Our sister Mimi had two sons. The eldest was the Good Son, who would never think of doing anything wrong or, if he did, was smart enough not to get caught, and the other, well, let’s just say he was a lot like his mother, which is another way of saying he drove Mimi nuts with his antics.
It was against this backdrop that we entered the Christmas season. While we celebrated at one get-together after another, we also had fun at work. Our English department hosted a Secret Santa Gift Exchange in December for any staff member that wished to participate. The rules were simple: you couldn’t spend more than $7.00 and there had to be a series of gifts over the two weeks of gifting for your recipient. That meant we had to be very, very creative.
We were very creative. Gift giving became very personalized through limericks, poems, crafts and baked goods. Very few store-bought items were found and we all had an hilarious time trying to figure out who was whose Secret Santa.
Mimi had drawn Patrick, the youngest addition to our department and a bachelor. Being very creative, Mimi jumped into being his Secret Santa. Day after day, another usually humorous gift would show up on his office desk or in his classroom. Most of us had figured out the connection but still enjoyed both Mimi’s off-the-wall gifts and Pat’s reactions.
Then, The Son who was just like his mother committed the ultimate crime. While cleaning, Mimi found a stash of Playboys and Penthouses hidden beneath his bed. He was only fourteen years old. She hit the ceiling. The rest of us with older sons tried to reassure Mimi that this was normal behavior and that the elder Good Son had probably just hidden his stash of magazines with more care, but she was not to be calmed. Still ranting and raving, Mimi confiscated the stack of magazines while grounding The Son for life.
As she bundled the magazines for the recycle bin, Mimi got a bit curious and began thumbing her way through the pages of a Penthouse. It was then that another creative idea came to her. Grabbing a pair of fingernail scissors, Mimi proceeded to cut out every boob in the rather large pile of magazines. The boobs all went into a very merry Christmas sack.
When her task was finished, Mimi gave the bag a good shake to thoroughly mix the boobs and tied a bright red ribbon around the neck of the bag. She drove the gift bag to school early one morning and sneaked it into the English Office, where she casually dropped it on Pat’s desk.
That morning, the office was a hub of activity. Not only were we getting ready for classes, and secreting in gifts, but we were also opening our Secret Santa gifts. Other teachers participating were dropping by both to retrieve and drop off gifts and see what the rest of us were opening. It was an especially lively time for a group that typically didn’t wake up until at least a cup or two of strong coffee.
Pat wandered in, spotted the very merry gift sack, and started circling his desk, checking out the decorated bag from every angle. He wondered aloud what it could be — donuts, a bomb, lunch? The science teacher, an adopted member of our office, joined in, offering his seasoned eye on what the bag could possibly contain. A lab specimen? A dead mouse?
The theorizing continued until all eyes were fixed on the bag. With exaggerated theatrics, Pat untied the red ribbon and peered inside. He immediately closed the bag. He looked inside a second time, and then, closing the bag, quickly looked around the room trying unsuccessfully to catch a smirk or smile from his Santa. Pat opened the bag once more. By now, we were all dying to learn what was in that bag.
It’s a Bag of Boobs!! Pat announced and burst out laughing.
Our science colleague immediately grabbed the bag and the two men sat down, with the bag between them, trying to match the boobs into pairs. It was quite a sight to behold, two grown men surround by boobs and debating sizes and shapes as they attempted to pair the boobs.
Unfortunately, no one had counted on a substitute teacher wandering into the laughter and chaos that morning, in search of a cup of coffee. She took one look at pile of boobs, our boob-pairing duo, the rest of us in the boob cheering section, and huffed, I’ve never in my life seen anything like this. This is totally unacceptable. I’ll never teach here again.
Just as well. You really need a sense of humor to be around teenagers every day.