Standard Procedure

October 1975, Conference Number Two:

Principal: “Mrs. Kazakis?”

Milo’s Mother: “That’s Ms. Henningsen.”

Milo: “My mom and dad got divorced.”

Principal: “All right, Milo.  Please have a seat, both of you.”  [Both of them sit down.]  “So, I’ve spoken with Tommy regarding the incident.  He says you did something to him, Milo.”

Milo’s Mother: “Did something?  What did he allegedly do?”

Principal: “Maybe Milo could tell us.  Did you do something to him, Milo?”

Milo: [No response.]

Milo’s Mother: “Cut the crap, Mrs. Goggins.  What did Milo allegedly do to deserve getting beat up?”

Principal: “Well, Tommy says Milo grabbed him.”

Milo’s Mother: “Grabbed him?”

Principal: “Grabbed his—butt.”

Milo’s Mother: “Oh for Christ’s sake.”

Principal: “Did you grab his butt, Milo?”

Milo: “No.  Why would I do that?  He has a fat butt.”

[Tense pause.]

Milo’s Mother: “Milo!”

Principal: “And if he didn’t have a fat butt, would you grab it?”

Milo: [No response.]

Milo’s Mother: “I hope you don’t go around grabbing boys’ butts, Milo.”

Milo: “No!”

Milo’s Mother: “Or girls’ butts, for that matter.”

Milo: “I don’t grab any butts!  I was just kidding!”

Principal: “You shouldn’t kid around about certain topics, Milo.”

Milo: “I didn’t grab his butt.”

Milo’s Mother: “All right, calm down.”

Principal: “I didn’t think he grabbed it.  I talked with the eyewitnesses, his classmates, and they all said they hadn’t seen Milo do anything like that.”

Milo’s Mother: “They why the hell’d you call me here?  I had to quit work early, and I need the money.”

Principal: “Standard procedure, Mrs.—I mean Ms. Henningsen.”

Milo: “My mom and dad got divorced.”

Principal: “You’ve said that already, Milo.”

Milo’s Mother: “He could say it a million times.  I couldn’t stand being married to his father.”

Principal: “Well, I’m sure your dad has some good qualities, Milo.”

Milo: “Yes.  He watches Spider-Man with me.”

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

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