KJ and I went to Patterson’s for cocktails after work last night. Sitting at the bar full of aging longshoremen and sad, sad women, we were approached by a disheveled, long haired 30-something in a sweat-suit with her keys around her neck.
“Ladies, I’m like super buzzed and I’ve got all these damn fucking papers to grade.”
She struggled to balance on her barstool and slammed a huge binder down. “I’m a 5th grade teacher and I’ve got 45 fucking book reports to go through. I’m like, trashed, and I can’t decide if I’m in a good mood or bad mood. They’re all getting A’s or F’s.”
KJ and I looked at each other. “Um, what book?”
“They’re all different books.” She screamed across the bar, taking another swig of her hot brandy. “God, I hate this shit.”
“Have you read all the books?”
“I’ve read most of this shit, and if the book report sucks and I haven’t read it, I’ve got to go find the crappy paperback and figure out where the kid went wrong. Like this kid.” She digs through her binder and pulls out a double spaced, 2 page report, smacking in on the bar.
“I’ve been teaching this kid since he was four and I am positive about one thing. He hates women.”
“He’s a complete psychopath. He hates all women. Has absolutely no respect. He makes me sick. He rips the legs off spiders.”
“Oh, my cousin’s like that.” KJ pipes in. “He used to take live frogs and rip them apart by their legs. It’s like this big family drama.”
It is at this point that I can’t decide who the bigger freak show is: the alcoholic, jaded grade school teacher to my right or my friend sitting on my left.
The two of them continue, comparing the 12 signs of a serial killer and the most masochistic children they’ve come across. The best I could do was Cyril, the smelly kid from 4th grade that tried to hang himself with a jump rope.
Boozy, leathery teacher finally left, only after doing her impression of the woman-hating 5th grader for the entire bar, and KJ and I watched her stumble out into the rain, spilling book reports on the sidewalk as she walked past the bar.
I took a sip of my Chardonnay. “That was bizarre and frightening.”
“Call me crazy.” KJ sighed. “I kinda like her.”