I may have escaped getting in trouble after the great food fight, but that does not mean I escaped trouble entirely.
When I was in elementary school I had a crush on a kid named Rance Clifton. I wouldn’t even recognize him now, but I do recall he had kind of medium-dark brown hair. And he somehow reminded me of Randolph Mantooth.
In any case, in that awkward way kids have of mistakenly believing any kind of attention is good attention, I inexplicably stole his coat. In my mind, it a blue down-looking coat. Kids these days call them puffy coats. And while I know myself well enough to say it’s unlikely I deliberately dragged Rance Clifton’s coat through the mud, it’s likely I was careless and the end result was the same.
Rance went home in a rather brown coat instead of a blue coat.
I was invited to the principal’s office to visit with him about why I would do such a thing.
And Rance never spoke to me again.
When I was in jr. high, I do recall getting called to the vice principal’s office one time. It was the end of the school year. And our school’s tradition–I should say the students at our school’s tradition, as it was not in any way sanctioned–and indeed was prohibited–was to correlate end of school year with water fight.
Said water fight was forbidden, but, much like the live chicken at the Provo High-Timpview rivalry game, was still a much-loved tradition. I don’t recall details, but water guns may have been involved. For some reason I think I may have gotten called out of math class. But I may be blurring memories with how Cyndy Smith and I used to be in trouble with the math teacher rather frequently because math was after lunch and we had energy to burn in a math class that despite a wonderful teacher was not challenging enough for us and we talked and giggled too much.
In any case, I don’t remember the vice principal’s name, but he was whatever the male version of petite is, was rather stern, and wore glasses.
And he knew exactly the right thing to say to this otherwise responsible and obedient student (due to that “responsibility” mantle most oldest children take upon themselves).
“I’m disappointed in you.”
Those same words, on very rare but somber occasions uttered by my father cut me to the quick.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t, get into trouble at least once or twice more with my parents (mostly staying out too late, which resulted in severe grounding, or sometimes being a little sassy, for which there was zero tolerance).
But I never got called down to the principal’s office–vice or otherwise–again.
[Day 65 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]