Monday, April 26, 2010

Meep... and other four-letter words

"Please be advised that any student who has the letters 'meep' on their clothing or uses the words verbally will face suspension from school...the police are monitoring this situation as well."

HALLIE: Meep. Meep meep meep. Just seeing the ban makes me want to say it, shout it, sing it out!

Did you all see this in a news story from November: Meep banned in high school? The story was picked up all across the country and in Europe as well.

Apparently the Danvers (MA) High School principal called every student's home to let parents know that,from then on, any student uttering it at school would be... suspended.

Pretty drastic. I would so love to know, as Paul Harvey would say: The rest of the story... Come on mystery writers, what could have been behind it?

As I read the article, I remembered the assorted 'pranks' we used to pull on our teachers. Everyone in class yawning when the clock struck 2:34. Or leaving a tack on the teacher's chair. Or the old pepper in her tea. Or a dead frog in her drawer. Pretty harmless stuff, in retrospect. But those were kinder and gentler times, before the Internet could harness hundreds, nay thousands of annoying kids.

Do you have memories, fond or otherwise, of what you got up to with your high school friends that fortunately (I'm assuming) didn't get you suspended?

HANK: Oh, yes, absolutely. We thought we were HILARIOUS. I guess my favorite was hat day. We all made hats out of newspaper, you know the ones that look like admiral hats?

And we wore them to Mr. Miller's math class. And he was kind of--out of it. (Although in retrospect, he probably wisely decided that he could get back at us by pretending nothing was unusual.) Anyway, he said nothing, so we all paraded into Miss Godfrey's English class wearing the hats.

Harold Rothkopf was always the leader of these things, so young Miss Godfrey -to prove how in control she was--sashayed up to Harold and in one upward swoop, plucked the hat from his head.

And he had another one on underneath it! It was fantastic.

RHYS: I was at an all girls high school where one girl got expelled for keeping mice in the belfry (ah, kinder and gentler times). Our best stunt was when two classes changed homerooms on April Fool's Day and one teacher who was, to say the least, not with it, called the roll not knowing that not one of her real students was in the room. Vaseline on the chalk board was not so kind and gentle.

I almost got suspended for wearing-----Long white knee socks. I was hauled into the principal's office and lectured that as a prefect, everyone looked up to me and this current transgression was letting the side down. You'd have thought that long white knee socks were a bustier and red garters from the way she looked at me.

JAN: I have to say, I grew kinder by the time I got to high school, but I had a tendency to torture the teachers of non-academic classes. The home-ec teacher in middle school wore a hearing aid, and I hate to admit we used to swallow the ends of the words and make crackling sounds -- I think that one will come back to haunt me as I age. I stopped in high school when the health teacher I was taunting informed me that we were cousins. I didn't believe her and went home to find out, she was my father's cousin's wife and we were in fact related. I was much nicer after that.

ROBERTA: Sigh, I was such a boring, good girl up through high school, that it's hard to come up with any pranks! I do remember dropping out of the window from the music room, intending for the first time ever to cut out of school early. The vice principal was standing right there as I landed. That's the best I can do:)

RO: Roberta and I would have hung out in school - although she seems wilder than I was. I never thought of myself as a goody- goody but I guess I was. I smoked in the girls room...does that count?

HALLIE: Of COURSE it counts! I did cut school a few times ... I remember doing it on my 16th birthday and going to get my driver's license. I was dating a college boy who rode around on a motorcycle and I thought we were super cool. He was so sweet. Sigh.

So come on, what were your high school pranks and misdeeds? We're dying to hear!


  1. I always wanted to have a boyfriend with a motorcycle. I did have one parked in my living room for about a year. (Boyfriend won it in a contest and never rode it.)

  2. Our German teacher was a rather strange native who owned (apparently) exactly two identical dresses, one in red, one in green, and sported a very odd hairdo (even for the late 60s). We sang a lot on Fridays, which was fun - I still remember my German Christmas carols. But she kept persimmons on her desk to ripen. So my buddies and me in 4th-year simply had to come to class early after lunch and hide them on the light fixture, just to hear her screech (imagine a high-pitched German accent), "Ver are my persimmons?!"

  3. Ver are my persimmons! Love that line, Edith.

    And Ro, I'd forgotten I had one motorcycle ride behind a boy I had a crush on--the ultimate in cool, but so scary too:)

    But now, doesn't it make you crazy to see people riding motorcycles without a helmet???

  4. Oh, Edith, that's hilarious.

    MOtorcycles make me crazy, helmet or not. So terrifying.

  5. I cut out of school once, at lunchtime, to go to a burger joint that the stoner kids skipped out to every Friday. My goody trio went on a Monday. We got in line, ordered, and heard "Ahem!" behind us. It was the vice principal, of course. He said, "Get back to school," so we started to slink away, then heard "Ahem!" again. "Well don't leave your food behind," he said. I think he even rolled his eyes.

    Honestly, when you can't even tick off the vice principal....

  6. Ramona,

    Take heart, that would have gotten you suspended and made you a real "bad ass" at Clifton High, where they were especially strict about going out to lunch.

    You could go out to breakfast -- especially if it was a Holy Day of Obligation and you forged a letter from your parents saying you went to mass -- (it was a public school but a catholic town) but you couldn't sneak out for lunch.

    Needless to say, I appeared to be an EXTREMELY religious girl when in high school.


  7. Oh, Ramona, why is it that the good kids get caught?

    Edith, that must have put you off persimmons for a lifetim. Anyone ever eaten an UNripe persimmon? It's an experience.

  8. Yes,Hallie, you are SO RIGHT. The good kids always get caught. This is just a fact of life that is irreversible. And it doesn't go away as we grow up.

    Why? Are they just not as good at manipulation and deception?

  9. OF COURSE the good kids get caught.

    They haven't done it enough to get good at it. A guilty conscience also doesn't help. Makes you do all sorts of silly things.

    Hey, this sounds like character development for a murder mystery......