Kiser and the jar of pee.

In 11th grade, I took what was supposed to be my last year of high school math. It was a total blowoff class, a very basic math class that was essentially free credits for me. I didn't do any of my homework and never studied, but I was able to pass it just by taking the tests. Unfortunately, it turned out that my guidance counselor, who was working his last year at the school, didn't know what he was doing, and I would end up having to take another math class the next year.

My teacher was a dude named Kiser, a first year teacher with a very young face and incredibly timid demeanor. His first year of teaching would also be his last, and in retrospect I feel terrible about the role I played in helping drive him away from the profession. I'm convinced, though, that even if I hadn't contributed to the shit he had to deal with, he still would never have made it as a high school teacher. Students walked all over him all day long.

My friend Jason and I used to cause trouble for him on a daily basis. We'd do things like turn a desk sideways, and then stand in front of it pretending that we were too utterly confused by the sideways desk to do any work or listen to him. I would sometimes sneak out of class and wander the halls, something I didn't dare do in any other class. Jason used to smoke pot in his class and blow the smoke into a cabinet near his desk, which did next to nothing to mask the odor. Afterwards, he'd go talk to Kiser with his eyes glazed over and his breath reeking of ganja, and Kiser would never do anything about it. We weren't the only ones in my class who gave him shit, though, it was pretty much a team effort, with nearly the entire class contributing. Within a month of teaching, he had already been in trouble twice for things that we had collectively convinced him were OK to let us do: going to lunch five minutes before anybody else was let out of class, and walking around outside on the cross country track (half the class came back completely stoned). As a general rule, nobody listened to Kiser, and everybody did whatever the hell they wanted.

Kiser used to let us get into groups to do our homework, but nobody ever did their homework, instead opting to talk and goof off. One day, the group I was in was snacking on a jar of pickles that one of our classmates had stolen from the home economics room. When the pickles were gone, somebody remarked on the similarity between the color of pickle brine and that of urine.

"Let me see that," I said, taking the jar. I put in under my desk and unzipped my pants. Everybody in my group started laughing, and even though I hadn't been serious to begin with, I decided it might be a good idea to actually pee into the jar. My group convinced me that it was, indeed, a terrific idea. I couldn't pee in front of people, so I stuck the jar in my pocket and asked Kiser if I could go to the bathroom. Generally, students were never allowed to go to the bathroom in any class, except in the case of a dire emergency, but Kiser had a policy of letting people get one bathroom pass per grading period. In actual practice, though, some of just got up and peed whenever we damn well felt like it.

I walked to the bathroom with the jar bulging from my pants, worried that some teacher might see it and ask what was in my pocket. I was even more scared on the way back, because there was no way I was going to be able to explain why I was carrying a jar of warm pee. Fortunately, nobody saw me.

When I got back to class, everybody in my group was silent as I sat down. They looked at me, and I looked at them. When I took the jar of pee from my pocket and set it on the desk, they erupted into riotous laughter. Pee is almost always hilarious.

The bell for lunch rang a couple minutes after I had set the jar of pee on my desk. My classmates encouraged me to bring it with me, or at the very least leave it on my desk, since we were coming back to that class after lunch, anyway. I was too scared, though, so I threw it in the trash on the way out.

About a month later, I asked Kiser if I could go to the bathroom.

"No," he said, "You already used your bathroom pass for this grading period."

"What?" I asked, feigning incredulousness, "When? I never went to the bathroom this grading period!"

"Yes, you did," he said, "Do you remember the pickle jar incident?"

"Are you trying to imply something?" Jason asked.

"Yeah, what are you implying?" I asked, doing my best to sound completely offended.

"Nothing," he said, "I'm just saying you guys were eating pickles that day."

The last thing I heard about Kiser was that he had grown a huge beard and become a missionary. Poor guy. High school kids are such dicks.


Doug said...

I never had him as a teacher but he seemed like a decent guy. For once I can say I didn't play a role in driving someone away. It still is funny but it doesn't make it right.

Lew said...

The story of how we forced ms. heath to quit wasn't as funny, but she deserved it.

Orhan Kahn said...

.. because there was no way I was going to be able to explain why I was carrying a jar of warm pee.


Poor Kiser, even his name is a worry.