February 24, 2016

Reggie's toilet cookies

I bake a lot.  The thick, chocolaty taste of my popular chocolate chip cookies has a reputation that proceeds itself.  Because I frequently offer a plate of cookies as a thank you to other moms, or a gift for someone's birthday, or as a dessert to a party we attend, I bake piles of cookies at a time and store them in gallon size Ziploc bags in my freezer.  My kids drool over my infamous treats.  They rush into the kitchen once they have detected warm cookies and beg me to allow them to dive in to the stacks on the cooling racks.  Because of the many uses of my baked goods and the energy involved in whipping up a perfect batch, I prefer not to watch my inventory dwindle.  I hoard my cookies and reserve them for the many occasions when they are in demand.  I refuse to show up to someone's house empty handed, and I'm often too pressed for time to bake when a need arises.  I dislike baking for a function at the last minute or finding myself without an available plate on hand.  If the kids are lucky, I will distribute one cookie to each of them prior to assigning them to freezer storage.  I typically hand select those that don't meet my high standards.  Once I give the nod of approval, these less than perfect cookies are inhaled in moments.

Because of my recent Celiac disease diagnosis, I can no longer sample my own cookies.  Bummer.  A few weeks after the advent of my gluten free status, I struggled to recall if I had added salt to my cookie batter.  Hoping to avoid 'tossing my cookies' for bad flavoring, I asked Coach to sample the batter.  His eager to help attitude seemed more focused on swallowing the typically off-limits food than really studying the possible missed ingredient.  

 Because I can't drive for another few days (please see my 'breakfast club', 'tickets' and 'process' posts to read up on my driving issues), I depend on my private, pay-back cookie stash to show my gratitude to my volunteer chauffeurs.  Also, I realized I had yet to mail a care package to my five college age nephews this school year.  Between my mass college cookie mailing and my thanks-for-the-ride gifts, I knew my freezer inventory would be depleted this week.

Wednesday I baked.  It was a good batch.  Chunky.  Chocolate chips rested on the tall doughy peaks invitingly.  I allowed the kids to eat one token cookie.  I then loaded the majority of this yummy batch into a couple of bags, labeled each bag with the date by sharpie, and rearranged the crowded freezer shelves to accommodate the additional inventory.  Of course nothing in our house it safe.  Just the other day I discovered that one of my little darlings had snacked on my left over gluten free pizza even though the Ziploc bag was labeled 'Mommy.'  If I can't enjoy my own cookies, can I at least be allowed some gross left over pizza?

After school on Thursday, Brendan and Maeve dove for the same Gogurt pouch in the fridge.  It wasn't pretty.  You would think that there were no other edible snacks available in the entire house.  The yogurt dispute ended with me separating them.  I awarded Curly with the squeezable tube because I believe Reggie had overpowered her initial grab.  I feared that the packaging would pop open from the pressure of their little fists.  I wanted to avoid artificially colored blue yogurt spilling all over my recently washed kitchen floor.  Brendan sulked and refused to eat the non-blue Gogurt that was still available.  Unreal.  He had already opened it.  I informed him that he needed to eat it. No other snacks would be available to him until he did. 

Over the next few minutes I occupied myself with more pressing issues than favorite yogurt flavors.  I was coming down the stairs when I heard the first floor bathroom door close and lock.  Curly was with me and the other kids weren't home from school yet.  I demanded that Reg open the door.  Quickly!  I knew something was a miss when he hesitated to open it.  This was not a bathroom related issue.  His guilty expression was hard to ignore when the door slowly opened.  He shrugged at me.  I glanced around.  I anticipated unwanted Gogurt being flushed down the toilet.  That's when I saw it. 

Wedged awkwardly between the toilet and the wall was a frozen product of my recent baking marathon.  Those that have tasted my cookies would undoubtedly be outraged that one of my cookies had spent time on the bathroom floor.  Behind the toilet.  This was an act of treason.  The lengths that my offspring will go to in order to secure food contraband reached a new low. 

