Sometime during our senior year, Chris Columbus and I got into a habit of hanging at the intersection of the downstairs hallways after we’d eaten lunch. That’s where Mr. Krout stationed himself – we had free rein of outside but not inside the school at lunchtime.
Mr. Krout wasn’t such a meanie or grouch – I don’t know if any of the other kids ever knew that. I couldn’t tell you what Chris and I talked about with him, but I do have fond memories, if vague. Anyway, Mr. Krout was forever sucking on hard candy, wrapped in a clear wrap. He must have had quite a stash somewhere!
Later in the year, I cleaned out my purse and found tight little balls of that clear candy wrap. That darn Mr. Krout had been sneaking them into my purse for months! Well, I couldn’t just let that go without doing something. I waited for my chance …
So, there we were, graduating seniors in the auditorium – pomp and circumstance, ritual and serious business. I was called to the stage to receive the French award. Mr. Krout was reading the names of the language award recipients from behind the podium. As I walked past him to receive my certificate, I unobtrusively popped one of those little candy wrapper balls onto the podium.
Later on, after I was in my seat and someone else was at the podium, I looked up at Mr. Krout, who was seated with several other adults on stage. He saw me looking and wagged one finger at me and smiled.