By Grade Six, I had developed a pretty severe fixation. I liked putting school supplies in my mouth.
Pencils were my favorite. I would slowly bite the yellow off the pencil until the whole thing was a mass of exposed wood, full of teeth marks. When I couldn't find a pencil, a pen was a great substitute. I used to love how a Bic pen lid would get all hot if you chewed on it. Then there were the rulers. I chewed the end off so many rulers back then, like some kind of crazy beaver.
By now it should be clear to you that, back then, I wasn't quite right in the head.
In grade six I also started losing my eyesight. One of my teachers, Mr. Reimann, noticed right away that I had problems paying attention, so he moved me to the front of the class. One day he asked to answer a question he'd written on the board and when I got it completely wrong, he didn't react the way I expected. He said nothing to me, but he called my parents and told them he suspected I'd need glasses. Smart guy.
Mr. Reimann was also responsible for my nickname from grades six to eight. One time he asked a question and for some crazy reason I was actually paying attention and knew the answer, so I put up my hand. He pointed at me and said, "Yes, Ink Mouth?" I answered the question and he said, "You're right! Now go to the bathroom, look in the mirror and then clean yourself up." Turns out the Bic pen I'd been enjoying had burst and I hadn't noticed. My lips and chin were stained blue. Everyone had a good laugh at my expense and the name stuck.
I was the king of detention in grade six too. Mr. Reimann handed out detentions like candy. My mind was on another planet most of the time back then (how is that different from now?) and I got caught daydreaming several times a day.
The highlight of that year came during the last month of school. It was the end of the day, the bell rang and we all started getting up to leave. Mr. Reimann said, "Where do you think you're going, Ink Mouth?" I pulled my head out of the clouds long enough to answer coherently. I told him I didn't have a detention that day and was going home. He went over to the detention list and checked. "I'm certain you have a detention. You have to. You always have a detention." He went through the list very carefully and discovered that I was right.
"Everyone!", he shouted. "Stop, don't leave. Fuhringer here really doesn't have a detention!" There was a stunned silence. "I think we should give him a round of applause." The class happily clapped and cheered. It was great.
When I got home, my mother said, "You're home early." I just smiled.
Next Story: Squirrels Aren't Stupid. They're Just Thrill Seekers
Previous Story: That's Not How We Use Our Crayons