Category Archives: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Re: Eliot’s Concern in Biology

From: Edward Benning
Subject: Eliot’s Concern in Biology
Date: March 9, 2017 at 5:13 PM
To: Tammy Bradshaw
Cc: Edward Benning

Hi Ms. Bradshaw,
I am writing to share that I spoke with Eliot today regarding an incident involving him in Biology class recently.

On Tuesday, Eliot made a poor choice of putting a paper clip in one of the electrical outlets during his Period 4 Biology class. The result was the paper clip started to burn/smoke and the row of outlets stopped working.

As I explained to Eliot this morning, it became a potential safety issue for him and for others. With his poor choice, Eliot was assigned a Saturday Detention. He mentioned that he will be able to serve the Saturday Detention time next Saturday, 3/18, in lieu of this Saturday due to SAT testing, if I remember correctly.

Additionally, I notified Eliot that if there were any damages with the outlets as a result of the incident, he would need to pay for the damage. Thankfully, it appears there will not be a need for him to pay for damage though. After checking with the head of our maintenance regarding repair updates, he believes that they will just need to reset the circuit. If this would change then I will let you know. However, I don’t anticipate any repair or replacement costs.

I tried calling your cell phone to share this information but I was unable to leave a message. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email me.
Ted Benning

Ted Benning
Assistant Principal
SAP Team Member
El’s High School
A Rd, A City, A State Zip
Phone: 700-300-0000 x5002 l Fax 700-300-0000

From: Tammy Bradshaw
Subject: Re: Eliot’s Concern in Biology
Date: March 10, 2017 a 2:02 PM
To: Edward Benning

Dear Mr. Benning,

I’m sorry you were not able to leave a message. My inbox must be full. I’ve not paid my bills in 2 years so I let all my unknown calls go to voice mail. It’s been a tough month and my incoming call volume has been extra high. I’ve left myself a note to empty it out so that the next bill collector can leave an important message. I once made the unfortunate mistake of answering a call from a debt collector who was located in Bangladesh. It took me 45 minutes to give him my Amway sales pitch because he had a hard time with my accent. I heard him screaming with joy when he realized how many products I had to offer. He did get an excellent Jheri Curl knock-off made in China. I’ve not heard back from him.

There is no way we could pay for any electrical repair, should the school need it. Surely we could work something out. Do you need any Amway products? If not, Eliot is really good at riding his bike with no hands. We could set him up to generate electricity and he can pedal off his debt. He is in decent shape and can probably produce a good 100-150 continuous watts.

Regarding Eliot’s outlet experiment, it is regretful to be sure. As a science teacher, I am crestfallen. He should have known not to stick the paper clip in the hot side of the outlet. I’ve told him over and over it’s only safe to fish metal around on the return side. However, he has always been a bit of a dare-devil and we all know science isn’t his strong suit, but I take full responsibility for this mishap. I love to watch Myth Busters and I’m afraid Eliot’s dyslexia has prevented him from reading the “Do Not Try This At Home” warning.

Furthermore, Els never had the opportunity to explore electric outlet science because I have trypophobia, a fear of holes. I’m especially terrified of tiny holes grouped in asymmetrical clusters, but any hole will set off a chain reaction that typically ends with me duct taping everyone’s nose, ears and mouth shut. I once saw a picture of a hole and I was found sitting in a corner slapping myself in the head. Anyway, I had a professional place little plastic hats on all the outlets in our house. El never had the chance to do the “stick-it-in-socket” lab.

I did my “outlet lab” when I was 3. Back in the day, bobby pins were the hole-poker of choice. I used to have eyebrows and straight hair but now I save a good bit of money on tweezers and hair perms. Eliot was simply over protected. In fact, I don’t know how he gets through the school day uninjured without foam padding on the corners of every desk. He has not come home with one bruise. The school must be teaching him something.

Breakfast Club Saturday detention is going to be hard to swing. I don’t like to wake up early and I don’t think the school bus has a Saturday stop in our neighborhood. I also don’t think there will be any breakfast or club. Hitting him with a Saturday detention, for doing a science lab out-of-order, is a bit stiff. It was a moment of insanity and doesn’t that qualify for a lesser charge? I know the teacher had a panic attack and now fears her room might spontaneously ignite, but I can save her a fist full of money by sharing a few of my Ativan pills. A week on those babies and nothing will bother her.

