Best of: Good thing I have a permanent record

The countdown to leaving the country is winding down and things are being steadily crossed off my list. But first, I have to get out of New Jersey, where I’m currently on a business trip. Things can sure get complicated at times. It almost makes me wish for those simpler, carefree days of high school (right kids?).

Actually, life was plenty complicated for me back then, too. That said, I think things are even tougher for kids today — a point the following post examined last August:

A hard lesson

“This is the beginning of a much more in-depth education program, in which we tell our members why and what Wal-Mart does — not just to small towns, but to workers,” said Louise Sundin, president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers. (Strib: Twin Cities teachers unions push Wal-Mart boycott)

Honest, Mom, I wasn’t doing anything. I was sitting in my American History class and Ms. Wolverton was talking about the founding fathers, and when she got through telling us about the first president — Samuel Gompers of the American Federation of Labor, that is, so you know I was paying attention — she told us to take out our Diversity Journals and write about what it would feel like to be beat up by cops employed by fatcat capitalists and to not have health insurance besides.

So I was opening up my backpack when it slipped – honest! – and everything spilled out on the floor. Well, not everything, because I was able to catch my iPod, you know, and then the Wolf, I mean, Ms. Wolverton points at the floor next to me and says, really mean-like, “What’s that?”

Well, I look down and I say, “Nothing Ms. Wolverton, that’s just the condoms they gave us in third period today.”

“No,” she says, “What’s that?”

Then I say, “You mean this flyer about what time Tuesday morning we’re to catch the school bus to take us to the state capital to protest for higher education spending?”

“No!” she says, and now she’s really mad. “That looks like one of the new Trapper Keepers that Wal-Mart is advertising in the newspaper! How dare you bring something like that to school?”

“Hey, it’s not mine,” I said. “Someone must have stuck that in there just to get me in trouble, probably during Conflict-Resolution class!” Really, Mom, that Billy Swedberg is sooo passive-aggressive.

So anyway, now Ms. Wolverton is all, “shopping at Wal-Mart is the first step to economic servitude, and how buying a Trapper Keeper seems innocent enough now but, like, the next thing you know I’ll be listening to talk radio and voting Republican,” you know? Then she says something like, “someday when you’re working 70 hours a week for $1 you’ll wish you’d paid more attention in class.” Well, I didn’t really know what to say to that, but she gave me the idea, so I said, “I’m sorry, my ADD is acting up – what was the question again?”

Well, that seemed to calm her down and I thought it was all going to blow over when she says, “I don’t know what people are looking for when they go into a den of iniquity and social injustice like Wal-Mart.”

OK, Mom, I knooow I should have kept my mouth shut, but I wasn’t really thinking because I was still so nervous, so I said, “Good values?” And that’s when she went ballistic and told me I knew I wasn’t allowed to use that kind of language in school and that I had to go to the principal’s office and they were going to call you to come and get me.

So, am I in trouble?

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