Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 133

The Time Mookie Was Accused Of Wrong Doing And The Entire Class Was Punished

I spent a day with my oldest son and his entire middle school class during a school field trip a few weeks ago. Whenever I’m around kids like this, it always reminds me of stuff from my youth (good and bad).  It’s funny to watch these kids because I can remember acting the way they act, and how the ones that are dicks act the SAME way as they did when I was a kid. Due to this, I was reminded of this “golden oldie” from my middle school days.

One day during gym class in 7th or 8th grade, we started off running laps around the gymnasium for the first ten minutes of class like we always did.  We had two gym teachers: “Mr. JS*” and “Beth Wrinkles.*”   We called her Beth Wrinkles (behind her back) because she had a wrinkly face due to her uber-fitness routine.  Yeah we weren’t very nice, but for being such a health nut you’d think someone like her wouldn’t look like death. Seriously she didn't look good.

On this particular day, the gym was set up as some sort of obstacle course with mats stood up in various locations and other things lying about.  During our run, Wrinkles was wandering the gym monitoring everyone’s activity when she became aware of the fact that someone had spit onto one of the aforementioned mats in the gym.  As word circulated during the remaining minutes of our jog, I saw the alleged “spit” on a mat at the far end of the gym. It did not look freshly deposited, but it was definitely spit. I curiously watched as Wrinkles went over and talked to Mr. JS, and then I saw her talking to a portly classmate of mine named “Will*.” Suddenly during one of my pass-bys of Beth Wrinkles, she barked out my last name, stopped me and pulled me into the equipment room and then shut the door. A conversation very similar to this transpired:

BW: Someone said you spit on that mat!
Me: What? No I didn’t. Who said that?
BW: Will said he SAW you spit on that mat.
Me: What? I did not spit on the mat.
BW: I don’t believe you!
Me: Why would I spit on the mat? I didn’t do it.
BW: I think you need to tell me the truth.
Me: I am telling you the truth! I don’t know what Will saw, but I did not spit on the mat. I saw the spit and it is almost dried up. I don’t think anyone in this class did it.
BW: Get out!

I proceeded back to the gym floor and as I exited the equipment room I was greeted by twenty-some pairs of eyes who saw or heard about me getting pulled off the floor. My pal “Rick*” pulled up next to me and asked what was going on.

Me: Someone spit on the mat over there and Will told Beth Wrinkles that I did it!
Rick: Really? That spit looks old. You didn’t do that.
Me: I know!

In the remaining minute or so of our run, word had circulated that I was accused of spitting, that Will allegedly saw me do it, and that Wrinkles called me out on it. When our ten minute run was up, Wrinkles stopped the class and began exclaiming “Who did it? Who spit on the mat?” All the while, she is looking at me every 3 seconds. I don’t know if she thought I was going to out-right confess, or if I was going to gesture to one of my friends like I was bragging about it or something or what. Eventually the rhetoric of “If someone does not come forward and confess, the whole class will be punished” came flying out of Wrinkles mouth. Everyone stood there looking at one another wondering who did it, and looking at me because Beth Wrinkles was standing RIGHT in front of me. I was NOT going to confess to something I didn’t do, and I sure as hell was not going to let this bitch make an example out of me for it. I looked her in the face and said “You can stop looking at me. I did not do it.”

The Phantom Chair
Somehow, Beth Wrinkles came to the determination that the girls were not a likely culprit (because girls apparently don't spit) and ALL of the boys would need to be punished for the unknown person’s behavior (all the while she was still looking at me with her death stare).  Mr. JS took us into the wrestling room and proceeded to make us do “phantom chairs” for the rest of the gym period while the girls got to do whatever lame activity we were all supposed to do.  Phantom Chairs are where you lean your back against the wall as though you are sitting in a chair with your legs bent and everything, but there is no chair. After a few minutes your quads and knees definitely feel the effects of this activity. I look back at this and wonder if this would be considered some sort of child abuse or something now. I bet it would.

As we are sitting there serving our unjust punishment, various kids are bitching and moaning about having to do this and going as far as to slump to the floor. This in turn makes Mr. JS get on their case and make them resume the chair position. This is where it started to get good.

One particular fellow named “Kevin*” slumped to the floor and made a declaration that he wasn’t going to do this crap anymore.  Mr. JS promptly confronted Kevin and verbally forced him to resume his chair stance. For some reason, from across the room a fellow named “Mike*” decided he needed to come to Kevin’s defense and told Mr. JS to “stop talking to Kevin that way.” Mike continued his diatribe and apparent defense of Kevin when he finally said that he didn’t like to see his “friends” picked on.  Without missing a beat, for some reason Kevin came out of no-where and exclaimed “You ain’t my friend!”  The silence and the look on Mike's face was priceless as everyone just sat in their phantom chairs watching it all go down. To this day,  Rick and I will still break out that line when something goes awry and we feel the need to blame one another. You ain't my friend! No, you ain't MY friend.

As we sat there serving our punishment, we received a bullshit scolding from Mr. JS about respecting the property of others and how we should act like a gentlemen at all times. The utterly sad part was that the phantom chairs and scolding were probably better than the crap they actually had planned for us in gym that day anyway. When the period was almost up, we were finally relieved of our phantom chair position and dismissed to the locker room to change. I had people ask me if I did it, to which I of course said "no." Everyone must have either believed me or just didn't care to begin with, because other than some kids giving Will some evil stares while they changed,  nothing was ever spoken of the ordeal again.

In the end no one ever fessed up or ever learned the true identity of the alleged gymnasium spitter.  What I do know is that from that day forward, Beth Wrinkles harbored her unsubstantiated ill-feelings toward me and was not terribly nice to me for the rest of the year. In a way it bothered me because I didn't like being accused of doing something I didn't do, especially in front of my ENTIRE class. Somehow though I was able to dismiss it and go on about my day, proud in the fact that I knew I didn't do it and telling that bitch so.

In hindsight though, what I should have done is hacked a big green goober on that rat fink bitch Will after class that day. He was probably the one who spit on the mat to begin with.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent

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