11/28/2005

Grammar school blues

When I was in grammar school, sometimes I’d erase a mistake and the smudge wouldn’t lift from the paper. So then I’d really have to work that eraser back and forth. Wichick wichickwichick wichickwichick. Suddenly the paper would rip. The tearing sound would break the silence of the classroom and the whole class would look at me and laugh. Screw you guys and your perfect penmanship.

Here’s another thing that aggravated me in grammar school. Milk cartons. My school furnished each student with an 8-ounce carton of milk at lunch. My mom registered me for white milk, but I always took chocolate (LBB: 1, Mom: 0. Ha ha!). Anyway, I always had trouble opening the milk carton. They glue those little cartons shut with the same stuff that holds heat shields to the space shuttle. “Open Here” my prepubescent ass! Anyway, I’d bear-claw the thing until I eventually ripped the top off. Then I had to drink milk from a cube. The cafeteria lady would see me drinking from my cube and remind me that I should be in “special ed.” Hey lady, your husband should be in the school-for-the-blind if he’s doing you.

When it came to the pencil sharpener I was an artisan. A Great Master. I could sharpen a pencil finer than a laser beam. I knew just the angle, insertion-force and torque to apply to the device. I could compensate for different pencil thickness, lead hardness and caliber. I could even handle those big fat bastards that required you to dial the the entry housing up a notch. But no matter how gentle my touch, nor how adroit my hands, I couldn’t prevent my perfect tip from cracking onto the paper and spraying graphite shrapnel all over my arithmetic.

I have other fond memories of grammar school. Gym class was a blast: all the fun with no jock straps or showers. Plus, girls were still roughly the same shape and size as you, so you could put the ass-whoop on them free from guilt or consequence. Nothing made you feel more like the BMOC then catching Kelly McMasters in the gut with a speeding 4-square ball. Strange how when you’re a kid, you express your affection for a girl by inflicting small amounts of pain.

We overlook our grammar school janitors. But for them our schools would decay under oceans of child vomit. Kids puke a lot so the janitor always kept a cache of Disinfecting Vomit Dust at his disposal. The puke was gross. But the Dust made it tolerable. In fact, I found the Dust had a delightful bouquet. I’ve never been able to find that stuff in any supermarket. That’s too bad because it was magic. Any product that could negate the smell of kid-puke would be welcome in my home. Hell, I’d induce vomiting in my kids just for an excuse to use the stuff!

39 comments:

Pirate said...

Dman those scholl Nazis to hell. I let my in-laws in on your blog. You were one of the highlights and humor of the holiday. If they buy your book I want commisions.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

My best memory of grammar school was when I was way late getting back on defense in a basketball game, so when my mate intercepted a pass he threw me the ball when I was right under the goal and made a two-pointer. After that, I never went back on defense. The coach never cared. I wasn't going to get a shower, anyway.

jules said...

Man you ARE old. Cuz I remember when it was CALLED grammar school, and I'm old (though not as old as HOSS).

Riss said...

I laughed all throughout this post. Especially at the part about the milk containers. I hated those. I always used my pen to open it so it could at least resemble a spout. But it'd be shredded and after awhile the soggy edges would come off and end up in my mouth.

When a kid was bad in my class, they'd have to sit right next to the teacher's desk. I hated that. But no one got it as bad as my friend Tony, he was bad so much the teacher finally sat him in the corner, about 20 feet away from everyone else. 7 years later in high school he still bitched about that.

Great post BB!

Heather said...

They use that ouke dust stuff for suction canisters in the OR. Dude, you should totally go ask them to give some to you.

FFFrapgirl said...

LMAO, the smell of the puke dust soooo made me wanna vomit.. I can still smell that crap..

Sorry, LBB I don't share in your affection for the fruity dust.

The Orchestrator said...

I know I always wanted to choke that stuff down like cat nip. It looked so good, like some Mrs. Dash I was about to put on my chicken or something...yum.

Hulabelly said...

yeah I always hated those milk cartons.. Sorry I've neglected you Mr. Butt.. You're still funny as ever

Edgy Mama said...

Yes, now that I have a child in elementary school, the memories have all come back to haunt me.

Now the Puke Dust is organic, though. It doesn't work nearly as well.

nongirlfriend said...

Don't guys still show us affection that way? No?

I loved the Puke Dust. It was the best.

CaCaBoy said...

We played an extreme version of bean ball. We played in the blackness (I mean you couldn't see your hand in front of your face blackness) of our High School wrestling room (padded walls & floor, no windows). Nothing like the scream of medicine balls winging off of heads & other areas.

I know, I AM a sick, sick man!

Jo said...

Elementary school (cuz I ain't old enough to call it grammar school :P )... my favorite part of elementary school was being able to kick boys in the balls and get away with it.

Chloe said...

what i hated in school was when the person sitting next to me would draw a big line on our desk to mark her space.
mean.

Latigo Flint said...

As opposed to these days, where the amount of pain inflicted upon each other by the opposite sex is anything but small--and is frequently unbearably savage.

Spinning Girl said...

Wow, great post. I'd say "ahhhh, memories" if this wasn't a synopsis of my daily life!

Kids still feel really special when you ask them to empty the sharpener, or wash the board.

Some things never change, and I like that.

Anonymous Shannon said...

Oh my gosh! I had suppressed those elementary school memories until now!

Puke dust was okay; however, it never really did get the smell out of kid vomit.

The manual pencil sharpener mounted to the wall always broke when I used it.

