…I was as restless as one could be after a PTA sponsored lunch for the entire afternoon. I could not concentrate. All I could think of was getting my hands on and my fingers wrapped around a thousand caramels. That would be my take for sure. A thousand caramels, I thought, enough to do me for an eternity, or until the end of time. My candy Armageddon? No, Caramelgeddon! Not a bad way to go I thought. The four horsemen of the caramelypse: all wrapped in those chewy tasty caramel treats, galloping their way to rapturous, heavenly caramel gooey glory, Happy thoughts as I day dreamed my way through ancient history, geography and English grammar.
“MORRISON”, I could sense what seemed to be an echo like reverberation coming straight down at me from above, through my ear canal right into my brain box.
“Yes Mr Kraft” I lamented, woefully. My teachers name was Mr Bowner.
“MORRISON” for a third time already. One more take would make the four horsemen of the caramelypse, Caramelgeddon. But I dare not risk it.
In one cracking instant I came back to reality. That cracking instant was the noise made by Mr Bowner’s ruler as it came crashing down on my wooden desk. His ruler came down so hard that it almost ruptured the ink-well. That would not have been pretty. Lucky for me Sister Mary Bernice was not around trolling about for victims. You see, the lay teachers could not, would not, lay a hand on us. I was not really sure at such a young age if they did that by choice or by an ecumenical papal decree. Regardless, only the black and whites were allowed to strike us. Perhaps it was part of their training, or better yet, the second Vatican council’s encyclical to instil upon us the threat and the fear of eternal damnation. After all there was a STRAP factory somewhere in our diocese, as there were in every Catholic diocese – the world over.
At the same time the sound of vibrant laughter permeated the classroom. As I came out of my drunken like stupor, my drowsy like eyeballs tried to focus on a groggy induced picture of a blackboard. I could sense what seemed to be but a thousand eyeballs ingrained into my entire being. With that came guffaw, after gut wrenching guffaw, all on my behalf. I didn’t care for I was soon going to be the recipient of a thousand caramels.
Finally, the bell rang. I grabbed my stuff and like the other 20 some odd boys in our class ran a beeline for the door like a rapacious gathering of the male clan; crashing into one another, like a mêlée of imbeciles that we were, about to be the first to taste a sense of freedom, at least for this day…