Another one of Dad's 'gems'.
|When I was a kid, just starting school, there was a big family of Johnsons that lived way out past Valley View. They were what you might call 'backwoods' folks. The parents didn't have much education and they didn't put much stock in school for the kids either. They went to class on their own schedule and even the younger ones were often kept home to help with chores. So, between irregular attendance and poor performance, it wasn't a surprise to find siblings in the same classroom.
The Johnson family didn't seem to have much imagination, and they were pretty literal when it came to naming kids. They had a Red, a Lefty, a Big Red, Shorty, and so on. The one that sat behind me in first grade was Snotnose Johnson. Looking at his shirt sleeve made it fairly obvious where the name came from. And it wasn't just a nickname - at least not according to Snotnose. I know it sounds crazy, but I never did hear of him going by anything else.
Anyhow, there we were in our little kid desks on the first day of school and the teacher asked each of us to introduce ourselves. What's your name, favorite color, do you have a pet, etc? It went fine for a while. Some kids spoke up proudly and had to be stopped when they ran on. Most of us mumbled shyly and had to be drawn out. Then she got to Snotnose.
"And what's your name young man?" She asked brightly.
"Snotnose Johnson, Ma'am." A giggle ran around the classroom.
"Young man, you may think that is funny, but I assure you it is not! What is your given name?"
"Snotnose Johnson, Ma'am." He looked down at his hands and some of the kids laughed out loud.
"Quiet children!" The teacher glared round the room. "This kind of talk is not acceptable and we will not encourage it by laughing." She turned back to Snotnose - "I'll give you just one more chance! Now what is your proper name?"
"Snotnose Johnson, Ma'am." There were a couple of gasps, but no one dared to laugh again.
"That's enough!' The teacher was really angry this time. "You may leave this classroom and explain yourself to the principal!"
Snotnose stood up to go. "C'mon Shitpants," he said to his brother, who was sitting in the next desk. "If she don't believe me, she sure as hell ain't gonna believe you!"