GALLOPIN’ GRANDMA: Middle School Mudslinging

By on September 28, 2016

Eighth graders get a lesson in political warfare.

Mr. Klump and Miss Fans, the music teacher, at a political rally. As you can see, there was great excitement in the air. (Photo: Gallopin’ Grandma)

Mr. Klump and Miss Fans, the music teacher, at a political rally. As you can see, there was great excitement in the air. (Photo: Gallopin’ Grandma)

JACKSON HOLE, WY – It was a very long time ago when a group of cavemen picked up some rocks and old dinosaur bones and threw them at a nearby group of Neanderthals who promptly threw them back. This was either the first political convention or the weekly meeting of the local homeowner’s association.

The years passed and we are now at my hometown of Corn Cob, Iowa, where Mr. Klump, the 8th grade civics teacher at Agnes B. Fritch Junior High, decided that he was sick of his pupils sleeping through class, looking out the window, throwing spitwads and generally ignoring him. He believed that if they truly understood the fun and excitement of the electoral process, they would wake up in class and become good citizens. Mr. Klump said that they would have a class election, that it would be just like real elections and the winner could have extra ice cream at lunch.

Unaware of what he was doing, he allowed the class to pick the candidates. The girls picked Mary Jane Figbee and the boys picked Marvin Munch. Mary Jane had the cutest clothes and Marvin was the class jock. The campaign started quietly enough, a few posters were put around and the school paper, printed by the journalism class, ran a brief article. Things were uneventful until something happened (and something always happens). All the posters were torn down and trashed and Mr. Klump was right, it was fun.

New posters appeared and the campaign went for the jugular. The posters were immediately festooned with unfortunate words and unflattering drawings. A Figbee poster was glued inside the lid of a toilet in the girls’ bathroom. The Figbees retaliated by threatening to reveal all the antics from the 8th grade football party, complete with pictures.

In return, the Munch bunch promised all the boys that they could see pictures of Marvin’s sister in her underwear if they would vote for him. This came to nothing as his sister was 10 and most of the boys had seen their sisters in their underwear. The Figbees promised a big party with cool guys but then they didn’t know any and they’re weren’t any, anyway.

Things came to a violent head at lunch the next day when someone threw something and someone else yelled, “food fight!” The troops rallied and the air was filled with sandwiches, DingDongs, apples and milk cartons. Mr. Klump was hit in the eye with a wadded up peanut butter sandwich. It was chocolate pudding day and they were scraping it off the ceiling for days.

On election day only Mary Jane showed up and won by default. Marvin was home with the worse case of chickenpox the county had ever seen. He was one oozing sore from head to toe and all points in between. Strangely, his girlfriend Nancy Sue Nutt, had chickenpox too. And so did Frankie Figbee, Mary Jane’s brother. It looked like a case of germ warfare as a political dirty trick.

Marvin got over the pox and grew up to be a sleazy lawyer, a sleazy congressman and then was arrested for being sleazy. The last I heard of Mary Jane she was a nun teaching at a girl’s school where they called her Sister Mary Nasty. The school board advised Mr. Klump that his class was too inflammatory and he retired to run a goat farm. At least no one was going to hit him in the eye with a wadded up sandwich there. PJH

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