Reggie sensed my rage as my eyes widened and my jaw clenched.  Unleashing my frustration verbally grabbed his attention - as if my facial expression had confused him into thinking I was proud of his cunning behavior.  I slammed the cookie down on the kitchen counter as Reggie wisely retreated to his room.  I decided to send a message to Reggie's fellow 'what's-mommy's-is-ours' mentality followers.  Stuffing the compromised cookie in a sandwich bag, I labeled it 'Reggie's toilet cookie.'  I informed him that the next time I offered a fresh baked, albeit slightly less than perfect cookie to his siblings, he would eat his toilet cookie.  Before the cookie had been bagged and labeled, a few of the kids invaded the kitchen after  school.  Each claimed dibs on the abandoned treat.  Once I informed them of the cookie's recent whereabouts, they backed away while moaning loudly.

Perhaps I should offer the kids my homemade cookies more often, or be sure to clean behind the toilet more regularly.  I'm not convinced that Reg learned his lesson.  Despite the possible germ infestation this 10 year old still begged me for permission to ingest his confiscated loot.  I'm not kidding.  These are some very good cookies.  I'm just not sure they are that good.  

February 19, 2016

the process

In November I received a letter informing me that my license would be suspended for three months starting Jan 4th.  If I took an 8 hour class, I could earn a probationary license and therefore still drive while my license was suspended.   Three of my four tickets appeared in boldface on the letter.  One of the Wisconsin tickets hadn't shown up on my record yet.  Another letter followed a few weeks later listing my missing Wisconsin ticket.  This brief correspondence officially amended my suspension dates from three months to six months now that all of my infractions were accounted for.  This incredibly short letter failed to communicate that I was no longer eligible for the probationary license.

I took the class.  Wrote the 'Breakfast Club' posts.  Mailed my drivers license in at the beginning of my suspension.  I misunderstood the instructions about my license.  While I could have mailed it in as early as November, I ended up sending it in at the beginning of my suspension.  I believed that I was following protocol.  Fortunately, the day I mailed the license in I happened to call the 1-800 number listed on one of my letters.  I was inquiring about whether or not I needed to mail additional paperwork in with my license.  The man informed me that I  could send my license with no other papers.  Then he asked me when my suspension started.  January 4th.  He explained that I couldn't drive until I received my probationary license in the  mail.

My stomach lurched.  They would need to verify that I took my eight hour class.  My license would need to be processed.  It would take about two weeks before my probationary license would arrive in the mail.  Unreal.  How had I misunderstood the timeline?  The mailing in procedures?  How was I going to survive two weeks without driving?

Coach stepped it up.  He chauffeured the kids to their activities on the evenings he was available. Laddie took on the shuttling of siblings on the nights when Coach was at work.  Friends pitched in to get us around when more than one driver was necessary.  Since I hadn't shared my new reality with the kids, the girls found the transport to dancing in my friend's car exciting. 

Before the two weeks ended, Coach opened a letter from the State of Illinois.  'I think this is good,' he reported.  I read the letter and texted a copy of it to my friends.  All of my friends responded by claiming Coach's level of confusion.  What did this mean?  I deciphered the hidden message.  No this wasn't good.  I was not eligible for a probationary license because my suspension was no longer 3 months.

After a painfully long three day weekend, I called the number on my latest letter to map out what the next step would be for me.  I listened to a repetitive recording for 30 minutes before I spoke to someone.  Attend an informal hearing.  Apply for a restricted permit.  The recording on the phone had informed me that restricted permits would take 60-90 days.  I broke out in a cold sweat.  I asked the woman on the phone what paperwork was necessary for an informal hearing.  She told me that I wouldn't get an informal hearing the next day, as I had hoped.  I would first meet with the officer for a consultation and he would describe what I would need to bring to my future hearing.  Blasted!  Two visits to the DMV instead of one.  This process was unreal.

