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Friday, December 09, 2005

in like a lamb...


they say what happens in our childhood shapes and molds us as adults. when i was in grade 2, i had a teacher, whose name was, ironically, mrs. lamb. whenever we got too rowdy or unruly, as 7-year olds are apt to do, she would take her pointer stick and slam it against either her chalkboard or the top of her desk. whenever we heard this loud crack, we immediately stopped talking and sat up properly in our seats. she had us conditioned to do so. i believe her words on our first day of school were:

"my name is mrs. lamb. this is my stick. when you become too disorderly, disobedient, and boisterous, i will slam this stick on my desk or on the chalkboard. when you hear this noise, you are to stop talking and stop moving. i don't want to hear a peep out of any one of you."

her tactic worked. we heard that stick crack a number of times over the year. i remember talking to my friend who sat behind me when i heard the stick. i swung around in my seat and clasped my hands in front of me. i saw her standing in front of me, giving me the cold, hard stare.

i remember casually mentioning mrs. lamb and her stick to my mom - like it was nothing out of the ordinary. i saw my mom's eyes widen and look a tad horrified. it was then that my suspicions about it being a questionable means of discipline were confirmed. she asked a few questions about the stick.

"how long has this been going on?"

"all year."

"has she ever hit... any kids?"

i paused. "not yet, i don't think."

from that day onward, mrs. lamb never used her stick again. but she did make her mark, so to speak.

i've recently found a few uses for this stick, and had it been legal, i would have been wont to use it myself.

two weeks ago i was at a ray lamontagne concert with my boyfriend. ray is a very talented, folksy singer. it was a civilized affair, so the couple having a fight in the row in front of us were being most disruptive. first, she got up and stormed out, only to unfortunately return 10 minutes later. their bickering continued through the opening act. he was next to depart, grazing everyone in the face with his bulky coat in the process. it was when he returned and their bickering resumed that i desired my stick. i'd toggle it mercilessly between their two empty heads.

[tap tap tap tap tap tap] "hey ike and tina. shut it."

they'd give me a "mind-your-own-business" look and i'd give them another rap each for bad attitudes. i'd point to the corner with my stick and send one of them to stand there, so everyone in our vicinity could enjoy the show without any further disruptions.

shopping in new york this time of year is a bad idea. this is why i need my stick. lollygaggers are to be prodded from behind.

[tap tap] "step aside. no dawdling."

[tap tap] "pick up the pace, tiny shoppers."

[tap tap tap] "move along now." i’d point with my stick in the direction in which they need to move.

i had dinner with friends at a restaurant that we usually love. this time, however, the service was terribly lacking. we sat for about 45 minutes before someone came over to offer us cocktails. if i had my stick, it would have been put to good use. i would have broken up the waiters' little party by tapping one of them on the shoulder. i would then rap the top of our table.

"we are empty handed. cocktails. posthaste."

the waiters would roll their eyes and i’d dole out individual floggings for rude behavior.

"BRING IT!" my friend carolyn would bang her fists on the table.

oh wait, that last part DID happen.

i want my stick. i'll walk so softy, you won't hear me coming...

4 Comments:

At December 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fyi...you are soooo getting a stick for christmas.

buxom s.

 
At December 10, 2005, Anonymous jen said...

If only we all had magical 'get my own way' sticks... alas, we must use our words!

 
At December 12, 2005, Blogger Kell said...

Is using a stick the same as setting someone on fire?

 
At December 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ike and Tina... That is frigging hilarious. -kjc

 

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