It was one of the worst feelings of my junior high school existence … and for what? A doughnut. A round pastry with a hole in it.
As I was looking for photos for the weekly photo challenge, I came across some old school junior high school pictures. I remembered some good times. But then I came across the yearbook with a picture of the principal and his message to the class. I shook my head and laughed. I remembered the disastrous encounter with Mr. Wexler.
Ferris Bueller would be so disappointed.
I was pretty much a follow the rules kind of student. I was nerd. I was a jock. But come six period I was ready to leave that earth science class and head to the gym for some hoops. But prior to going to the gym, we’d always stop by the doughnut shop across the street.
In addition to doughnuts and bagels, they also sold stuff like pina coladas and nachos. It had the Frogger and Pac Man video games in the back, and everyone knew the Korean owners. They were cool. They spoke Spanish, which at the time tripped me out. I had never known any non-Latino people who spoke Spanish.
The thing was … it was always crowded right after school. Packed. So a friend of mine came up with The Plan. In retrospect the plan sucked, but at the time — in my junior high school mind — it seemed logical.
“Let’s just sneak out. We belong to clubs. You’re a nerd. No one would believe that you would sneak out. We’ll get to the donut place before anyone else, get our stuff, and be back in time for practice.”
“How are we supposed to sneak out?”
She showed me her orchestra pass. It allowed us to leave from certain classes 15 minutes before the bell rang. Rehearsals. We were always rehearsing for some concert. And lucky for us, this included sixth period.
So it happened. But apparently having me as a wingman wasn’t enough. She told a couple of other people and all of us met by the lockers. Getting out of the classroom was easy. Making it to the doughnut shop … not so much. As we walked down the second floor, a couple of the girls decided to drop off some books at the library, which was on the same floor.
I decided to keep walking. They were taking too long. When I made it to the end of the hall, I heard voices. I looked over the edge … it was the principal he was walking up the stairs.
For some reason, I freaked out. I could have just walked down the steps and he probably wouldn’t have noticed me. He probably would’ve gone about his business. But instead, I went by the leave-no-man-behind rule. I ran down the hallway and tried to get into the library, but the girls were already coming out.
It’s Mr. Wexler!
We tried the bathroom. Locked. Three of the girls bolted down to the other end of the hallway. Didn’t even look back. It was just me and two other girls. We walked quickly to the library in an effort to seem interested in research and checking out books.
But the Nazi hall pass monitor told us we didn’t have the right kind of pass. We would have to go back to class. As we tried to convince her to let us in, Mr. Wexler enters the room.
“Is there problem, here?”
I sat there in the guidance counselor’s office fearing that phone call she would make to my parents’ house. I sat there rethinking the steps I could have taken to avoid the situation. Judy Blume could not help out of this situation.
No one was home. So I got sent home with a note to be signed by my parents. Apparently, if I got it signed and came clean with them, there would be no need for a parent meeting. She said she would call again and let them know I was bringing a note home.
I wasn’t aware that counselors lied. This chick had cases upon cases of juvenile delinquents that had records of violence, gangs, defiant behavior, and all sorts of surprises.
I wasn’t aware that after telling my parents about the incident, getting the chancla, and getting the signature on that note that the counselor would just toss my paper in the trash. No check-in phone call. No making a note in my file. No nothing. Just a crumpled up paper and dumb junior high school kid who got grounded.
I don’t eat doughnuts anymore.