Teacher was master of sarcasm
July 30, 2006
Some folks carry grudges all their lives. They don’t leave home without them. They’re just not happy unless they’re blasting governments, churches, school boards, or college football teams. They’re even against actors, neighbors, newspapers, television, lawyers, and relatives.
But the weirdest resentment I ever saw belonged to my wife Marilyn who carried a grudge against an entire city. She hated Denver.
She was happy in her grudge though, and just to feel better she sometimes spread her gleeful animosity throughout the entire state of Colorado. If that didn’t satisfy her, she encompassed several neighboring states and a few tall Rocky Mountain peaks.
Over the years her malice never waned. She reveled in it. She always cackled with delight when Denver’s weather turned bad. Blizzards were her high water marks, her vindictive moments of I-gotcha-isms. They made her giggle.
Next to blizzards she prized hail storms and flash floods in Denver. If an ocean had been nearby, she would have praised hurricanes, tsunamis, and sharks.
The only time her grudge seemed to bother her was if someone praised Denver.
She’d turn cruel and quickly trounce them with verbal left hooks. She especially loathed the Denver Broncos, the Nuggets, and the Rockies. .
Unlike Marilyn, I’ve never carried grudges. Oh sure, once in a while I got a little piqued with certain relatives, or an occasional politician, or a cold-fingered urologist, but it always melted away. I just said, “Poo to you too,” and went about my business.
Still, I admit to one long lasting aggravation, and that’s with folks who think sarcasm is funny. I truly believe that when they vomit that form of bullying under the guise of humor, they should suffer the pangs of hell. So there too.
You see, to this day I carry a grudge against a fourth grade teacher named Miss Hockstetter, a diva of sarcasm and scorn. But there’s no pleasure in it. Those who suffered under her remarks were mostly backward students, because she was a fountain of witty barbs when it came to terminal ignorance.
When she zeroed in on someone, she had the fastest abuse in the West. Students were sometimes knocked off their feet before they could turn and run. They often tried to retaliate, but found she’d already chopped them off at the ankles.
Her favorite mockery came when she returned spelling papers. I still remember the day she told the class, “Bobby Huber has coined a new spelling of the word ‘railroad’—R-A-Y-R-O-A-D. Bobby is a strong contender for the coveted Nitwit of the Year Award. May I have the envelope please?”
I was knocked clean out of my chair and lay on the floor whimpering. To this day I get itchy twitches when I hear a rayroad whistle.
The upshot was, in a clandestine meeting of certain class members who shall remain nameless — they know who they were — it was decided we’d had enough. It was resolved by unanimous vote to present Miss Hockstetter with a bag of chocolate chip cookies laced with a commonly advertised laxative.
But I didn’t say Miss Hockstetter was dumb. She feigned a chocolate allergy and insisted that the entire class share her gift. After a sleepless night, which turned the whole class against the seekers of justice, we were all introduced to a new spelling word—“treachery.”