Thursday, August 1, 2013

In Which Tee Angel Brings on a Merdestorm!

It is a well-acknowledged fact that the contacts between children and adults sometimes lead to problems, even without the intention of being bad or annoying on the child's part.

There must be an enormous cosmic book of rules out there, which all adults are privy to; and only some of these are revealed to kids in a haphazard fashion.  In short, entirely without suspecting it, you may violated one of those unmentioned rules.  Consequently, you find yourself in hot water, and don't know why.

This one started off simply enough.  I was in a 6th grade English class in elementary school; and we were given the assignment to write about some religious shrine that we saw.  (I was in Catholic school, by the way.)  And I wrote mine; thought I put it in respectful terms, with reasonably passable grammar, and turned it in.  Yes, I thought I was playing the game straight.

The teacher suddenly jumped up in a fury, told me to get all my things, and took me to the Principal's Office!  [Oh holy crap!  What did I do to warrant being dragged out of class?]  There I was subjected to a host of charges, including blasphemy and god-knows-what.  The fierce nun in charge called my Mama, and told her to get me!  Like immediately.

Was I being expelled?  Or suspended?  I felt like Joseph K. in Kafka's The Trial, not knowing what I did that was wrong or why everyone was so angry.  Tee Angel, she was in a peck of trouble, for true!

Anyway, my poor Mama had to leave work, and carry off her wretched daughter to shame and ignominy.  Still I did not know my offense, or my penalty . . . .  Was I to be whipped on the Church steps?  Would I be allowed a blindfold before execution?

Anyway, my "offense" came out in the painful meeting that ensued.  The essay that I wrote stated that I had visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Sucker in the Ursuline Convent!  (Actually, this shrine is correctly spelled Our Lady of Prompt Succor, and it's a biggie in New Orleans.  You can read the Wikipedia link for the story.  Frankly, the statue is a little on the sentimental side, maybe a wee bit sappy.

Anyway, Mama was able to persuade the Head Nun that it was all a mere spelling mistake, an attempt to spell a word that I have never seen and was not likely to encounter in ordinary dialogue.  Though the Ubernun was persuaded (knowing the source, and my spelling reputation), I was still given an afternoon's suspension.  Mama's take on that was that it was a face-saving move on their part for having gotten the teacher's unmentionables twisted, and that we were to spend it together at the Clearview shopping mall chilling.  Thank you, thank you, Mama!

Dad was pissed.  At them.  And even threatened to enroll me in a public school away from those intolerant nincompoops (and other choice terms).  But calm eventually was restored.

The very next day, when I returned to school, nothing was said to me.  No apology, no ooops, nothing.  And I said nothing whenever I was asked why I was dragged out of class so dramatically.  Sometimes it's better to be a girl of mystery and leave people to guess.

It was only in adulthood that it finally dawned on me why my misspelling pushed those adults' buttons so readily!


Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Interesting story. The moral is that the teacher is always right, the student never is.

Duckbutt said...

I would have spelled it that way too.

MarkD60 said...

Have you ever seen the gradeschool paper from the little boy who likes "hores"?

Anemone said...

The story on one level is funny, if you overlook the terror that it must have produced!

Bilbo said...

Having myself gone to a Catholic grade school, I can verify that many of those sisters were a sullen and humorless lot. Nevertheless, I think it speaks well of the church to have a potential patron saint for practitioners of ... uh ... never mind.

TexWisGirl said...

ubernun. :)

Mike said...

My mother was raised Catholic and the elementary school nuns turned her into an atheist. Apparently she tried to think for herself and that was not allowed.

Grand Crapaud said...

Schools in general stifle original thinking and creativity.

Hell Hound said...

Most people who have simply taken it as an honest mistake, and not jump on some morale high horse.

John Hill said...

I am also a former Catholic school attendee. I may have gone to school with a young girl that was very much like you, Angel!

Great story. Glad you had an unscheduled afternoon with your mom.

The Bastard King of England said...

Your story is a reminder of how sometimes the carefreeness of childhood isn't always there. At least it had a happy ending!

Cloudia said...

Great true story!

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
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eViL pOp TaRt said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone!