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Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Said MOVE OVER, or Varying Degrees of Consciousness

As part of a social experiment in 8th grade, our political science class had a general election. As a result I, along with other classmates heavy on charm and short on real action, was voted into office.

Whereupon we were promptly moved to better living quarters.

There, at the front of the class, we lolled about on extra-large desks. Members of the high school football team peeled organic pomegranates for us, and we were carefully talcum-ed before exertion, lest we chafe.

We were, of course, thoroughly convinced that we, the elite, were deserving of these things.

Meanwhile, our constituents were forced toward the back of the room, their desks pushed together in overly friendly and possibly unhygienic groupings. Cries of “heeeeey, no fair” went unheard; teeth were bared in boisterous and vicious acts of aggression; and correct penmanship was disrespected in wanton, territorial displays against the left-handed.

My campaign promises, whatever they had been, were quickly forgotten, not only because I was an eighth grade twit but because those of us on “Mount Olympus”, as our neighborhood was called, quickly came to political differences with those on “Cannery Row”.

Arguments ensued. Friendships were forever altered, but for crying out loud, couldn’t the people in the back of the room see that we deserved all that extra space?

It was a far cry from yesterday’s yoga class.

There I was. Wedged between Amy and The Guy What Smells Like Cheetohs, mere inches from six people, while the row ahead of the row ahead of me had full range-of-motion rights.

Look at them, up there! Why do they get special privileges? How come the sweat around their mats is from them only? Look at them, with their breathable air and their smiley yoga faces!

No fair!

It is part of the practice, of course, to set aside petty annoyances, to tune out that which does not serve us in pursuit of serenity and a good stretch.

I close my eyes, do my best to ignore Stinky and Fuzzy and Sweaty and the other yoga dwarves crowding my mat.

And then I remembered Social Studies.

I had this coming to me.

Wendy, wherever you are, I’m sorry that I didn’t work harder to make more room for the desks. I’m sorry that I suggested that if you worked harder that you, too, could get elected and move to Mount Olympus.

And I’m sorry we traded that one time and I kept your painters pants.

It’s been 30 years, but I finally see the error of my ways.

39 comments:

haphazardlife said...

They say karma is a bitch. Seems they're right.

Pearl said...

haphazard, I'm just always amazed at how utterly unconscious I am...

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Who'd have guessed karma would show up to screw with your zen in yoga class?

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

What goes around comes around, sometimes it just takes a while.

Kara said...

Oh crap! Now you've got me giving conscious thought to my own term as elected class official!

Shelly said...

Yoga can teach us some great lessons. I do think, though, having the football players peel your pomegranates for you was a wonderful idea. Hmmm. I wonder who I can get to peel some pomegranates for me...

Pearl said...

Green Girl, I know! Completely unexpected! :-)

Delores, and I suspect there's more to come!

Kara, maybe it's time to call another meeting!

Shelly, and don't forget the powdering...

esbboston said...

Occupy Chalkboard!

Pearl said...

esbboston, :-)

Rita said...

I agree. Karma can be a bitch. LOL! At least you're in a yoga class getting healthy and limber. More power to ya! ;)

Eva Gallant said...

That karma is a bitch!

Eva Gallant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pearl said...

Rita, and don't forget the chance, in winter, to open my pores! :-)

Eva, I had it comin'...

Glen said...

power corrupts - bad girl

Leauxra said...

I ran for office in the 8th grade, and was beaten down like the socially awkward loser I was. So I became the sarcastic, one liner, gonna make a jock cry saying mean things girl.

I will have to watch out in class. It's gonna come back, and someone will make a comment about my thighs.

Douglas said...

I was always part of the crowd giving wedgies to the "climbers" who ran for office in school.

Which explains why I never heard back from Harvard.

jenny_o said...

Hmm. I wonder how long it will take karma to catch up to certain "actual" political figures. And that's all I'm going to say about that :)

Susan in the Boonies said...

My compassion waxes and wanes in proportion to my own level of inconvenience.

I hear ya.

sage said...

