. She showed them to us.
Did you write them?
No.
Have you been asking for a 20-oz. soda to return the hall pass?
Well, that was just a joke.
Did you take Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's hall pass?
No.
Because I could give you ISS for stealing.
It is just a misunderstanding.
Oh, it is, is it?"

By then, the class was begging me to pull the same thing on Snake Boy when he came back to school on Monday. I told them no. They would tell him. Especially his unofficial girlfriend. She said she wouldn't She wanted him to sweat it out. Still, I told them I didn't think he could take it by himself. He might flip out. He's more volatile than Politician. U.G. agreed that he would flip out. "That's why I want you to do it," she said. I had no plans to go through it a second time. He had ruined my prank. I didn't have it in me to prank again. Later that day, the original accidental thief said, "I heard what you tried to pin on Politician." He didn't seem amused. He seemed to think I had seriously written up Politician for theft. Perhaps that's what Politician told him. Or perhaps he was worried that he would get called in for the disappearance of Passie.

In any case, The Passie Prank was a most scathingly brilliant idea in theory, but it lost a little something in application.

3 comments:

DPA said...

Student absences take so much away from the educational experience, don't they?

Stewed Hamm said...

Obviously, your scheme didn't go off hitch-less because it didn't include any cat pictures. Sounds like a good time was had by most, which beats doing schoolwork any day.
Still, don't be too hard on yourself. As Helmuth von Moltke said: No battle plan survives contact with the enemy

Hillbilly Mom said...

DPA,
You're preachin' to the choir, Sistah!

Stewyouareatruecatconnoisseur,
I sure do miss the days of my cat hating Mr K. I couldn't bring out the big guns on the students. They're just KIDS, for the love of Gummi Mary!