Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bring On Da Funny

Sharkbait got in a fight the other day. Ironically, he got into a fight with last year's Sharkbait - who I used to refer to as The Whiner. Yes, it seems that I am doomed to have one student in my class every year who is so obnoxious, so annoying, so all-around icky, that having him in my class makes me question my decision to become an educator. I never wrote about The Whiner because it was too exhausting to think about him outside of work, and also there was really no good material on him. He just was, and still is, a major pain in the ass. Only now he's taller, so there's more of him to dislike. It scares me that I will have a kid like this every year, but I have a very bad feeling it's my destiny. It must be a Murphy's Law thing, or maybe the universe is pissed at me for not perpetuating the species.

There is, however, one big difference between Sharkbait and The Whiner. When Sharkbait is not being loud, rude, and horrible, he is an extremely funny little kid. He is still the bane of my existence and a professional pain in the ass, but his ability to make me laugh has proven to be a lifesaver - and by that I mean it is the only reason he is still alive. And of course, it's wrong to hurt children. Also, I'm deathly afraid of prison.

I have another boy in my class who is the polar opposite of Sharkbait. I'll refer to him as Lil Obama. He is smart, sweet, helpful, and extremely well-spoken for a six year old. Well he will be when his front teeth come back in. Lil Obama also has something else going for him, he too is an extremely funny little kid.

I laugh a lot in my class. Kids are funny in general, and I always make sure to laugh with them, and not at them. OK, sometimes I do laugh at them. Like whenever Sharkbait wears his plaid shorts and polo shirt to school and I ask him if he's got an after school tee-off time. My kids have come to appreciate the humor in our class, and they turn themselves inside out to be the source of my chuckles. And this leads me to yesterday in class.

Sharkbait had made himself a crown in the Art Center. He came up to proudly show me his masterpiece - a piece of paper glued end to end with his name scrawled across it. It perched precariously atop his head. He could barely take a step without it falling down. He gave me a smirk, waiting for me to abuse him. He knew it was awful, and he was dying to get me going.

Me: Nice hat.

Sharkbait: It's my birthday crown.

Me: Nice crown.

Sharkbait: Isn't it great? (at this point the crown falls off and blows across the room. He runs to catch it, runs back to me, and places it back on his head, waiting for me to tell him how bad it is)

Me: It would be better if it fit around your head instead of on top of it, you know, so you could actually wear it.

Sharkbait: The paper was too small.

Me: I'm not surprised. No way you could get that thing around your great big head.

At this point, we have an audience. You can't have a 10 second conversation in a room full of six year olds without all of them wanting in on it. Sharkbait, aware of his audience, screws up his face into a big pout, and replies dramatically:

How could you be so cruel to me!!!

And then promptly pretends to burst into tears. Five seconds later we were both laughing hysterically. All the other kids started laughing too, though they didn't really get the joke like we did. Only one child didn't laugh - Lil Obama. He was mad with envy. MAD! He wasn't used to seeing me laugh like that at anybody but him. I could see he was preparing to one-up Sharkbait. He gave me a look and then mumbled something.

Me: What was that?

Lil Obama: (mumbling still) must be funnier....must be funnier....Sharkbait's stealin' my funny.

Stealing my funny. At this point, I'm losing it. All I can think about is how can I get a video camera in here right this minute.

Me: Stealing your funny???

Lil Obama: Sharkbait's stealin' my funny!

Sharkbait: (from across the room) You got a problem, Lil Obama?

Lil Obama: Yeah! You're stealin' my funny!

Lil Obama walks over to Sharkbait. They stand toe to toe, staring each other down. You can cut the tension with a pair of child-safe scissors. Lil Obama baring his toothless snarl, Sharkbait wearing his retarded crown, the students waiting in breathless anticipation, and me on the verge of wetting myself.

Sharkbait: I'm stealing your funny? Well bring it on then! Bring on da funny!

Lil Obama: Yeah? I'll bring it!

For the next five minutes the two of them proceeded to twist, contort, snarl, wiggle, jump, shake, scratch, cross eyes, pick noses, roll around with their legs waving in the air, give self-imposed wedgies - anything to break the other down with time-tested Three Stooges humor. It was a Funny-Off. I was absolutely weeping by the end of it. I couldn't have stopped them if I wanted to. And why would I want to stop a classic moment like that? They don't come around very often.

Especially with Sharkbait.

Bring on da funny!


Sysm said...

