I subbed in a first grade class at Garrett's school on Tuesday. I reckon that's about the only background you need. Speaking of "I reckon" I think we should all start saying that. I reckon it's time for dinner. I reckon we should be going now. I reckon I ought to get on with my story.
So the first graders rotate for spelling groups. When it was time for my class to come back in from their various locations, several of them--the ones who have been to my house--starting telling me that they're never coming back over, they don't want to play at my house anymore, and they downright reject any further invitation to our abode. "What? Why?" I asked them.
Turns out it was on account of all the Bloody Mary activity that goes on here.
"Wha? What are you talking about?"
Apparently, my child spent all of his twenty minutes of spelling working with another kid to scare the bejeepers out of their friends. Between the two of them they concocted some story about Bloody Mary, my house, and a dead kid on a trampoline.
So at lunch, when I saw my
Now, fast forward to the end of the day. Garrett and I went into his old kindergarten class so that he could say hello to his teacher. In the course of conversation, he ended up saying, "I remember what group I was in last year. And I remember what group Brett* was in." Brett just happens to be the same child who was helping Garrett tell stories about summoning a woman who has been "known" to scream at her conjurers, curse them, strangle them, steal their bodies, and/or gouge their eyes out. I only know this from looking it up. What did we do before the all-knowing Wikipedia? I'm incredibly hopeful that my precious firstborn child, the one who only eight years ago was nestled innocently inside my body, doesn't know the gory details surrounding the Bloody Mary folklore. If he does, homeschooling may be in our future. Or a protective soundproof bubble where the only thing he hears is my own voice being piped in while I sing Kumbayah.
"I remember too," she said.
"Yeah, well, maybe from now on you and Brett shouldn't even be in the same classroom," I mumbled to him.
"Uh oh," the kindergarten teacher said. "Garrett, are you having trouble with Brett?"
"Today they decided not to do their spelling. Instead, the two of them told all kinds of stories about Bloody Mary and freaked everyone out," I said.
"Oh no. You have to do your work, Garrett," she instructed. Then, to me, she said, "It's always something. Last year there were a bunch of kids talking about Chuckie."
"He doesn't even know what Bloody Mary is," I said. Although, looking back, I'm not sure why I said that when what I should have said is, "I have no idea how he even knows what Bloody Mary is but I'm willing to bet it starts with PUBLIC and ends with SCHOOL."
In any case, once I said that he didn't know what it was, that kid looked right at me and said, "Yes, I do! It's a drink!" His old teacher actually hit the wall she was laughing so hard. And I started backpedaling in such a way that I made it sound like I'm the town drunk. "I...um...wow...I. How? What? I promise I don't start my day off with a Bloody Mary. I mean, really. I don't. I've never even had...I. What? HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?"
"Mrs. Benson** told me!" he shouted.
Now his old teacher (By old I mean previous, not ancient. Because she is like 29.) was borderline hysterical. "Mrs. Benson told him!" she loudly laughed.
"Well I'm totally okay with that because that means I'm not the one who has to have a Bloody Mary just to get out of bed in the morning."
Still, if I now have the reputation, in this clean cut Mormon city, of being the town drunk, you know why. It all started with a kid who wanted to tell ghost stories.
*Not his real name.
**Definitely not her real name.