Furthermore, we’ve had a few practice runs at the house today and Eliot now knows how to flip the breaker. Thumbs up on that! He is usually completely worthless. His brother Max has video taped El’s newly mastered skill and will be uploading it to his YouTube channel.

Anyway, as I’ve said, that Saturday deal isn’t really going to work out for me. How about I send a box of pencils and erasers and Eliot can serve after school detention instead? He still gets his free lunch, a ride to school and a ride home. You get the valuable extra time with him, pencils, erasers and the satisfaction of giving him his just deserts. It is win-win.

Tammy Bradshaw


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SWF Looking To Date An Exterminator Or Man With A Cat

Congratulations are in order.  I caught a house mouse. I didn’t catch her by hand or anything.  I didn’t hunt her down with a bow and arrow or miniature rifle.  I caught her with a snap-your-head-off-trap.  The poor thing, she should have chosen the live mouse trap box that was placed mere feet away. Geezus, how many times I’ve chosen the wrong door.

The use of the pronoun, “her,” is an educated guess. I’m pretty sure this mouse was a “sheila” based on her discriminating taste.  All of the other traps were set with cheese and pepperoni and included a small beer and itty-bitty remote control.  In contrast, the trap of her choice had been baited with chocolates and a tiny bundle of flowers.

You might think, “whats the big to-do over an insignificant furry rodent,” and that I must be completely incapable of getting on in life.  Well, let me assure you, I could survive just about anywhere and in fact, I have.  I’m resilient the way.  You can ask anyone, well almost anyone.  Never-mind, I’ll give you he short list.

Its my prerogative to “wimp out” now and again and I didn’t want to get on with a house mouse.  I didn’t feel up to the task of a hunt, capture, kill and disposal.  I expected there would be some measure of backlash and I was right.  I’m getting a slew of hate messages from animal right activists.

As a biology teacher, I can dissect a mouse or any other varmint after preservation in formaldehyde.  I can even label his teeny tiny organs.  Furthermore, I could keep him as a pet, in a cage and give him a cute little name.  However, a mouse must come to me in a package that I’m prepared to open and not a surprise package nor can he be found loose, without a collar, and freely running around willy-nilly.

This mouse was putting my emotional stability just a tad bit over the edge;  It happens – that edge thing. My coping skills falter. Anyway, I heard her chewing under my couch. MY COUCH! The place I securely rest my head while watching, “The Bachelor.”   I just know she was looking for a place to make an uninvited fluffy nest amongst the heap of popcorn kernels and Heshey kiss wrappers. She had to GO.  That is the way sometimes.  I would not share my couch or cholates with this beady eyed vermin.

So now I have to contend with a dead mouse stuck in a trap. I’m going to need a “service” for this disposal part.  We all need a little help now and then.  Today is one of my “Help me, I’m a women in distress,” sort of days.   Any other day I might have pick her up with my bare hands, free’d her dead head and held a quaint, respectable memorial service. I don’t think so, but woman are fickle that way. One day we are hard-core and can take on the world and the next day, quite worthless.

Guess which one I am today?

Next Time, Try the Free Condoms (you can find them in the trash bin)

I’ve gotta hand it to Walmart for living up to their new tag line, “save money, live better.”  Apparently they’re giving out free EPT (Early Pregnancy Test) sticks.  We’ve all seen the, eh-hem “free” chicken nugget bites, that come in cups-to-go, near the hot deli station.  This pregnancy test stick, however, was a show stopper. Sitting on a shelf, in the housewares section, was one pregnancy test stick. It poses some questions.

First off, these things always come in a pack of 2. They always include a “second chance” stick in case you missed the mark on the practice stick or, you simply didn’t like the results. The backup second chance stick can be a God Send. It allows for a margin of error. You can fail the practice round but still have hope for a better outcome by simply adjusting your aim or saying a louder and longer prayer before you give it another go. 

Anyway, this is a solo, singular stick. A bit of panic takes hold. Where is the other one?  Is it in the dairy aisle?  What if I run into it by the eggs?  I don’t want a surprise like this in any aisle, especially a food aisle. I’ll just bet that baby is by the eggs.

The next question is why?  Why is it here?  She surely didn’t bring it from home.  Obviously it didn’t drop out of a purse and land on a shelf.  Did she go use it in the bathroom then come set it flat on the shelf for the required 5 minute processing time while she did a bit of shopping?  What was she shopping for? Diapers? Condoms? Chocolate ice-cream and pickles?

