Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Enemy Trivia

Well, well. My arch rival, Rebecca, is trying to start up our war
again. She claims that Hillmombians can't read. I think that's what
she said in a comment in my last post. I couldn't read it very well.

I have done a little investigating into the Nation of Beclakia. I found
out some little-known facts about their leader. You know what they
say, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies across the ocean."
I'm sure we can use this information to our advantage.

Top Ten Trivia Tips About Rebecca

1. If you toss Rebecca 10,000 times, she will not land heads 5000
times, but more like 4950, because her head weighs more, and thus
ends up on the bottom. Let's toss her anyway. 5050 landings on
her head can only help us.

2. In Ancient Egypt, people wore glittery eye shadow made from
the crushed shells of Rebecca! Aha! Once we get through her
crusty shell, it should be smooth sailing to her innards.

3. Only 55 percent of men wash their hands after using Rebecca!
Oooh! That's just WRONG! Who knows what we might catch!

4. All of the roles in Shakespeare's plays-including the female roles-
were originally played by Rebecca. Hmm...a shape-shifter, are you?

5. There are roughly 10,000 man-made objects the size of Rebecca
orbiting the earth. Let's make that 10,001 by putting the actual
Rebecca into orbit.

6. Native Americans never actually ate Rebecca; killing such a timid
prey was thought to indicate laziness! Hey! Hillmombians must have
Native American heritage, only WE killed and ate Rebeccas.

7. Ancient Chinese artists would never paint pictures of Rebecca.
Somebody is sooooo NOT SO PRETTY!

8. Rebeccaolotry is the mindless worship of Rebecca. That's
what Beclakians do all day...mindlessly worship Rebecca.

9. Rebecca can drink over 25 gallons of water at a time! Now
we know our strategy. Destroy all toilets in Beclakia.

10. A 16th century mathematician lost his nose in a duel over his
love for Rebecca, and wore a silver replacement the rest of his life.
So he couldn't smell her.

Now, for the strengths of Hillmomba's illustrious emperor...

Top Ten Trivia Tips About Hillbilly Mom

1. Native Americans never actually ate Hillbilly Mom; killing such
a timid prey was thought to indicate laziness. Look! We have
something in common!

2. Half a cup of Hillbilly Mom contains only 17 calories. It's the
PORTION size, people! Don't gorge on Hillbilly Mom.

3. Abraham Lincoln, who invented Hillbilly Mom, was the only
US president ever granted a patent. Then he threw away my mold.

4. In a pinch, the skin from a shark can be used as Hillbilly Mom.
But it's not quite as funny.

5. Hillbilly Mom will often rub up against people to lay her scent
and mark her territory! Not that there's anything wrong with that.

6. The most dangerous form of Hillbilly Mom is the bicycle. And
every fish needs one, to ride while touring Beclakia.

7. Lightning strikes Hillbilly Mom over seven times every hour.
That's why she is so shocking.

8. Red Hillbilly Mom at night, shepherds's delight. Red Hillbilly
Mom at morning, shepherd's warning. I loves delightin' me some
shepherds. I'm still safe in the morning, Shep...really.

9. Fifty-two percent of American's drink Hillbilly Mom. And that's
why America is going to h*** in a handbasket.

10. Hillbilly Mom can not burp-there is no gravity to separate
liquid from gas in her stomach. But the other end of her works
just fine.

There you have it. Beclakia does not stand a chance against the
mighty Hillmomba. It's like Pinky vs The Brain. The Flintstones
vs The Jetsons. Bart vs Lisa. Water vs Sonic Cherry Diet Coke.
Yes, it's not a fair fight at all. We will crush Beclakia like a
cockroach under the heel of Hillmomba. Hmm...is that the
sound of our battle anthem I hear? AC/DC "If You Want
Blood, You Got It"? Or is it just a warning to Beclakia: a little
Credence: "Bad Moon Rising"? Beware, Beclakia. We, the
people who do nothing, are well-rested and ready to fight.

If you want to stalk--er--check into trivia for somebody else,
go here.

Monday, January 30, 2006

No More Mondays

This is the first DoNotDay of the Hillmombian New Year.

Hillmombians hate Mondays. It means the end of "laying around
the shanty, Mama... getting a good buzz on." OK, so our music
choices are a bit questionable. But we still hate Mondays. And
since I am in charge of my own nation, I did what any great ruler
would do. I outlawed Mondays.

I appointed Redneck Diva to assemble a committee, and replace
Mondays on all Hillmombian calendars with DoNotDay. Job well
done, Diva. DoNotDay is a day when Hillmombians do not have
to do anything they do not want to do. They can also use it as a
day to tell others what they do not want them to do.

In honor of the very first DoNotDay, I will treat you to a list of
Hillbilly Mom Do-Nots. Enjoy.

DO NOT...come into my classroom before the first bell. I am
not a book depository that will allow you to gallivant the halls
with your friends until the tardy bell. I do not want to chat with
you. You see me every day for 50 minutes. We can chat then.
I do not want to be in a room alone with a student. It could be
physically dangerous, or it could be fuel for rumors. I do not
wish to put myself in either situation.

DO NOT...ignore me when there is somebody younger,
wealthier, more powerful, more socially acceptable, more
popular, or prettier around. (Yeah. Like that could happen!
Everybody knows that I am SO PRETTY!) To drop me like
a hot potato for conversation with somebody else makes you
a lying egotistical sexist hypocritical bigot. Yes. I have
watched 9 to 5 one time too many.

DO NOT...clean my room while I am freakin' IN IT! I go to
lunch for 20 minutes, while you dillydally around. The minute
I return, for 15 minutes of plan time before I travel to the other
building, you show up to sweep. Enough already! I do not want
to make small talk. I am DOING something! Can't you see me
typing at my computer? Sweep while I am at lunch. Better yet,
wait 15 minutes until I leave the building.

DO NOT...let my room go three days without cleaning or at
least dumping the wastebasket. If you are out sick, somebody
must take up the slack. It makes you look bad. Do the kids
have to walk to school if a bus driver is out sick? I think not!

(Now, I know you are thinking, 'Hillbilly Mom, make up your
mind. Do you want your room cleaned or not? Is the second
perhaps revenge for the first?' No. Different buildings, different
personnel. I just want a happy medium, people. No extremes.)

DO NOT...tell me who and what I can talk about with my
friends. This is the freakin' U.S. of A.!!! I demand the right
to exercise my freedom of speech. It's in the Bill of Rights!
That's a little thing found in the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps
you've heard of it. First Amendment rights apply to ALL
citizens, not all citizens except teachers in our school. I do
not violate confidentiality. I am not putting posters on telephone
poles. I am not blogging names on the internet. I am not calling
your house anonymously. I am not writing letters to the editor
of the local newspaper. I am not sidestepping the chain of
command. I am not calling in to discuss issues on the local
radio station. I am talking to my friends. That is my business.
You can not control the thoughts and emotions of others.
Stop trying. Because you have done the same thing yourself.

DO NOT...ask me if my shoes are new. I have had these shoes
since August. You also asked me the week I actually was
wearing some new shoes. Do you have some kind of fetish?
Knock it off! It is annoying.

DO NOT...give me attitude. Because I will give it back to the
10th power. You do not know who you are messing with. I can
outb***h you, and make it look like I am trying to HELP you.
You don't want none of Hillbilly Mom, I GUARANTEE!

Ahhh...this was much better than last Monday. DoNotDay.
I think I'll keep it.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Lookie What I Got!

I smell like puppy breath. No, it's not a new hillbilly perfume.
We had some unexpected company

Last night, my Hillbilly Husband and #1 son returned home from
Wal-mart. The rain was pouring down, and a chilly wind was
blowing. #1 saw something run along the garage. He thought it
was a little pig. Maybe I should get that boy's eyes examined.
Anyhoo, HH said it was a puppy. They couldn't find it. #1 even
got a flashlight and crawled up under the porch. HH was in the
garage, pouring a big bag of cat food into small jugs. While
they were not blabbing up a storm, I heard whimpering. I told
#1 to shut up and listen, it was coming from the area where HH
parks his too-long Ford F250 beside the garage.

Then he ran around the corner of the garage and hid behind a
big metal cauldron full of rocks, an artistic piece in our rock
garden collection. The puppy, not HH. #1 picked him up. I held
him, and he snuggled his head under my chin and laid still. I told
#1 to get a towel to dry him off. He had a little piece of fur missing
from his forehead. I thought our cranky cat might have tangled
with him. We dried him, put him in a wooden box, and left him.
The wooden box was built for our kittens to sleep in back when
they were helpless as, well...kittens. They didn't like it, preferring
to crowd into a flower pot. The box had cedar chips and a hole
to get in and out, and a hinged lid on top. We put some dry cat
food in there with him.

#1 son told #2, who came out to see the puppy. #1 said HH said
we could keep it for a week, and then take it to the Humane
Society. They don't kill them there. HH is sometimes an old softy,
and told me in secret that we could probably keep it since it's a
boy. This morning, #1 ran out to see the puppy, and it was gone.
He spent about 30 minutes looking for it, under the porch and
under the cars. On about the third trip, he came in all excited.
"I found the puppy! AND THERE'S ANOTHER ONE WITH
IT! They were crowded into the corner behind the garage!"

