I can’t believe I never posted this on my website – facebook sure, but it really belongs here.
I never knew the medical term for the spinal ailment that Mr. Cole, Bryant High School’s most eligible bachelor teacher, suffered from. The man had been to every point of interest in the world, lived with his mother, wore a 5000 carat diamond ring, and could explain, in detail, how the ancient Egyptians invented everything from airplanes to television to air conditioning.
One hard and fast rule in Mr. Cole’s class: no food or candy!
I was a rebel (but I’ll bet you didn’t really know that). As Mr. Cole viewed the class, I sat on his right on the front row. He eyeballed me as he paced back and forth in front of the class flailing his arms in gesture-speak, the likes of which would make William Shatner jealous.
Each time Mr. Cole would divert his attention to other side of the class, I would pop in a Spree candy from a roll I bought from the student center at lunch. Today, there was something wrong. Somehow, I swallowed it whole. It stuck right in my windpipe. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t cough.
Desperate, I started thrusting my abdomen into my desk for an odd, self-performed Heimlich Maneuver. Mr. Cole turned an looked at me. Is something wrong Mr. Aldridge?
I shook my head as if to say “no”. Satisfied, he turned and continued his lecture.
I immediately turned to Ben Albritton behind me and made the universal, “My God Man! I am choking! For God’s sakes do something or I’ll die right here in front of you damn it!” sign.
Fearful of reprisal himself, Ben started punching me in the back with those little one-inch punches that would have made Bruce Lee proud. Ben was able time the cadence of each punch to coincide with Mr. Cole turning his head away from us. It worked! Just as Mr. Cole turned his attention to me again, a Spree flew out of my mouth and onto the desk in a big puddle of purple-Spree-colored saliva.
His response, “Hmmmm….”
I just looked at it as if it weren’t mine. Kind of like when you fart in class, everyone knows it was you, but you still try and pretend you have no idea what anyone is talking about as you wave your hands back and forth commenting about the horrid smell (not that I would have ever done that).