I will blame you for their awful buddy comedy movies in 20 years.

yournamehere said...

You're going to get a pie in the face before the school year is over, and you'll have no one to blame but yourself.

Tits McGee said...

Thank you.

I am about to submit my teaching application tomorrow and am crazy with stress and anxiety. That just made me feel so much better.

I heart you.

Hypersonic said...

Ok I wasn't sure if this wasn't the plot to some obscure anime or not. I think you should submit it to a japanese animation studio.

Callie said...


Brooke- that was classic.. *Steal my funny* can I use that?? Is it copywritten- trademarked??? I want a tshirt for my birthday that says that... *laughs*

"Go Ahead- Steal My Funny"

Happy Holidays Dear
and to all of you others!


TinaPoPo said...

And that is why I would rather be a teacher than a network administrator. :)

Übermilf said...

Wait until the next time you bend over. We'll see how funny you think they are then.

Cincysundevil said...

Wow, those two act like lawyers in arbitration!

nicalyse said...

Love little kids. The only way their "funny off" could have been better is if you joined in.

Spinning Girl said...

That is so fan - effing - TAS tic. You can't make this stuff up!!!

ChickyBabe said...

Ms Wose, you are a legend among your pupils!

Happy Chrissie to you from down under! :)

Melissa said...

"Steal my funny" is friggin' awesome. I'm sitting here cackling with glee, and it isn't even because I'm about to spirit someone's puppy away in a picnic basket.

Thanks for the "unintentinal little kid hilarity" fix. I needed that.

Johnny Pipewrench said...

You had me at "Sharkbait."

matty said...

That is too funny!

Man, I don't know how you do it. I am so glad I opted to not tackle that career. I came so close. However, this would have been fun to watch. LOL!

Monkey said...

I LOVE this story. Oh my word.

As to why you get one Sharkbait each year... in our school system at least, they seem to spread out the "challenging" children among the classes. So we have 6 second grade classes of 19 kids each. And each teacher gets her own little "cross to bear".

This year I gave the boy's teachers huge gift certificates to Borders... my own way of saying "I feel your pain and I'm sorry, please forgive me".

Brookelina said...

Sysm - that is exactly what I was thinking while watching them. That and please please don't let me pee my pants.

Todd - oh no! That humor is much too sophomoric for my little comic geniuses!

Tits - I heart you too. I can't wait for you to become one of the herd.

Hyper - that anime stuff freaks me out. I think I just need a video camera.

Callistre - you may use it. I don't think my student would mind. If you want to be really authentic - make sure to lisp like you have no front teeth.

Tinapopo - and that is why I am a teacher instead of a chef.

Ubie - now Lil Obama's thing is to stand next to me and do whatever I do in front of the class. The good thing is he knows when to stop. When I give him the look, he runs for his life.

Cincy - oh let me tell you, these two are going to go far. I have my class brainwashed already - any person in the world can walk into my class and ask them what they are going to do when they grow up and the first answer is "go to college."

Brookelina said...

Nicalyse - I could barely stand up from laughing. Besides, sometimes you have to let the little ones run with something with no interference.

Spinning Girl - don't I know it! And don't you know it. I will never ever forget this one.

Chickybabe - happy Chrissie to you too! Oh wow, I'm suddenly so missing Australia. Stop it!

Melissa - no, thank you! I hoped that others would enjoy this as much as I did, and that it wasn't one of those "had to be there" moments. I don't even think I did it proper justice.

Johnny - you had me at Pipewrench. Glad to see you're back!

Matty - you'd have been a phenomenal teacher. You have the right heart for it.

Monkey - I got three presents this year - which I was a bit disappointed about since last year I had to make two trips to my car to get them all home. Want to hear what I got? A tiny basket of candy, a nightgown fit for my great great grandmother's maident auntie, and a big basket of bath stuffs. Sharkbait's mother got me nothing. I love my job....I love my job...I love my job...

Erin O'Brien said...

I'm not sure who to root for here. I guess I'll vote lil Obama, if for only the glory of his name alone.

The real me said...

Just think, in a few years, they could be pointing guns at each other over the same thing.

jamwall said...

lil obama is getting my write-in vote!

Melanie was here said...

All I keep seeing is the video for Beat It. Awesome story!

TherapyDoc said...

Oh, boy, why haven't I been here before. I just loved it and am linking to you...right now.

V-Grrrl said...

Neil stole my funny and I ain't got no more!