Friday, April 30, 2010

That deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean meatball

One day I looked across the lunchroom and spotted an odd scene. A merrily round boy was intensely scooping the yolk of a hard-boiled egg while two of his classmates played with their teacher's hair, apparently picking the lice out of her hair like two devoted baboons serving the matriarch of their colony. It didn't stop any time soon. The boy kept eating and eating, like a cartoon character, and the girls kept delousing until their teacher felt that enough was enough. The boy didn't feel that enough was enough until there was nothing left.

On subsequent days, I've noticed him again. He easily dwarfs the other students both physically and in his devotion to his lunch. When we served cake the other day, he ate and ate and ate until the sleeve of his navy blue blazer was white. Once again, he ate until the not-so-bitter end. Today, I pointed him out to my coworkers and we tried to get some information about him, to no avail. It was as though the soft, mushy cake had replaced the soft, mushy material of his brain.

With respect to interrogating students, one of my students informed me in an eerily calm voice that her mother had been a student of our principal some decades go. When I informed my happy-go-lucky principal of this, he spun into action, running through the English department like a whirlwind intent on tracking down this student with all the determination of a formulaic cop movie.

"Yang Some Thing? Who is this Yang Some Thing? Get me everything you have on this kid. I want birth dates, phone numbers, addresses, associates, whatever you've got. If anyone at this precinct has so much has seen this kid, I want to know."

I can only hope that all this didn't culminate in her door being kicked down by flak jacket-wearing tough guys in the middle of the night.

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