Overheard in the Halls: Episode Thirty One

Silent Senior: [pointing with increasing rapidity and intensity at the floor] Squeak!

Sober senior [leaning closer, then sitting up again]: Wow. They really do blend into the carpet!

Me [moving to intercept whatever it is]: Yes, they really do!

I chased the centipede into a corner and whacked at it with my foot until it stopped moving, mostly.

Me [returning to podium]: I need a pair of roach-kickers. Blunt toe boots don’t do it.

Senior snickers followed, and we resumed our discussion of the Hungarian Golden Bull.


The Voice from Above (PA system) chimed. I looked up from writing a lesson outline.

VfA: This is a tumbleweed alert. Those parked in the north lot, be sure to check for tumbleweeds under your vehicles.


Yes, I had tumbleweeds packed under my truck by the end of the day. I started the engine and backed a few meters, releasing the weeds, then turned off the engine and made sure nothing was still around the exhaust. We have not had any flaming tumbleweeds yet, but no one wants to be the first.


Stubborn Junior: But Sister Hygiene, why not?

Sister Hygiene [school nurse, health teacher]: We have a skeleton already. In the closet. I’ll get it out when appropriate.

Jaunty Junior: But Sister, we want the big, giant one. You know, like in the yard at [address redacted].

Sister H. : SIGH! No.

Geek Chorus: Aaawwwwwww.


The fall semester has just begun.

Me [being excited about Salamis]: The Persians attacked here. They outnumbered the Greek fleet—

Speedy Freshman: Clunk. Zzzzzzzzzz. [head hits desk, sleeping ensues]

Me [resigned]: Cross-country season.

Rather later in the semester . . .

Me: This was radical! Locke’s claiming that power was not given to the government by any deity or inheritance, but loaned by the—

Two Tall Freshmen: Clunk. Zzzzzzzzzzzz. [heads hit desk, sleeping ensues]

Me [resigned]: I see that basketball season has begun.

Rest of class nods heads in near unison. Practices for sports are from “oh dark early” until class starts, then again after school.


I’m in the main workroom, checking my in-box for tests.

Mr. Long-Slavic-Last-Name and Mr. Pascal (computer wizard) are studying a small mountain of boxes piled up outside the janitorial closet, waiting to be broken down and recycled.

Mr. Pascal [in best Brain voice]: Are you pondering what I’m pondering?

Sr. Botanica [wandering out of workroom]: We build a fortress and hide from the students?

Four faculty share very broad smiles, then disperse.

7 thoughts on “Overheard in the Halls: Episode Thirty One

  1. A box fortress? Sure, and seen it once or twice. Everyone will assume it’s a delivery, and no one will touch or move anything until the Exchequer Actual comes from the office to reconcile with invoices. (Everyone remembers the last inquisition.) You could stay hidden for a couple days, easily, if a convenient corner gets covered.

  2. On my last trip to Utah, driving south on I-15, the tumbleweeds were out in force. I hadn’t seen so many since I lived in Southeast Arizona as a boy. But I must correct you on one point. Young boys delight to see tumbleweeds burn. It’s a short-lived delight, since they burn hot and fast, but it’s fun to watch. As long as the wind isn’t blowing at the same time…

  3. Ah yes… early morning practice… Absolutely HATED that when I was in HS. Tis the season for all kinds of creepy/crawly things to be looking for warmer climes, including nice warm buildings!

  4. Noxious bugs? Long-bladed scissors…snip! (Although my problem was usually wasps looking for a place to winter.)

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