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.
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.
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.
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.