What do Bugs Bunny, taking a bath, and a precocious vocabulary have in common?
This is a cautionary tale, a story of how ignorance and the nuances of language can combine with coincidence to convey an unintended message of a mortifying caliber. It is the true account of a boy who was unaware that the unpleasantness confronting him was a consequence of his own actions, for he knew not what he was doing. Thankfully he remained in this state of immaturity for several years, allowing his fragile psyche to recover from the staggering truth when, at last, the individual links merged into an undeniable chain of events.
To appreciate the predicament fully, we must begin in the middle. Our protagonist – let’s call him, say, Bobby – is a quiet second grader at a Catholic elementary school. He is in the class of one Miss M., a teacher beloved by most students and yet prone to a certain foulness of mood when crossed. It is the very same Miss M. who once made a spectacle of her displeasure with Bobby’s older brother (whom we shall call B.J.) and the sloppiness of his desk by dumping B.J.’s accumulated possessions onto the floor before his peers. B.J. stood there stunned and uncomprehending, wondering why Miss M. did not simply order him to clean out his desk rather than unleashing her pent-up fury. But Bobby does not know about this darker side of his instructor, nor can he conceive that he is about to similarly provoke her ire. Read More