I guess she had to be strapped-for-cash or she would have purchased it before using it. This wasn’t a return. You can’t return things without the box.  This was one of those “used in store” but not purchased, sort-of-deals.  A try before you buy.  I know one thing; If you can’t afford to buy the EPT, you sure can’t afford a baby.

Maybe I jump too quickly to conclusions. She could have been a crazy pre-menopausal hormonal 50 yr old woman who got knock up by the pool boy after one too many mai tais and she had this little secret to keep from her husband, wife or significant other.

Maybe she got her period while shopping in white pants. Terror took hold and she grabbed what she thought was one of those little 10 count tampon boxes. There simply wasn’t time to get to the bathroom to save her pants. Hysteria set in. It happens.

Maybe is was a man who felt a wee bit sick and grabbed what he though was a thermometer. When it read positive he ran back to get some try-before-you-buy Tylenol.  Anything is possible at Walmart.

One question lingers; What were the results,  positive or negative?  I’m sorry to say, I don’t know the answer to that question either.  I wasn’t  bold nor brave enough to get within result-reading-range of the Lone Ranger. I hope it was good news. I sense this girl needed a bit of good news.

Can’t Catch A Man Or A Mouse

I had to watch 2 youTube videos to learn how to set one of those “snapper your necker” traps without amputating a finger. It took – NO lie – an hour.  There it sits. Beautifully set like a pro, might I add? The only thing missing is the tiny red carpet. It is not surprising that this mouse wrote me the following note:
Good try sweetheart, but I saw an old friend I lying around in this thing. I hadn’t seen him in a few winters.  I thought he might have moved south but, nope, it looks like he didn’t quite make it.  It was a sad surprise to find him when I moved back in here on that cold, wet day last week.  I found the poor bastard dead, and by the looks of him I’d guess 1-2 years dry. Now, I ain’t all that smart but this here sure looks like the same contraption and it smells, oddly reminiscent of him and of… peanut butter.  I’ve gone off the peanut butter. I hear it can kill you. 

The mouse was right.  An Ex-BF set that trap for me long ago.  We broke up and I didn’t have the foresight to think ahead and have him set some alimony traps for the future. Lesson learned.  Anyway, I forgot it was sitting under the couch until the scratching began.  I went to fetch it, as it was the only trap I had left over. Quite unfortunate that it was “occupied.” The sight of him was a bit distressing. He was dried stiff-and-tight between the little silver snapping bar and the wooden dock.

A pair of surgical gloves, pliers and eyes closed tight … voila! Dead mouse removed. It took some elbow grease but an hour later a freshly set, albeit, heavy used trap was placed into employment. Three days later….no mouse, just the note.


Train of Thought

Train 29 from Pittsburgh departure 11:59 p.m. to Chicago arrival 9:45 a.m. 

The ride could have been very romantic but it was not.  I was so cold that the temptation to spoon my 66 yr old chair neighbor, required my greatest efforts to resist.  I feared she’d wake up, try to move and find herself pinned to her chair with my legs draped over hers and my arms wrapped around her wide waist. Oh my, how she’d been a warm beast to cuddled.  The lady across the aisle tossed and turned endlessly causing a ruckus.  Again, I tried to resisted the urge to stand up, do the Curly eye-poke and a fast 5 chops to her solar plexus. She is now wide awake reading from her glaring iPad magnified to the font of 600.  I wish she was reading something interesting.  By the way, the traditionally dressed Muslims at the station were Catholics. They knew that the temperature would dropped below zero and dressed accordingly.  My eyelashes were frozen shut and I had to use the head rest napkin as a blanket for my feet. I tried like hell to fit my feet into the magazine pocket in the back of the chair in front of me but it only had enough give to fit something with width of a single defraction grading.  I didn’t bring water and everyone else has a bottle.  However, while the man behind me was sleeping I decided to take a brief stretch and do a quick sun salutation. On my forward fold, reaching for my toes, I grabbed the water bottle out of the bag he had so conveniently placed on the floor near his feet.  Inhale, sweeping arms up to the sky, with a brief pause at my lips, I chugged what turned out to be vodka. Exhale, bow back down and places the empty bottle safely back in it’s place. I’m now drunk enough to get some sleep.