After a sleepless night, Coach escorted me to the DMV.  We waited over an hour for our turn to consult with the informal hearing guy.  A lawyer sat waiting for a client.  I whispered to Coach that I wanted to ask the lawyer a few questions.  Coach just shrugged.  I wasn't confident in my impulses due to my overtired status.  Just before they called us into the inner office, I decided to tap the lawyer on the shoulder.  His client had arrived, but he gave me a few minutes of his time.  Restricted permits were taking over 90 days because budget cuts meant recently retired staff members weren't being replaced.  My knees felt weak.  He glanced over my paperwork.  'You should just vacate these tickets, because you weren't going very fast.  If you knock out a few tickets, you can drive again.  It would be faster than waiting 90 days.  You need a lawyer.  My brother does this.  I'll text him a picture of your papers.'

I had reached out to a lawyer friend a week prior when we received the 'ineligible for a probationary license' letter.  He agreed to look into my case, but hadn't gotten back to me.  It seemed to make more sense to work with a lawyer devoted to traffic issues.  I suppose because that is what we came for, Coach and I still entered the inner office at the DMV while we were in mid-conversation with the lawyer.  I discovered that the woman on the phone was wrong.  Shock.  Perhaps she should take an 8 hour class on how to do her job.  Not only could the state not write a clear letter, they also couldn't get their facts straight.  I wasn't at the DMV for a consultation.  This was my informal hearing.  The older man behind the desk agreed with the lawyer's suggestion.  It would be faster to vacate my two Illinois tickets.

We bolted from the building and I dialed the lawyer's brother.  He agreed to meet with us later that afternoon.  For a fee my Illinois tickets could be vacated even though I had already paid them.  The next day he filed a motion to vacate the tickets.  One of the courts only met once a month and we had just missed it.  It would be another month before we rid my record of that ticket.  Still a month beat 90 days.

Although I once thought two weeks was an impossibly lengthy sentence, I was now forced to readjust and prepare not to drive for a total of approximately 6.5 weeks.  My friend agreed to take on a few more Irish dancing class shuttle responsibilities.  Three different Thursdays this tax accountant picked us up, and we enjoyed catching up over dinner while the girls danced.  Once tax season hours interfered with her free time, I delegated the dancing driving to other willing parties.

Grocery shopping on the crowded weekends became a regular couple's activity.   One Friday night early on in my suspension, our food supply ran dangerously low.  I feared for my safety if I didn't restock the pantry with some chow.  Coach dropped me off at the grocery store on his way to a work function at a nearby high school.  The grocery store resembled a ghost town since most of the population was out relaxing on a Friday evening.  My food gathering mission benefited from empty isles, but I wouldn't repeat that experience again unless it became necessary.  When we tandem shopped, I was amazed at how fast two carts working off of a divided list could plow thru the store.  It was also an eye opening experience for Coach.  Last week we met in the checkout line.  I quickly discovered that he had bagged about 6 apples during his produce portion of the shopping.  Thankful that his underestimation of how many apples our family devours in a week became clear before we arrived home, I held up the line and darted back to the apple bin.  The warmth of the laser like looks people shot at me produced a few beads of sweat on my brow as I delivered another 20 plus apples to the conveyor belt.  On his way home from work one day I requested that Coach stop and pick up a few missed items from our weekly store run.  He learned the hard way that when we are in need of shampoo two bottles won't suffice.  Curly was tiptoeing from the tub to retrieve the bottle from the adjacent shower.  When we are low on shampoo, ten bottles fills the void for a few weeks.  I buy the really cheap stuff, because we go thru it so fast.  My research on whether or not they drink it while they are getting clean has proven inconclusive so far. 

I still longed to workout during my virtual house arrest.  My workout schedule shifted to an early morning regiment as I attended the club when my neighbors were able to give me a lift.  As a result, I stumbled upon a new workout class at 5:45 am that I plan to continue to attend even when my driving privileges are reinstated and I can avoid these early morning sessions.  In January, the instructor invited all of the participants to add their goals to a poster board that she wold post in the class.  In passing I noticed that someone had jotted down a short phrase with the words 'drivers license'.  I thought for a second that someone else in the class was jumping thru hoops trying to regain driving rights.  A closer look revealed that my fellow classmate simply hoped her weight would soon match the weight listed on her license.   

