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(Author’s note: This story is double straight superlative fiction – a mere creative writing delusion.)

Once upon a time in a tiny fictional town that bore no similarity to any tiny towns dead or living and where free speech trumped any government hushings, there lived a very elegant and charming substitute teacher. In the predawn hours of a fictional day, she was roused from her stately repose by a telephone call from the secretary of a very fictional high school. Would she like to cover a special education class? Could she be there in 45 minutes given the 25-minute commute? Why certainly.

Unfortunately for the graceful sub, she had been awake half the night spamvertising myspace profiles of all her friends and bore a frighteningly striking resemblance to a computer programmer with a grease combover. Ever-resourceful and in desperate need of money, she leapt into her magical wardrobe/shower/makeup-artist chair/Star Trek transporter and momentarily breached the doors of the fictional school. No experience whatsoever with teaching, psychology or special education and no real interest in children, our beguiling sub seemed perfectly fit for the task at hand.

In an excruciatingly painful sidenote, our bewitching protagonist, accustomed to a diurnal pot of breakfast coffee was forced by time constraints to go without. Unadvisable on an average day – grievously heartbreaking for a day of special ed sprung from no sleep.

Almost (but not quite) more challenging than cold-turkeying caffeine for our sub was following the fictional detailed lesson plan notes. If you, dear reader, were to imagine the absolute most hilariously ironic class activity for a classroom of high school kiddies saddled with developmental differences and attention deficits, what would it be? It could not possibly rival our fictional reality. How about an engaging study of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar? How ‘bout kids with lisps reading aloud about Cassius, Casca, Cinna, Cicero and Caesar? Oh my god.

Graced with a hearty soul not easily crushed, our plucky sub saw the bitter humor in her plight, and were she to have drunk even one drop of caffeinated nectar, she probably would have beaten far fewer fictional children about the head and shoulders. The flaming zenith of her afternoon came moments before the final bell when she allowed a particularly intriguing student to read to the class his five-page, 20-point-font treatise on dinosaurs. In conclusion, chickens are descended from T-Rex.

That night, in the twenty seconds before slumber attacked her gleaming yet weary brain, she reflected on the numerous morals of her fictional day. Web site design and self-promotion may not be worth the wiener (to loosely translate a Spanish idiomatic phrase). Coffee, while delicious, can become a frightening addiction. A teacher with a daily drinking habit should NEVER be judged. A (fictional) system wherein schools rely on government funds which can be withheld if naughty schools don’t teach to appease standardized testing scores, essentially, leaves a lot of children behind.

The End