It was in the eighth grade that I learned how undemocratic elections can be when a slate of us want-to-be officers with petitions and all were denied a spot on the ballot due to things like conduct grades and regular grades (they were probably concerned we'd be elected for 9th grade offices and still be in the 8th grade, which wasn't the case as the teachers wanted to be done with us. THat was also the year that Debbie got booted from Cheerleading for smoking in the bathroom and we got 100s of names on a petition to reinstate her.. it didn't happen. But we did learn how to sign that year as we had petitions for everything.

sage said...

that was a long "comment"! After all, this is your blog, not mine.

Simply Suthern said...

Time to grow that fondness for all things Cheetohs

Pearl said...

Glen, I know. :-) And everyone thought I was so good.

Leauxra, we could've easily hung out. People are still reminding me of horrible (I thought they were funny!) things I said in high school.

Douglas, what could I do?! The people wanted me! :-\ Actually, that experience cured me of elections for quite a while...


jenny_o, SOMEone had to say it. I'm glad it was you!

Susan, we have much in common, O Boonie Dweller. I wish I were more consistently caring, but sometimes I just don't make the effort...

Sage, comment on, my friend! We're friendly here. :-)

Simply, I think you've just made a deceptively simple and utterly brilliant observation. The smell of Cheetohs is everywhere... (and I just noticed that I think I initially misspelled Cheetohs. shoot.)

fishducky said...

The Peter Principle states that we all reach our own level of incompetence. Sometimes it seems we are elected to that level.

Leenie said...

Interesting experiment in social study. I Love Green Girl's comment.

Cloudia said...

hindsight is 2020 for me too, Pearl!

But we got there-


Warm Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

Bodaciousboomer said...

Ye Gods woman, just where did you go to school? It's sounds like preemptive rabies shots would have been a good idea.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Sometimes it takes a long time for the lesson to be learned---if ever! Great story!

Thanks so much for coming by my place....It is always lovely to meet new people in this incredible world of Bloging...!

JeannetteLS said...

I try not to think of eighth grade at all... but you know what? I really don't think that stuff we do in eighth grade means bad karma later. Especially if we behave differently as we get older.

And I'm speaking form the vantage point of one of the losers.

I think you just got stuck between stinky and fuzzy and that's all. NoT real zen of me.

Camille said...

YOU KEPT HER PAINTERS PANTS??? Oh Pearl...oh Pearl... *sigh* You do know she's never gotten over it right? Time for an intervention. Call Oprah and spill your guts. I see a one hour special on 8th grade trauma and the resulting three decades of angst. I'd watch it.

Gigi said...

I never got elected to anything in school (most likely that was a good thing) but I do recall keeping a pair of pink hightops once. Great, now I won't sleep a wink tonight from my guilt.

HermanTurnip said...

Sometimes, I sit up late at night and think of all of my regrets, then try to rock and cry myself to sleep.

Hey...it helps pass the time.

skoots1mom said...

i was voted 'treasurer' in the 8th grade...don't remember what i 'treasured'...don't even remember ever having a meeting...i'm sure i was snotty to somebody...afterall, i was 13...

River said...

It's good that you finally saw the error of your ways. Unlike real politicians, who never do.

Crystal Pistol said...

Oh dear, you have painted yourself into a smelly corner, haven't ya. Ah well... this too shall pass...gas...

Oh! Gosh I certainly HOPE your yoga neighbors relax into THAT!

May the force be with you, Pearl.

Linda O'Connell said...

So, you found your come uppance on a yoga mat between stinky and fuzzy? When is your schtick going to be televised? You could stop wars with your humor. you'd have the generals LOL.

Pat said...

Thanks for reminding me why i gave up class yoga. That and the tendency to emit sounds on the more vigorous exercises.

John Nicoll said...

Dear Pearl, your charm is enough for me!!!

lime said...

oh that karma is a bitch, isn't she?

Pat Tillett said...

Don't ever go to a class reunion! They just might set up an ambush for you...
There were many reasons why I never ran for class office. Probably the most noteworth was that I wasn't usually there very much. Those pesky suspensions were always crimping my political life at school. Oh well!