Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," unsuccessfully trying to make it on niceness alone since 2004! Ah well, I'd rather be a little bit nice than be Donald Trump, and that's a natural fact.
The Bad News:
About three weeks ago I began substitute teaching at Snobville High School, where my daughter The Heir is a senior. I'm sort of in between long-term jobs at the Vo-Tech, and I need the dough. Snobville High doesn't pay as well as the Vo-Tech (and the lunches suck), but I can walk to work, which saves gasoline.
I guess all told I went to Snobville High six times. And there was my memorable morning with the Pre-Ks and their jar of marbles. That was Snobville Elementary (Truman C. Tewell, to be exact.)
Yesterday I subbed for the first time at an ultra-posh private Quaker school nearby. And when I got home from that, tired out as one can be after spending a day in a new place, I got a call from the substitute scheduler at Snobville School District.
It went something like this:
Snobville Scheduler: Ms. Johnson, can you please tell me why you didn't show up at the high school today? You were scheduled to cover a science class.
Anne: Well, that's news to me. I didn't have that date on my schedule.
SS: Well, it's on my schedule, and I never make mistakes! And they're very angry at you at the high school, because they had no teacher for a busy classroom.
(Long pause as she waits for me to grovel.)
Anne: I have no record of being asked to come to the high school today. But I can understand why they would be angry. I would certainly understand if they didn't want to employ me anymore. They are, of course, under no obligation to use me as a substitute teacher.
SS: Well, we'd like to remove you from the list, yes indeed, but we're having trouble finding substitutes, and beggars can't be choosers.
Anne: What a lovely sentiment! As a matter of fact, I won't be available again until after Christmas anyway.
(Anne returns telephone to its cradle.)
Soon after Christmas, I return to the Vo-Tech.
I'll admit that I'm getting a tad forgetful as I drift into my prime years of life. But as the bored gods are my witnesses, I did not make any plan to be at Snobville High on Monday, December 10, 2007. In fact, the same loathsome scheduler spent part of Friday evening attempting to lure me back to Truman C. Tewell Elementary on Monday. I wish I'd recalled that when she was on the phone, but it wasn't until I hung up that I remembered. Which bolsters her case, I guess.
When all is said and done, it's pretty pathetic that I can't even make a few bucks substitute teaching. I'm wondering if I could even cut it flipping burgers at McDonald's. I'd probably shove someone into the boiling french fry oil on my second outing.
A day may soon be coming when I have to put that last part to the test.
But that's enough bad news! Ack, phooey. It's only money, right?
The Good News:
You might remember that my friends at Woodstock Trading Company gathered in a really young kitten from their crawlspace in early November. I fostered the lil' guy until he was old enough to go live in the wonderful store, where it is always 1972, except no pipes.
Kitten has been at Woodstock for two weeks and is groovin' on it, yeah baby.
Anne got some kitten medicine from the animal shelter where she volunteers. Ergo, the owners of Woodstock Trading Company have given a hefty donation to the animal shelter.
Woodstock Trading Company has put up a donation jar for the animal shelter.
Woodstock's owners are handing out fliers for the animal shelter to all the handsome young adults who prowl through the store looking for Steely Dan t-shirts.
So the kitten is happy, the store owners are happy, and a crowded animal shelter will be a little more merry and bright for the holidays.
Doing good never pays you money, but this afternoon I'm sitting here unemployed but feeling ... okay. Some bored goddess is going to look kindly upon me in the Great Hereafter. I'd bet the farm on it. And I really do have a farm. Sort of. A piece of a piece o' nuthin farm.
In the interest of further spreading cheer, I kindly direct all of you to Woodstock Trading Company, where you can order Steely Dan t-shirts online. Or Velvet Underground. Or Moody Blues. Or the store's clear preference, The Grateful Dead.
Do you remember those dudes? You do? Then you must be like me -- unsure which butt cheek you were just resting your weight on a minute ago.
What a long, strange trip it's been!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS