Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Battle of the Bottle



"The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy."
-Von Clausewitz

They say to always beware of the quiet ones. I was that way in school: quiet, unassuming, blending harmlessly in with the classroom walls.
And then one day when I was fifteen, while my classroom bubbled over chaotically as we waited for the teacher to arrive, I was hit with a heavy glass bottle- walloped with such force that it almost knocked me out of my desk.
One fellow had been aiming for another's head, and my spine got caught in the middle.
I would have let the matter dwindle. I knew well it was an accident, that my presence had disrupted the intended route of the missile. But the thrower laughed, and then some more people laughed, and nobody at all apologised.
I remained crouched in my seat, trying to read my textbook, finding the same sentence over and over as the words blurred and melted together. Everybody forgot, the laughter stopped, the glass bottle was scooped up.
Then I slid unseen from my seat, made my way to the other side of the classroom and halted casually beside the chap with the appalling aim.
"Hello," I said, and he had only a moment of ice-cold understanding before I hit him in the face.
My classmates were stupefied, then got caught up in the hysteria of the moment, chanting my name and thereby acknowledging that a moment of paramount significance had taken place before their eyes- that somebody had come from nowhere and reduced a teenage boy to humiliated, streaming tears in front of his classmates.
Yes. Always beware of the quiet ones.

7 comments:

Beth said...

I absolutely did not see that one coming. You really are a very remarkable person. Yes, beware of the quiet ones.

The Texican said...

Now that's the Irish for you. I knew it was hiding there. Push them far enough and you'll be scoopin' your loosened chompers off the floor. It has been said that if you can't hit it or drink it, an Irishman wants nothing to do with it. Great story. Hope you and Spouse have a great New Year's celebration. Pappy

Del said...

He deserved it, good for you! Happy New Year!

tangobaby said...

Hahaha! That is a great story! And good for you!

Have a wonderful New Years. My best always to you and lovely Mater.

xoxo

TheElementary said...

Beth, I didn't know I was going to do it until I was standing next to him. I think I got the biggest shock ;)

Texican, exactly- I was pushed just a little too far and somebody had to pay the price. I did feel bad afterwards but then remembered that he never said sorry, and he had laughed at me. So I was justified.

Del, ;) he certainly did.

Tangobaby, thanks :)

Mater sends her wishes right back to everyone here who has thought of her.

How come I didn't get to go to school with any of you very supportive folks? :) I could have used a gang like this!

Barb said...

You go girl!!! Wouldn't have thought you had that in you.

TheElementary said...

Barb, oh, I do ;) or I did- that was a while back.

Please look around, explore my writing, leave a crumb:
I welcome comments and thoughts.