Author – speedy’s friend
In our school the normal consequence for late coming is a detention, and depending on the teacher, often includes shoes being confiscated. Since detention only lasts forty five minutes, my friends and I often choose to sleep in in the mornings – after all it is worth a forty five minute detention if we can get an extra hour or two of sleep.
On the last day before our half term holiday – a Thursday – I had all the more reason to sleep in, since I had scheduled a dentist appointment towards the end of the day, so I anyway wouldn’t be able to stay for a detention. I turned up at school and rang the bell – confident that I had a foolproof plan, when Miss MacAllan came to the entrance. Miss MacAllan is an older Scottish single, a real real tough cookie. It always amazes me how at only five foot three she literally has every single pupil listening to her.
She looked at her watch, and then primly told me to follow her to her office. “shoes please” she demanded. I thought it better not to tell her straight away that I had an appointment – that would make it clear that I was relying on the appointment not to do detention, – so I started to remove my feet from my shoes.
“will you undo your laces when you take your shoes off” she demanded. With no choice I bent down and opened my laces. I wear very simple school shoes, no pattern, a bit clompy, and was wearing solid grey school socks.
“Very well.” She said. “off you go to your classroom, and you will get them back after your detention.”
I wondered off in my socks, a bit embarrassing, but doable, feeling the scratchy carpet tiles through my socks. Entering the classroom my face went a little red, but I could already see a pair of trainers on the floor near the teacher, so I obviously wasn’t alone.
During my lunchbreak I went back to Miss MacAllan’s office. I lied, and told her that my mom had just phoned the school to say that she had made me an appointment. She looked at me up and down, as if scrutinizing a piece of dirt, and then told me to follow her. Not sure what was happening I fell into line behind her while she went striding through the school corridors.
“you shouldn’t be wearing those things on your feet.” She accosted one boy who was wearing trainers. “take them off and follow me” soon there were three sock footed boys following her in a somewhat embarrassing parade.
We reached our form’s cloakroom. “Show me where you keep your sneakers.” She demanded. Had I realized what she was up to I would have lied, and told her that I hadn’t brought them, but foolishly I took out my sports kit. She told us to follow her again, and led us back to her office. “now will all put your shoes over in the corner” Every one else put their shoes there and she glared at me “yours too” she said. “No reason why a different set of rules should apply to you and a different set to everyone else”
“But I wasn’t wearing my sneakers” I protested
“neither was I” she said sarcastically. I tried to protest again but she cut me off. “unless you would like to give your socks you had better stop arguing. I had little choice but to leave her my trainers. Now I realized that none of my friends would lend me theirs either over the half term. Anyway we had sports at the end of the day, so everyone needed their trainers.
Miss macAllan informed me that I would receive my shoes after doing a detention, which she assumed would not be until Tuesday.
My mom came to school to take me to the dentist, I went out to the car, feeling the pavement through my socks. It was the first time in my life outdoor without shoes.I told her what had happened, expecting a least little sympathy, but all she said was “you made your bed, now lie in it.”
We arrived at the dentist, Mom parking a full block away, probably on purpose, and the receptionist asked me if I suffer from any allergies or conditions, and then continued “not taking any blood thinners, or diabetes medication? Just simple feet sores?”
Mom didn’t give her an opportunity to make a mistake. “he forfeited his shoes as aschool punishment” she said pointedly. The same story repeated itself as soon as we came in to the dentist, who asked what happened to my shoes, so mom happily explained.
“On, I thought you had a cavity on your feet,” he said, leaning close in with his drill and pressing the button to turn it on. He thought it was an absolute joke, and didn’t stop approaching my feet with any instrument.
Finally we were finished. I thought the jokes were over, and I suddenly felt a wet gloved finger reaching into my socks. “you will forfeit your socks for latecoming.” He was tittering with laughter at his joke, while I stood there, way too embarrassed to go outside, my grey socks in his wet gloved hands.
Eventually I walked on the ice cold tiles to the waiting area hoping no one would notice my bare feet – exactly what the dentist had wanted. A minute later he announced over the PA system “you left your socks in my office, causing everyone waiting to take a peek. I shuffled back to his room, my facr beet red, put on my socks, and now returned to the waiting area, where everyone peered again.