Monday, January 26, 2015

An Army of Possums, A Urine Soaked Savanna

Either you’ve grown up with or know a family that you either shudder or laugh when you hear the last name.  It’s crazy to consider that just a surname can invoke so much emotion.  A reputation merely held together with just a few letters.  We all probably knew a family growing up. I had a girl named Leah in my elementary class growing up that was an absolute basket-case.  It was one of those small, rural Ohio farming community schools, so she was entertaining as hell. One time at lunch she threw her tray because someone asked her to pass the ketchup.  It was her supreme goal to convey to her cohorts that she was “unstable.”  She had an obsession with Catwoman too, as I recall.  She always asked me if I wanted to be Batman.  I usually said no.  On the days I said yes, I just ran away and she got furious and threw gravel at me. She told me it was “kitty litter.”  I told her “I don’t think you know who Catwoman is.”  This further enraged her causing her to do “extreme things” like scream really loud or pretend to convulse.
Her older brother was two grades above us, and he ripped the door of the bathroom stall once.  Either because he liked to destroy things, or because he firmly believed that those hanging metal walls could contain his dumps.  He also had a rat-tail.  That should tell you all you need to know, other than the fact that he looked like a cartoon possum come to life.  Seriously picture a possum you’d expect to see in a Disney movie.  Now, imagine that cartoon possum gets its wish granted by a magic gnome to become a human boy.  That's exactly what he looked like.

Her younger brother was 3 years younger than me apparently farted once in line for lunch and it smelled so bad, two kids threw up.  He was sent home, likely as a precaution, in order to prevent the building being reduced to rubble if a mere match were lit.  And somewhere, miles above that crumbling, ghost-town of an elementary school, is a hole in the ozone the shape of their family crest about 4 feet wide caused by burst of methane some 18 years ago.  A smelly relic of a possum kingdom.
Her little brother typically either had a mullet or a rat-tail in which he likely rotated depending on the season in order to protect his delicate neck from the cruel Ohio sun.
Everyone knew that one family that either had kids that were like a bag full of cats or kids that were always in the office or in a penitentiary.

In my first year teaching, I had a student named “Olaf Carr” who would do ANYTHING to mess around on the computer.  Olaf was like an addict:  he knew there were repercussions to his actions, he just couldn’t contain himself.  I can only imagine the sick pleasure he got when he laid his fingers on the mouse.  Disgusting.
On dozens of occasions, Olaf was caught on the computer on a gaming website called Runescape.  The funny thing was, Olaf was about as secretive as a Times Square streaker in broad daylight.  Each time Olaf was caught and presented with the fact that he was caught red handed, he denied he was on Runescape.
“Olaf, you’re on Runescape.”
“No, I’m not.”
“I just saw you on Runescape.”
“No you didn’t”
“Olaf, it’s still pulled up on your browser.”
“It was like that already.”
The hell is this shit?

I had Olaf for one year and thought these shenanigans were over.  So wrong was I.  The next year, I had TWO of his siblings:  a sister (Corrine), and a brother (that was held back a grade) named Corey.  Corrine was a nice girl, considering her stock. Corey on the other hand was just a flat out ass.  The student who was constantly talking, and as soon as you’d try and correct him, he would promptly point out all the other students who were also talking in a sarcastic, eye-rolling tone. Corey’s behavior was consistent across all subject areas, so we had many conferences with his parents.  And sitting in those conferences explained a lot about Corey and his behavior.
Corey’s conference consisted of his mother, father, aunt, an older sibling, two siblings in grade school, and a crying baby (who cried the whole time).  It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a hidden baby breastfeeding during the conference, or if she was pregnant at the time.  Why?  Corey’s oldest brother was 27, and his youngest sibling appeared to be 4 months.  By my calculations, he probably had 12 siblings.  And based on my limited experience with a fraction of the Carr family children, they were all alike.  For example…
One warm spring afternoon, Corey’s fifth grade class was going on a field-trip to the zoo.  Chaparone’s were welcome and, being of a legal age, one of Corey’s seventeen brothers was signed up to go with.  In retrospect, his volunteering was likely for the pleasure of going to the zoo on someone else’s dime rather than - you know - help?  Well, it didn’t take long until Corey’s brother long to announce his presence at the zoo.
Upon the arrival of the yellow student vessels, Corey’s brother proceeded to walk out of the vehicle and, like I’m sure we all do when we get to the zoo, walked up to the perimeter fence, whipped out his penis, and began to water the African savanna.  He did not hide behind anything.  He just strolled up and Hakunah Matata’d all over the place.
Basically Contra only it was a fence instead of lasers an a penis instead of a gun.
The stunned teachers had no choice but to make him call home and be picked up immediately for this clear case of public indecency.  However, one day later, his parents were demanding the school apologize to him for embarrassing him in front of the entire 5th grade class.
Yes, you read that correctly.  They wanted school to apologize to the gentleman who publicly pissed on a fence.  Because THEY embarrassed HIM.  It was at this point that I realized that their entire home must be like a bunch of Jackofosaurs.

This was pretty standard behavior from the parents.  Kid does something clearly stupid and out of line.  Kid kids called out on it.  Conclusion:  it is the teacher’s fault.  I honestly gave up calling home on Corey after about the 4th or 5th try because the conversations went absolutely nowhere and just infuriated me more.  When presented with the facts of Corey’s behavior in class, I would get responses like “well, what were YOU doing?” or “what did the other student do to provoke him?” or “I don’t appreciate how you are always picking on my son.”
The thing is, I don’t know whether it was because they were bad parents or because they literally didn’t have enough time to be good parents because they had so many damn kids.  Perhaps one time they were good parents.  Maybe after two kids, they got cocky and thought they were super good at this kind of thing. I’d like to think of their offspring planning as such:
And weeks later, another Carr begins to crack through it’s egg inside an incubator, beginning a life full of Runescape, fence-pissing, and chasing Laura Dern through a rain-forest.