As I’ve probably mentioned on here before, my dad was a middle school assistant principal for years.
He’s retired now so that whole experience seems – to him – to be a lot funnier than it was when he was grinding through it. Dad has a lot of stories to tell – everything from almost being hit in the head with a pickle when walking out of his office one day to a troublemaking kid saying his biggest ambition in life was to go on welfare and have folks like my father pay for it all. Education be damned, right? What a little punk.
At any rate, one of my dad’s favorite stories involves a kid who ran off from school one day. I’ll call the kid Jerry because I can’t recall the boy’s real name. Besides, he died doing something stupid years ago (apparently) so I don’t see that it matters all that much.
Young Jerry, see, decided to wander around town instead of going to school on this particular day. While he was at it, the kid broke into a house that was near the school, stole a dog and took to the sewers.
Dad became aware of all this when the cops showed up investigating the break-in. For whatever reason, young Jerry was running through the sewers near the school and was quickly discovered by the cops due to the barking, stolen dog that was with him.
None of the adults could get down in the sewer, seemingly, without calling in someone from the city to pull a manhole cover off somewhere – I rather doubt anyone regarded that move as anything but a last resort. You can see their point, right? Who wants to run around through a sewer after a troubled kid and a stolen dog?So the police decided to track Jerry’s progress and yell at him when they could.
Dad said he managed to strike up a conversation with Jerry as the kid and the dog were running through the sewers.
“Jerry, get out of there!” dad demanded.
“Oh, no,” the kid replied (I imagine that dog was barking, too). “I’m never coming out.”
Jerry did eventually surface, the dog was returned to its owner and the police likely filed something somewhere with the juvenile court in an attempt to convince Jerry to see the error of his ways. Everything was fine, right?
No. No. Of course not.
A few days after Jerry was running through the sewers, his mother showed up in my dad’s office and was outraged.
“The kids keep calling Jerry ‘The Sewer Rat’,” she fumed. “You’ve got to do something about it!”
“Ma’am, I hate to tell you this, but your son is probably stuck with that name through high school,” dad replied.
Great stuff. Sewer rat. Heh.