Girl Gone Bad (Temporarily)

About 36 hours ago, I turned to a life of crime. Among my offenses are fraud, corruption, theft, criminal neglect, cruelty to animals and attempted murder. This is my confession.

It began when I went to my boss at the university and explained my predicament of having no students in my course. I was fully prepared to say goodbye to that job after 30 years. Instead, after asking me a few questions, my boss said this:

“I realize it is a difficult situation for you, but I have to ask you to keep teaching the course. We sell this program as a package and can’t simply cut out one of the offerings, even if it isn’t needed by anyone at the moment.”

To be honest, I was kind of stunned. I pictured myself coming to the university each week, sitting in an empty seminar room for an hour or so on the off chance that some sorry procrastinator showed up mid-semester, and then collecting about $250 a pop for my “efforts”. But my boss was clearly perfectly willing to let me do this.

I told him my opinion that it really wasn’t necessary to offer two English courses with the numbers we had in the program right now. He countered that changing the curriculum would be a long bureaucratic nightmare and costlier in the end than paying me for not teaching for a while.

I said I felt uncomfortable taking money for nothing and so he made a few suggestions of how I could alter my hours – maybe blocking them, or maybe offering online instruction . . . He would be okay with any alternative I came up with. He thanked me for coming to see him and for my good work over the past three decades. I left.

I sat on a park bench for a while and thought: ”What am I going to do?” At some point it occurred to me that what I needed to solve my problem was students. Where could I get some? From the other English course. I called up the teacher and we hatched a plan.

I showed up in her course and succeeded in luring her five best students away and into my course. Before leaving her class, I thanked her profusely for allowing me to steal them. Back in my classroom, we joined the two students who had shown up for my course that evening and we were off to the races. Let the semester begin!!

Thanks to my thievery, I felt somewhat better about defrauding the taxpayers. I think that, eventually, I could have even successfully rationalized it all if my crime spree had ended there. Unfortunately, this morning I almost committed murder.

I was hacking away with a hoe in one of my flower beds. I wanted to clear the jungle growing there completely and start from scratch. After a bout of hoe hacking, a round piece of dried weeds came free and tumbled down toward my feet. I reached down to grab it and got stung by pointy quills. I realized that it was a hedgehog that had rolled itself up in self-defense after being bludgeoned by my hoe. The remorse was immediate and overwhelming.

I stood there staring at the poor creature and saw that it was still breathing. Was it injured? Was it suffering? “Do veterinarians treat hedgehogs?”  I wondered. My cell phone rang. The husband was calling to say he’d be home in an hour and would I feed the chickens. I said yes and then blurted out “I THINK I KILLED A HEDGEHOG!!”

 

I am happy to conclude this post with a few updates:

The chickens experienced hunger today, but the hedgehog survived. (He eventually unrolled and burrowed back into my flowerbed.) The relief I felt will help me to return to the straight and narrow – my life of crime is over.

I will not defraud.

I will not steal (any more) students.

I will not be cruel to animals.

I will not hoe.

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10 thoughts on “Girl Gone Bad (Temporarily)

  1. An odd litany this is: fraud and corruption sanctioned by your boss, theft after which you thanked the victim, understandable yet criminal neglect, cruelty to an animal that 100% resembled a tuft of weeds, and attempted murder that could easily be knocked down to accidental near-hedgehog-slaughter since it was obviously not pre-meditated. I will not hoe either… the last time I cleared out weeds, I found a snake. I’m done with the “great” outdoors. Have fun with your stolen students and your (sort of) clear conscience. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Only if hedgehogs have law books, LOL. If they take it to the judge, your hoe incident would most definitely be “un-premeditated.” It would be different if you were lying in wait behind your compost pile and fired on him like a sniper. The hedgehog DA would have a much stronger case then. Should I be afraid I am binge-watching too much NCIS??? 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Glad the hog is OK. This time of year is a minefield with hedgehogs, frogs and toads starting to hide everywhere. Hope you haven’t put poor old ‘Trump’ on an imposed hunger strike after last week’s post

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You see? This is EXACTLY the kind of info we blackthumbs don’t know – that hiding hedgehogs are a thing, so be careful with the hoes. Let me assure you that I have learned from my near-hogdeath experience and that you needn’t worry about Trump Chicken, either. She will be take care of as well as all the others. Despite the silly hair.

      Like

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