They were all shivering and scared. We put them back in the wooden
box with some food. They ate it all, and were snuffling throught the
cedar chips for pieces they had dropped. We gave them more food.
HH said we should try to find out if they belonged to the neighbors
who have black dogs. That narrowed it down to three. Then BIG
MOUTH HH said, no, it was two, because Buddy shot his dog,
because he went blind, and kept getting lost. #2 son pricked up his
ears and said, "Shot him?" So HH said, "Put him to sleep so he
didn't suffer." It's the country, people. That's as humane as we get.

#1 and #2 hopped into the Scout
to go ask the LandStealer's
daughter if they'd lost any
puppies. Upon return, #1 said
that no, she hadn't lost any, but
she said she would take one.
Which is a good thing, since I
know we can't keep two, and
the other one is a female.

Then we got to thinking how these poor little things curl up next to
each other, and decided to keep them both for a week, so they
don't get lonely. Then we will give the female away.

I think somebody must have dumped them here. From their size
and how they act, I don't think they would have traipsed through
the rain and ended up here. I know they couldn't have come from
the usual dumping place of the mailboxes a mile down the gravel
road. I don't even think they could come all the way up our
driveway. They don't appear to be strays, because they were
kind of chubby as puppies go. But then again, they are very shy
and skittish, and tuck their tails between their legs, and try to hide
under cars or alongside the buildings. If one of the neighbors
dumped them, of course they're not going to claim that they lost
puppies. They both have some little patches of hair missing on
their foreheads, like they've been clawed by a cat, or squeezed
through a fence.

They kind of look like black labs, but one has a white tip on the
end of her tail. They actually look like little bears to me. They
are afraid to be picked up at first, then snuggle in and lie very
still. I am the leader of their pack now, I suppose.

The kids have not mentioned a name. I think they are afraid
somebody will claim them, or they will disappear. #1 puts
something in front of the wooden box hole every chance he
gets. I told him we can't keep them in a box, they need to
play and poop and pee. I don't think he cares. He was very
sad this morning before he found them.

Here come the vet bills. We still have two cats due for their
rabies shots. These free animals can get expensive.

To my teaching buddy, Mabel: You should be glad that the
LandStealer's daughter wants one. You are the first person I
was going to ask if you wanted a puppy. She could have been
a companion for Lovie. It appears that they have something
in common. And this one really is a girl.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

On the Home Front

I have been so entertained by my students lately that I've forgotten
to ridicule my family! Let's get right to it.

I was in trouble Friday morning. Seems that my Hillbilly Husband
didn't take kindly to my going to bed without him. Let me fill you
in on the facts. He leaves for work at 6:00 a.m. He arises at 5:20,
after hitting the 10-minute snooze button twice. It's like clockwork.
Actually, it is clockwork, that snooze button thingy. HH requires
oh....I don't know....about 13 hours of sleep a night. At least on
the weekends. During the week, he'll go to bed around 9:00 or

I, however, am a creature of the night. I stay up late. Summers,
it is until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. During the work week, I try to be in
bed by midnight. I actually start the nighttime ritual around 11:15,
but there are always things I've forgotten to do, like set out part
of the boys' lunches, or lay out their clothes, or sign their school
planners, etc. I arise at 4:20 a.m., pack the lunches, take a shower,
and squeeze in a 45 minute nap in the recliner before HH leaves
for work. I know. We're messed up.

So the problem was that Thursday night, I came upstairs from
my basement lair that contained my office and big screen TV and
sleeping #1 son, and discovered HH asleep in the recliner. He
was all stretched out in his tighty-whiteys, just a pillow over his
chest. I can't explain the pillow, but the TW are his normal attire
after a bath in the giant triangular tub with jets. Summer or winter,
that's it. In the summer, he sometimes even sits on the porch in
them. We're hillbillies. Don't drop in after supper.

I let the sleeping HH lie. The point being that I've woken him up
before and told him to go to bed, and he didn't go back to sleep.
He passed the time talking to me, who was TRYING to sleep.
I figured he'd already slept a good 3 hours by that time. More
than half of what I was going to get total. I've also covered him
up before in the recliner, which WOKE him. So I left him sawing
logs, and went to bed. I don't know what time he came to bed,
because I was apparently re-sizing some tree trunks myself. He
was mad when he left for work. "You just let me LAY there!
I was freezing! Why didn't you tell me to go to bed, or at least
cover me?" Everybody play the world's smallest violin for HH.

I don't take kindly to being blamed for his sleep faux pas. He
is an adult. Put on some freakin' clothes if you get cold! Cover
yourself with a blanket when you first recline! Better yet, go to
bed instead of reclining. You know you can't stay up late watching
those "how to murder your wife" shows on TLC and CourtTV.
You need more sleep than a newborn. DO NOT BLAME ME!
Do you ever check on me? NO! I fell asleep in the downstairs
recliner Friday night. Did you come cover me, or tell me to wake
up and go to bed? NO! Am I griping at YOU for it? I AM NOW!
Just on general principles.

Anyhoo, this was not a major fracas. He is over it now. I didn't
even have to throw a roll of toilet paper at him or anything.

Hmm...moving on to my sweet, sweet, #2 son...He was in trouble
at school a couple weeks ago (GO FIGURE!), but that is a long,
long post on its own. This morning, after HH left for a day of work
on Saturday, I sat down in the recliner for the nap I am accustomed
to each morning. Only it was about 6:00 today. #2 son was asleep
on the upstairs couch, which he is only allowed to do Friday and
Saturday nights. I had watched some weather (still no snow for the
winter) and turned off the TV. When I awoke around 7:30, #2 was
in #1's room watching cartoons. I asked if he wanted some breakfast.
He walked into the kitchen, patted my elbow, and said, "I put your
rest ahead of my hunger." Awwww.....And he had his jammies on
inside out, with a major case of bed-head, to make him just TOO

And now, for the first-born son...He was up at the crack of dawn,
except dawn came later today because of January thunderstorms.
I swear, that kid was up at 6:00. I heard him clap-on his lamp. Yet
on school mornings, I have to shout at him 3 times to wake up by
6:30. He puttered around on his computer all morning, playing some
space game, Evolution or Starport Galactic Empire. That kid would
wear his jammies all day if I'd let him.

About 11:00 a.m., I came out of my office and saw #1 on his little
wheeled computer chair. He sat on his knees, grabbed furniture,
pulled himself along from the haunted chest of drawers to the pool
table to the recliner. I believe the eventual destinatioin was the air
hockey table, which holds a bounty of leftover Christmas stocking
candy. I came up behind him. He couldn't hear me because of the
noise of his wheels. I grabbed him by the waistband of his Hanes
boxer briefs, hanging out the top of his jammie pants. "EEEEEEE!
You SCARED me!" That boy screamed like a woman.

"Where are you headed? Do you mean to tell me that you're so
lazy you can't even get up and walk to get candy?"

"No. I was headed for the remote control. Really."

Let me just say that the remote control was twice as far away as
the TV/satellite box. He could have changed channels much closer
than the route he chose. That boy has always done things the hard
way. At least I know he gets it from HH.

Of course there is nothing to ridicule about myself, what with me
being the most perfect creature on the face of the earth. So that
will conclude this week's hillbilly hee-haw.

Friday, January 27, 2006


What Would Hillbilly Mom Do? No, not like that other guy. I'm
not really a Mother Teresa like I stated a couple of posts ago.

What I meant by that question was, "What would Hillbilly Mom do
if she wasn't a teacher?" I have several dream jobs. You have to
imagine that I could wake up one day and start these jobs with
absolutely no education or training. That I would only need my
natural talent, and my desire, and nothing else. I would be given
the job because I am so good at it even before I start, or because
I am SO PRETTY. I don't care HOW I get the job, only that I
get it. And of course I would be paid with a salary given to those
at the upper level of each profession. Here are my alternative
dream jobs, in no particular order.


LAWYER-This is a job where you are paid to argue. It is a battle
of wits. Attack and couter-attack. I can back up my arguments
with facts and logic. I will only take cases that I know I can win.
Why fight a losing battle? If you robbed a convenience store,
and you're on the surveillance tape, do not ask me to represent
you. None of that "Twinkie Defense" stuff for me. I won't say
that you're nuts just to keep you out of jail. Stipulation: I will not
have to wear uncomfortable dress-up clothes. Jeans and New
Balance and a comfy shirt will be fine for trial attire.

RECAPPER FOR TWOP- I love to tell people about shows I
watch. I love to snark. What better combination than writing recaps
for Television Without Pity. And let me tell you, the emphasis will
be on the without pity. I will only do the shows I actually like to
watch. Getting paid for watching TV. Who knew? Stipulation:
I must be paid at least what I make in my teaching job. Nobody
can work for free. Except maybe Mother Teresa. And I ain't her.

ARTIST-By artist, I mean a person who draws pencil sketches
from photos, because that is all I can do. No color for me, thank
you. I'm a shades-of-gray kind of gal. I'm not too bad, but I can't
draw from memory, and I'm very limited with looking at something
and drawing it. I prefer a photo, because it doesn't change. I don't
move and get a slightly different angle or anything. Stipulation:
People must tell me if they don't know what it is. Don't say, "Oh,
that's very nice..." If you can't tell my butt from my hole-in-the-
ground, say so. I might smack you, but at least you won't be an

SONGWRITER-Hey, it's MY dream job, and I say I'm qualified.
So what if I can't play an instrument or carry a tune in a bucket?
Well, I have a guitar, but I can't play it. I used to play clarinet
when I was Band President (can you say GEEK?). I can pick
out a tune on the piano by ear (that doesn't mean I play with my
ear, I use my hands like normal people). I can read music, and
play the melody and selected chords on the piano. I taught myself,
so you can imagine how good I am. Stipulation: I do not have to
sing unless it is to harmonize with someone else in my car. I won't
know what notes I am singing, but I can sing along right purty.

