Okay starting where we left off…
Being a sweet, innocent, little girl, I was naively excited to have the Devil as my substitute teacher. After all, she was always nice to me when she visited our cabin and she was my very best friend’s mom. To me it was a win win… oh silly silly stupid little Mona.
The day the Devil started teaching my 1st grade class, I began a long and intimate relationship with the front right corner of our classroom. That woman had me stand in the corner for any and every infraction she could think of and/or make up.
- Talking too loudly… corner
- Talking too quietly… corner
- Talking… corner
- Laughing… corner
- Hiccupping… corner
- Sneezing without covering my mouth… corner
- Sneezing into my hand… corner
- Turning pages too loudly… corner
- Turning pages too slowly… corner
- Breathing loudly… corner
- Blinking too much… corner
People I am not making this shit up, I was put in the corner for every one of those things.
No matter how hard I tried, I would always end up spending my days studying the paint brush strokes of that corner. This constant punishment made me believe that I was a really bad kid, and I was certain the Devil would tell my parents how awful I was on her next visit.
And that was where the psychological warfare really took place. Whenever the Devil came to our cabin to visit, she would tell my parents… that I was a joy to have in her class room.
My poor little 6 year old mind didn’t understand how she could say that to my parents when I spent LITERALLY every hour of every day standing in the corner of that classroom! And I never told my parents, I mean what kid wants to admit they get in trouble every day? And I honestly thought I was bad kid and that’s why I was being punished.
But the worst part was yet to come… May 5, 1983 (yes I do remember the exact day, it’s seared in my mind for all eternity).
All the students were told to bring a piece of fruit to class, as the Devil was bringing a fruit dehydrator, and we were all going to get to dry our own piece of fruit.
I was ecstatic and had sworn to myself that I was NOT going to be bad and be put in the corner that day. To make sure this happened, I decided I would not talk, laugh, sneeze, hiccup, blink, or even breathe until my banana (that was my fruit of choice) had made it into the dehydrator.
It was all going so well… until the Devil tricked me.
Devil: Okay class, raise your hand if you want to be the first person to put your fruit into the dehydra…
All of our little hands eagerly shot into the air.
I was shocked, let’s be honest, the entire class was shocked. All of them were aware of my bizarre constant punishments and were amazed that the Devil had finally decided to show me kindness.
I carefully picked up my sliced banana and started walking towards the fruit dehydrator.
Devil: Mona… I had not finished my sentence before you rudely raised your hand… go stand in the corner.
I was horrified. I was certain that at least 5 other kids had gotten their hands up before mine. How was it that AGAIN I was being punished? I slowly turned towards the corner, still holding my banana slices.
Devil: … and throw your banana away. You have lost dehydrator privileges.
The entire class gasped, this was truly the worst punishment any one of them could possibly imagine. I stood frozen, staring down at my precious banana, devastated that once again I had been a bad girl and now my poor banana was being punished. I walked to the waste paper basket and gently set my banana down on the bottom, next to wadded up pieces of paper and pencil shavings. I then went and stood in the corner.
Devil: Okay class! Bring up your fruit and let’s start drying!!
The rest of the class slowly got up, gathered their fruit and silently walked to the dehydrator; my unfair and extreme punishment had taken all the joy out of dried fruit day.
… and that’s when the fire alarm went off.
Pandemonium ensued. Kids were running everywhere, screaming and flailing their arms around, some were slipping and falling on dropped fruit, others were frantically searching around the room for an ablazed squirrel. We had all heard the stories of the unfortunate lightning striked squirrel fire of 78′ that had burnt down the gas station garage.
The devil quickly restored some order and got the class into a line at the door, shouting for everyone to be quite and start walking towards the playground.
That’s when Bobby Greggor (I will remember that saint of a boy’s name until the day I die) waived his hand and shouted out “But teacher! What about Mona!?”
I was still standing in the corner, not wanting to be a “bad girl” and save myself from the approaching squirrel inferno, I stood pressed against the corner, waiting for the Devil to rescue me from certain death and give me the okay to get in line with the rest of the class.
Devil: Head forward Bobby, let’s go class.
And. She. Left. Me.
Thankfully there had been no fire and it had just been a fire drill. I’m hoping the Devil was aware of this and that’s why she left me without any hesitation, but DUDE what kind of sick person does that to a child!?!
A couple months later my mother was offered a job in the bustling town of Sandedge, ID, population
3,456 3,460 and we moved away from Springbrook and the Devil.
Six years later my mother and I were discussing the recurring nightmares I was having about being chased by the Devil dressed as a wicked witch, when I finally came clean about my 1st grade “bad girl” ways and my constant corner punishment.
That was the first time I ever heard my mother swear, and also the first time I ever heard the ‘C’ word.
Thankfully, after telling my mother about the horrors of the corner, I stopped having the Devil nightmares.
They were replaced with lovely dreams about me meeting the Devil in present time, with a flame thrower, or a weed whacker, or box of venomous snakes or, my favorite, a homicidal giant banana… it various, but the dream always ends happily.