Strangely Relevant Somehow
A Recent Interview
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Jokes I Like to Tell
One time a history teacher in the 6th grade was working through the tumultuous period surrounding the Civil War. Most of the students were tracking with her, and yet she was consistently bothered by a row of boys in the back, who were not paying attention, and who were generally just squirreling around.
At one point, she finally had enough, and picked out the ringleader, and had him stand up by the side of his desk. “Billy,” she said, for his name was Billy, “Would you be so kind as to please tell the class who shot Abraham Lincoln?”
At this question, Billy’s face went ashen white, and he began gesturing wildly with his hands, saying, “I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it!”
With that the long-suffering teacher sat down at her desk, put her face in her hands, and tried to compose herself. She was on the verge of true discouragement. On top of that, she wondered to herself, how do I handle this? What should I do?
After a few moments, she decided that the thing to do would be to send a note home to Billy’s parents. She pulled out a sheet of paper, and an envelope, and wrote a brief note that explained what had happened, and to ask Billy’s parents what they proposed to do that might help rectify the situation.
As it turned out, the question had scared Billy enough that he actually delivered the note, and the next morning the teacher received back yet another note from Billy’s mother. To be frank, the note had a little bit of mustard on it.
The note read . . .
“I want you to know, Miss Watkins,” for that was her name, “that if my Billy says that he didn’t shoot Abraham Lincoln, well, then, he didn’t.”