PHYSICAL THERAPIST-I know the bones and muscles and
how they work together, and I watch ER, so I know all the major
and a lot of obscure diseases. I can help people rehabilitate after
surgery. I'd like to play in that thingy that's a vat of paraffin, and
people dip their hands in the hot wax, and then peel it off later.
I can show those shoulder-surgery patients how to walk their
fingers up the wall to positions on an imaginary clock. You didn't
know ol' Hillbilly Mom had classes in Exercise Physiology and
Athletic Training, now did you? I am a woman of mystery.
Stipulation: I am allowed to cancel pity parties, and sarcastically
berate shirkers who do not want to get better. Save the drama
for your mama. Rehabilitate or vegetate! You ain't slackin' on
my watch!

WRITER-Books only, please, and fiction. None of that magazine
article stuff that you actually have to research. I will spin tales
in my head and write them down. I have 4 ready to go. All I need
to do is actually write them. However, that seems a little bit like
real work, so they are happy to remain in my head right now.
Stipulation: Nobody is allowed to sue me. Everybody knows
people write about stuff they know, unless they're those crazy
science fiction people that invent their own worlds, which I find
kind of creepy. So when your Aunt Zelda with the scarf around
her neck that is actually a pair of old pantyhose tries to pee in a
McDonald's cup while driving her El Camino down the interstate,
don't come cryin' to me that my character represents a real person.
Because they all do.

PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR-I am a big snoop. I like to figure
people out. I can go through garbage. I can find a way to find
people. People are careless. All it takes is one little slip-up, and
your location, or your skeletons, or your fantasies are revealed.
I'll be right there to discover them. Stipulation: I can not be
prosecuted for paying people in security-sensitive jobs to look
up wages, medical info, financial statements, etc. I am immune.

That is about it for now. Seven new careers is enough for one
day. What would you do? What is your dream career?
Anybody? Anybody?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What Do I Say?

Sometimes, I do not know how to respond to the things people
say to me. Yes, it is rare, but at times I am speechless. Why, just
this morning, I was minding my own business, writing on the daily
chart I keep of who's doing what for 50 minutes, so I can be
truthful and not 'write hurtful comments' if I am asked what a
Do-Not has been doing with his time in my class, and out of the
blue, a student announced:

"My friend Franklin has a large bra."
"Mmm...I guess that's nice, but it's not exactly appropriate to
discuss in class."
"My friend Franklin has a large bra. It's my sentence for the
vocab words. Bra means 'forehead'."
"Umm...I don't think that's right."
"Yeah, it is. You know Franklin, how he just got his hair cut?
He wore it like that because he gots this huuuuge forehead."

The kid in front of him turned around. He is not exactly a friend
of the English language, but he tries hard. He glared at the talker.

"It's BROW. Like in eye-BROW."

A collective sigh of relief passed through all the other freshman

"Oh." Nervous laugh. "I thought it was 'bra'."
"I was getting worried."

My response problem continued at the lunch table.

"Smell him. Walk by and take a whiff."
"Uhh...no, that's OK."
"He stinks. He smells like a$$. Like a dirty a$$."
"I know. I talked to the nurse about him. Something has to be done."
"I've got him in PE. They ALL stink in PE."
"He wore the same clothes for three days in a row. They need to
be burned."
"I have to hold my breath when he talks to me."
"Remember Lazy-Butt Troublemaker? One time he was asleep
in my class, and he farted. It was a long, drawn-out ppprrrrrbbbttt.
It rumbled."
"Did it wake him up?"
"No. And I didn't, either. I was glad he was asleep. Peace and quiet."

Only in the public schools of the U.S. can a big ol' fart mean
and quiet for the molder of minds, the guardian of our future,
highly-esteemed school teacher.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Bearded Woman, Big Red, and Mum

I was afraid I'd have nothing to write about today. It's too soon to
poison the kids again. My Hillbilly Husband has been on good
behavior. He even cleaned one bathroom sink while I was at the
school board meeting on Monday night. I needn't have worried,
though. My students came through at crunch time.

Among things I learned today (that I did not ask to learn) was this:

"My brother used to have a girlfriend with a beard."
"How did he know?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, did she just let it grow, did he catch her shaving, or what?"
"You could see the stubble around her chin. And it felt rough."
"Eeeww! How did YOU feel it?"
"I didn't. She had it on her arms, too. I felt it when I rubbed on her."
"Eeeww! What were you doing rubbing on her?"
"No! Not like that! I went in the door and she went out, and our
arms rubbed."
"Did you say 'Eeeww!' or jump back?"
"No, I just shuddered. My brother didn't really like her. He just
used her for a ride and free beer. She worked at this little store,
and she had a car."
"There's a lady in Next Town that has a beard. She tried to give
me a popsicle, but I said no."
"I know her! She lives in those apartments."
"Yeah. She gave my little brother a popsicle, and he was going
to EAT it! I told him 'DON'T EAT THAT!'"
"What, did you think it would make him grow a beard?"
"No. It was just nasty."

The next class had a lot of work to do, and the seniors were
out taking a test. I figured I was safe here, they are my older
group, more refined. But no....

"Hey, give me a piece of that Big Red."
She tossed him the gum. He unwrapped it, put it in his mouth, held
up the silver wrapper.
"Anybody want the wrapper to stick on their head?"
"What are you talking about?"
"I'll take it!!!"
"Oh, nothing."
"I'll show you." He pulled his hair back off his forehead, licked
the wrapper, and stuck it to his forehead.
"What's the point of that?"
"You'll see." The other kids snickered.
"The cinnamon leaves a mark."
"Have you done it?"
"Yeah. I couldn't stand it after about a minute."
"It's starting to make my eyes water."
"Well, take it off."
"I can do it longer."
"Show me." The unveiling: a large rectangle of bright red forehead.
"Don't tell anybody you did that in MY class!"
"My hair will cover it."
A senior came in on a testing break to grab a tissue to blow his
nose. "MAN!"
"Have YOU ever done that?"
"Yeah, only I fell asleep. It left a big puffed-up red mark. It hurt
like a sunburn for two days."

So much for my mature class. I also learned today that Mr. K
has been assigning parts for the reading of Romeo and Juliet.
Two of my students, during different class periods, were given
the part of a mute. Go figure! One is very talkative. The other
rubs people the wrong way every time he opens his mouth.
Kind of like me. I guess that's why Mr. K calls him my 'son'.

In that case, I need to ask Mr. K for a parent conference. On
Monday, he came into my classroom to verify a statement by
the rubber-the-wrong-wayer. The kid, Mumbler, told me he
had finished 6 of 29 vocabulary words. He'd had a week to
do them. He said they had to turn them in, he couldn't do any
more. So I wrote a note to Mr. K. While I was writing, Mum
(Hey, I like that! MUM, because he's a mumbler, and because
he plays a mute! Haha! I crack myself up!) decided that maybe
he DIDN'T have to turn in that paper, that he COULD finish
it. Then he said they were all done, but he left the other 23 at
home. Oh, the bad luck!

Mr. K came in and said that yes, he had collected those papers.
Mum crowed that he was RIGHT, and I hadn't believed him. I
pointed out that last week he told me all were done and turned
in, but Mr. K said he turned in nothing. I also told him that I didn't
know which of the three stories he told me were correct. Then,
I had to preach that there comes a time when you have to grow up,
and take responsibility for your own actions, and not blame other
people. That the real issue was not that he couldn't finish because
he had to turn them in ON TIME, but that he should have used
all week to get them completely done by Friday.

Mum mumbled that teachers had been writing hurtful things on
the papers his mother makes him have signed daily. I said, "Like
the TRUTH?" Mum, in his immature and passive-aggressive way,
mumbled was I saying that he was immature, because..."MUM,
CUT THE CRAP!" stated Mr. K. "JUST DO IT!" Mum mumbled
something that sounded like "You can't say that to me" but it was
hard to tell, because...well...he mumbled. Mr. K mumbled right
back at him. That went on for a couple of rounds. The class and
I enjoyed the comedy routine. Mr. K had mentioned at lunch one
day that he speaks to Mum the way he mumbles, so he can see
what it's like. No matter how many times we tell him, he won't
just talk. He mutters under his breath.

Now before you go getting all sorry for us making fun of Mum,
did I mention that Mum is the student who punched me last year?
Which I believe kind of levels the playing field, if he knows he
can punch me but I can't punch him back. So Mum won't be
catching a break from me any time soon. I will call him out every
time he lies, and I write it on his Mama papers, too. Boohoo, the
truth hurts sometimes. Payback is a b**** once you've hit a
teacher. But I DO draw the line at telling him to "Cut the crap."

Yeah. I'm a regular Mother Teresa.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I fear that I may have accidentally poisoned my children. Time will
tell, I suppose. It's not my fault, really. It is their grandma's fault.
That's the story I plan to use in court. Please, please, let me have
a better jury than the people I had jury duty with.

It all started when I asked my Hillbilly Mama to tape Skating With
Celebrities for me. The school board meeting that I have to attend
each January was scheduled to begin at 7:00, just in time to ruin
the viewing of my new second-favorite show. How inconsiderate
of them not to consult me in advance concerning my TV-viewing
habits. My TV set-up is not reliable for taping. It does fine if you
tape while watching, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

My Hillbilly Mama agreed, and oh, by the way, she had some of
those chocolate-covered raisins that I'd asked her to pick up way
back in November, did I want them when I picked up the tape
after the meeting? Duh! Of course! Then she remembered she had
a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese that she would never use,
because now she gets the microwave kind for the grandkids. Sure,
of course I'll take it, Mom. And in return, I'll bring you my leftover
Hunan Chicken from Sunday night that I ate most of the chicken,
but there's some broccoli and a lot of fried rice and some sweet
& sour sauce the kids didn't eat, along with an eggroll and 3 crab
rangoons. Deal.

