There are some who say Jim Albertson, our school principal, sometimes goes a bit too far, but when asked, they can't really say why. Ask one of the students at the school about "Mr. A." and they'll tell you in a whisper that he's everywhere and knows everything.
Just yesterday, one of the school's biggest bullies, Butch Peterson, was sent for. He reported to the principal's office and sat in the waiting room.
For 15 minutes. Butch knew it was because Mr. A. was preparing a firing squad in the inner office and they couldn't find enough ammunition. He'd know for sure it was doom if Mr. A. called him by his last name.
"Mr. Peterson " he said, beckoning Butch inside. Butch was pointed to The Chair in front of Mr. A.'s desk. He sat. Mr. A. looked at him as if deciding which vital organ to remove first, then turned his back on him and looked out the window.
"I'm sure I don't have to tell you why you're in here today."
He spun around and stared a hole through The Chair. The hole had to go through Butch first.
"I don't really "
"Mr. PETERSON Do I look stupid to you?"
"Then tell me why you did it."
"It well, it was Billy's idea."
"Yessss. And what idea was that?"
"About making fun of the girls "
"Do you like it when people make fun of you, Mr. Peterson?"
"So what do you plan to do about it?"
"Maybe I should apologize?"
"Before lunch today."
"You like lunch, don't you?"
"Mr. A.? Who told you about this?"
"No one told me, Mr. Peterson. No one has to. I'm the principal. I know these things. And I don't expect this will ever happen again, will it?"
"You may return to class."
Butch hit the hallway like a fire engine.
Mrs. Gleason stuck her head in. "Another fishing trip, Jim?"
"Yep. Making fun of the girls this time. Give me a couple more days and then let's call in Billy Trimble."
"I don't know how you do it."
"As the Bible says," Jim said with a grin, "the guilty flee when no one pursueth."
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Home Country is a weekly syndicated newspaper column written by outdoors journalist and humorist Slim Randles.
Contact Slim Randles at firstname.lastname@example.org.