The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hot with Gray Hair and a Thong, Oh My!

        As difficult as handling 25 kids can be at times, I have found a way to terrify them...To freeze them into a submissive state...To petrify them in place and scar their psyche...Permanently.

       As we're well aware, language is constantly changing.  It's fluid, like a river, and sometimes we pick up "debris" that gets carried along with the rest of our speech and becomes one with our language.

      My grandparents never had air conditioning, and barely had need for a fan.  After working in their garden, and sitting down on their creaky, metal glider with a huge glass of ice tea (complete with a long-handled spoon, to stir up the sugar), I knew what "hot" meant.  It meant water droplets dripping down my forehead.  It meant smelling the pungent aroma of sweat.  It meant damp armpits and slick legs.

      Last spring, in the middle of a lesson and overwhelmed by a hot flash, I blurted out, "I'm so hot!"

      All of a sudden, I had the attention of my entire class. Their eyes widened.  They glanced at each other, trying to ascertain if they had heard me correctly.  When I saw their facial expressions, I quickly shouted out,

"I don't mean I'm hot like Beyonce, I mean I'm sweaty hot!"

    However, I'm not sure they were convinced.  I think they had this little nugget of belief, thinking that I really perceived myself as "hot."

    Same classroom, different set of victims, different school year.  This fall, I was telling a story about my childhood.  It was summer, the summer I broke my arm when I fell off the high diving board (#1 in my Gawky Hall of Fame).  I mentioned I put on my thongs





        All eye movement ceased.  Their breathing stopped.  Their mouths gaped open.

             I then quickly explained that when I was a kid, flip flops were called thongs.  But it was too late.  The damage was already done.

photo by KalebHermes

        There are now 25 kids who will need to see a psychiatrist when they are older because--in their mind's eye--they saw their teacher in a thong.  And it was not a pretty sight!


  1. lovely and powerful post.

    best wishes for the day.

  2. Ha!! I think you need to make some small signs, like out of 3x5 cards, for those words that the meanings have changed over the years, and hold them up when you use them!!

  3. I'm will periodically erupt into spontaneous fits of laughter all day today over that one. LOVE the visual of the way they froze. I too had thongs and am often hot. And did you wear rubbers when you were a kid??!! LOL....

  4. Thanks for the giggle! We used to call flip flops thongs too. What constitutes thongs as underwear is what we would have called indecent or dental floss back then!

  5. Jingle--Thanks.

    Linda---If I could laugh it off, I would sit and eat mashed potatoes and listen to Chris Rock and all the cellulite would simply...I'm glad I could prompt you into chuckling today.

    Becky--The card idea is a good one. I'll make them and attach flashing lights, so they can see that we're getting into dangerous language territory.

    Tammy--Rubbers? Yes, we wore them 40 years ago, but fuhgeddabodit now. (And count yourself lucky that it was the FOOT thong photo I chose to include.)

    Pat--I agree. Dental floss is so much more accurate.


  6. HI Sioux, as a teacher (ex) I could relate to all your posts. I read down to here from the magpie and enjoyed all your funny/honest/insightful bits and pieces and would comment separately if I was not limited by a slow (wireless) modem.
    I am sure you are as hot in thongs as they imagined! How funny is that!
    I had the same problem with 'pawn shop'. Seems kids these days all know about porn shops! mmm... maybe you could buy a second hand thong there! Going home now.


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