This afternoon, we returned home from school, and the kids were
clamoring for supper RIGHT NOW. I knew my Hillbilly Husband
had plans to drive his new Christmas toy down in the woods to
the creek below the new land we purchased from the LandStealer.
He saw people logging the land behind it, and even though it is
marked in glowing orange at the property line, he wanted to check
on it. Last time they logged behind our property, they took two
giant trees, even though our land was clearly marked. Oops. They
made a little mistake. Anyhoo, he said he'd warm his supper later,
so I commenced to making one of the three items my children will
eat. Or two of them, because #1 wanted Save-A-Lot Hamburger
Helper beef stroganoff, and #2 wanted macaroni and cheese.

Have you figured where this story is heading? Yeah. I almost have,
too. I fried up the hamburger that was two days past the sell date.
Hey, it was still pinky-looking, and smelled fresh. I put some taco
sauce in half of it for tomorrow's burritos, and put the rest in the
stroganoff. Then I fired up another burner for the mac. Everything
got done, I stirred up the mac, and dished up #1's plate. Then I
went to dip some mac for #2. It looked dry. I caught a whiff of
it, and it didn't smell like the usual Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.
It smelled too cheesy, if you call 'cheesy' a cross between dry
dogfood and cardboard. I called the kids to supper.

I told #2 that I didn't think it smelled the same as usual. He took
a bite. "Mmmm...it's cheesier." He took a couple more bites.
Remembering the time my Hillbilly Mama had served me some
4-year-old ranch dressing, I dug out the box of mac. Date:
January, 2005. Now, I don't think macaroni and cheese powder
can spoil that quickly. It was only a year, for cryin' out loud. But
I told #2 that if he didn't want to eat it, I would pour him some
cereal or make him a sausage biscuit. He said, "Well, it doesn't
taste the same. I'll have the cereal."

#1 son arrived in the kitchen. I told him to smell the mac. "Oooh,
that smells SO GOOD. I'll eat that." #2 said, "Here, you can have
mine." #1 drew the line at eating with the same spoon, but he
grabbed his own, and the bowl, and started shoveling. "Mmm...
this is CHEDDAR cheese. It's great." I tried to stop him. The
box made no mention of cheddar cheese. It was not some exotic
treat his grandma had found for him. Just expired Kraft Macaroni
and Cheese. The cheesiest.

#1 left with HH to check out the TreeStealers. I scraped out the
leftover mac to the dog dish. Our craziest cat came running. The
other animals must have followed HH to the property line. This
crazy gray calico would not even eat it. And she loves noodles.

When #1 returned, I asked if he felt OK. "Yeah, why?" I explained
that his mac was expired. "WHAT! You gave me old milk?" Make
a Note to Self, everyone: DO NOT EAT AT HILLBILLY MOM'S
HOUSE. I assured him that no, I did not give him expired milk. I
never have given them expired milk. I always check the date AND
smell it first. It's milk, not hamburger. He said he still felt fine.

I called my Hillbilly Mama and told her it didn't smell quite right.
She said, "Well, I don't really know how old it was. I didn't think
to check." Maybe I should have kept quiet, and taken her some
mac leftovers in a couple of days.

Hillbilly Mansion. So thrifty, we can not throw away a box of
year-old Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. $0.78 is a terrible thing to

Monday, January 23, 2006

Come Back Tomorrow

So many issues, so little time.

I had planned a story of my problem child's latest attempt to thumb
his nose at authority. Then I had bus duty issues, and I had to go
to my annual program review at the monthly school board meeting.
So I just cain't get 'er done tonight.

I have had a day that started at 4:30 a.m., and went downhill from
there. My biorhythms must all be crossing the lowest point at the
same time. Or someone is sticking needles in a voodoo doll made
of corn cob, suet, and mouse fur, with "Hillbilly Mom" carved
across its forehead. I bet it's a right purty little doll.

Tonight, I am struggling to keep my head above the surface, yet
I keep sinking deeper and deeper into the Sea of I'm A Nobody
Because That's How People Treat Me Like I Don't Freakin'
Exist Or Have A Right To Participate In Their Conversations
Because I Don't Make My Own Jewelry Or Make A DVD
Of Kids To Show Instead Of Talking Statistics About My
Program Or Bake Cookies Like A Good Little Stepford Or
Have To Be Called To Show Up At The Meeting 40 Minutes
Late Because I Forgot. Perhaps you've seen it on the map.
It's between the continents of I'm A Sexist Pig and I Am Perfect
And Will Skew The Statistics To Show That.

Please excuse me while I go fry up a pan of worms for my
pity party of one. After a rousing game of Pin the Blame on
Hillbilly Mom, I will sink into a restless slumber, with visions
of Do-Nots rasslin' in my head.

Tomorrow is another day. It starts at 4:30 a.m.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

He's Baaaaack!

EEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! The horror! My Hillibilly Husband has
returned home from Brazil. And he is driving me crazy. He has
upset our group dynamic. We forgot how much we must cater
to his whims, how he thinks everything is ALL ABOUT HIM!
(Hrphf! The nerve of that man!). Don't think I'm being unkind to
the sire of my children, the ant to my picnic, the hemlock to my
tea, the antifreeze to my dog dish, the thorn to my side, the wad
to my panties, the finger to my Wendy's chili, the pooper to my
party, the sugar to my gas tank, the wrench to my plan, the fly to
my soup, the salt to my wound, the spill to my milk...

That reminds me, he DID spill my milk. I had to do the grocery
shopping this morning. For the first time in about 2 months, he
carried in the groceries. And he threw the Wal-mart sack with
the half-gallon of milk and the bunch of bananas onto the kitchen
table. I went to put it away, took out the milk, took out the
bananas, and there was something else in the bag. What? I peered
inside. It was a cup of milk. On the loose. The cap had not been
on the milk properly, and when he threw it down on its side, it
poured out. So then I had to wash off the bananas, the kitchen
table, the milk jug. I put the bag of milk in the sink, only to find
it stuck to a serving spoon when I tried to pour out the milk. I
shook it and swung it against the sink, but in the end I had to
grab that spoon and streeeeeetch the bag until it came loose. HH
had put his cough medicine spoon in the sink. More on that later.

Since his arrival Friday night/Saturday morning, HH has managed
to get on my last frayed nerve. Imagine that! Maybe I mentioned
(whined) that I've been sick. Since Monday night, I have not slept
more than 4 hours a night, what with the snot draining, and the
coughing. I tossed and turned, I flipped and flopped, like bacon
in a skillet, water on a hot griddle, popcorn in a microwave, a cat
on a hot tin roof, a mouse toyed with by a cat, a goldfish who "fell"
out of the bowl, a hot potato in a game of...well...hot potato.
You know what I mean.

HH told me he'd be home around midnight. I waited up, because
I knew I couldn't get to sleep. Around 12:20, I gave up and went
to bed. The last time I looked at the clock, it was 12:30. I fell into
a deep sleep. WooHoo! At 12:38, I was awakened by HH. He was
just glad to see me. There went my sleep. I had a lecture on how
I don't care about him. The next morning, I was in mid-conversation,
telling him about how his dog pined for him while he was gone. #2
son interrupted to say, "I missed you, Dad. I didn't get to take a
bath in the big tub." To which HH replied, "You're the ONLY one
who pays any attention to me." HELLOOOOO! I was talking to
him! Time to send out the invitations, order the cake, get out the
jar of clothespins, hang the donkey on the wall, and throw a great
big ol' pity party for HH.

But now, enough about him, let's talk about ME. I've been taking
the cough medicine, and reluctantly started the antibiotic Friday
night. I guess I really did need it. The yellowy-rusty snotty mucus
I was coughing up has turned to white. Oops! Are you squeamish?
Having a snack? Let me tell you some more about my body fluids.
I have this terrible cough. I wheeze. I coughed up hard chunks of
that yellowy-rusty stuff. Chunks. Not gooey, stretchy, stringy snot.
Chunks. It hurt. It took many tries to hawk it up. I was drinking
extra water, too. Maybe I should have gotten that little Mucinex
monster from the commercial. Anyhoo, the only relief I got was
from the cough medicine.

It is my favorite cough medicine. It is a generic. Histinex, I think.
It is orangy flavored, and oh, so sweet. I measure it in Kyle
Crocodile, a children's medicine spoon. I can take 1-2 teaspoons
every 4-6 hours. It does not make me drowsy. I can even take
it at school. It is good for what ails me, though it might be the
reason I can't sleep at night. The side effects said it can make
you drowsy, but can also make you agitated. Go figure. I think
those effects are balanced in me. I'm Even Steven, like on that
Seinfeld episode. Histinex is like crack for Hillbilly Mom. I take
that Kyle Crocodile, and lick every drop off his snout, like the
coke-heads on Intervention licking up every crumb. I fill his
gullet with water, and drink it until his fluids are clear. Can't
waste one precious drop of my Histinex. It thins the congestion,
yet dries up my itchy, watery eyes, ears, and throat. Then I
read the pharmacy information sheet. My beloved Histinex
contains hydrocodone, which I believe is a poor man's cousin
to oxycodone, who is the plain, frumpy half-sister to oxycontin.
(That s**t goes for $10 a pill, my students have told me. Not
that I was looking to buy it, mind you.) Now that I have shaken
his family tree, my Histinex is not such a knight in shining armor.
I'm a junky.

