Story Go Round 09/26/2010, #3

The Gibbs Method

(post-titled by John)

"May I please go to the bathroom?" Susie hopped up and down eagerly.

Mr. Gibbs peered over his glasses at the latchkey dangling from a shoestring necklace she wore. "Perhaps you should run home and go, since you seem to need to go so badly."

Susie hopped faster, but said: "I don' gotta go, I want to respond to some bathroom graffiti I hear Missy wrote during milk & cookie break."

"Well, if you believe it will further your education, then yes, you may go."

Susie sped off.

Mr. Gibbs prided himself on being a forward-thinking teacher, who could discern the educative potential in nearly any situation. If bathroom graffiti is what Susie needed to inspire her to greatness, then so be it. Word was that Abraham Lincoln wrote his first deep thoughts across the big logs of his parents' log-cabin outhouse, although when he had seen the old Lincoln cabin a few years ago himself all he'd found were misspelled cuss words and tired out fart jokes from the mid 1800s.

A spit wad hit him on the forehead.

Bobby, he thought before he even looked up. Bobby again. That boy was a challenge.

But Mr. Gibbs liked challenges, so he encouraged Bobby to hit certain parts of his forehead. After a few minutes he had the whole class progressing rapidly in hand-eye coordination, pelting him with rubber erasers and spitballs and tacks. Finally, they're learning something, he thought.

When Susie came back from the girl's bathroom, she capped the big black marker he had lent her and handed it back with a happy grin. Then she went back to her seat and took out a kazoo.

Several boys joined in with armpit farts and raspberries, so of course that was when the Principal entered. "What in the Sam Hill is going on here?" he yelled authoritatively.

"We're expressing our creativity and tapping the zeitgeist," Mr. Gibbs said weakly from there he lay sprawled on the floor behind his desk.

Too embarrassed to admit his vocabulary didn't extend quite that far, the Principal smiled knowingly and then smiled encouragingly at the kids and then left quickly lest any hint of ignorance betray him to the student body.

When Bobby grabbed Susie's kazoo because he wanted to spit on it, and Susie spit on Bobby because she wanted her kazoo back, Mr. Gibbs said calmly from the floor: "Your bodies make spit to help you digest what you eat. Bobby, do you want to eat Susie's kazoo?"


"Susie, do you want to eat Bobby?"


"Okay. Go find something you do want to eat, and spit on it."