Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Memorable Retirement Gift

My music teacher friend retired from teaching this week. She's put in 30+ years, and although her students and co-workers are sad to see her go, she's earned this well deserved time off.

I really thought that her last day at school should be commemorated in a special, thoughtful, congratulatory way. Yes, she's had the official party complete with balloons and cake and songs and presents and flowers and all that jazz. Yes, her students have presented her with sweet sentimental cards and their parents have flooded her with Starbucks gift certificates. Her principal has made speeches and her superintendent of the school district stopped by to personally wish her well.

Pffffftt. How mundane.

I thought that she deserved something better. Something more imaginative, a truly unique gesture that was a testament to her selfless sharing of creativity for all those years. An act of gratitude that she would remember for a very long time. Something that truly reflected who she is as a person. Hm................what could I do..........?


 I decided to anonymously sabotage and ransack her car as it sat in the school parking lot.

Brilliant! Anyone could buy a card or send flowers. But this - this would be a real tribute. This would be special. And unexpected. And devious. Perfect.

I snickered and chortled all the way to the craft store where I snagged a package of those big obnoxious markers meant to decorate cars. I also found an enormous gaudy bow which was waterproof and very durable. Handy.

I drove stealthily into the teacher's parking lot and slunk out of my car. I could hear cheers and music coming from the school's gymnasium and realized this meant that the kids - and teachers - would be flooding the parking lot within the hour. I had to work fast.

As I cracked open the marker package, smiling wickedly, I realized..........that I had absolutely no clue as to what to do next. Oh, brother. What a time for brain fog to set in. I had spent all of my energy on concocting this hair-brained scheme and didn't save any for actually completing the covert operation.

Rats. I should have called in for back-up.

Suddenly, I heard more applause and music coming from the gym, and realized that brain fog or no brain fog, I had to get a move on or my cover would be blown. So I took the obnoxious bow and was glad that it had a generous amount of wire attached. I wound it repeatedly around her antenna, where it would probably take some serious wire cutters to remove it. I knew that she had planned to drive to a destination about two hours north immediately after school, so that huge annoying very durable and waterproof bow would be flapping alongside her windshield for the entire ride. Perfect.

Bwahahaha.......well, OK. That was fun. Maybe I can do this after all, I thought. Snicker. She'll never know who did it......Snort.

I began scribbling furiously on her car windows. Of course, I drew the usual musical stuff,  quarter notes, treble clefs, yada yada. Hm..... Too obvious.....Must think of something better........ I tried to dredge up all those pathetic music puns that I had buried somewhere in my memory.

  • :II - with a circle and a slash, meaning NO REPEATS. 
  • D.C. al RETIREMENT, meaning start from the beginning until you get to retirement. 
  • Teacher transposing B flat to C sharp

Yikes. I couldn't think of any more and time was running out....quick, Julia, think think think! I gave in and scrawled the usual platitudes: Congratulations on your Retirement, Retired Teacher On Board, Best Wishes, blah blah blah....anything to annoyingly fill in window space.

I heard cheers and clapping coming from the school. Time to bail! I quickly wrote Follow Me To The Slush! on the tailgate window, hopped into Goldie, and zipped away.

It wasn't until I pulled into my garage that I realized I had made a major tactical error. I had completely and totally given my identity away.

Dang. The slush reference......

Nobody else around here but me makes slush, a very tasty frozen adult beverage. (You can read more about slush here.) Busted. So, so, so busted.

Moments later, right on cue, I heard the blast of my friend's car horn in my driveway.

I can't get away with anything around here. Sheesh.

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