The milk thing wasn't so bad, but the sloppy joe's were AWFUL! My stomach turns just thinking about them!

Wonderful post as always! Thanks LBB!

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Uh...suddenly my yogurt doesn't look so good anymore.

Rob Seifert said...

I remember the magic dust! I also remember the evil milk cartons. I used to bring a pen knife to school, can you believe that such a think would get you expelled now, and carve my way in - I drank from a neatly trimmed box... Not so different from today I suppose... As to janitors, we were cruel to ours. His name was Art. All the kids had a little rhyme, "Art let a fart and blew the school apart." I imagine by about the tenth time he heard it he was ready to DUST some kids - but he never did. As to girls and pain, I went the other way. Carrie Cook and Jean Luban kicked my butt, and everybody elses for that matter, at tether ball in a daily act of humiliation. Ah, kids are cruel...

RCS

Megan said...

I hated gym class in "grammar" school...I always got hit in the head with the speeding dodgeball of death.

Kim said...

LOL! That was great.

Blonde said...

You are a literary genius. I laughed out loud thinking of the vomit dust....ahhh...the good old days.

I want to buy your book, but when I go to the link, it doesn't take you directly to the book. I don't know the name of it. Help a Blonde out :). Please let me know how I can acquire a copy.

Oh great One said...

I had forgotten about the "Disinfecting Vomit Dust"! I could use some of that for my house! (Kids and cats can leave lots of nasty surprises for a person.)

Spirit Of Owl said...

We had an electric pencil sharpener fastened to the teacher's desk at the front. When you pushed a pencil in, it automatically started whirring round. It sounded like an air-raid siren. We had to ask if we could use it, and prove that our pencil needed sharpening. We were watched for how much we shaved from the pencil, in case we wasted some. The damn machine was a beast too. I'm sure some kids went to sharpen their stubs, and were never seen again.

Courtney said...

I can totally identify! My mom used to pack "delicious" snacks in my lunch...like rice cakes with melted carob chips on them (basically natural, caffeine-free chocolate).

Hang on...I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Anyway, I had a friend that was all into name brands and such, so I told her it was imported chocolate from Europe. She consistently traded her Little Debbie snack cakes for my carob delights all through elementary school.

Wonder what that crazy, gullible bitch is up to now? (Of course, I mean my foolish friend...not my mother)

Junebugg said...

"wichickwichick" OOOO, make that sound again. For some reason it turns me on! I made perfect grades in grammar school, but them in Intermediate School (damn, I'm old!) they hit me with geometry and it was down hill after that! I loved being able to kick guys butt in sports, that was before they got bigger and stronger and dumber.

tabitha jane said...

i hated learning cursive.

to this day, my cursive writing is worse than a grammar school student's. especially the "r's." who can make cursive "r's" anyway?

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

The janitor i a good friend to have. I buddied up to my high school janitor and he let me in on all the funny secrets he knew about the teachers. He knew too much to ever be fired, so he basically did whatever he wanted in the place.

As always... Rachael said...

awesome as always. graphite shrapnel? Beautiful! You rock, man!

the Monk said...

man, u brought back some memories....great post, as usual...

Molicious said...

BMOC? What's that?

I miss grammar school. And mandatory naptimes.

Riss said...

I just re-read this and it was just as funny as the first time, if not more.

Lizabeth said...

grammar school, back in my day we called it elementary school, still though I could relate and laughed my ass off

Bennet said...

Hehehehehe.....

Our janitors didn't have the magic dust.

Our janitors were very slow witted so it would seem. They'd stand hidden in corners watching kids slip, and bust their ass on vomit then yell :"watch your step!" while trying hard not to laugh.

Bennet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Blond Girl said...

Classic stuff, Bug! You know, I remember puking on my kindergarten teacher's shoes... and then in the room... and then in the garbage can... and then in the tiolet. But I don't remember the magic vomit dust of which you speak. They must have hauled that stuff out after they sent me to the nurse's office. I wonder if it saved my teacher's shoes?

gusgreeper said...

with you 100% on the MILK! :)
i totally remember pukeing all over. poor janitor.

Toni said...

I remember one time I was feeling sick and my friend took me to the principal's office so we could call my grandpa to take me home. That cold bitch principal started yelling at me for puking on the carpet. I couldn't help it, ya know? I remember wishing I puked on her shoes instead, and when I told my mom later she agreed with me.

I've never heard of puke dust before. Was this before my time?

Weary Hag said...

Our janitor was Mr. Foote. I got to see him daily because the girl who sat in right in front of me had a sensitivity to milk and used to puke every single day (I'm not even kidding a little bit) after we had our milk in the morning. I can still smell both the puke and the magic dust as I sit here typing this. In third grade one of the girls told me that pencil sharpener with the adjustable holes was so boys could secretly measure and compare their privates. I didn't believe her for one minute, though I waited and snuck a peek in the door each day for about a week after class was through.

The only thing you didn't cover here was the clever window opener on the long pole. Come on LBB, I know you sat in one of those ancient buildings too ... with the 9 ft. windows.

As to inflicting pain on the girls ... wait a minute ... you mean that was supposed to cease when we all grew up? Dang. I thought it just jumped up a notch with each year.

Hey maybe you and I went to different schools together?

Excellent memory-evoking post!

SugarHigh said...

Sweet lord, I almost peed myself when you spoke your peace on milk cartons. i think I became lactose intolerhent solely because I couldn't get the damn cartons open. You crack me up. I have to come here more often.