Revenge of the Assistant Principal
Eons ago in a high school in a galaxy far, far away, I was a new assistant principal. I was a gung-ho, take-no-prisoners, school-rule-enforcing, sheriff, marshal, and the po-po all rolled into a thirty-two-year-old, slightly overweight, fired-up ball of do-right! And I had one week’s experience.
It was fall day in Mobile, Alabama, which means felt like mid-summer in any other part of the country. My office was on the second floor of the new high school. I had spent most of the first week trying to orient myself to how the rest of the school was laid out. Just outside my door was a set of exterior doors that led down to the student parking lot and to the main entrance.
On Thursday of my first week, the dismissal bell rang, and as I opened the outside door to go down and supervise the boarding of the buses, the first thing I noticed was the smell of cigarette smoke. As I looked downward, I saw a student lighting up a Marlboro on the steps of our new high school! I think it was a Marlboro – except the kid was nothing like the Marlboro man. The kid I saw was a little skinny pissant of a kid. Probably a hormone-driven 7th grader hoping to attract a hormone-driven 7th grade girl. Just one problem. Hormone-driven 7th grade girls detest 7th grade boys. They have their sights on bigger game – Freshmen!
Unfortunately, at the same time I saw him, he saw me. Summoning his inner Spidey, he leaped the stairs three at a time. I went down those same stairs a bit more slowly. As I hit the last step, I caught sight of him sprinting across the parking lot like his pants were on fire, which was precisely what I intended for him when I caught him since paddling was still legal in those days!
With no thought for my own safety, I began running after the little criminal as he darted between the cars leaving the student parking lot. I must have juked when he jinked because that little pipsqueak just ran off and left me like he was Usain Bolt!
As I made my way back to my office, gasping with every breath, I remembered a Klingon proverb from Star Trek, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
I don’t remember if I ever caught up with that squirrelly little seventh grader, but I never ran after another one!