Hello, Mrs. Wilson?...


Hi, there. This is Principal Cheney, over at your son Tommy's school... right, Washington Elementary... I'm just fine. How are you? Good, good...

Now, Mrs. Wilson... okay, Betty.. Uh huh. You can call me Principal Cheney. Listen now, Betty, the reason I'm calling you is to let you know that you shouldn't expect Tommy to be home on time this afternoon. No, no, not a scratch. He's fine, it's just that we've given him in detention... Yes. Sorry... Didn't mean to alarm you...

Yes, he is a little dickens, I quite agree... Fairly serious matter, yes... Well you see, there was this stink bomb incident, and little Tommy was definitely in the vicinity... No I can't imagine where he would have gotten such a device either, Betty, but I would suggest that the apple doesn't usually fall too far from the tree... I'll bet you were a rascal in your time as well, but I'm afraid this isn't the same frivolous world that it once was. And a stink bomb is an explosive device, all the same, isn't it? I mean, it does explode, in it's own way, and the smell is pungent... Yes, I'm afraid we take it quite seriously.

No, I can't really be certain whether he's the guilty party or one of the guilty parties or maybe just an enabler. We'll probably never know for sure. There were a lot of children around, and they tend to be dressed alike, but Tommy, we're pretty certain that he was involved... Well, just take a good look at him. And he was definitely in the vicinity... No, not all that sweet and innocent, Mrs. Wilson. There was the dog poop incident back in April, as you may recall... Well, if you want to argue plastic verses biological, I'm afraid I just don't have a horse in that race...

That's right... No, I'm afraid he won't be home in time for dinner... Not even a late dinner. As a matter of fact, it might be a great time for you and the mister to take in a show or something...

No, not tonight, I can guarantee he'll be staying here with us at least for the night... Mmm. I'm not really at liberty to say, it's an indefinite detention...

You don't understand? Well, indefinite means that something is not fixed in value as far as we perceive it. Let me use the word in a sentence. 'It would take an indefinite amount of money to avoid an indefinite period of pain'. Is that clearer for you?... Right, you've got it, what I'm saying is that we might never let the little bugger go...

What do you mean I can't do that? Of course I can. I am the principal, after all. It's perfectly legit. I mean, we can't just let him return to his home room and create chaos and discontent there, can we? Pretty soon the whole place would just become unmanageable... Right... Right... No, after the age of eighteen we assume all future expenses... Very good, then... Right. Better luck with little Suzy.

 

 

2005, Mark Hoback