Summary- Everyone knew Pat; everyone didn’t know Pat was late; it was unusual for Pat to be late, everyone wanted to know where Pat was- I can only summarize in so many characters with this headline in parts, how my second grade class DAY was @ one time with the use of the word, “THAWTHIDGE”.

He was my best friend- So what if his mom made me take off my shoes @ the entrance; so what if he told on me, about the stupid stuff, when he wanted me to leave his house when we were arguing while playing- I didn’t want fish heads and rice for dinner last night, anyway- Where was he? Class is getting ready to start.

Me and Pat had that angle every day, since Penny- the goons daughter- got me good; I still didn’t, quite, get the fill-in-the-blanks color forms, yet; and I didn’t understand the directions, but, Penny told me to just copy off her page; when I turned it into the teacher, she asked if my name was Penny (the goons daughter) Scalisi….I said no…. I was embarrassed, she was laughing and pointing at me.

Since then, me and Pat have been slacking around waiting for all the girls to pick up the toys before class, as we acted like we were doing something, and the girls were doing all the work- a trick that still works today, but, with some embellishments- These days while being grown up, sometimes, we send noobs (or New people on the Job) in our line of work, to other departments- to ask THEM if there is anything THEY can do in another department besides our department….. we all just laugh and laugh @ the other departments when they gave us this stare as a question the head would ask, “Why Me?” .

But no, I got caught slacking this day in second grade, and really had to help pick up the toys this time , and because Pat was not there as back-up. Was Pat sick? Did he get into a horrible wreck and get mangled enough to make it on an episode of Emergency? (We thought that TV looked so real, back then) Even our teacher was wondering, because it wasn’t like Pat -to be late or absent from school- he was Japanese ya know.

Well after the teacher was getting ready, and all the coats and toys were put up, the teacher suddenly looked out the window, and sure enough, for the first time, Pat was almost late, the bell had not officially rang out, yet. Pat was walking in, hurried by his mom from out of the car, and almost gasping with what was still in his mouth. It was, as if everyone in class had a telescope of curiosity; as if, Pat was gonna get away with what -ever it was in his mouth and it was big and round like 4 packs of bubble-gum. We all just kept staring….

The teacher NEVER allows bubble-gum, and we were all kind of still staring @ him almost in slow motion, looking back, with no explanation from Pat as to why he was late, we all were looking @ a huge bulge coming from Pat’s mouth and the teacher did not see it yet – she was writing on the chalkboard or shuffling papers for us to do homework , for sure.

As the teacher turns around it was Pat and the slobber coming from his mouth that demanded the class’ attention including the teacher with her finally asking, “Pat, what is THAT in your MOUTH?” Pat’s attempted and slobbering reply was, ” THAWTHIDGE! “, in a voice like he just got caught with 4 packs of bubble-gum. We all just could not stop laughing,the teacher removing part of the last of Pat’s fast breakfast. Instead of doing reading we went straight to music lessons.



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