Overheard in the Halls: Part 23 (The Muffled Edition)

The pre-season, er, annual start-of-school inservice training is underway via computer. I’m listening to Fr. Martial, our new headmaster, explaining some of the new procedures. He stops abruptly.

An animated dark grey hairball appears on one of the secondary screens and resolves into a Persian-something cat.

Mrs. Noun: No, Fido, stop that. Get down from there.

The grey visitor is removed. The meeting resumes.

Fr. Martial: And in concl— Woof Woof!

Voice from off-camera: I’m sorry Father! Dog, come back here! We’re fostering him for the service-dog program. I’m sorry.

A German shepherd-looking not-quite-puppy pops his head into view before being escorted out of the office.

Fr. Martial: Time for a break. We’ll resume in ten minutes.


Me: [peering at student in student desk] Who are you?

Puzzled Sophomore [blinking up at me from behind generic blue medical mask]: Don’t you remember, Miss Red? I’m [name.]

Me: Sorry. Too much mask, not enough memory.

Students: [much laughter]


I needed to make one more copy of an assignment, so I ventured to dare the workroom and the New Copier. It glowered at me. I tapped the magic screen. Options appeared. I hit “copy.” Once I entered my access code, the most complicated mess of icons, numbers, and froo-froo appeared. I tried to sort out what to do, hit four wrong commands, couldn’t get it to stop, and bailed out completely (three cheers for the “reset all” function.)

I had to have a copy. Failure was not an option. I tried again. This time I saw something saying “classic screen.” I poked that. Olde Faithful display came to life and I happily made my copy and fled the lair of the beast.


Sr. Verbum: They hate me.

Mrs. Strings: It’s not personal, they hate all of us.

I walked into the main workroom to rescue a soda from the fridge and beheld several teachers busily “not congregating,” all carefully spaced at least six feet apart as they check mail, make copies, and fetch lunches from the fridge. The subject of the conversation proves to be Gizmo #2.

Sr. Verbum: During the first class, the students only heard Br. Bass. During the second class, they heard Sr. Mary Grammatica.

Me: Yesterday, Mr. Fizz came through on mine.

Other teachers [aghast]: Mr. Fizz?

Me: I’d almost think he’s been tinkering, except that’s not his thing.

Mrs. Strings: [waving fork as she gets her salad out of the fridge] No, that would be Mr. Dvorak.

Dark murmurs of “I can totally see him doing that” and “yes, he would.”

(Mr. Fizz teaches chemistry, which is very far away from my end of the school building. I thought.)

12 thoughts on “Overheard in the Halls: Part 23 (The Muffled Edition)

  1. Overwrought ‘plague’ is bad enough, but the horrors of a new copier? (Shudders)

    Someone in software made a big mistake, and will get beaten up for it. There shouldn’t be a user option to go back to the classic (known to work, mostly) screen.

    • The developer may have snuck it in deliberately in violation of the spec. If it only appears on the second try, it could get past many test departments.

      TXRed, I hope Hurricane Laura doesn’t get near you. The latest chart I saw has it going north after landfall, up the east side of Texas. Fingers crossed!

    • Unsure of copiers, but in my time doing programming I found that in general *computing* devices could be programmed, worked with, cajoled, etc. But printers? I am unsure if any non-bog-standard printer has ever NOT been possessed by demons or close enough.

    • Uh oh, in a school that opens the possibilities of extreme mischief, either specific words or spelling certain phrases. “Deus Vult”, however, might be acceptable. Mr. or Br. Purgator would be very busy in the Discipline Ofc.

      • *laughs* I was thinking more like “legal name which you wish to be addressed by, or registered nickname.”

        I would have wanted to be called by my last name/maiden name, a good quarter of my male relatives go by the middle name*, and there’s usually at least two kids who ended up with a fashionable name that will go by either a nickname or “Firstname Lastinitial.”

        * first names were frequently given to honor a relative so you get “fun” like finding out someone’s legal name is nothing like what they’re called; part of why Elf and I switched it to first name for the kid– although some are doing honor, too– and middle name for fun/connections.

        • I’m told that originally my first and middle names were to be interchanged. One a generic name, the other honoring my grandfather. As it turns out, Generic First-name Candidate matched a popular then-new comic strip character’s name, so honoring my G’father got first name duty. Comic strip character is somewhat forgotten nowadays, but was hugely popular in the 1950s.

          If I wrote anything on my mask, it would be “I H8 Kate”, a popular sentiment in much of Oregon.

  2. I decided to change my name to Sam on Valentine’s Day many years ago when I arrived at my training base to learn how to be a member of the Loyal Order of Mole Men.

  3. LOL, or daily changing sayings on the masks… Friend of mine in Florida is doing that, much to his glee as others read it! Glad there is a ‘classic’ setting on the beast. They are no longer simple, nor user friendly!

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