Another aspect of life impacted by Mommy's inability to drive was transporting kids to school.  I became very focused on preparing kids to leave for school on time.  No one would miss the bus on my watch.  On the way home from a court date that a friend had taken me to, the school called to tell me that Mini was throwing up in the school office.  My friend stopped at the school so that we could pick her up.  Once we got home, Mini confessed that she really didn't believe that she was sick.  A video shown in Health class had caused her to shake all over before becoming sick to her stomach.  After eating a half sandwich and drinking a Gatorade with no problem, we determined that she could return to school.  There was a painter at the house for a few weeks updating some of our rooms with a fresh coat of paint.  When he ran to get another gallon of paint, I asked him to drop Mini back off at school.  He thought she was crazy to return to school after escaping those four walls, but he agreed to bring her back. 

I've eaten my fair share of humble pie.  Begged rides off of people for myself and my kids more than I ever thought possible.  Although I've explained my 'situation' to countless friends, I've still managed to avoid telling my family.  Initially I aimed to hide my driving privileges loss from the kids, but once the two week sentence was extended I was compelled to tell Laddie and Eddie.  As we navigate teenage crap with Laddie, he has threatened to share my driving record with the younger, clueless set.  Lawyer fees, court fees, ticket expenses, piles of cookies baked and distributed to my faithful chauffeurs.  It all adds up.  The end is in sight.  I last drove on January 5th (before realizing that I wasn't supposed to) and with any luck I will regain my status as a driver on Feb. 19th.  Not driving has almost driven me batty.  I look forward to not having to take the time to arrange every aspect of our life by borrowing other people's driving skills.  With all of that extra time, I intend to stop racing around and SLOW DOWN!

February 16, 2016


If you've read my three 'Breakfast Club' posts, then my led foot condition is not new to you.  While I was accumulating my collection of tickets last year, I wasn't aware that if I was ticketed a certain number of times my license would be suspended.  Had I understood the repercussions, I probably would have gone to court to request supervision to avoid my current situation.  I am now well versed in the importance of not speeding and the State of Illinois' lack of communication skills.  Learning the hard way can be a painful process.

Back when I received multiple warnings in one year, the kids' presence in the car seemed to aid my plight.  The officers took pity on me.  In April of 2015, a quick glance at the dashboard clock alerted me that Reggie and Curly's school bus was going to beat me home from work. I was pulled over rushing away from my frustrating job.  The cop wasn't interested that Curly hated getting off the bus to an empty house - even if just for ten minutes.  I didn't even bother to explain my crappy employment situation.  Ticket number 1.

In July, Lad announced his plan to visit friends that he met while on a mission trip a few weeks prior.  Great!  His new group of com-padres live in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  In his teenage mind, driving three hours away seemed like a perfectly acceptable scheme.  Unfortunately, Lad's lack of expressway driving experience impacted our comfort level.  Laddie driving solo to Green Bay in our car was not going to happen.  I encouraged him to locate a college somewhere in the vicinity that he would like to visit.  My 'two birds, one stone' mentality allowed Lad and I to check out University of Wisconsin, Steven's Point before heading over to Green Bay. 

With the college tour behind us, our outdated GPS confused us while en route to Packers' territory.  We had just switched from one expressway to another.  I slowed down in order to decide where to exit since the GPS was instructing us to drive over a median in order to reach our destination.  A half mile from our correct exit, I noticed lights in my rear view mirror.  My stomach flipped as I pulled onto the shoulder. 

