Tuesday, July 26, 2005

No sweat.

A school story for your summer reading pleasure...

A couple years ago I had a student whom we will call Pete. My colleagues and I nickname any and all kids that require daily discussion in their presence and this one we called The BFP. Instead of telling you what that stands for, I'm going to tell you that BFP was about 4'10, and weighed in at approximately 150 pounds. I believe rotund is the word I'm looking for. Being that we're in Texas, Land of Obesity, we also had a BFT and a BFJ that year.
Back to The BFP. The BFP had an extraordinarily serious demeanor. He was blunt, and preferred just the facts, ma'am. His interests included a healthy vocabulary and a good Twinkie. He was an 80 year old man packaged in an oversized 4th grade package that usually had some lunch around the perimeter of his mouth. The BFP had a voice that relayed the sheer effort of speaking with frequent breathy pauses and a whiny wheeze inflection at the end of each sentence. Which is how he began a conversation one fine Monday morning.

BFP: Mrs? Ohm...I just wanted you to know...that I can't participate in PE today. Or recess. [adjusted uncomfortably somewhere in his backyard]

Me: I'm sorry, why not Pete?

BFP: Well...[massive breath to demonstrate effort] See, the cheeks of my buttocks....they have been rubbing together...and it's caused a lot of chaffing. [direct stare, no expression]

Me: [dying inside. absolutely dying. am going to explode from unreleased laughter] Well, I'm real sorry to hear that, Pete.

BFP: Yeah...well....I put some powder back there, but it's not helping. [more direct eye contact, no blinking]

Me: [slow deep breaths, controlling hysterics. place look of intense concern on face.]

BFP: [spread-legged stance] My mom says...the heat makes it worse. And sweat. So...

Me: Well, Pete, I think you should definitely take it easy today. We don't want any sweating then. Don't you worry about it. No sweat. [eeek! bad pun? will he get it? will he? wait for it...]

BFP: [labored sigh] Okay...It kinda hurts when I walk...I hope it doesn't blister this time.

Pete waddled away, swinging his legs in wide arcs to each side with each step. His excuse note was gripped tightly in his hand as he made his way to my teammate's classroom where he then shared the story again.

You gotta feel for 'ol Pete, but should this really be a problem at age ten? Should it really? Pete was a good kid. He certainly made my Monday that day. It's a darned good thing that Texas took the right to give kids candy out of elementary schools. That will definitely fix Pete's problem.

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