“Can someone get me on the Firefox?” Senor Thomas would routinely ask the class, as if knowledge on this subject were as crucial as uno and dos. Sometimes he would even comment, “I can’t get on the lappy toppy.”
I wish I was in his homeroom, but I got stuck with the French teacher. There was nothing horribly wrong with the French teacher. She was fluent in French, which is both good and unnecessary for handling a herd of eighth graders. She knew how to teach, but she didn’t have that flare that Senor Thomas just seemed to possess without trying.
So he didn’t know how to get on the internet or use email. But he did know how to show us commercials from the 1980’s that just happened to be in Spanish. Commercials with Hispanic race car drivers smiling that charismatic smile and singing, “Drink, PEPSI!” Then there were the Lucky Charms renditions, back when Lucky Charms were cool. And let’s not forget the Trix are for Kids! The rabbit would dance on the TV screen his little Mexican dance. Not the Mexican hat dance. It was more the shake your tail feather. Or in this case, rabbit tail.
What happened was, I guess he recorded a half hour’s worth of television commercials in the Spanish language one afternoon when he was bored and then decided thirty years later, “I can use these with both Spanish 1 and Spanish II!”
Which was the case.
I guess he did know how to work a computer because he got ants on it. In fact, that’s why he got in trouble. One of those stupid Laptop Initiative rules. “Don’t eat over your computer!”
I don’t think the eating was the problem. He liked ants. In fact, he fed his ants.
Just like kids these days sing that song, “Pants on the ground,” Senor Thomas had ants on the ground of his classroom. He collected them in a big container of Double Bubble and fed them. I’m not sure what he fed them. Everyone, myself included, seems to remember that he fed his ants. I think he declared that he fed his ants or waved some “I feed my ants” flag at a pride parade, invisible among all those rainbows, just to prove his point.
Speaking of pride, we never really knew about his marriage situation. Apparently, he still lives with the woman he was married to. Only the two have been separated or divorced.
This does not mean, however, that we must exclude the existence of the lady being crushed to death in the pool. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. The lady being crushed to death in the pool.
It was a picture that hung on his classroom wall. Looking back, I wonder how he ever got away with it. But here’s the story regardless:
So there’s a picture of two ladies in swimsuits in a swimming pool. That’s not the weird part. One of these women is morbidly obese. The morbidly obese woman is diving into the water and lands in the lap of the skinny woman, only the skinny woman is being crushed to death because she’s defying physics and supporting a morbidly obese woman in a pool. Cool story, bro?
The picture was a lot cooler.
We were addressed by our last names. But not really our last names. Versions of our last names. For example, a kid with the last name Sherwin was called Williams. Maybe Senor Thomas liked to paint.
Every Fridays were BINGO days. We were awarded candy and Double Bubble. The other days were spent hitting the blackboard with fly swatters. (It was part of a vocabulary game. If only you’d been there.)
Senor Thomas is a cool man. I haven’t met many who say they will go to Mexico to study French and Paris to study espanol. But I guess he’s an exception.