Friday, March 1, 2019

Don't Be Spittin'


I had no parallel universe experiences yesterday, happily. Despite my recent interaction at the cleaners, maybe I really am still in the right place, time and dimension.

For example, at work, I loaned a library computer charger to a kid who has been banned from borrowing computer chargers because he always returns them late. (We have a "three strikes" policy on chargers, which can't be kept overnight.) I took a gamble that he had matured since those incidents and seen the error of his ways. Had I been in a parallel universe, he would have returned it promptly.

But no -- it's still out. Now he really is banned.


This camellia is blooming in the housing estate where I walk Olga (you can see the estate in the top photo, washed in morning sun). It's interesting how one of the blossoms came out almost totally pink, while the others are all streaky. I didn't even notice all the chicken wire until I got home and looked at this photo -- I wonder if the owners have screened the plant (or possibly their whole garden) from marauding, blossom-plucking squirrels and pigeons? I'll take a closer look the next time I walk by.

Yesterday a group of kids were sitting in the library next to the big plastic bin where we put all the lost jackets and notebooks and other paraphernalia we find in the library. They were laughing and chattering about something, and one of the girls said, "You can spit it in the lost & found bin." Whereupon a boy stood up as if to spit something out -- I think it was gum.

From my desk across the room, I yelled out in my best Southern voice, "Don't BE spittin' in the lost & found! I don't wanna hear those words!" The kids cracked up and the boy sat back down. Later I heard them laughing and repeating, "Don't BE spittin' in the lost & found!" I'm glad I've contributed a memorable line to their high school experience.

20 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

How come those kids are allowed to sit gossiping in the library? A library should be a silent place of reading and study. Maybe you should put up a sign: "Don't BE a-jabberin' in here!"

David said...

Love it - "Don't be spittin!"

Jennifer said...

"Don't BE spittin'!" Haha! I love it!

Kids can be a lot of fun if approached in the right way. I'm sure you're a favorite at your school. :)

Colette said...

They'll be talking about and copying you for years.

Marty said...

Yes, you are now an icon sure to be remembered at all reunions.

ellen abbott said...

I bet every kid in that school knows who you are and not just because you work in the library.

The Bug said...

That first picture is GORGEOUS! Love your reasoning about being in the right space & time - I'm sure that kid would be glad to know he confirmed your reality for you :)

Sharon said...

I think Colette is right, they'll remember that "spittin" phrase for a long time.
So do you think that boy who can't seem to return the charger on time will live his life being chronically late for everything?
Olga looks like she's saying "are you coming" in that top photo.

Ms. Moon said...

Beautiful photos, Steve. That camellia is a La Peppermint. I have two in my own backyard!
And I had to laugh. Don't BE spittin'...
YES! So southern.
Perfect.
These students need a little southern good home raising, even if it has to come from school.

robin andrea said...

Yes, you gave those kids something to remember. I'm going to remember it to, "Don't be spittin'..." I love it. Lovely photos.

Red said...

"Don't be spittin" I think I could have used that a few times in my career.

Catalyst said...

Yes you have contributed a bit of Southern style to those British teenagers. And both photos are delicious. I wonder if Olga ever notices her shadow.

Dee said...

Your "don't BE spittin'" comment is perfection.

Karla said...

OMG, I love your stories, Steve! You and John from Going Gently need to write books, and maybe together. Short stories. A big howdy from Illinois to you!!

Stillwaterrunsdeep said...

I’m glad you hollered at them! I cannot imagine working with the kids in the schools these days, the disrespect...why would they even think to spit anything into the lost and found? Your words will live on, and I hope they heed them, and not just make fun. I love Karla’s idea...write short stories about your experiences! And include your parallel universe dog story, that’s one of my favorites so far!

Fresca said...

I blogged a while ago about the garbled language of some signs I see around town.
Your wonderfully straightforward statement would make a nice, clear sign!

jenny_o said...

Hah! Great story. Love the first shot with Olga's shadow stretched out far from her but curiously not as enlarged as stretched shadows tend to be. The colours are wonderful.

Frank said...

Magical light.

Steve Reed said...

YP: Well, the philosophy of libraries has changed since you and I were in school. Nowadays they're seen more as a place of collaborative work and, yes, hanging out. We do have a silent area in another room, and I tell kids in the main space to pipe down if they're getting too rowdy, but there's nothing wrong with a little conversation.

David: It added some humor to the moment!

Jennifer: I think they think I'm an asshole, honestly. An unfortunate side effect of my job is that I'm often scolding people. I am better at it than I used to be, but I'm still always coming down on them for one thing or another.

Colette: Probably!

Marty: Ha!

Ellen: Yeah, most all of them deal with me, and I suppose I am probably at the center of a few stories.

Bug: Thanks! We had amazing sunlight that morning. The kid brought his charger back yesterday. I didn't tell him about his wider significance. LOL

Sharon: Olga often looks like that when I'm taking pictures! I think some of the kids at the school where I work have had a lot done for them, and they're used to others taking care of small details of their lives. They haven't yet figured out how to do such things on their own.

Ms Moon: I love that you can identify the camellia! I wish we had one as nice as this.

Robin: Maybe I'll write it in all their yearbooks. LOL

Red: It's a handy phrase around kids!

Catalyst: I don't get the sense that Olga is aware of her shadow at all. But who knows what dogs see.

Dee: Hopefully it will stick in their memories!

Karla: Howdy back! Now THERE's an idea -- a joint Steve/John book. Maybe we should get Ms Moon in on it too.

StillWater: Most of our kids are pretty respectful, honestly. Every once in a while they just need a slight course correction!

Fresca: Oh, I have to look for that post. People say the craziest (and most garbled) things on signs.. There used to be a guy who sold produce in my hometown, and his signs were always woefully misspelled. One of them said CROAT, and it took us a while to realize he meant CARROT. We always called him "Croat" after that.

Jenny-O: She was too far from the wall for the shadow to include her legs. I should probably have moved her closer but she was already annoyed with me. :)

Frank: It is, isn't it? Mornings and evenings can be pretty amazing if you catch them at the right time.

37paddington said...

I would have LOVED to hear you! I bet you made those kids' day!