Den of the Beastly Bear
Around the same time I was working as a bouncer, I had a daytime job working at my old High School.
As a "Betcha didn't know this about me..." for friends from school, get this...I was a Hall Monitor/Security at good old Waterford Kettering!!! I even worked with Bonita and "Grumpy", the monitors that were there when we went there.
Something just not right about my old Geometry teacher Mr. Raspberry telling me:
"Just call me Tom, after all you work here too now!"
The schools in Waterford, were beginning to have drug and alcohol problems as well as trying to keep smoking off campus.
I fell into the job as I was unemployed, the Sporting goods store I'd worked at having gone out of business when the owners retired. My buddy's Mom was a lunch lady there and told me I should go apply.
Mr. Fry was still Principal, Mr. Bennett still vice principal...they had both liked me while I was in school and they were happy to hire someone they felt they already knew.
I took to the job like a fish to water...even though I wore a full beard I looked young enough that I still passed among the students easily with many not paying attention to my presence until it was much too late.
I took my job seriously. Smoking cigarettes I didn't care too much about...it was the drugs and alcohol I was tough on. My theory, and it holds for work as well as school is this: If you can't leave that shit alone for the 6 hours of school or 8 at work, guess what pal?
You got a problem!!!
I've got a ton of drug bust stories I could tell, but it's the couple that had nothing to do with drugs that stick out the most in my mind.
One day the Chorus teacher, portly bespectacled Mrs. Hunt came to see me.
"Someone is breaking into the cheerleaders locker room across the hall from me. They are smoking, and God knows what else in there and I want it stopped!"
"When do you think they are getting in there?" I asked.
"Sometime between 2nd. period and lunch..."
"How are they getting in?"
"Well, if I knew that, I wouldn't really need your help now would I?" That was Mrs. Hunt, "abrasive" was her default setting.
"Ok Mrs. Hunt(SHE never offered to have me call her by her first name, lol) I'll see if I can't find out what's going on and put a stop to it!"
"See that you do!!!" She said as she lumbered off.
So I devised a plan...
The next day, I'd start my day as normal...watch the buses unload, watch the kids until they were safely in the building, run bathroom checks after first period started. Make myself seen all over the place between classes, and after the kids were all in their rooms I'd slip into the cheerleader locker room and wait.
The cheerleader locker room was separate from the gym locker room, in fact nowhere near it! It was in fact across the hall from the chorus and band rooms and adjacent to the stage. It was locked during the day, a thick hardwood door with an 18" X 12" metal mesh vent in the lower quarter.
I let myself in with my master key, the door opened in, turned on the light and surveyed the room. The main space was perhaps 20 ft. long by 12 ft. wide. Lockers along the walls, two 2" X 12" wooden plank benches ran parallel down the center of the room. At the far end of the room was a sink to the left, a single stall toilet in the center, and an opening on the right to a 2 place open shower room.
Seeing everything there was to see, I turned off the light, sat on the bench facing the door and waited.
2nd. period passed uneventfully, as did the third.
4th. period was the last before lunch, if my visitor was coming it would be this period...or I'd have to try again tomorrow.
About fifteen minutes into class, I heard voices near the door. The upper right corner of the vent pushed in, and a thin arm reached up to turn the doorknob from the inside! So that's how they were getting in!!!
Quickly and silently I moved down the room and into the shower room out of sight. Did I mention I'm quite stealthy?
I wanted to know exactly what was going on...so I decided to wait and see what would happen.
The lights came on, I heard giggling...female giggling.
At least 4 girls, maybe five.
They spoke in whispers, once they were all inside they shut the lights off again.
When the lights went out I heard a cigarette pack rustle, the flick of a Bic...once, twice, five times.
Hearing no more, I stuck my head around the corner.
Two were on one bench, the other three facing them on the opposite. I watched the pulsing glow of the hots bobbing as they smoked and talked quietly.
My eyes were much more accustomed to the dark than theirs were, and the little light coming from the mesh in the door gave me plenty of light of circumnavigate the room and end up with my back against the door.
Waiting for an opportune moment I flipped on the lights and said "HELLO LADIES!"
Like turning over a board in a field...the mice scattered!!! Well, they tried to....
Cigarettes flew left and right, bounced off the walls and ceiling!
Mostly blind in the bright light from sitting in the dark, they leapt up off the bench at tried to run!
Got tangled up with each other and toppled as a group to the floor...up in an instant like rabbits they attempted to scatter, trying to confuse the predator in their midst! It took a couple seconds of mass confusion and blind panic to realize they were in a closed room with one heavily built man leaning against their only means of escape, they were trapped!
Accepting their fate at last, they came to a halt as a group at the far end of the room. And started to cry.
"Here now, there's no need for all that...have a seat and we'll have a nice little chat." I told them.
Sniffling, they reluctantly came and sat on the bench facing me, side by side.
"OK, better," I started "first things first...do you know what I'm doing in here?"
Silent head shakes.
"Mrs. Hunt tells me someone has been breaking in here smoking and who knows what else...I'm guessing I'm looking at those someones?"
"This was my first time..." The little brunette on the end offered.
"Well, this is just not your day." I said to her.
"Can I assume by your dress that you are ALL
supposed to be in gym right now?"
More nods and a couple quiet "yeahs".
"We won't do it again..."
"Please don't turn us in.."
"It wasn't even my idea.."
They all tried to talk at once.
"Names....you," I pointed to the first girl on the bench.
"what's your name?"
One by one I wrote down their names.
"Ok, we're all gonna walk down to the principals office, I've got your names so if I don't arrive with five girls I'll know who to come get! One more thing, which one of you is wearing purple nail polish?"
"Why?" The spokesman for the group wanted to know.
"Because that's the hand that reached in and opened the door! I just want to be clear on who did what..."
Low and behold it was the spokesman.
As I opened the door to let them out to start their walk of shame, one of them said to me:
"How long were you in there waiting for us?"
"Since the end of first period...."
They looked at me like I had a third eye.
"patience is a virtue you know."
"Yeah, well you're a freak...You know THAT?!?" She said.
"Oh sweetheart, you have no idea...."
The door was repaired, 4 girls got a days suspension,
the ringleader/spokesman/purple nail polish wearer got 2.
Word got around I was a sneaky bastard....and the kids started calling me "The Ghost" for my habit of appearing out of nowhere!
I kind of enjoyed that!!! :-)
I kind of enjoyed that!!! :-)
Be Well Folks!!!