Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt: Write about a time you got in BIG trouble when you were a child.
Someone had ratted us out. Someone broke under pressure and told an ADULT what we had done.
I was in big trouble. For the first time in my life. Big trouble.
This kind of stuff didn’t happen to me. It happened to my brother. How would I live through it? The shame was overwhelming.
In a huff, the P.E. teacher marched us out through the hot, grassy field to the new gym equipment that had been installed at the school. All of us, a small group of fourth graders, hung our heads as we went to fess up to our wrong-doing.
Once we got to the wooden climbing wall, we each had to identify what we had written in ink pen.
The gym teacher barked orders at us. “Before I give you a piece of sand paper, I’ve got to tell you. I don’t think this is going to work. You wrote in INK PEN. If you are not able to get the writing off, you are going to have to PAY A LOT OF MONEY to replace this. This is BRAND NEW equipment that costs a lot of money. You better hope the sand paper works!”
The worst part for me was identifying what I had written. I had the longest, the most foul, and the worst of all the graffiti to claim. At the time I wrote it, I only felt the most clever. Now, I felt the most vile.
Thankfully, the sand paper worked.
Next stop was the front office. We were each taken into the principal’s office one by one, yelled at, and told to call our parents and tell them what we wrote.
I cried the entire time I waited for my turn.
I cried in the principal’s office.
When I got on the phone with my mom, I cried so hard I could not say what I had written.
That night, at home, my brother was very, very happy. So pleased to see the goody-goody sister in trouble. This was a special occasion.
My parents were trying to decide my punishment. Grounded for a week? No TV? No phone?
My dad asked me about what I wrote. “Where did you hear that? Who told you that?!”
“Scott (my brother) told me! It was a punch line to a joke he tells!” I exclaimed. It was the truth, but I was more than happy to try and shift the focus off of me for a moment.
“Go to your room. Both of you!” My dad told both my brother and me. My brother was infuriated to be part of a punishment that was FINALLY supposed to be mine.
To this day, I will never forget the punch line of that joke. I will never forget the whole joke. It is burned in my memory forever.