I’m sitting in an old home in Pulaski Tennessee that’s been converted to a restaurant. The second you walk through the wide, wooden door you feel cramped by the old furniture stacked high with organic body butters and all-natural essential oils. There are baked goods for sale as well – things like eucalyptus-oat-lemon loaf or something like that. The paint is pastel and the music is being played by pixies on small xylophones.
That’s right, I’ve walked into a woman’s restaurant. I glance over the menu and engage the two men I’m with in conversation.
Me: “Well, whoever suggested this place gets to pick up the tab. I’m not joking.”
Doug: “It was this or McDonald’s. So back off before I have the bouncer here cream your can.”
Me: (Under my breath.) “Cream my can?”
Waitress: Walks up. “Our special today is a rose hip housework salad with fresh ground potpourri and topped with a rich estrogen dressing.”
Me: (After Marty and Doug order) “Uh, I guess I’ll have the Deli Rose (NOT a joke.).”
The waitress leaves and all three of us squeeze the lemon into our waters and stir with our straws.
Marty: “So Matt, you teach huh? What’s that like?”
Me: “A loaded question. How about I tell you only the stuff you’d be interested in. For example, Friday after the kids were released from the bus room the first kid down the hall hands me a condom. He says, ‘Here you go Mr. Teply. Thought you might need it.” (NOT a joke.)
Doug: “You’re kidding me!”
Me: “Nope that’s not a joke. Didn’t I just say that? Anyway, that’s not all. During class, we were going over area and volume. I showed them the formula for volume of a cylinder then off-handedly asked what city department would have a use for that information. The first kid who raises his hand says, ‘The shape department.”
Doug: “That’s a good one.”
Me: “Still not kidding. Ok, one more – this one happened last week – we were doing unit conversations and I mentioned that your skin completely replaces itself every 45 days. The idea was for them to find out how many skins they go through in a year. A kid raises his hand and asked if there was any chance he would be a different color in a month and a half.” (NOT a joke.)
Doug and Martin chortle into thier salads.