File under: Things that sound like lies but ARE NOT

Today all my classes helped me set up the stage for the school play. That was not in the lesson plan, but that's what we did.

It's important for you to know that the stage is not really a STAGE; it is less than one foot higher than the rest of the cafeteria floor. Today's "lessons" included 1) jiggering up some curtains out of sheets, chains, and clothespin-like curtain hooks; 2) scraping paint off the floor; 3) maneuvering sets to cover the giant cougar paw painted on the back wall; and 4) my personal favorite: hanging lights from the ceiling tile grid.

note: not my ceiling, not my school

There were kids standing on chairs that were standing on tables ("BE CAREFUL," I said, as if that would absolve me of any liability), hanging clamps and threading power cords and doing a darn good job of completing all the menial labor I didn't want to do myself.

"Student," I joked to one who was about to raise a tile in order to screw a C-clamp onto the grid, "watch out for the rats."

And IMMEDIATELY as I said it, he lifted the tile board and a dead mouse flew out and almost landed on me.

I don't know what happened next; I must have blacked out for a second, because when I woke up, I was on the other side of the cafeteria checking myself for a heartbeat. One of my industrious--and, apparently, fearless--kids scooped the mouse into a styrofoam cup and took it off ... somewhere, who really cares where? and I refused to go back onstage when any tile of any kind was being disturbed in any way. Instead, I yelled directions from the back of the cafeteria.

Silver lining #1 - All the lights are hung.
Silver lining #2 - At least that mouse didn't make it to the chili.

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