Santa vs Reality, part two

I am in Grade Three.

It's Hot Dog Day. I know this because I'm staring in disbelief at the red-headed lunch monitor sent to us from the Grade-Six class. She had dumped the entire contents of a bag of chips onto a paper napkin. She dips each chip into the largest puddle of ketchup I have ever seen before shoveling it into her mouth.

I wonder why this disgusts me. I put ketchup on french fries and fried potatoes. This just seems.... wrong.

Suddenly, an idea pops into her head.

Monitor: Who here still believes in Santa? Put up your hands.

I thrust my hand in the air. Of course I believe in Santa Clause! Toys! Chimneys! Reindeer! Flying reindeer!

A giggle ripples around the classroom. I look around and see mine is the only hand in the air, save for the keen, waving hands held aloft by the two Old Colony Mennonite students who just moved from Mexico and probably don't understand the question.

The giggles turn to laughter. Everyone is looking at me.

Monitor: Don't laugh, you guys. I think it's sweet they still believe.

She hoists another dripping chip into her mouth and crunches down.

6 comments:

brother john said...

I remember that day vividly. I had known the truth about santa for about a year, and promised mum and dad I wouldn't let the secret slip.

I will never forget that look on your face - a mixture of humiliation, sadness and confusion. I remember the look because you looked right at me.

That look has bothered me for 22 years - not because I was laughing (because I wasn't), but because I didn't do anything to stop it.

Strange the things you deeply regret from childhood. This was one of my deepest.

Words Words said...

Whoa! Throw that regret away, BJ. I don't blame you in the slightest.

Seriously, though, wasn't the chip thing gross?

Karn said...

if i remember correctly... she also had a pile of mustard beside the ketchup... often times, combining the two into a discusting chippy mess.

Anonymous said...

I hate this woman. No one should say such things to children ... or anyone ... and NO ONE should do such terrible things to chips.

auntie said...

Do you have an opinion on ketchup chips?

Just wondering.

Words Words said...

It's funny. My intention with this post was to write the phrase "...ketchup chips, having just been invented the year before, were widely available in our school on this day, furthering my confusion."