HH has some kind of nasty cough medicine. I tried it before I
got mine, but it gagged me. It did not help me in any way, shape
or form. It makes HH loopy. I noticed it because he drove us
to supper last night, and he wove from side to side. I asked it
he'd been drinking. "No. I took some cough medicine." OK,
you can legally kill us. He wouldn't let me drive. Last frayed
nerve. His medicinal effects could be because he takes so
freakin' much of it. Granted, he has had this cough since he
was in the hospital for his gout/pneumonia ordeal last fall. I
don't think they ever got rid of his not-pnuemonia. Anyhoo,
if the directions say "1 teaspoon", HH takes two. No Kyle
for him, he uses a serving spoon. "It's the same thing," he says.
Last frayed nerve. That's how the bag of milk clung to the
serving spoon.

This morning, I woke up coughing. From about 5:00 to 7:30.
I got up and drank some water, then sat up in a recliner. That
helped a little. I took off for Wal-mart, but didn't take my
buddy Histinex because hey, what if someone crashed into me,
they could say I was on oxycontin or something. After I came
out of Wal-mart, I got that draining snot tickle between the back
of my throat and my right ear. I coughed through the Sonic line
to get my Cherry Diet Coke. I coughed through the Save-A-Lot.
I coughed up 3/4 of a lung. I coughed until my eyes popped out
like those rubber little squeezy men with popping-out eyes. If
I had coughed any harder, I would have had to go back to
Wal-mart to buy some Depends.

I got home, put away the groceries, and took some sweet,
sweet, Histinex. Now I can breathe easy. For 4-6 hours.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Search Me!

Let's see what the new year has brought Hillbilly Mom in the way
of search inquiries, shall we? OK, you're right, you really don't have
a choice. I have kidnapped you from 2 minutes of your life and you
are merely along for the ride. And what a ride it will be. You are at
my mercy. Will I blindfold you and drive you around in circles?
(No, I'm pretty sure that's what Fitty does to his victims just before
he chops them up and puts them in 55-gallon barrels.) Will I take
you on a sightseeing excursion that lasts 4 hours, never stopping for
food, drink, or bodily function breaks? (No, that was my esteemed
Hillbilly Husband, before we were married.) Will I promise you that
even though I haven't come to visit you in 5 years, I am going to
take you on a fall sightseeing tour--and then instead sign you into
a nursing home? (No, that was my mother's friend.) Let's just get
right down to business. Fasten your seatbelt, Hillbilly Mom drives
fast. Feel free to sing along with the CD. Hillbilly Mom don't like
no radio. It might play current music.

Here's what we will be singing to today:
A Horse With No Name.....America
I'd Like to Teach the World To Sing.....The New Seekers
Summer Breeze.....Seals & Crofts
It's a Heartache.....Bonnie Tyler
The Lion Sleeps Tonight.....Robert John
Undercover Angel.....Alan O'Day
Cat's In the Cradle.....Harry Chapin
Just When I Needed You Most.....Randy VanWarmer
I'd Really Like to See You Tonight....
...England Dan & John Ford Coley
December 1963 (Oh What a Night)....
...Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons

Now, lets get this show on the road. Here are some odd queries:

"where the sidewalk ends sleeping sardines" Jan. 2 got us off
to a good start. Is this person looking for the location where a
sidewalk kills sardines in their slumber? Or a place to let his little
fishies take a nap while he goes for a walk? I do know that I posted
about what I got for Christmas, which included 70s music, and Shel
Silverstein wrote that song "Cover of the Rolling Stone." I also said
I ate a Harry Potter sardine jellybean. So that's how they got here.

"forced in panties by mom" Gosh. How traumatic! Never had
this unfortunate experience. I don't remember blogging anything
like this, unless I mentioned old lady panties, but why would I?

"pigs of girls thongs showing" OK, people, if you're going to
search, and you're new to the English language, 'pigs' are porcine
animals. Perhaps you meant 'pics', which is the cool way to say
photos. If you want to see this, you should have come to my
school a couple years back, because every time a girl sat down,
you would have had your dose of perv crack. I might have said
how 'flip flops' were called 'thongs' back in my prehistoric days,
but that's it.

"old salad dressing expiration dates" Great Googley Moogley!
Are you trying to poison someone? Who looks up stuff like that? If
you already ate some old Thousand Island, maybe your time would
be better spent by dialing the Poison Control Center. I shared with
y'all the time my Hillbilly Mama served me some 4-year-old Ranch
Dressing. She meant well. When it looked watery, I checked the
date. DOH! Foiled again, Mother!

"the clapper television won't turn on" I think you are profanity-
challenged. The proper term would be "The f*****g television
won't turn on!" Is this a new brand of TV? Or a TV that is devoted
solely to 'clapper' commercials? Because I bragged about my son
getting the old folk gift of a clapper for Christmas, I was the answer
to your search. Be careful what you brag about.

"cat getting head cut off in a sunroof commercial" What's the
matter, nothing much on TV, so you want to call the kids in: "Hey,
young 'uns, looky what we got here! That there kitty got his noggin
popped clean off by that contraption!" ? Yes, there was such a
commercial, according to Mr. S at work, who saw it on the internet
when his students were doing research on past U.S. presidents.

"spank my children blog" I see...you're one of those parents who
would NEVER spank your children, so you want me to do it for you?
Grow a freakin' spine! Who's running the asylum, you or the inmates?
I will take care of my own children, thank you very much. And if I
have to pop them on the behind with my tender dishwater-chapped
hand to get their attention, so be it. I ain't talkin' wire coat hangers
or flyswatter handles, people. It's a hand. It really does hurt me
more than it hurts them. Wal-mart has been making those jeans
mighty thick these days.

There you have it. Another peep into the freak show that is Hillbilly
Mom's readership. Come on back now, y'hear? Even if you didn't
find what you were looking for this trip, there's always next time.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Can't Stand...

Wow...I'm taking time to talk about ME for a change! I know what
you're thinking: "How uncharacteristic of Hillbilly Mom to talk about
herself. Maybe this will help us learn more about her." See. Now
you know I'm psychic. That's psychIC. Not psychO.

I will only give you a few of the things I can't stand. I don't have all
night, you know. My Hillbilly Husband returns from Brazil tonight.
And you know what that means...a big screaming fight about how
I don't pay enough attention to him.


PHONIES. Do not pretend you are a good housekeeper or Parent
of the Year. Nobody is that perfect. Some people are clean freaks.
Dare to speak its name. Or just admit that your bathroom sink is
growing hair, or the laundry has never been introduced to the
drawers, or you have food in your cabinets from 7 years ago when
you moved into the house. 'Fess up that you put the baby in the
swing for a couple hours so you didn't have to watch him, that you
gave the toddler a granola bar that he dropped on the garage floor,
that your preschooler screams and runs the other way when you
go to pick him up every afternoon. Oops. It's not all about ME
right now.

SNOBS. You are not better than anyone else. People have different
capabilities, based on their backgrounds. I don't care if you have a
maid or a one-room shack...or a maid IN your one-room shack.
You do not have the right to look down on others. Some people
shop at Wal-mart. Get used to it. WooHoo! You eat sushi and caviar
and goat cheese! I'm so NOT impressed, cause in case nobody told
you, that's still raw fish, fish eggs, and fermented fluid from the nether
regions of a goat. Eat it if you like it, but quit puttin' on airs about it.
I don't go around bragging about my Hamburger Helper, Chex Mix,
and Sonic Cherry Diet Coke. Well, technically, I DO, but hey, the
point here is that I'm not trying to show that I'm better than you
because I'm such a classy broad. It takes all kinds. Live and let
live. Stop the Snootyism.

A$$ KISSERS. You may work it so you get the best of everything
the boss has to offer, but at what price? Don't you know what
other people think of you? Is that how you want to be perceived?
Do you want people to be afraid to talk to you, because what we
say goes straight from your mouth to the boss's a$$? Don't any of
you Hillbilly Mom readers EVER kiss my a$$!!! (Though there's
plenty to go around.) I don't think there's any danger this will
happen, what with the commenters I have pulling my chain all the
time, but I hate to read a$$-kissing comments. I can take the bad
with the good. I am not fragile. I TEACH MIDDLE SCHOOL
STUDENTS. That prepares you for life, my friends.

SHIRKERS. If it is your duty, DO IT. Do not wait for someone
else to bail you out. If there is a dead mouse on the porch, do
not step over it and pretend you didn't see it. First spotter picks
up the dead mouse. If your job is to take out the trash every
week, do not sleep in and say, "They'll get it next week." Do
not pass the buck. If you jam the copier, freakin' search through
its guts for your scrap. We'll see whose copy it is when we dig
it out. Then we will talk about you like snobs.

I'm not really wound up today, I'm not fired up about things I
can't stand. But you'll be sure to know when I am, because
there will be another edition of "Hillbilly Mom Can't Stand..."

A Shameless Plug

My #1 son would like people to visit his blog. He started it last
April, but didn't have time to update it often, what with 4th grade
being quite demanding in the homework department. This year, he
uses downtime to get that blasted homework done at school. He
promises to try to update at least once a week, on the weekends.
That boy loves electronic gadgets, thus the blog title.

