Thursday, November 13, 2008

Losing in Heads Up, Seven Up

Me in the First Grade

On the night that we received Winston's diagnosis of delinquent dog from the veterinarian, I told my Dad about Winston's pronouncement as a problem pup, and how I felt like I had been called in to the principal's office upon receiving the exhortation from the vet. After I finished, my Dad quickly told me, "Now you know how your Mom and I felt when you said 'damn' in the first grade." Hmmmm. I don't think I've told you, the faithful Ford Retort reader, that story yet.

Now seriously, I was a good child. Virtually zero discipline issues. But I pick up on things quickly.

Mrs. Prudden was my first grade teacher, and best I recall, she was a delightful person. Mrs. Prudden would reward our class's good behavior with extra recess time or a movie or a fun game. One Friday afternoon, we finished our studies early, so Mrs. Prudden let our class play our favorite game: Heads Up, Seven Up. If you are unfamiliar with this game, I refer you here to understand it. Heads Up, Seven Up is a fairly simply game...not much to it.

One round, I became one of the lucky seven who got to go around the classroom and pick someone. My other six classmates and I did our duty and returned to the front of the class to see if our victims could successfully identify their perpetrator. So it came time for my victim to guess and see if they could identify who picked him.

"I think...it was Michael."

"Damn,"I shouted.

Ooops. The funny things was, I knew as the word "damn" was rolling off my tongue that I was about to be in trouble. The details are a little fuzzy, but best I recall, I just sat down and my spot was taken by my would-be victim. No furious words from Mrs. Prudden. No trip to the principal's office. Nothing. Some of my classmates knew I just cursed; some didn't. I remember a couple of days after the incident, my mother confronted me about it as we were rinding in the car. She wasn't particularly mad. Again best I recall, I never really got in trouble. In fact, I was mad at my mom because she wouldn't tell me who ratted me out.

So after my first "child" acts out, my Dad finally tells me some of what actually happened that spine-chilling day of my first grade year. Apparently, Mrs. Prudden was doing everything she could to not laugh in front of the class when I cursed. She actually thought it was funny! I always wondered why I didn't get in major trouble at my small, ultra-conservative Presbyterian school. I'm guessing I wasn't reported. Still to do this day, though, I don't know who ratted me out (my parents apparently don't remember). So, along with who shot JFK and if we really put a man on the moon, maybe I'll find out the truth on the other side of eternity...

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