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 Category:  General Non-Fiction
  Posted: January 20, 2021      Views: 97

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I wrote a human interest column for three newspapers and front page feature stories for a monthly publication in Metro Atlanta for nearly 20 years. I currently free lance for a local magazine. I conducted workshops in schools and correctional facilit - more...

She is an accomplished poet and is currently at the #46 spot on this years rankings.

She is also an active reviewer and is holding the #48 spot on the top ranked reviewer list.

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Who would have thought it?
"A Sub Story" by Susan Larson

One never knows what one will have to do as a substitute teacher. But that's what makes the job fun. For example, one day, I was called to sub at what was reputed to be the worst middle school in the county. That didn't bother me. The lesson plans did.

It was an eighth-grade science class and the kids were to read a story in a weekly newsletter about flatulence, and then discuss it. Yes, for real. Actually, for the first three classes, most of the kids just giggled and blushed and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Then came the last class. It seems it's always that last class.

This was about the roughest bunch I'd ever seen, especially Lino. He was a stocky little Mexican kid, with slicked back hair, saggy pants, and huge silver chains around his neck.

I took roll and we began the reading. Before we could discuss it, Lino rolled up his shirt, cupped his hand under his armpit and began making flatulent sounds. The kids went nuts with laughter. To get things under control, I said, "Wait a minute. I'll bet there's someone in here who can do better than that. Anyone want to challenge Lino?"

Three boys raised their hands. I know I had to be crazy for doing this, but I had them stand up on the lab tables and gave each one a turn to show his stuff. Then we voted. It was unanimous. Lino won!

I quickly made up a certificate with a fancy border proclaiming Lino Rodriguez the Armpit Flatulence Champion of Central Middle School. I got it done just in time before the bell rang at the end of the day. But it was also the end of the week with only one more week to go until the end of the year. In three months, Lino would be in high school and I would never see him again. Unless of course, maybe looking out my window as he spread pine straw in my yard. Yes, that really seemed to be the best direction Lino would be going.

Fast forward about ten years when my husband and I were making a major purchase and had to transfer a significant sum of money out of our account. The teller told me we'd have to get a bank officer's signature and that he would be with me in a minute.

In less than a minute, down the hall came a short stocky man with slicked backed black hair. He was wearing a starched white shirt and a silk tie. When he saw me, he started running and said, "Mrs. Larson, do you remember me?"

As I exclaimed, "Lino!" he grabbed me and gave me a big bear hug. Now I was not going to say a word about his middle school claim to fame in front of his co-workers. In fact, neither of us said much of anything because our eyes, yes, mine and his both, were getting a little teary.

I was so thrilled to see him. And I know he was thrilled to see me. And know that I know he's capable of achieving excellence at more than just farting around.

True Story Contest contest entry


Author Notes
Note: In 2002 Lino was a bank officer. He is now an immigration attorney with his own private practice.
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