Apparently the speed limit had dropped from 70 to 55 between the two expressways.  Although I hadn't noticed the lower limit, I was clearly the slowest car on the road.  Other cars sped past us as we reduced speed and carefully checked out each sign in search of the info our GPS couldn't supply.  This cop could've cared less that we were from out of town, somewhat lost, and unaware of the change in speed limit.  I was later awarded the designation as the last Illinois resident to realize that Wisconsin police officers target Illinois folks driving in their territory.

After checking into bus and train schedules online, we decided that the best way to retrieve Laddie from Green Bay was to drive up and grab him.  He had spent half of the week with his friends, and I was slotted to retrieve him on a Sunday.  His host family generously offered to drive him an hour south to meet me.  At first I planned to drive the entire round trip myself, but they insisted on cutting my drive a bit shorter.  I didn't sleep well the night before, and awoke at 4 am unable to catch any more z's. 

Coach felt Laddie's Wisconsin trip was unnecessary, and I recognized that his time would be better spent working on his basement refinishing project.  After over a year and a half invested in this fix up plan, I devoted my time and resources to all other family needs in order to buy Coach more time to focus on the lower level.  A construction zone overtaking the family's basement space led to over crowding and mounting clutter in every other area of the house.  Anxious to enjoy the benefits of the final product along with the advantage of regaining an available husband, I refused to interfere with any available progress. 

A lack of traffic, my eagerness to complete the road trip before becoming incapacitated by drowsiness, and my dislike of driving while using cruise control resulted in another ticket just over the Illinois border in Racine.  My mission to only drive slightly over the speed limit was unsuccessful.  Two tickets in one week was a new record for me.  I drove home at a snail's pace as Laddie slept soundly in the passenger seat.

I scored my last ticket in October while driving to collect some videos that I was having transferred to digital format for my parents' 50th anniversary.  My kids' Irish dancing teacher had recently unleashed a verbally abusive assault on our young offspring.  A confused Coach inquired of me, 'Wait, we are paying this guy to talk to our kids like this?'  Not necessarily racing to pick up the incredibly expensive project, I was definitely not focused on driving that morning.  My mind whirled with the weight of this difficult dancing situation.  In my distraction, I missed the fact that the speed limit reduced to 35.  Ouch.

February 14, 2016

the worst play date ever

There was a time when I arranged play dates for my children and looked forward to the opportunity to build friendships with other moms.  I cleaned up my house (at least until once I got to know the mom-friend better, and then I was happy if there wasn't peanut butter smeared across the fridge, if there was a path through the toys to the couch, and if most of the breakfast dishes were at least cleared into the sink), I prepared a snack, and expected to spend the morning becoming acquainted with the other mom.  Of course I also hoped that little toddler Laddie would share his toys and that he and the other little tyke would hit it off.

It's not that my life is so full of friends today that I don't have room for more relationships . . . but now that my kids are a little older, inviting a friend over to play has taken on a whole new meaning.  Nowadays I try to steer my kids towards inviting friends over who aren't holy terrors.  I hope that my clan are drawn to kids who will be easily amused by what we have to offer.  'Please', I think to myself, 'don't ask me to call that kid who tears up the house, refuses to include your little sister, and is so demanding that he is a major high maintenance nightmare.'  I prefer the kid who clicks so much with Reggie (or whomever he/she came to hang out with) that I don't even know they are here.  These are the friends' whose number I keep on speed dial.  They typically demonstrate basic manners, think it is cool when the other siblings join in, and don't constantly tattle on anyone.  I cross my fingers when I call hoping that they are available, so I don't have to invite the monster on the 'B' list.

Families with siblings that match up with my offspring in age and gender appear most often on my 'A' list of invitees.  This is, of course, assuming that they have previously passed the 'monster-kid' test.   A few years ago when my kids were at a new school, my research on 'monster-kids' and available sibling match ups started from scratch.  Bummer.  After having kids attend our former school for nine years, my prior research was definitive and reliable.  I knew just what I was getting into before a kid entered our house.  Even the new batch of kindergartners were typically no great surprise for me.  I was familiar with most families before they started school.  This is in large part because I have older kids.  I was also involved in running a mom and tot group for the school, so I witnessed the little buggers up close and personal before their academic existence began.  Smart, I know. 

