Sunday 5 May 2013

The First Rule

Believe it or not, we had Easter dinner tonight. It turns out that the Eastern Orthodox Church uses a different calendar than pretty much the rest of the world, which gives me the opportunity to have two large Easter meals.

I suppose it is kind of like one of those time paradoxes that you hear about on the Star Trek TV series. They always seem to be complaining about the paradoxes, but from where I sit this is a pretty good deal. I’m thinking that I should be getting two birthday presents, two Christmas presents and I should have had double the stat holidays when I was working. I wonder if I could put in a retro active grievance. I guess I’ll need to put in two.

When I was in high school, I remember being in a class and a couple of prefects (students who the system thought to be trust worthy) came in to watch the class while the teacher was delayed. It was an English Lit class and the one guy set out to explain what a paradox was. He drew two docks on the blackboard and we all laughed. Just as he was going to explain what part of the human body the planet Uranus looks like, the teacher came in and sent him away. Rob was a pretty cool prefect, but for the most part prefects would have to rat you out if you were caught smoking on school grounds or selling lids of grass during your spare in the library.

My buddy Ken and I were never offered the chance to be prefects; I suppose that it had something to do with poor grades and an equally poor attitude. One day we were musing about how unfair the criteria to become a prefect was, and how there wasn’t a chance in hell that we would ever be selected by whoever selected prefects. We would have been ideal candidates because not only were we on first name basis with most of the teachers, but we spent more time in the office than the secretaries. I’m not sure whose idea it was, but one of us observed that the only thing that sets a prefect apart was that they wore white sweaters. There was nothing stopping us from buying a couple of cheap cardigans and walking around the school as if we owned it.

It is amazing how much power a simple white sweater gives you. Well, back then it did. We wore our sweaters mainly to get into trouble. The school had portable classrooms and one day we were out behind the bush having a smoke when a class of grade nine students filed into the portable. We walked into the class and asked what class it was. One kid said that it was health class and we looked at them and said they all looked to be in pretty good health. We told them that the class was cancelled and they should take a spare in the library. They filled out and dispersed, presumably to the library. We went back over to the bush and watched the teacher go into the portable. He came back out and looked at the number on the side of the building, looked at his schedule and then wandered off scratching his head.

I always wondered if the whole class got detention for skipping or if nothing was said at all. We couldn’t very well ask anyone, because the first rule of not getting caught is to keep your mouth shut. That applies as much today as it did back then. When in doubt, shut your mouth

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