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Friday, May 13, 2005 

Show and Tell

When I was in the 4th grade out teacher made us do show and tell. I hated such creations. It made me prove to the world that I was not only boring but boring. Our teacher Ms. Grendel was a rich woman from up north somewhere she spoke through her nose. We knew she was rich because she wore a different dress every day of the week. Mr. Tossle had worn the same suit to school for 14 years, rumor was when he finally retired his suit came to school and taught the shop class, most likely better than he did.

But I digress; I was one of the country kids. And I was poor. A bad combination when it comes to coming up with something for show and tell. All I could think of was bringing the family posthole digger. I would say “class this is my posthole digger, I dig post holes with it”. It would not be pretty. Boring is boring

Ms. Grendel asked for volunteers, all the rich city kids raised their hands. She chose a kid named Russell for the first Show and tell kid. He brought his stamp collection Ms. G. said oh Russell how educational. I could tell it was going to be bad. I asked my old buddy Todd what he thought. He said he did not know he was thinking of bringing the family post hold digger. Oh well so much for that idea.

Finally the class had dwindled through the city kids and no one was raising their hands. Fathead Murphy was selected. You will remember Fathead from a past non fiction of mine. We all waited with baited breath (tic-tacs) were not around back then) to see what Fathead would come up with. He walked in with an old cigar box Ms Grendel asked him to come up front. Fathead opened up the box and said
“This is my cigarette butt collection. I pick them up on the side of the road. I don’t keep none under 2 inches .I don’t smoke them I only collect them for educational purposes.”
Then he sat down.
Ms Grendel and the city kids stared in shocked silence but, all of us country kids cheered Fathead had showed us the way.

I was next. I brought my sun-dried frog. I showed it too the class and explained how a dump truck had run over it and it had dried in the sun, and told them how I got a pair of my Dads pliers and pealed it up off the road in front of the feed store. Veronica Brought a Chicken that had all of the feathers pecked off of it. It committed an indiscretion on Ms Grendel’s desk, which cut the class short for the day. I was beginning to enjoy school now. I looked forward to show and tell every day. Then Cathy brought to school a large box with holes cut in it. I heard Ms. Grendel say that she might discontinue show and tell but Cathy started to cry. She opened up the box and took out 5 week old kittens. They were cute. Todd began to panic he could think of nothing cute to bring to school. I suggested Henry. Todd agreed that sure Henry was cute all right but not cuter than baby cats. Todd said he would think of something.

The next day Ms. Grendel looked like a new woman the last show and tell ever. Todd stood up with a galvanized bucket. He introduced Henrietta the rat snake Ms. Grendel took a deep breath that moved the papers on her desk. And that’s not all he then reached into the bucket and brought out a mass of night crawlers and said with a flourish “these are her babies”.We never heard from Ms. Grendel again. Mom said she had no business teaching country kids. We heard she moved back up north, which was probably for the best. Oh well and I was just getting interested in school