The 'add-a-sibling' feature is a plus when calling around for play dates.  (For the record, I hate the term 'play date'.  I use it here, because I believe that it is fairly universal, but seriously the term makes me cringe).  If I call one house and hang up after arranging to have three friends come over, then three of my kids are happy.  It's a wrap.  One drop off time, one pick up time, many happy faces - done!

Three years ago, Mini made friends with a sweet little girl named Lola at her new school in 3rd grade.  Even the teacher gave the friendship a ringing endorsement.  She clucked to me one day after hearing that Lola was coming over, "What a great pair!  They are so sweet together."  Awesome!  Made a mental note of that.  Of course having girls over is almost always smooth sailing, and this was no exception.  The girls played quietly together . . . giggling, drawing, and mainly hanging out in Mini's room.  Curly's presence was tolerated, which was an added plus.

I learned that Lola had a younger brother the same age as Reggie.  While they weren't in the same 1st grade homeroom, they knew each other from math group.  Because Lola was so sweet and well mannered, I suggested that we invite over Lola's little brother, Kyle, the next time Lola came over.  Reggie was on board with the plan.  It is a fact that Reggie would prefer to have a kid come to our house to play on average of three or four days a week.  Not happening.  Our house is busy enough.  I leave Eddie in charge a  lot when I have to run my other kids to activities, so little friends hanging at the house is not always convenient. 

The first time we invited Kyle over, he couldn't come.  Reggie was bummed.  We tried again over Spring Break.  It was 2012 and I was preparing to host Easter at my house, so I decided that the kids could have someone over while I got my housework done.  It was a go. 

Lola and Kyle arrived and their mom stepped inside the front hall.  I chatted with her briefly, and she smiled very shyly and explained that Kyle was hesitant to come over since he hadn't been at our house before.  Got it, nervous kid, I will have to stay in the loop and make sure no one locks him in a closet or anything.  (Wait there was more).  She promised Kyle that she would stay this time.  She didn't intend to stay and chat with me for five minutes until he was comfortable.  She held up her book to prove that she would be occupied for the duration of the play date.  After I picked up my chin off of the front hall floor, I invited her to make herself comfortable in the living room.  I've never been so aware of the dust on the furniture, the dirty socks abandoned under the coffee table, the scattered books of piano music surrounding the piano, and the pile of projects, paperwork, and photographs overflowing on the dining room table in the adjacent room.   Shit!

The other issue that was unavoidable and more difficult to explain than the state of the living room, was the presence of my teenage son.  Laddie and Eddie's room is above the living room.  As I nervously gathered piano books and tucked dirty socks in my back pocket, it suddenly sounded as if Laddie might join us in the living room . . . via the ceiling.  He was in fact performing some form of torture on his little brother, Tetonka.  Perfect.  I have a kid in the house who is afraid to be here, and now he has reason to be afraid.  (Note to self, write Laddie our of the will).

I quickly excused myself to deal with the 'boys will be boys' sounds from upstairs.   It goes without saying that Laddie has never been yelled at with such hushed tones and clenched teeth.  It was a deep, dark whisper that I threatened his life with.  'There is a mom down there who has decided to camp out in my living room for the next few hours.  Please, let's not reveal to her and her quiet little children that we live like animals!'  This tactic was successful at getting his attention, and since Laddie performs well in a crisis, he behaved as best he could for the duration of their 'stay.'

After our little mother-son bonding moment, I carefully avoided going back into the living room again.  Awkward doesn't begin to sum it up.  I couldn't wait to call Fozzy to share the latest loopy-mom infraction with her.  I couldn't call her, however, because the offender was in the next room.  Fly on the wall!  I chose instead to try to go about my housework tasks as if this was normal 'play date' protocol.  I crouched on my kitchen floor and scrubbed it.  Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my visitor intently reading her book while I engaged in food prep.  I secretly wished I hadn't been so generous with the 'pick up' time, which had evolved into a 'get out' time. 

