Teacher: Well, how are we all doing?
Eddie: Teacher! Teacher! I have a question!
Teacher: Yes, Eddie, what is it?
Eddie: How do you spell ‘powerey’?
Eddie: Powerey. You know, like…powerey.
Teacher: Read me the context.
Eddie: (Reading from his project) “…The dancing Hogfritters wiggled to pain as their evil flesh began to bubble and boil. Their last evil screams echoed in the cavern walls as they disappeared into an evil pile of slimy blue powerey stuff.”
Teacher: Oh! Powdery.
Eddie: That’s what I said. Powerey.
Teacher: P-O-W-D-E-R-Y. That sounds like an exciting story. Eddie. I can’t wait to read it.
Laura: That sounds like a scary story. He’s not going to read the whole thing out loud, is he?
Teacher: Oh, Laura, honey, it’s all right. It’s only a story. A story is just an expression of ideas. It shouldn’t scare anybody. Okay?
Teacher: How’s your story coming?
Laura: It’s gong okay. How do you spell ‘wrapped’?
Teacher: What’s the context?
Laura: (She begins reading) “Once upon a time there was a little girl with long, luxurious blonde hair. She was walking over a hilltop eating a meatloaf sandwich that her mommy made for her, wrapped up in love and a sandwich bag…”
Teacher: Hmmm…that sounds like a very…interesting story. Are you sure those are the words you want to use?
Laura: What do you mean?
Teacher: Well, let’s just look at what we’ve got here. So far we’ve got this nice little blonde, blue-eyed Aryan youth eating the flesh of an exploited animal wrapped in environmentally unsound packaging, prepared by her nice, stereotypically submissive homemaker female parent. Does that sound accurate?
Laura: It doesn’t say she has blue eyes…
Teacher: Maybe you should read the next part.
Laura: …um,…"she was walking in the back yard of the mean widow Speigelburg, who had once thrown a stick at her dog…”
Teacher: And is she ever reported for animal abuse?
Laura: …I don’t know…
Eddie: She should’ve been a witch! With a big wart on her head! And an octopus for a face! AND BIG SLIMY GOOBERS…
Teacher: Keep reading.
Laura : “…She got mad and she stomped allover the evil widow’s flower bed until it was all flat.
Eddie: (Raising his hand) OOH! OOH!
Teacher: Yes Eddie?
Eddie: That sounds like a crypto-establishmentarian metaphor advocating the annihilation of the Amazon rainforest with no consideration of restoration, compensation or restraint!
Teacher: Well said. Keep going, Laura.
Laura: …um “…Suddenly out of nowhere, an ugly little dwarf…”
Teacher :Oh my! Any ideas on that one? Chris?
Chris: …um…negative stereotyping of the vertically challenged?
Teacher: Very good. Continue Laura.
Laura: “…she was so scared that she dropped her sandwich and ran into the forest…”
Teacher: Hold on. Wasn’t the sandwich wrapped in plastic?
Teacher, Eddie & Chris: NON-BOIODEGRADABLE!
Laura: uh… “Then she said a prayer and Jesus came down and said she should go back and say she was sorry, and she did and the widow forgived her, and then she never saw the ugly dwarf…uh, vertical challenge…ever again. The end.
Teacher: (After a long silence) Laura, Laura, Laura.
Eddie: It should have been a Darklord of Neptar, or Freddy Krueger or something!
Teacher: Yes, that would have been better. You see, Laura. Laura, we just don’t talk about …Jesus in here.
Laura: Why not?
Teacher: And we don’t like to talk about saying prayers.
Laura: Why not?
Teacher: Well, it’s just…It’s not fair to the other students. It isn’t sensitive to their rights as individuals.
Laura: How come?
Teacher: Because… it shows favoritism toward a certain religious belief that might not be shared by everyone.
Laura: But we talk about God in the pledge of allegiance.
Teacher: We’re working on that, the point is, Laura…peer pressure is a very real concern during the formative years, and if young persons of different religious or spiritual orientations are made to feel like outsiders because of their beliefs, why then we’ll have the same rampant religious militarism that started the Spanish Inquisition. Now that’s pretty frightening, isn’t’ it? It’s pretty scary.
Laura: But…I was just telling my story. And you said a story is just an expression of ideas and it shouldn’t scare anybody. Isn’t that what you said?
Teacher: (Pause) Chris. Why don’t you read your story.
Teacher: Laura. Shhh. Respect for your fellow classmates. Go on Chris.
Chris: (Shuffling through papers) …ahem. “There was once a guy who tried to kill himself. He hung a rope on a frame thing by a steep cliff. When he got in the rope, it broke his neck but then the rope broke, and his body fell down the cliff and hit a sharp rock. The rock cut him open a real lot and there was blood and junk all over the place…”
Chris: …is this okay?
Teacher: It’s just fine, Chris, continue.
Chris: “After that happened, everybody called that place The Field of Blood. The guy’s name was Judas Iscariot, and he betrayed Jesus…”
Teacher: Um, Chris. Chris! I think we were just talking about this…
Chris: Huh? Oh! I’m sorry. That was the story I was s’posed to bring to Sunday school. Wrong one.
Teacher: I should hope so.
Chris: (Shuffles through more papers) …Oh! Here it is! Ahem “The guy on the ground rolled around in great pain, and with a gasp of great pain, he died a great painful death…”
Teacher: Much better…
Chris: He wound up at the feet of a guy named Saul. He was stoned to death for proclaiming the Word of the Lord…”
Teacher: Okay, okay, okay! I think we’ve had quite enough story time for today. Why don’t we just go outside for some recess?
Eddie: ALL RIGHT! (He talks to Chris as the two of them exit) Hey, was that second one from the Bible, too?
Eddie: That was cool!
Chris: Oh yeah, there’s a lot of gory stuff in there, it’s really neat…(They both exit)
Teacher: (Stopping Laura on her way out) Laura? Laura, I hope you understand that I wasn’t attacking you personally. We just have to follow the rules, that’s all. I’m sorry if I’ve upset you at all.
Laura: Oh, that’s okay. It’s not me you have to answer to. (Exit)
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