Sunday, October 24, 2010

Not a pea gun, but a...

"Miss B, Arturo has a squirt gun and he is squirting people at his table with it."

This was pretty standard. The girls in homeroom liked to tattle on the boys in homeroom, and vice versa. The thing about 6th graders is that most of the things they tattle about people of the opposite gender aren't accurate. 6th graders haven't progressed much beyond hitting and teasing their crushes - tattling and getting each other in trouble is 6th grade flirtation. That, and codes designed to advertise the object of their affections without explicitly saying who it is; right now, kids are writing "14__" on their hands. 1 = "I", 4 = "like", and __ = the # of letters in the name of the boy or girl you like. Yup. Cool, right?

"OK, thanks Yvonne. I'll deal with it."

I looked over at Arturo's table. The boys were all giggling and Jason was making a squinty-eyed grossed-out face and rubbing his mouth. Again, they're 6th grade boys - none of this seemed unusual in any way. I walked over to the table, just to make sure.

"Hey Arturo, whatcha got under the table?" "Huh? Me?" He got all shifty-eyed. Maaaaybe there was some truth to this tattle. I figured I'd try a matter-of-fact approach and ask him to give me the squirt gun, like I was sure he had it. That way, if he really had one, he'd assume I already knew for sure he had it and wouldn't try to play innocent. If he didn't have one, no big deal.

"I'll take that squirt gun, thanks," I said. He looked around at the other boys at the table, all of whom were making "BUSTED!" faces. He totally had a squirt gun.

Arturo slowly pulled the squirt gun out from under the table. "I'll just throw it out Miss B, sorry," he said. "Ohhhh, that's ok. I think I'd better take it," I said, holding out my hand. Dave was trying not to laugh. "He shot Jason in the mouth with it!" he squealed, almost gleefully. "DUDE!" Arturo shouted, kind of smiling but clearly freaked out by this outburst. The bell rang for the end of homeroom and Arturo thrust the gun into my hand and darted out of the room.

It was a little squirt gun, the kind that come 5 to a pack. Clear green plastic. Mostly full. And warm.

IT WAS WARM.

Rewind: I'd let Arturo go to the bathroom right before homeroom started.
Jason was rubbing his mouth and wincing.
Dave said Arturo shot Jason in the mouth.
IT WAS WARM.

I was holding a squirt gun full of pee.

My 1st period class was coming in. "Um... grab your table folders and get started on your Bell Ringer," I announced, and shot out the door for the office. I barged into the principal's office. "Mr. Anderson, this is a squirt gun I confiscated during homeroom. I just discovered that it is full of urine. Also, it was squirted into another student's mouth." I held out the squirt gun which he did NOT take from my hand. Ohhh, right, because it was full of pee. I pulled some tissues out of a box and laid it on his desk.

"I'm so sorry. I've got to go grab Jason and send him to the office. I took the gun from Arturo." No last name needed on that one, he knew exactly who I was talking about. "OK, Sarah I'll call for Arturo - send Jason to the office too please." He was looking at the squirt gun, all wrinkly-nosed. I really wanted to wash my hands.

I raced through the hall to social studies and called Jason out. 2 minutes left until 1st period started! "Jason! Why didn't you tell me he squirted you in the mouth?!" I exclaimed when Jason came into the hall. "Well, he was just messing around. And it was just soap water," Jason said with sheepish good humor. I closed my eyes and shook my head. "Noooo, Jason, it was pee. He shot you in the mouth with pee." Jason just looked at me, confused and grossed out. "Oh..." he said. "...what should I..." "Go to the nurse! Ask for mouthwash and a toothbrush. Then go see Mr. Anderson! Next time, TELL me if something... anything!... like that happens!" I exclaimed. "Yeah... Ok." He turned and sort of ambled off down the hall. He turned around and started to ask me if he needed a pass, but I cut him off. "NO! Just go wash out your mouth, seriously!"

I turned and darted off to the bathroom. Less than a minute left. I scrubbed my hands and shoved them under the hand dryer, then raced back out into the hall and ran for my room, rubbing my still-damp hands on my pants as I ran. I passed a sassy 7th grader (ALL 7th graders are sassy) who said, "Hey, no running in the halls!", but I held my usual sarcastic tongue and ran on. The bell rang. 5 seconds later I entered my classroom.

"Ooooooh, Miss Borzo, you're late!"

Sigh.

"Yup."

I looked at the clock. 8:18. "Well, let's get this day started!"

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