I must note that this mother was very sweet, and clearly very aware of her children's needs.  I require my kids to suck it up and act as expected without much negotiating for feelings.  Perhaps that is why my kids can't wait to get invited to someone else's house.  They run to the door and don't usually look back!  I do believe that the play date went smoothly, but I haven't invited Lola, Kyle, or 'can't cut the cord' mom back since.  This was one package deal that offered more than I bargained for!

February 7, 2016

breakfast club . . . the lunch break

Fearing few gluten free options near the class, I packed my own lunch that morning.  I devoured my food quickly, found the restroom, and once back in the iceberg of a classroom began sewing again.  Barb remained in the room and I showed her the latest, uninformative letter that the State of Illinois had sent me.  The initial letter alerting me of my suspension listed three tickets on it.  This last letter noted one more ticket.  I asked Barb if she had any idea how this straggler of a ticket that occurred before some of the others would impact my suspension.  She didn't have a clue.  As I stood there reading over the letter, I realized that up in the corner my suspension dates had been amended.  Instead of being suspended for three months, the time frame was now six months.  I felt sick to my stomach as I plopped back to my seat.  I assured myself that I would just have to be extra cautious for the next six months.  Maybe Coach could drive more often since the two year basement project was almost complete.  In a bit of a daze, I powered thru the rest of class.  Thankfully the entertaining elements distracted me from my own ridiculous nightmare.  

Slingblade struggled to make it back to the room on time after every break.  Because there were several breaks, Barb grew frustrated and warned him to make an extra effort to be back on time.  Still he wandered in late.  She strode back to my table as people started to file back in after lunch.  Slingblade still hadn't returned.  She leaned across the table and whispered to me, 'I think you sense what I sense.  I have a very strong sense of smell.'  I fumbled around trying to comprehend her hidden message.  Was this a peanut free classroom?  Was she referencing my cashews?  I wrinkled up my face, shrugged my shoulders, and admitted I didn't smell anything.  Barb looked disappointed.

I'm not sure if they were real cops or campus security, but Barb apparently alerted the authorities that she suspected that Slingblade was drinking during our breaks.  As we prepared to hit the National Safety Council's curriculum again, Barb took a moment to speak with the uniforms in the hall.  When Slingblade returned a bit late again, he was summoned into the hall.  Whoopi, who I was shocked to learn was a grandma, just shook her head about what would become of poor Slingblade.  Barb resumed teaching while Slingblade defended himself in the hall.  Eventually he waltzed back into class.  The officers signaled to Barb that her suspicions were unfounded.  Score one for Slingblade.

Unfortunately for Barb, the class lost its concentration for a few brief moments while Slingblade stirred in his seat and mumbled a few choice phrases under his breath.  He wasn't drinking during the breaks, what gave her that idea?  This elderly guy's form of a mumble can best be described as a decibel shy of a shout.  In no time most of us were fighting a losing battle to suppress our laughter.  It reminded me of attending church as a kid when a sibling did something that struck my funny bone and then the two of us couldn't stop shaking with quiet fits of laughter hoping not to land in trouble with our folks.  My table-mates, Good-Eye and Pony Tail, and I tried not to look at one another.  With every additional complaint from this sober, ticked off guy followed by Whoopi's attempts to hush him, our plight worsened.  I couldn't believe that Barb thought I was on the same page as her.  She expected me to point the finger at Slingblade and accuse him of drinking during this 8 hour ordeal.

At the end of the movie 'The Breakfast Club', each character accepts his or her role in society:  a brain, an athlete, a princess, a basket case, and a criminal.  In my recent real-life version of this beloved John Hughes film, I refused to be the nark.  When I described some of the personalities that I encountered at the class, Coach pointed out that I was now one of them.  I guess so.  While we were all quite different, most of us were all deep down just 'speeders'.  This speeder is glad to put some distance between the whole experience - while driving the speed limit.  Of course.