Whoosh! We’ve gone from past to present to past again with these recent posts. Enough with the manuscript talk. Let’s get back to Michelle’s oh-so-weird/laughable childhood.
Well, if you insist . . .
I have been nostalgic over my school daze, er, days. The lunchtime at my elementary school seemed like a military camp’s mess hall. But what about the other periods?
Huh? I could talk about all the singing when not in music class.
This was during 2nd and 3rd grade. There were three home rooms for each, and those classrooms were found in one section of the building. So you would walk down the hallway into this round lobby with all the doors. Each morning during the reveille, er, before the first lessons, all the students winced at the squealing of wheels when the music teacher pushed the piano down the hall. Then the home room teachers herded the students into the lobby, circling the piano, as we rolled eyes.
First, we said the pledge:
I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and unto the republic for which it stands
One nation, under God, indivisible
with liberty and justice for all . . .
No, I didn’t look up the words. I know it by heart along with the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Yes, we sang the “Star-Spangled Banner” song (with a musical accompaniment) right after saying the pledge of allegiance. Yet this wasn’t the only song we piped out, because it would be boring if we just sang the same one all the time.
Home on the Range
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Our Country Tis of Thee
Pop goes the Weasel
Why did we sing these songs before classes? Heck if I know. But we did, or at least we tried. When getting a bunch of seven and eight year olds to sing when we didn’t really want to, there were bound to be mistakes in the lyrics. And there was one song in particular that caused us the most trouble: Home on the Range
Home, home on the range
where the deer and the antelope play
when seldom is heard
a discouraging word
and the skies are not cloudy all day . . .
Seems weird, doesn’t it? No, I’m talking about the song itself. “ . . . when seldom is heard, a discouraging word?” What the crap is that supposed to mean? It made no sense to me then, and the lightbulb hasn’t switched on in making any sense now.
Well, when in doubt, improvise. We changed words. We ad-libbed. We ticked off the teachers to the point where they printed out the words for us to memorize. Big mistake.
Teacher: “Now class. It has come to our attentions that several of you are having problems with our morning songs.”
Duh . . . like not wanting to sing them.
Teacher: “So we will all take a moment to go over the words. Yes, Andy?”
Although this is a true story, all children’s names are fictional.
Andy: “There’s a mistake on my page. It’s suppose to be, seal bum.”
Rick: “Hee-hee. Seal’s bum.”
He passed gas, sending several girls shrieking at the smell.
Teacher: “Rick, excuse yourself. Andy, the word is not seal’s bum, it is seldom.”
Katie: “Are seals really dumb?”
Andy: “Of course they are. They’re sitting on the stove with the deer.”
Of course, the whole class knew a range was an oven.
George: “Me and Pop go deer hunting every year. But we don’t see any melons.”
We also mistook cantaloupes for antelopes.
Teacher: “No, class. A range is a large open space of land, like a field. Antelopes are animals that look like deer but are a much smaller.”
George: “I still never see any when hunting.”
Miss Prissy raised her hand. Everyone has had a Miss Prissy in their class - the one who believed herself smarter than everyone and was the teacher’s pet.
Miss Prissy: “Deer and antelope don’t live in the same place. They all live on different continents.”
George: “Then how come they’re playing together in the song?”
Andy: “Maybe they’re dumb like the seals. Bet the cougars eat them all.”
Andy: “It says, a cougar-eating world.”
Teacher: “No . . . no . . . that’s, a discourag–“
Someone shouted: “What’s a cougar?”
Miss Prissy raised her hand, but Andy spoke up first.
Andy: “They’re giant cats, like lions.”
Andy stuck out his tongue at Miss Prissy who huffed and turned her head away.
Katie: “But how can they all play together if they live in different places?”
The class turned to look at Miss Prissy. She closed her eyes and thought really hard.
Miss Prissy: “Maybe the range is like a giant zoo. They have animals from all over the world.”
Andy: “Cougars are still going to eat them.”
Rick: “Not if the seals fart. Then they’ll be too stinky.”
He passes gas again.
Katie: “So the song is, ‘Home, home in the zoo . . . where the deer and the melons play . . . when dumb seal’s bum is heard . . . a cougar-eating world . . . and the skies are not cloudy all day.’ Right?”
George: “What do seals taste like? Are they like deer?”
Teacher: “NOW, CLASS! THAT IS ENOUGH.”
The class glared at her, wondering why she interrupted our National Geographic moment.
Teacher: “Let’s move onto another song. Yankee Doodle Dandy.”
Andy: “He’s weird. He doodles with mac-n-cheese in his hat.”
Another hearty discussion ensued.
Sufficed to say, the teacher threatened to give us extra assignments if we didn’t get the words right. We did our best, even though “Rick” still let loose a fart at every mention of the word, “seldom.”