Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bat Freeze

The late Mrs. Flimpton (not her real name) taught fourth grade and she has had a place in the shallow closet of my bungalow. An obit had her peacefully retiring for good at her home a long time ago and she is remembered for playing 45 rpm records during recess. She encouraged dancing, showed us the twist. It was nothing out of school, so to speak, honestly it was more part of charisma, some people have it, such as durable grade school teachers. The phrase 'in the closet' in this case means a realization that Mrs. Flimpton was a great person operating an economically healthy small town, Pennsylvania.

A memory is like a G.I. Joe in the wood box under the bed. Under the futon, if you will. Consider the Batusi because it is an off shoot of the twist that was being introduced on the television show "Batman," fresh as cream. Danny W started doing the Batusi as soon as Batman brought that lively Goldberg Variation of the bar boogie out of, if you will, the all inclusive big closet in the sky.

Kindergarten, Mrs. Dickey.

Kindergarten trustee gets to pass out construction paper. Mrs. Dickey gives instructions and demonstrates tearing a circle, seven inches in diameter, much like her. Class is ordered to stand in a circle inside the austere classroom and tear a circle from the construction paper as much like her sample as we could force from our selves.

I applied the inner forces on it, and recall noticing that I was working faster than the other five year old yardies. I was correcting a long roundish train of errors and making a pile of tiny scraps on the floor. When Mrs. Dickey pushed the button on her stainless steel stop watch everyone froze like sprayed with the Bat Freeze. We were standing in a circle with our circles held out in front of us. My assessment was that my circle was more precise than
those of the hoi-paloi, and was feeling proud of the fuzzy disk. It was among my first memories of institutionalized misperceptions.

Mrs. Dickey hated the pile of scraps at my feet, which pretty well indicted my ass, not that the normal larger type of paper scraps other kids dropped could be impeached, they were the norm. My pile was more like those of a hamster, mia culpa. Also, she detested the size of my circle. Other kid's circles were closer to her size of circle. So they would be more like her in the future. Well shit, I took it pretty good. Mrs. Dickey announced to the class that we would be doing this same circle jerk again in a few months. She invected "And I don't want to see anymore of your little circles," directly to me, then closed her lesson in shredding low grade paper.