Once every six days the day started with two periods of politics followed by one of french, all taught by the same kindhearted longwinded dwarf who was tolerable for one period but absolutely unbearable for anything more. So we’d skip the double and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, hot eggs and peameal and a neverending cup of coffee administered by a man named Dana who said things like “more diesel?” before a cup refresh and who may still be there to this day – I’ve been planning an expedition.
We’d return for french class, flagrant absenteeists. The gasbag trusted in the system, you see; he believed in democracy, he admired the fine workings of a well-oiled judicial branch, and he believed in the school’s absentee monitoring system. All he’d say is “I trust you’ve spoken to Mr. N about your lateness.” Mr. N was in charge of the attendance book, in which all tardiness must be logged with an appropriate one-line excuse, typically “sick,” “car trouble,” and the like.
But we had an in with Mr. N. Possibly he admired our come-what-may lighthearted approach to life, I’m not sure. He definitely wasn’t beyond a good face-reddening and the lifting of a student off his feet with all his kung-fu football power, but he never applied such tactics to us. We could write whatever we wanted in his stupid book, week after week. One day King submitted “Operation X” as his excuse, and I “Operation Y”. A couple years later a resourceful student compiled a list of the most entertaining attendance excuses, and ours were featured heavily. But I have to admit they were not the best. The best was given by Jost, and read simply, “bad love.” As good an excuse for anything in this godforsaken world, I’ll never know.