He has been raving about some new internet game called Evolution.
If you know of any techies who are not pervs, have them check
out his site: everythingelectronic.blogspot.com. I will monitor it
in case of freaks. He is also interested in Nintendo DS, computer
magazines, building computers, and cats.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hillbilly Mom Has Grooming Issues

I forked my hair today. I left my purse in the car, because I trust
roving bands of redneck parking-lot thieves more than my students.
I really did look for a comb. I searched my black Office Max
canvas bag that I got free at Office Max (duh) on Teacher
Appreciation Day. I searched the pockets of my 6-year-old brown
suede Wal-mart coat. Yes, I'm a fashion maven.

The wind was angry today, my friends. Angry like a 9th grade
girl who has been told to put away her stalkerish stack of Jesse
McCartney photos and finish her vocabulary words. Ol' Man
Wind styled my lady-mullet until it looked like a replica of the
cord-and-wire tangle than hangs from my computer, flowing over
the edge of my cast-off carved-up science-lab table. I searched
my cabinet-without-a-lock. No comb. Aha! I did find a gray,
long-handled plastic fork that I refuse to throw away, because
hey, it is sturdier than the school's white plastic forks, and if you
lick it clean after each use, it is like new again. And it works on
your hair just like a pick! HooRah, Hillbilly Mom! You're a
freakin' MacGALver when it comes to inventing hair care
products! And it can still be used as a fork, too.

Speaking of hair care products...I'll get to that in a minute. I
might not have mentioned that I have a cold. It was given to me
by my #1 son, who thought it would be funny to COUGH! in my
face while I was driving the large SUV. I adjusted his attitude.
Now I am adjusting pieces of Puffs With Aloe that I roll up and
stick into my nostrils. Oh, come on, don't pretend you've never
done that. By the look #1 gave me when I wore these while driving
him to school, I don't think he will try that trick again. I am a master
of embarrassment techniques.

Because of the stuffy head, I don't smell too good right now. By
that I mean my sense of smell does not exist. I don't know if I
smell good to other people or not. Who cares, anyway, since it's
ALL ABOUT ME? This morning, forking my straggley helmet-
head of static-y dyed hair, looking in the small mirror mounted
on the inside of my school cabinet door, I noticed a reddish area
near the bottom of my neck, just below my goiter. Then it hit me!
Not the mirror, silly, the thought that I had not scrubbed off the
Vicks VapoRub from last night. Normally, I would smell it in the
shower as it heated up again, and scrub that greasy gunk off.

Then I wondered if anyone else would smell it. Maybe they
wouldn't notice, what with my other fragrances. Hmm...there
was the Irish Spring With Aloe soap, and the Suave Dragon
Fruit no-tears shampoo, along with Colgate toothpaste and the
Lady Speed Stick Orchard Blossom Antiperspirant. On the way
to school, I applied my Strawberry/Kiwi Lip Balm. Once there,
my hands were dry, so I squirted on a little Bath & Body Works
Cucumber Melon lotion. (It was a Christmas gift a couple of years
ago. As you can tell from my above list of beauty products, I am
not a regular consumer of high-end, classy crap such as Bath &
Body Works.) And as the piece de resistance, due to that blasted
cold, I had popped in a Hall's Mentholyptus Honey Lemon cough
drop to fortify my voice for the morning Do-Not exercises.

Nawwww...I didn't think anybody would notice the Vicks VapRub.
I was a virtual smorgasbord of smells. What aromatic ambiance
would trail behind me the rest of the day? Or would a plethora
of pungent odors precede me into the classroom? I had no time
to worry my pretty little forked head about these matters, as it
was time for the tone. Yes, at high school we have a tone, not
a bell. You should see the freshmen the first time they hear it.
They don't know that's the signal to grab the books you haven't
used, and rush out into the hall to loiter with friends until the tardy
tone. Anyhoo, I only had enough time to turn off my cell phone
that I'm not allowed to have at school and stuff it in my coat
pocket in the cabinet.

And thus began another day in the slow handbasket to h*** that
is Hillbilly Mom's life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Junk Store Blues

That title is mis-leading. I did not have the blues. I liked working
at my junk store. When we left off yesterday, I was talking about
the basement hardware department, and I promised you some
toilet tales and a lie-detector story. I always keep my promises.

The basement also housed the wallpaper stock. We had some
good wallpaper, if you could find enough for what you needed.
It was stored in bins like children's cubbies at school. They were
all around the walls, and in rows down the middle, about chest
high. The guys selling paint and tools and buckets of wallpaper
paste were kind of busy earning their commission, so they let
the people browse until they needed the accessories for their
wallpaper job. Some of the browsers were not actually there
to buy wallpaper! I know, hard to believe, isn't it? About once
a week, we would hear Charlotte called down to the wallpaper
section. Since Charlotte was my boss, and I knew she didn't
have anything to do with wallpaper, I was curious. I asked
Joyce, who was floor manager. "Oh, somebody took a s***
again down in wallpaper." Like it was routine. And it was.

Charlotte cleaned it up. Nothing phased that woman. She was
about 6 feet tall, with bleached-blond Dolly Parton hair, and
a couple of other Dolly Parton attributes as well (and I don't
just mean the make-up she caked on). She was kind of
countrified. Some days, we took an hour lunch instead of
30 minutes. We had to clock in and out, so we didn't cheat
the store. We walked next door for some sweet and sour
chicken, then got my car and drove to Wal-mart. Charlotte
shopped for make-up. It was her passion. She even tried to
get ME to buy make-up. "You'd look real pretty with this," she
said (not knowing that later in life a woman would follow me
around Save-A-Lot declaring "You are SO PRETTY!" --even
though I still didn't wear make-up). Anyhoo, Charlotte came
back from s*** detail and announced, "That was no kid. It was
THIS long." It must have been some perv coming in each week.
A normal person wouldn't do that. We didn't see anybody
squatting down to take a s*** in Wal-mart's aisles.

The store had a public bathroom. I should say A BATHROOM.
That was it. One toilet with a sink, for the entire store. US and
the customers. Men and women. Unsurprisingly, the toilet over-
flowed about as often as the perv took a s*** in the basement.
That was Charlotte's job, too. She got the plunger, and the mop,
and cleaned up. The thing people didn't know was that if the
extra roll of toilet paper was sitting on the floor when the flood
came, it stayed there. I NEVER used the toilet paper there. Don't
get your panties in a wad--I took Kleenex in my purse. In fact,
WE tried to wait until lunch, and use the Chinese restaurant's
bathroom. Ha. They probably had some such horror tale to tell

One day we sat around the break room, which was really a little
storeroom in the boot department, with empty boot boxes on
the shelves. Not all were empty. It was also our Lay-A-Way
room. Yes, people put things on Lay-A-Way at the junk store.
They came in to make payments, too. Their stuff was kept in
a boot box. We numbered the shelves and boxes. Shh...don't
tell anyone, but that's where we hid the money overnight. We
changed which box it was every week. Vera did not think
burglars would search through every box, looking for money.
So we were having a soda, and Charlotte kept squirming, and
poked at her boob area. She said, "Something keeps itching me."
She went into the bathroom. A few minutes later, she came out
and announced, "It was a tick...and he was grinning from ear
to ear!"

Those people working there were a riot. They treated me nicer
than people anywhere I have ever worked. I can generally fit
in with any crowd except snobs, but some crowds treat me
better than others. We went out to bars, we had barbeques
at Penny-the-manly-woman's house, we went swimming in the
James River, we went to Silver Dollar City. It was a fun time.
A new girl, Becky, had a crush on little-man Randy from the
hardware department. She chased after him. He was friendly.
He and another guy got tickets to see Randall "Tex" Cobb.
Becky thought this was a country singer. She talked about
how much she liked Randall "Tex" Cobb. Randy looked at
her funny, but he went and got a ticket and invited her. She
was all excited for a week: "Randy is taking me to see Randall
"Tex" Cobb!" After the date, Charlotte asked her if she had
a good time. Becky said, "It was a BOXING MATCH!"
Uh...yeah. Randall "Tex" Cobb was a heavyweight boxer.

On the weekends, I had to be cashier, because Charlotte
only worked Monday-Friday. We had two cashiers, so it
wasn't too bad, depending on who else worked. Maxine
was kind of pissy, but good with the customers, IF she
wasn't out taking an unofficial smoke break. Weekends
were like being in No Man's Land--all the bosses, including
Vera, were off. Tracy was a little spacey young thing, but
she could be bossed around. Hazel was just like her name,
kind of old and boring, but agreeable and a good worker.
There were usually three of us, with Dennis the security
guard, and Sherry the boot girl, and the commission guys.
The worst one to be scheduled with was Everett, Joyce's
senior-in-high-school son.

Everett thought he was boss, because of his mom. He was kind
of prissy, immature in many ways, but mature enough to tell off
the customers in a polite way. He liked to play around and not do
his fair share. Unless there was a rush, one person ran the register,
and the other two straightened up the store. You had to watch
Everett, or he would get you on the register and never come back.
The trick was to get him there, and not respond when he called. He
only got mad about it once, when Hazel and I hid in Rubber Boots
and would not go back up front. He cussed us out pretty good, but
forgot about it when we called him to cut up a credit card. He loved
doing that. We'd call Checkrite if there was a problem scanning it in
our little machine, and they'd tell us to destroy the card. When those
people said, "Uh...I meant to use my other one. I'll just take that back,"
Everett pulled it back from their outstretched hands. "Oh, we have to
destroy this one. It's no good." Snip snip, right in front of them. Then
they got mad and left without buying.

One weekend, the register was $50 short. We were supposed to
cash out, and not let anyone else on our register unless it was for
break. I had seen Everett take money before and put it under the
tray. He did something funny with the commission slips, too, but I
couldn't figure it out. Anyhoo, the big boss was mad about
someone stealing $50. He called in an investigator with a polygraph.
We all had to take it. We went down to the basement, to the big
guy's office, one at a time. The investigator strapped me into the
chest strap and the finger thingy and told me to answer truthfully,
then to answer with a lie, so he could get a baseline. He asked me
all kinds of stuff, like did I take the money. I answered no. He also
asked me if I knew who took the money. I answered yes, because
I thought Everett did it. He was the only one I saw fiddle with the
money. He must have confessed or failed his polygraph, because
nobody ever asked me WHO took it. Everett kept working there.
I guess because of his mom being a good employee.

One day Charlotte caught a man stealing Hanes underwear. It
wasn't used, in was in packages of 3. The man had his coat partly
unzipped, and stuffed about 10 packs in there. Charlotte was
doing something behind the register when Maxine rang up some
little thing the guy had bought. Charlotte told him we'd also need
to ring up the underwear. The guy got huffy, and said, "I don't
know what you're talking about." Charlotte told him to unzip his
coat, that she had watched him stuff it full of underwear. He threw
the underwear all over the counter and stormed out.

Any time we had an indignant customer, we called Charlotte or
Maxine. One lady carried up two lamps. "These are just alike.
This one is marked $5, and this one is marked $15. I want THIS
one ($15) for $5." I told her I couldn't do that, I had to ring the
price as marked. She had a fit. I got on the PA and called up
Charlotte. She was sweet as pie. "Honey, that one is $15 because
IT WORKS." That lady walked out, too.

I'd love to tell you about Dennis the security guard and the French
tourists, or the boot-stealer, but I don't have time. I have to be
done in time to get the kids baths done and get stuff ready for
tomorrow, and still have time to watch "Skating With the Stars."
Don't hate me because you envy my life. Hate me because I'm

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hillbilly Mom, Junk Pricer

Yesterday I said I might steal something from Rebecca. So I did.
It was this idea, which I got from her post yesterday. It was about
OP stores. I take it that is some quaint Australian euphemism for
JUNK STORE. This is where I can outRebecca Rebecca. For
I, Hillbilly Mom, used to work in a junk store. Nyah, nyah.

I thought I told this story before, but my loyal reader Mabel told
me this morning at school that I hadn't, for she would be sure to
know. So if I did, consider this to be one of those "Best of Hillbilly
Mom" compilations.

I worked at an insurance salvage store for a year, after 5 years of
teaching. I moved to Springfield to get my Master's Degree, and
worked around my class schedule. I had shopped in this store
during my undergraduate days, and stopped in again to browse
after I moved back to town. I saw they had a "Help Wanted"
sign on the door, so I filled out an application while I was there.
The next morning, Vera, the bookkeeper who ran the place (she
thought) called me to come in for an interview. She was very nice,
but you could tell she was one shrewd businesswoman. She had
dyed auburn hair all ratted up in a 60s kind of bouffant. She wore
skin-tight Vanderbilt jeans, spike heels, and talked like her back
molars were wired together. Oh, and she was about 50 years old.
Vera also had a habit of saying, "Uh huh" after every sentence.
Kind of like Billy Bob Thornton in Slingblade, the way he said,
"Mmm hmm", only not in a creepy way. She hired me on the spot.

I was SO proud of myself to get this job. I had no retail experience.
It was kind of a large store, Cardin's Insurance Salvage. Maybe
some of you have heard of it (Redneck Diva) if you know much
about Springfield. It is on Glenstone Avenue, not too far from
Chestnut Expressway. Anyhoo, after working there about six
weeks, Vera gave me a RAISE! Of $0.15 per hour on my hourly
pay of minimum wage. Again, I was SO proud! And Vera acted
like she had just nominated me to be the first woman president.
A couple months later, as I became more friendly with people,
I asked Vera why she hired me. Pleased as punch, she replied,
"You looked clean. Uh huh." So much for my pride.

Cardin's bought stuff from insurance companies, after a retailer
had gone out of business. It might have been due to fire, flood,
tornado, bankruptcy, whatever. We also got J.C.Penney returned
merchandise. My job was "assistant pricer." Charlotte, one of
the main two women who worked there, was the pricer. I was
like her indentured servant. She treated me good. Charlotte told
me what to work on each day. Sometimes, I helped her unload
a truck. Sometimes, we loaded a truck, so we could have a
truckload sale. For instance, we would haul out all the winter
coats and hang them in a semi trailer for a 'just arrived-winter
coat sale'. Man, was that hot work in August! Charlotte taught
me how to price: take the original price, and divide it by 2.
Sometimes we had to look up the Penney's stuff in the catalog
to price it. Sometimes it was right in the package, not even
opened, with the price on it. I got a couple of comforters this
way. They didn't even smell like smoke. That was the running
joke...that everything there had been in a fire. If it was some
odd shipment that we didn't know how much it cost, Charlotte
had the final say. We priced things by writing on them with a
black Sharpie. Right on the item, on a tag if it was clothing.
People came in all the time with their own pens and tried to
change prices, but all the cashiers knew how we wrote it, and
that didn't work. There were some good arguments with people
goading the cashiers into calling them price-changing thieves.
Then the customer would walk out in a huff: "I'll never shop
HERE again!"

I got a bad case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from holding items
and writing on them all day. I didn't know what it was at the
time. I would wake up at night with my hands and forearms
hurting so bad that I had to soak them in ice water. It all went
away after I stopped working there. Go figure.

We had different sections of the store, like Wal-mart. The worst
place to work was Toys. People let their kids play while they
shopped. 4 or 5 times a day, the toys had to be picked up. The
easiest was Clothes, because the worst thing there was folding
the used Levis and stacking them by size. Otherwise, you had
to make sure the $3.00 blouses stayed separate from the $5.00
blouses, and put them back on hangers if they fell off. The best
place was Boots, but it had its own manager, and took up about
a third of the store. We had exotic skins that were illegal, and a
lot of people came in to buy boots. Some were $300 or $400,
which was quite a high price for Cardin's. The girl who worked
in Boots was allegedly screwing the boss. And not the boss of
the boots. If you wanted to hide out for a while and avoid being
called to the register, you went to Rubber Boots. It was in the
back corner of the store, out of sight of the register and Vera's
little platform. The first day of work for any new hire (including
me) was Rubber Boots. You had to spend all day sorting them,
matching up the pairs, and the liners. That was to see if you'd
quit, or get lazy and slack off. Charlotte would pop in to check
every so often.

Downstairs, we had hardware, lumber, carpet, and wallpaper.
This was no-woman's land. It was like another continent. These
fellows were on commission. It was dog eat dog. Who could
out-hustle or outsmart or out-cheat the others. We had Wes,
the slow country guy; Randy, the hyper little-man; Don, the
big lazy cheater; Tony, clean-cut high school kid; and Penny,
a new hire, a manly kind of woman who was married to a
truck driver. Two of them would be assigned to watch the
parking lot, which had stacks of lumber, toilets, pipe, etc.
They would grab the customer, make the sale, and write a
ticket. We had to keep the tickets on a metal spike by the
cash register, because that is how they were paid, a commission
on their total sales. The others stayed downstairs to sell the
carpet and stuff there.

This is so long now that I am going to continue it tomorrow.
Come back anyway. I'll tell you about the toilet, what people
used as a toilet, and my lie-detector test. C'mon, it'll be fun.
Bring some refreshments.

Monday, January 16, 2006

"I Got Plenty of Nothin'...

...and nothin's plenty for me!" Oh, the horror that was my middle
school music class! We had to sing show tunes for an entire year.
The King and I, Showboat, Oklahoma, State Fair, Porgy and Bess,
The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel, you name it,
we sung it. That might be why our music teacher mysteriously sat
on a tack one day.

I remember that day well. She was wearing her half-red, half-royal-
blue polyster dress. That really wasn't hard to remember. She wore
that dress every day we saw her: Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was
like that Seinfeld, when Jerry doesn't know if his girlfriend "Lois"
has a closetful of identical dresses, or if she wears the same one
every time they go out. Some little brat ran up and put that tack,
stolen from the bulletin board, on her piano bench just before she
sat down. You'd think that would have taught her to angle that
piano so she could see us while she played, but noooooo.

The worst part of it was that she didn't even feel the tack. What's
up with that? When she stood up, it was stuck in the back of her
dress. That was the most attention she had gotten from the class
all year. We watched closely to see how long it would cling, and
if she would sit on it again. An even bigger question was: what
was she doing teaching us backwoods hillbilly young 'uns to
sing show tunes?
Did she think we were all prepping to be future
contestants on Jeopardy? We had no clue what we were singing.
But to this day, when I see Oklahoma, or State Fair, on TMC or
some such channel, I have to watch a few minutes and sing along.
Imagine my family's horror every spring when The Sound of Music
is on network TV.

Rumor amongst the kids was that 'Janice', our music teacher, and
'Nadine', the music teacher at our other middle school across town,
were "funny". I was in 7th grade, and did not know what this meant.
I didn't think Janice was very funny. She would starve if she tried
to take her comedy act on the road. The act that consisted of
frowning and yelling, "Stop that, or you're going to the office!"
Janice and Nadine were both butt-ugly, even by middle-school-
music-teacher standards. I think the rumor came about because
they shared a house. We only saw Nadine if she was on duty at the
other school when we went there for basketball games. She always
wore a black dress. Maybe they were just thrifty.

The other excitement that year was when Melinda got caught
reading "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*
But Were Afraid to Ask" in Language class. Dumba$$. She
had a homemade book cover over it, such as the type that were
popular back then, a Peter Max design or something, and sat
at her desk with it propped up, reading away. I might add that
the book had made its rounds through the students before we
arrived in that afternoon class. Mainly, we looked at the pictures.
Artist's renderings, not photographs. When I think back, they
remind me of Will Farrell and Rachel Dratch as the 'Lovaaahs'
on Saturday Night Live. Anyhoo, our language teacher, who
was a neighbor of mine, walked around the room, up and down
the aisles, as we were reading silently. She stopped by Melinda,
and said, "Let me have that." She took it to her desk and glanced
through it. Melinda had to stay after class. I don't know what
happened. They probably made her parents come in and get
the book. Duh! Where did they think SHE got it?

And my last memory from those murky middle school years?
(Not only am I SO PRETTY, I am also SO OLD.) Our algebra
teacher bet us all a soda that by the time we graduated, the whole
United States would be using the metric system...on road signs,
car speedometers, cookbooks, etc. Many of us discussed going
back to claim our soda after we graduated, but I don't know of
anyone who actually did.

And there you have it, another post about nothing. Maybe I can
steal something from Rebecca's blog for tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My New Career

Hey, if this teaching thing doesn't pan out, I've come up with a new
career idea to fall back on. No, not writing cliches. I can be a drug
dog. I'd be taken care of, get to go for rides, play with a tennis ball,
run in the halls at school, and be in great demand. What's not to
like about a job like that?

Now don't be thinking I've dipped into the fake Vicodin. I got this
idea from Babs. No, Babs isn't a headhunter for drug dogs. She had
a post about how people can be judged by their clothing, and how
one such group in her high school was the "hoodies," who partook
of the illegal substances. That set me to thinking about the groups in
my high school, and in schools where I've taught. That post was in
the planning stages for today. By that, I mean I was mulling it over
while driving my large SUV to get my daily Sonic Cherry Diet Coke.
When I returned home, of course I could not get right to it. I had to
drop in on some blogs first, which is really just procrastination, pure
and simple. I can't help it. I am an Aquarius. We are known for
being dreamers, but not necessarily doers. In my blog visits, I
saw that Rachy had some info about the strength of dogs' noses.
And since everything is all about ME, it made me think of my
own nose.

Our school nurse says I have a good nose. Over many years, I
have turned in various students because they smelled like pot.
I should know. I lived with some potheads. Now you have to
be careful in situations like this, because sometimes, it may be
a case of them riding to school with somebody who smoked it,
or it may be on their clothes because someone at home is a
regular consumer. So all I have done is mention it to the nurse,
and the wheels of the investigation begin to roll. It has been
over a year since I narced on anybody. Our school does not
have a big problem with drugs. I am not saying it doesn't occur,
but it is not a big problem. We are a podunk little whitebread
school. There are no gangs, no deals going on between classes.
But people who think kids in their school do not do drugs are
fooling themselves in this day and age.

Back in my high school days, drug use was not uncommon. Think
of that movie, "Dazed and Confused," and you pretty much have
my high school. Except it was smaller, and in Missouri, not Texas.
Students acted like those kids, with the exception of spanking
freshmen with paddles. After our open lunch shift, several students
would come back to 5th hour under the influence of the wacky
tobaccy. Around town, we had the creepy older guy who hung
out with kids, buying them beer or giving them weed. It was a
simpler time. Cruising through town was the big recreational
activity, or hanging out at the Sports Complex, which had three
baseball/softball fields. Our junior/senior prom was cancelled
due to "lack of interest."

At one of my earlier teaching jobs, the kids who were known
for drug use were called the "stoners." The other group was the
jocks, which the stoners called the "preps." It was not really cool
back then to take drugs. Maybe that annoying, red-dress-wearing
Nancy Reagan had something to do with that. The "Just Say NO"
campaign. Man, why didn't someone tell that skinny hag that red
was not a good color on her? She was hideous. Anyhoo, the
times they were a-changin', and now the preps are as much the
stoners as the stoners. Drugs have become cool again.

And now...back to my favorite subject of ME. The kids I turned
in never knew who did it. That's because I asked the nurse not to
mention me specifically as the person who gave her the tip.
She just said 'people' or 'a teacher' had mentioned it. The kids
have rights. They are questioned, and some admit to it right off. If
not, and they show signs of being under the influence of something,
they are asked to go take a drug test, on their own, and not come
back unless they have results showing they are clean. If they don't
take that drug test within a reasonable amount of time, they receive
a 90-day or 180-day suspension. It depends on the case.

Once upon a time, there was a kid who showed up to my class
acting differently than usual. For him. He and I had a good rapport
for the 3 years he'd been in my class. On this day, 2nd hour, he
walked in. I stood at the door to supervise the hall, as usual. I said
"Good morning, Student," and he looked at me and said, "What
do you mean by that?" Kind of belligerant, an attitude I'd never
seen in him. So I kept an eye on him. I asked him a question about
what we were doing in class, and he couldn't focus. He'd say,
"Now what was that?" Next thing I knew, he fell out of his chair.
OK. Red flag. Something was not right here. This was within the
first 5 minutes of class. He joked it off. "Man, I shouldn't have
leaned over so far." The kids looked at each other like "WTF?"
I shuffled some papers on my desk, grabbed one, and told them
I needed a copy, and I'd be right back. No need to announce
that I'm narcing on someone. I went straight to the nurse's office,
told her he was acting differently, and could she take a look.

Within 5 minutes, she was at my door, asking to talk to him about
his shot record. He did not return. For a year. The next day, the
kids were talking about it. "Did you hear what happened?" I said,
"No," which was the truth at that time. Then a kid said, "Man, I sat
behind him in Social Studies, and he took out this bottle of Xanax
and shook a bunch of them in his mouth." Then it was my turn.
"And you DIDN"T SAY ANYTHING?" He mumbled, "No. I'm
not a narc. I didn't want him to be mad at me." Then I had to
lecture them. "Don't you think you should have told someone? You
could have dropped an anonymous note on the teacher's desk!
Then they'd have to check it out. What if he'd died? Wouldn't you
rather have him mad at you than dead?" Then some talked about
a drunk driving accident where a student was killed, and how the
kid who loaned him his car wished he'd said no, because he knew
the kid shouldn't have been driving.

One of them asked if I would ever tell on them. I told them it was
my job, that my first duty was to make sure that everybody in our
school was safe. That was my number one priority. If a student
can not even sit in a chair without falling, then something is wrong.
They said they trusted me, was I going to tell on them for things
they said? And I told them, "I will do whatever it takes to make
this school, and everyone in it, safe." And I reminded them that
I had never once made a promise to keep anything they said

On the contrary, I had told students from day one not to say
anything they didn't want told to the principal, because that was
my job. When I started with the At-Risk progam, I had some
hard-core students. They wanted to come in talking about the
weekend parties, drinking, fighting, racing cars. I had 19-year-
old seniors in a class with 14-year-old freshmen. I told them
that talk was not school-appropriate, that the fact was that they
were breaking the law, and I didn't want to hear them brag
about it. I promised them I WOULD TELL on them. That I
saw it as a cry for help, for someone to care enough to stop
them. So most of that talk in my classroom stopped.

One kid just didn't learn. "Hey, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, my dad is
going out of town this weekend, and I'm having a party. Want
to come? I'm making some hot-wings, and we're having beer,
and playing cards." Nope. Not appropriate. I told him not to
bring it up again. At lunch, I told the principal, who made a call
to the local police, who busted the party. This happened about
three more times that year. And the kid said, "Man! Every time
I have a party it gets busted! Now people don't want to come
anymore." Duh!

Same thing with kids who have talked about keeping their money
at someone else's house. Why didn't they want their parents to
know they had this money? Or the ones who were so nervous
when the drug dog went up the hall, and barked at my door.
"Can he come in the classroom? I'm really afraid of dogs. I can't
be here if he comes in." Or the one who asked if the dog was
trained to sniff out cigarettes. What have you got to hide, kids?
And the ones who told me, "Most people are not dumb enough
to bring it in school. They keep it in their cars." Newsflash: the
parking lot is still school property. They can search your car.
Or the ones that told me kids hide it in their shoes, or have a
section behind the rings in a 3-ring binder. You can bet all that
information was passed along through the proper channels.

Sometimes I don't butt in. Like the kid who mentioned that she
found her step-dad's stash of pot, after he'd had told her mom
that he quit, so she told on him to her mom. Another kid yelled
at her that she wasn't supposed to say things like that to a teacher.
The yeller must have a lot to hide. But the other one, she looks
to be taken care of, no neglect issues, and tells how her mom
helps her with her homework every night. So that is none of my
business. I'm not a police informant. But you can bet if it's
something that is hurting a kid, I'm going to tell. At one school,
a 6th grade boy dressed out for PE, and had bruises all up
and down his legs. I asked him what happened, and he said his
dad beat him with the belt again. I told the principal. She called
DFS, and he and his sister were taken out of the home. Did I
feel bad? Yes and no. The principal said they had called this
in before, and nothing got done. Maybe this was the last straw.
But reporting abuse IS THE LAW for teachers.

That is my job. Keeping kids (and ME) safe. I'll do what I have
to do. And don't you forget it.