The time I lost my way – by Chad Robuckle

my quiz
I am a bitter, broken man.

I believe in nothing.

Hope. Love. The will to live. Foreign concepts, every one.

I would say that my only friend is myself, but I actually hate me more than you do.

It wasn’t always like this, though.

Some people live their whole lives surrounding themselves with the idea that everything is great. Then one day, they wake up and they’re 70 and they see it’s all been one, big, cruel joke.

Life fucks you over and you don’t even realize it. There’s no single moment you can point to and say, “That’s when it all went to shit.”

But I can.

I attended Westbury Elementary School in Tuckertown, Connecticut from the time I was four until I was ten.

In third grade, my elderly teacher, Mrs. Tanzarian, had to leave for six months and we got a substitute we all called “Mrs. Wubble You”, for reasons that are lost on me today. She used to give us candy if we got 5 gold stars on our homework and stuff. Nice lady.

Actually, I once got caught stealing homework candy from the bag she kept on her desk. Like all the monsters of the world, I was only following the lead of my friends. They had it all worked out: you went up, asked her a question, dropped your pencil into the bag “by accident” and when you took it out, you grabbed a piece of candy along with it. Brilliant, no?

So they pull this off without a hitch for weeks. At first, I can’t get up the nerve to do it, but the sight of them stuffing their fat faces with candy was too much. So I whipped out my tiny, 8 year old testicles and strode up to the teacher’s desk. First time, right off the line, I get busted.

“Chad, what are you doing?” she asked.

“Stealing candy. But Meredith and Rick were doing it too.”

Let that be a lesson to you: I will sell you out in a heartbeat to save my own skin if you dare to make the mistake of trusting me.

Anyway, before the candy-stealing incident, me and “Mrs. Wubble You” were pretty tight. Until the big spelling test, that is.

I call it that to make it sound more dramatic, but really it was just a quiz. Every week, we were given 20 words in our book. We had to learn them and spell them correctly each Friday. Simple enough, right?

Well, apparently this book felt that the correct way to spell the singular form of the word “cookies” was “cooky”.

What the fuck, right?

So even though I know that’s how they spelt it in the book, I write the correct way of spelling it on my quiz. “Cookie”; for my developmentally disabled readers.

I get my quiz back and sure enough, it’s marked wrong. I got a 95.

I march up to the front of the classroom and inform “Mrs. Wubble You” of her mistake.

Au contraire, punk, she told me, as she produced the book, backing up her original assertion that I had spelled the word incorrectly.

As I retrieved the dictionary, in an attempt to tell this bitch to shove her stupid book up her fat ass, she cut me off.

I can’t remember exactly what she said, but the gist of it was that the quiz was not a test of actual spelling ability, the quiz tested us on our ability to memorize what was in the book and then later recall those facts.

I shit you not.

To top it off, I think she tried to buy my silence with a piece of candy.

Nobody would back me up on this one. Not my classmates, not the principal, not even my own so-called “parents”. God forbid anyone get political or the tiniest bit controversial and dare to question the mighty bureaucracy of the Tuckertown Public School System!

Is it any wonder I joined a gang shortly thereafter? When you’ve got nothing to believe in, what’s to stop you from punching an old lady in the face “just for kicks”? Society? Morals? The Bible?

Please.

I do what I want. If I see something I want, I take it. If you bust me stealing candy these days, I won’t punch you, I will shoot you in the face with a sawed-off shotgun.

One of my professors in college described me as “the personification of the unbridled id”. Guess what happened to that fruitcake? That’s right: shot in the face.

When my parents had their “tragic accident” at Legoland a few years ago, the lead detective on the case came to my apartment and brought up the fact that when they dragged the bodies from the bottom of Adventure Lagoon, there was significant evidence of cranial damage from what appeared to be a sawed-off 12 gauge. That was right before I shot him in the face.

So, to sum up: for all the teachers out there, molding these impressionable young minds, remember that seemingly innocent decisions to make your job a little easier may have far-reaching consequences.

And you may even wake up one morning in heaven because someone has snuck into your house and shot you in the face.

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