One of the perks (and curses) of teaching in my own community is the instant recognition everywhere I go. Sometimes, I get that Fight Club-esque situation in which I’m told not to eat the soup or fish, but whatever I order is discounted or free of charge. Sometimes, I’m given strange accolades whilst shopping at the local Fry’s, accolades from students who attend the neighboring high school and speak my third party legend as if they had experienced actual face time with me. I’m even getting to the point where the cops don’t pull me over anymore, which is fortunate because I’m a procrastinator and drive like I’m perpetually playing a video game.
Forsooth, and there shall come a moment in 2013 when this blog is banned from the school server because students are reading it in class. I can’t wait for that conversation with my boss.
Principal: You teach Shakespeare, but you’re writing about evil mafia beavers? Do we need to get you some help, Dan?
Me: Wait. You’re actually reprimanding me for getting students to read?
Despite that looming inevitability, the true downfall to my undeserved celebrity status in my little pocket of Central Arizona is that I am human, and sometimes I wish my purchases at the local grocery stores and circle jerks were a bit less… public. My paparazzi is primarily comprised of older teens and young twenty-somethings, after all.
Consider the following situation:
Em: Dan honey, I’m cramping soooooo bad! I need you to run out for me and get pads.
Me: (aside) Fie on it! Fie! Fie! ‘Tis an unweeded garden! Things rank and gross in nature…
Em: Huh? Are you talking to me, babe? Asides don’t work in real life. This has been such a stressful year for you. Do we need to get you some help, Dan?
Me: No, no, I’m fine. Pa-aads… Which kind are they? The Ultra Wings of Great Justice or something?
Em: I’ll text it to you. You’ll forget.
Em: Thanks, baby. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up Aurie’s diarrhea medication while you’re there. I called it into the pharmacy.
Me: Diarrhea. Anything else?
Em: Oh, I could use a girly drink. Maybe a Bahama Mama or a Mojito or something? You know what I like…
Me: (aside) …or that the Almighty had not fixed his canon ‘gainst self slaughter!
Em: I can hear you… And aren’t you reciting that soliloquy backwards?
(At the store… Which one doesn’t matter because the students work everywhere…)
In the feminine hygiene and family planning aisle:
Me: (talking loudly into my cell because I have no sense of the sound of my own voice) No, Emi, I’m telling you, this thing you want doesn’t exist!
3 Students That Graduated Last Year: (as they turn the corner) PIIIIIIIIKE! We thought we heard your voice!
Me: (laughing nervously and slinking away) Yeah, you’d know it pretty well, I guess…
Student: Here getting the supplies, I see!
Me: Oh yeah…(realizing the family planning section is behind) Heh…
Em: (still on the phone) Dan? What’s going on? Are you still there?
At the pharmacy:
Me: Yeah, I’m here to pick up the Mega Colonate…
2 More Students: PIIIIIIIIKE! Teaching at the pharmacy on your night off! That’s dedication!
Me: Of course! Now, pharmacy technician, you understand that a colon functions like a pregnant pause…
In the liquor aisle:
Me: (looking both ways) Pweh! Fuzzy Navel?
4 More Students: PIIIIIIIIKE!!! …wha? What’s that sissy $#%@?! We thought you were a man’s man!
Me: No, listen! This isn’t for me… (grabbing a 24 pack of Dos Equis–the crappy amber kind, too!–and speaking in a husky voice) I don’t always drink beer, but hwoo-when I do…
In the parking lot:
Me: (answering) Hey, Em. Yeah I think I got everything… And then some. Wait… What? You never asked me to pick up Emasculatos for Kiera’s breakfast? In a text message. I see… Right, the pink box with the cuddly kittens. Got it.
7 Students in the Parking Lot: PIIIIIIIIIIIKKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
Me: O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!
Student: He’s so epic! He’s in the car reciting that thing from Borderlands 2 into his phone! It must be some kind of code!
Me: (weakly) Fie on’t… Fie, fie…