Tuesday, October 31, 2006


It happened, inevitably, at least once each school year. The dreaded vomit-in-the-classroom. Does anyone else remember the janitors coming in and sprinkling the sawdust down on the offensive, odiferous pile of barf? Man, there's a special place in Heaven for janitors. What would St. Genevieve have done without Pete and Alfonso?

My first experience with the sawdust/vomit combo was in kindergarten. I remember it was during our candy-sale kick-off, and the representative had brought us some yummy samples. We were chowing away (what else would kindergarteners do?) when all of a sudden, Scott raised his hand and began frantically waving it in the air. Miss Simeone, wanting to keep us quiet so the representative could finish her little candy-shpiel, just kind of ignored him. I can still see him, left hand up in the air, wriggling on the floor, obviously not feeling well, his right hand clutching his stomach and his face contorting and getting sweaty. The next thing I heard was "Miss Simeone, I have to throw up."

And he did.


Miss Simeone felt bad and started apologizing to everyone. The janitors were there in no time, joking with Scott so he wouldn't be embarrassed. And they brought the sawdust. I don't know if it made things better or worse--I remember that it just looked gross. And I remember my little friend Renee--her blondish hair in two braids, wearing a white turtleneck and denim overalls--laughing and holding her nose. Then I started laughing. And so did everyone else. Except for the candy lady. She didn't think it was funny that Scott got sick after eating her "delicious, melt-in-your-mouth" peanut butter puffs. Or maybe it just wasn't funny to her, because while trying to get past us laughing, snot-nosed kids, she accidentally stepped in a little bit of the barf-a-roni.

Sawdust barf-a-roni, that is.


Margaret said...

They still use that sawdust stuff in the classrooms--even when the student throws up on the teacher's desk (one of the highlights of being the teacher).

lolosensei@hotmail.com said...

I secretly admire the raw innocence of your writing specially the sawdust to mask the smell and slime of the accident. Every start of the school year, it has become a ritual that I prepare and ready-pack a bag of "magic dust" for accident from a petrified new student. Been there...done it!

from a Sensei

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