Sometimes, the class cut up gets tongue-tied


The other day a lady asked me why I don’t write about my high school days. Well, let me tell you.

You see, and my preacher reads this junk and if he found out some of the stuff I did when I was in high school, well, he has enough material for sermons without me addin’ to the pot. Anyway, I don’t think the statute of limitations have run out on some of that stuff I did, yet.

Seriously, I had a great time in high school. Most of the teachers were decent enough, and believe it or not, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in the principal’s office.

The principal and I were pretty good buddies. He had been a coach at the junior high I went to and was transferred up to the high school the same time I was. You don’t think he was sent up there to keep an eye on me, do you?


When I did get sent to see him, we’d sit around and reminisce about the good ol’ days in junior high. Then he’d tell me not to do whatever it was I did anymore, and I’d tell him I wouldn’t, then I’d go back to class.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. He was a tough ol’ buzzard. And you sure didn’t want to get any licks from him. Back then the principal, or a teacher for that matter, could beat you to half to death with a paddle, if they wanted to.

Then if your parents found out, and you were still alive, they’d beat the second half. If you were repentant, they might leave you alive. It was strictly up to them.

Anyway, back to high school. There was one class that I thoroughly enjoyed, and that was biology. If I had been smart, I would have stayed with it and become some sort of biologist or somethin’. But, I have never been accused of bein’ smart. Ask my wife.

In biology, you get to cut up dead stuff. They called it dissectin’. I always referred to it as guttin’. You’d start out with small stuff first, like worms. Now, I don’t know where they got those worms we gutted, but let me tell you, those were some big worms.

They must have fed them Miracle Grow or somethin’, cause they were huge. They were as big around as your thumb and at least a foot long. Man, if regular fishin’ worms were that big, a box of them would weigh 25 pounds.

Well, the big day came when the teacher assigned us lab partners. We had to share the worms, you know. Man, I couldn’t believe my luck. I was expectin’ to get a boy for a partner, but I didn’t. And I didn’t get a girl either. Nope, what I got was a full-grown woman.

Oh, she was my age all right. But, Man oh Man; she sure didn’t look like the other girls in my class. Anywho, that’s as far as I’m goin’ with that, because like I said, my preacher read this junk. Now I’m gonna call her Debbie, but that was not her real name.

No, that’s not for her protection. It’s for mine.

Debbie and I had a real problem communicatin’. Oh she would do all right, but if I tried to talk to her, my tongue would hang out the side of my mouth, I’d slobber a lot, and my words would be a mumbled mess.

Good lookin’ women have always had this effect on me. What I lacked in communicatin’ skills, I more than made up in guttin’ skills. You see, Debbie was kind of squeamish. The teacher had made it clear that we both had to take part in the dissectin’.

“Oh Rusty,” she whispered. “I just can’t dissect that thing. You’ll do it for me, won’t you?”

“A blaa, blaa, blaa,” I answered as I wiped off my chin.

“You are such a darlin’,” she smiled and grabbed my forearm and gave it a squeeze.

Well heck, I nearly went into a seizure right there. Fortunately, my tongue was hangin’ out or I might have swallowed it.

Like I said, I was pretty good a guttin’ stuff. My cousin Coy and I had been practicin’ on road killed varmints since we were about five years old. Of course, the knife they gave me to work with wasn’t much of a knife. It was a flat piece of metal with what looked like a little razor blade on the end. And although it was sharp, it wasn’t as sharp as I kept my pocketknife, so I used my own knife. Back then we could carry knives to school, you know.

Well, I went to town on that fat ol’ worm. Poor Debbie watched for a while, but started turnin’ green and started lookin’ up at the ceilin’.

In no time, I had that worm split from top to bottom and spread open with pins holdin’ him open.

The teacher was makin’ his rounds lookin’ over everybody’s shoulders to see how they were doin’. You’d see him frownin’ and shakin’ his head. And I don’t blame him much either.

I looked around and it looked like an explosion in a worm factory had taken place. There were worm guts all over the place. Then he came to our table. He stopped, looked at our worm, and got an astonished look on his face.

“Who did this?” he asked, and then without waitin’ for an answer he asked, “Did both of you dissect this worm?” He was lookin’ at Debbie when he said it. She swallowed hard, and then I saw what looked like a tear formin’ in one of her eyes. I spoke up.

“Well, sir,” I said. “Debbie here did the cuttin’, and I sort of helped her out the best I could.”

He looked at me. I smiled. Then he looked back at Debbie. “Well, I’m impressed,” he said. “Class, listen up!” he yelled. “I want all of you to come over and look at this worm. This is what I call a text book example of dissecting. Good work Debbie. You too, uh, what’s your name again?”

“Rusty,” I said.

“Oh yeah; whatever,” and then he walked away.

I looked at Debbie. She was starin’ right at me. I could feel my tongue tryin’ to escape my mouth again. She leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.

“That’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me,” she said.

“A blaa, blaa, blaa,” I said as I slid under the table.


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