March 22, 2012

Cooking Up Extra Credit

I took Home Economics in the 9th grade.  It wasn't "cool" to take Home Ec in 9th grade.....it was cool to take it in 8th Grade, but I wasn't allowed to choose my own class schedule until I entered High School in 9th grade.

So I was one of the only guys in 9th grade Home Economics.

The class was....interesting.  Pretty much a shotgun approach to everything someone living alone would need to know, which is odd since there weren't any 9th graders living alone....at least not where I was in SE Iowa.  I guess they were preparing the students for doing chores.


Come to think about it, if Home Ec was basically Chores 101, you'd think my parents would have been all for it the way they liked me to do chores.

Of course one of the classroom "modules" was cooking.  We didn't do a ton of cooking, and I don't remember what we cooked in class, but I do remember getting to bring in some home-cooking for extra credit.  I've never been very good at cooking eggs, unless you count scrambled.....or hard boiled.  My extra credit assignment was to cook a cheese souffle and bring it in for review.

It took me a while to get a successful souffle, but eventually I prevailed.  The souffle was carefully packaged in a Tupperware container and gingerly carried to class.  I managed to get it all the way to school without messing it up and I got my extra credit.

When I was done I just casually tossed the Tupperware to the bottom of my locker where I forgot about it for a few weeks.

Now Tupperware is pretty good stuff.  When I found it later while cleaning out my locker it only smelled a faint amount if I put my nose practically on the container.  Now you have to realize I was only 14 or 15 at best, so I did what any good 14 or 15 year-old schoolboy would do, and that was throw the container away.  The hallway trash can was all the way down the end of the hall.....way too far.

Now the locker next to mine was missing the front kickplate, so I just put the container in the hole, shoved it over, and forgot about it.

Fast forward a couple of months when the Tupperware couldn't contain the stink very well.  Mark M. noticed the smell, still quite retarded by the container, and sought out the source.  He was able to reach in under his locker and pull out the container.  Of course he turned over the Tupperware and saw the little "Stogdill" written in permanent marker.

"Stogdill, this yours?" He asked me.  "Yep, but I don't want it." was all I could say.

Mark did what most 14 or 15 year-olds would do.  The hallway trash can hadn't gotten any closer, so he just threw it down on the hallway floor.  The Tupperware lid popped off and the worst stink I've smelled up until that day in my young life assaulted my nostrils.  The Tupperware made it to the trashcan....without most of it's contents, but the damage was done.

That was the day I gassed out the entire 3rd floor of my high school.  Lucky for me only three people knew my connection to the funk.  Me, Mark, and one classmate who was in my Home Ec class and remembers the container.

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