“Let’s do some brainstorming!” said Miss Flannerty. “Today’s topic is Violence.”
Billy and Bobby and Suzie shared words like “punching” and “stabbing” and “capping y’all haters” and “bad”.
“Ah, my mistake,” said Miss Flannerty, pulling some chemicals, syringes, and DVDs out of the closet. “I meant brainwashing.”
It was 9:30 AM in the third grade classroom, and Miss Flannerty was nowhere to be seen.
Billy and Bobby and Suzie wondered if she was sick or sleeping or dead.
Then the class telephone rang.
It was Miss Flannerty. “All-day recess!” she said. “And for homework, learn to spell ‘hangover’!”
“Can anyone tell me what illegal means?” Miss Flannerty asked with a very serious expression on her face.
Billy and Bobby and Suzie said it meant bad and wrong and against the law.
“Those are good answers,” said Miss Flannerty, “but it really means ‘don’t tell anyone about it’. Deal?”
“So can any of you tell me the answer to five times seven?” asked Miss Flannerty. “Don’t be shy!”
Billy and Bobby and Suzie played silently with their pencils.
“Kelly, do you know the answer?”
“No,” whispered Kelly.
“That’s ok!” said Miss Flannerty. “It’s the same as my age! Twenty-three!”