Without admitting to all my shenanigans in High School – it is no secret that I was a rebel. Bunking classes to go smoking with the boys in the veld at the bottom of the school and that sort of misbehaviour. Which in our day, was about as bad as it got. Drugs were unheard of and drinking of alcohol, albeit underage; was limited to pubs and clubs.
Despite my naughtiness, I was at all times respectful to adults – parents, other family elders; family friends and even *gasp* teachers. I might not have attended all their classes *yawn* but I never in my schooling years spoke back to a teacher.
There was one teacher, my Home Economics educator from Grade Ten to Matric [three painful years], who had it in for me. I was either in trouble for talking [to the boys] and sent out of her class … which could only be read as an excuse to head off for a quick puff on a poofy Chesterfield; or for not stirring my roux in the correct manner.
Funny how some events remain with you for decades … It was during a Home Ec class learning to make some or other dish requiring a roux sauce that Mrs J and I came to blows. Picking on me, she would gather the rest of the class around my work station and have them watch me stir the pot [and how good am I at that!] whilst she barked out her instructions.
Naturally I measured the flour and milk incorrectly and my wooden spoon was unable to smoothly stir through the very thickening paste. Instead of aiding me, or advising how to alleviate the problem, she would nudge me in the waist with her fist, telling me to stir harder, put more effort into it.
This continues for several minutes and every time Mrs J needled me, I turned and politely requested that she not touch me. My pleas went unheeded and after several more pokes in the rips my instincts kicked in and I whacked her hand away with the wooden spoon. And goey gluey paste.
I was unceremoniously marched off to the principals office and threats were made against me for assaulting a teacher. My side of the story was never heard and I was effectively suspended from school for the rest of the week. I was sent home with a letter from the school outlining my transgressions, with a place for the folks to sign as confirming receipt of same.
Fortunately I was adept at forging my step-mothers signature, and they were never the wiser and I managed to have a few days off school. My best friends bunked with me, and we spent those glorious few days in a park near our respective hours, drinking champagne from willows above a small stream. Glory days!
After that incident, Mrs J made my life hell and I in turn refused to listen to her. It was a battle of wills and I spent more time out of that classroom than I did in it [not that I minded – but it made it rather difficult to study for exams when I didn’t have the practical experience the subject required.
Nevertheless, I managed to pass Home Economics in Matric with an average mark however I am damned sure that it was that woman who made me hate cooking and other domestic activities [bar for one – wink wink] as much as I do today.
Over the years I heard stories about Mrs J and how she progressed to becoming deputy head mistress of the High School, a position she still retains.
However, that is not where the story ends … merely where the tables turned.
A few months ago Mrs J had the [not] the foresight to purchaser a property in one of the complexes I manage. Sending her the initial welcome pack I was absolutely aghast to be confronted by her name and the still recognisable signature on her documents; and I wondered what hell she was going to unleash on me after all this time.
Before Mrs J could announce her return to my life without grief, my dear friend Karma intervened; and decided that Mrs J herself was in need of a bit of a lesson. Or two.
She is still her demanding impolite self, and I have had the great pleasure on more than one occasion, to put her in her place and dictate the law to her. She may have been in a position of command two and half decades ago, but now I’m the Sheriff in her little fiefdom *evil laugh*.
I am actually interrupting the drafting of a very stern warning to one Mrs J with a list of transgressions she has committed [which is going to cost her, dearly], to write this post … but with the childish glee at payback, I just couldn’t resist.
Now, where’s that wooden spoon of mine?