PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Ex Post Facto

I've told this story so many times, I was sure I'd done it on here..... but a search of my archives says I didn't, so here we go. I've already given away the punch line, but the story's still funny. If I've told it & just can't find it? Apologies from me, BlameShift onto Blogger. Poor Blogger, such an easy patsy these days....

I spent a lot of time with my Dad, hanging out in his shop, "dusting." Looking back, dusting in a room where loads of sanding and cutting and general woodworking was taking place was rather -how do you say - FUTILE? But it was more an excuse to just hang out with him. The sun the moon and the stars were hung by my father, and while I know he's a mere mortal and I've grown up a lot, he is still an influence in/on my life and I love him totally. In our times together, he would teach me all sorts of interesting things, about philosophy and Latin and ethics and anything else I could fit into my growing brain. One of those little gems was "Ex post facto" ("after the fact" as Dad taught me, a more detailed, legal version is here).

Fast forward. I was a covert gum smuggler in 5th grade. We would walk up to Bob's IGA at recess (one whole block away), and I would stock up on Bubble Yum and Bubblicious. Sweet sugary forbidden goodness, people. We were NOT allowed to chew gum in class, and did that ever stop me? Well, no. I tried to be covert, but did get caught. After one aggregious transgression, Mrs. Urlaub, the science teacher, made a new rule. Any student caught chewing gum THREE TIMES would be sent to the principal's office. Duly Noted. My gum chewing became more underground, less present in her class, and the smuggling via pencil case continued. I was caught again. DAMN. Then, shockingly, I know, I was caught AGAIN! But dudes, dudettes, it is not curtains! It is only catch number two! So I was oblivious as she told me to come out into the hallway. DOop de doo. My fogbanks persona had no idea what was up.
"Where're we going?" I inquired.
"To the PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE," Mrs. Urlaub grouched at me, peering over her glasses.
Amazed, agape, I say, "But why?"
More peering and a big frown. "For chewing gum, that's why! This is the third time I've caught you, and I said that on the third time you'd go to the principal's office!! So, come on!"
Momentary pause, mind racing.
"But wait!"
She turned and looked at me.
"Ex post facto, Mrs. Urlaub! You made that rule AFTER you caught me the first time. This is only the second time you caught me with gum after you made that rule. You can't count the first time. Ex. Post. Facto."
Holy Shit. I could have knocked her down & stolen her glasses. She was dumfounded. I was not trying to look smug, but I know I was giving her the "I AM RIGHT" look, complete with skyward-bound eyebrows.
She collected herself and tried to recover.
"Well. NEXT TIME, NEXT TIME I catch you. You are going to the principal's office."
I nodded. "That's fine."

And she never caught me again. Thanks, Dad. I'm sure you never meant for me to use Latin to evade punishment, but, hey - when in Rome.......
posted by PlazaJen, 7:45 AM