Gather ’round, kiddies. It’s story time with Grannie B. But first, I will pour a little something in my glass to wet my whistle. Not a real whistle. It’s a figure of speech that means Grannie B is thirsty. And yes, her drink would be nicer with a cherry. Ah…now where was I? Oh, right, story time.
I’ve learned that nothing makes you kids happier than to hear stories about your parents–especially if it involves mischief or police reports. So here’s a crowd pleaser I think you’ll like. And if I get any of the details wrong, or leave out an important part, or make most of it up, I’m sure the parties involved will set me straight. No, that doesn’t mean we’re having a party. I’ll wait until you stop crying. Thank you. Come to think of it, most of you won’t understand a word I say, so I think I’m pretty much in the clear no matter what. We’re not saving this for posterity, right?
Give Grannie a moment to sip her lovely drink here.
OK, so this is a story about your Uncle Myles when he was in elementary school. Yes, this was a very long time ago. Can you imagine Uncle Myles as a little boy–before he could grow a beard? Yes, he still wore hats, but most everything else has changed. No more questions for now, OK? Grannie B has a little headache and it’s all she can do to sit up here and try to remember the story she is trying to tell you. I’ll wait until the baby gets over the hiccups. One more sip. Yes, it tastes very good and no you cannot have any. Mommy wouldn’t like it and this stuff is expensive. How about a nice juice box? Are we ready now? Good.
So one day, the principal at Uncle Myles’s school was off to a conference or something and Uncle Myles’s teacher was chosen to be the substitute principal. Sound like fun? Yes, it does. But that meant someone had to come in and be a substitute teacher in Uncle Myles’s classroom, because those kids couldn’t be left without a teacher, could they? What? You would like that? Well, forget it. No kids are left behind without a teacher. You have to have a substitute, or else I can’t tell this story.
Now, you know how those substitute teachers can be–they don’t know the kids or the rules and they are basically sitting ducks for whatever tricks the kids want to play on them. Not that Grannie is suggesting such things as messing up roll call, or sending notes around that say “let’s all sit in different seats” or “let’s all drop our pencils at 10:53,” or things like that. Well now, this is what passed for shenanigans before Twitter and all that. You’d like to see the duckies? Maybe Mommy will take you to the park later.
So it turns out that the substitute was kind of a meanie. Remember Miss Viola Swamp in Miss Nelson is Missing? I think this teacher was way worse than the one in the book. Even the kids at Monster High would’ve been scared of her! That’s right. Grannie B knows about Monster High because she reads the Target toy catalog.
So the kids were very unhappy and one kid decided to do something about it.
After recess, the kids all rushed in and took their seats. The substitute teacher (let’s call her Mrs. Swamp) walked in and stood in front of the classroom. Then she looked down at her desk. And that’s when she saw them: a pile of wiggling worms right on top of the desk, near the spelling tests.
“Worms!!” she shouted, and began waving her arms over her head like maybe the worms might start to fly. When she stopped shouting and waving, she stepped away from her desk and got very serious.
Mrs. Swamp looked out at the kids and squinted her beady eyes at them.
“Who did this?” she demanded. “Who put worms on my desk?” She stood with her hands on her hips and looked around the classroom. Her lips were quivering and she was turning a little green around the gills. No, she didn’t really have gills like a fish. It just means…she didn’t feel very well and was pretty mad, besides.
You want to know who did it? What? You want me to tell you right away? But we have to build suspense here. Hold your horses. I’ll tell you when I. . .no, not real horses. It means you have to wait a little bit. Haven’t you heard that before? You say “pause the story”? I see. Well, now you’ll have to wait a little longer while I top off this glass. So where was I?
Oh yes. The teacher asked who did it.. The kids looked around the room and at each other. The usual suspects sat still. They looked innocently at the other kids. The other kids looked back at them, waiting for them to confess. But the room stayed quiet.
“No one leaves this room until the guilty party comes forward,” Mrs. Swamp said. Seconds ticked by on the big clock up on the wall. Tick. Tick. Tick.
Finally, Uncle Myles stood up and admitted that he was the mastermind of the entire worm caper. “I did it,” he said, “I cannot tell a lie.” And then he sat down.
The kids gasped! Their eyes bugged out and their mouths hung open. Uncle Myles was a good kid–he never did stuff like that. A few of the other boys were always getting in trouble for something, but not your Uncle Myles. He was the last kid anyone would’ve expected. Was he a “goody two-shoes”? No, but he was a good tap dancer. Ask anyone.
Since he had confessed to the crime, he had to march down to the principal’s office and face his punishment. And as you may recall, if you’ve been paying attention, the principal that day was actually his teacher–and his teacher liked Uncle Myles a lot and pretty much let him off the hook. Not a real hook. That is a figure of speech.
So the teacher/principal for the day tried not to laugh and waggled a finger at Uncle Myles and told him he would have to apologize to Mrs. Swamp–er, I mean, the substitute teacher.
I’m kind of hazy on what happened next. I think the kids all clapped Uncle Myles on the back after school and said, “Well done!” or something like that. Nothing brings kids together like pulling a good prank on a teacher. You didn’t hear that from me, in case your mommy asks you later.
Now, the next day the story about the worms on the desk had traveled all around the school. Gone viral, as you would say today. Like a cold, that’s right. And this was way before the Internet and FaceBook and all that other stuff you kids think has been around forever. Uncle Myles figured his fifteen minutes of fame would soon end, and…yes, it was Andy Warhol who said that. Very good.
However, later that day at lunch time, Uncle Myles got a surprise of his own: someone had snuck something into his lunch box. What do you think it was?
And the answer is. . .
We think Uncle Myles’s teacher and the real principal were the ones who filled his lunchbox with gummy worms, but we were never actually sure.If they did it, it’s their little secret.
Well, that’s the end of the story, kiddies.
Is there a moral? Ask your Uncle Myles. I’m sure he’ll have an answer for you.
Let’s all clink our sippy cups together and say, “Cheers for Uncle Myles!”
And now it’s time for Grannie B’s nap.
With thanks to Mr. B and Mrs. L-D for their good sense of humor and support.