Smooth move, idiot

Never entrust your sense of humor to people you don’t know.

I attended W.P. Scales Elementary from Kindergarten through the Fourth Grade. At the end of every year, each grade invited the parents to the special presentation the grade as a whole had been working on for weeks.

One year, we wowed them with a square dance in the gym. Rumor had it, Amanda B. was crushing on me, and that’s why she chose me as her partner. She was a pretty blonde girl about six inches taller than me. Holding her hands felt like digging a soda out of a cooler full of ice. “Cold hands, warm heart”? Well, her bloodpump must have been hot enough to make Satan green. With envy.

I also have hazy memories of performing on a stage of some sort—costumes made from construction paper; singing songs about American freedom or Johnny Appleseed; the tone-deaf kid causing all the songs to bottom out, bless his heart; flashes of light from the dark, gently quaking audience.

Another year, we painted a map of the United States on the playground blacktop that doubled as a basketball court. Each state was a different color. We were very proud.

On the big day, the parents met us in our respective classrooms, then we filed out in a mass of excited children and faking-it parents. I lost my parents in the tumult and ended up walking beside a girl from another homeroom.

An overweight woman was lumbering up the hill in front of us, one step at a time. We had to slow our pace to keep from bumping into her.

I turned to the girl and said under my breath, “Boy, that lady is struggling,” and chuckled to myself.

Her eyes flashed daggers as she responded, “That’s my mom.”

I slackened my pace to let my new friend walk on ahead.

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  1. Posted March 1, 2009 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    greetings old friend,

    Glad to have found this back log of your writing. I too have a blog (although I haven’t touched it in a couple months). I am writing though. Had a couple critical articles published. Knox vegas may get Number, an art journal based out of memphis. Anyway, glad I’ll get to read your thoughts again.

  2. Austin L. Church
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful surprise to see your name appear! I’m glad you’re still at it. I’m not surprised that you’re publishing critical articles. You seemed to really enjoy that and make lucid some nebulous theoretical concepts. Maybe you should move to Knoxville and be the editor at Number.

    I’ll check out your blog.

    Grace and Peace.