Pat: Miss? You're not going to be happy.
Pat: Don't get mad, Miss.
Me: What happened, Pat?
Jenni: He spilled soda on your floor!
Me: (raised eyebrows at Pat)
Pat: Well... yes. That's true. It was an accident, Miss.
Me: See, Pat, this is why I don't want you to bring food into my room. If you have cornnuts, there's cornnuts all over my floor. Soda, there's soda on the floor.
Pat: There's more.
Pat: I used a kleenex off your desk to clean it up.
Pat: Well, I *thought* it was a kleenex. I grabbed the first thing I saw. I thought it was a kleenex.
Me: What was it, Pat?
Pat: Miss, it's nothing. Just don't be mad when you find the paper.
Me: WHAT paper?
Pat: The paper I thought was a kleenex.
Me: You thought a piece of paper was a kleenex.
Pat: Yes, Miss, I didn't realize it was a piece of paper until after I'd used it to wipe up the soda.
Me: I find this very hard to believe.
Pat: Then it got all crumbly and fell apart. So you couldn't read the writing.
Me: There was WRITING on it, Pat? On the paper you took off my desk to wipe up your soda? What did it say?
Pat: I couldn't see it through the soda. It's in the garbage. I think it was someone's phone number maybe?
Me: A parent's phone number?
Pat: Miss, I don't know.
Me: How am I going to explain to a parent that I couldn't call him because one of my students thought the piece of paper with his phone number on it was a KLEENEX and used it to MOP UP a spill??
Pat: I just wouldn't tell him, Miss. Just don't tell him.
Two seconds later, another student tipped her desk over and spilled her Arizona Iced Tea down the backs of both my legs. Luckily I was wearing black. I announced to the class that I was no longer their teacher but merely a person with wet pants, and I ignored them for the next few minutes while I tried to get as much tea as I could out of my pants.
Oh, middle school.