Friday, 18 May 2012

THE HIRELING

Have you ever been under the authority of a person who was just doing his or her job? I had that experience many times, particularly in May of 1968. While attending Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind, a supervisor took us boys to the Pacific National Exhibition. Instead of enjoying the outing with us, as the grade five teacher did a few weeks earlier, he just did his duty. In Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School, I related the events of this excursion and how it lacked the warmth of genuine care. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Mr. Moiarty brought us to the exhibition as well during May. This was no sacrifice for him, compared to Mr. Lao's generosity, since Jericho funded the outing. Even so, we did have fun and the weather was warmer than when we went with Mr. Lao. This fairground visit also had its troubles. I made the mistake of wedging my brown Hush Puppy shoe toes under the roller coaster seat in front of me. When I stepped out of the car and glanced down, two black blotches covered my toes. Dread filled my mind since I knew Mom would yell at me the minute she saw that. At supper time, our supervisor bought us each a hot dog and fries from a stand. Though I ate mine slowly, the meal seemed inadequate. "Could I have another hot dog, please?" I asked. "Be glad you got those," Mr. Moiarty barked. "People don't owe you a living, you know." I shut my mouth and tried to put the half- empty feeling in my belly out of my mind. The sun had set when our supervisor decided we should return to the dorm. Just as Mr. Moiarty was ready to walk us to the bus stop, Jimmy thought he would have one last ride on the roller coaster. While our supervisor's back was turned, he sprinted through the gate and onto the ride. It pulled away from the platform before any of us noticed Jimmy was on it. When Mr. Moiarty discovered that he was one boy short, he ordered everybody to stand next to the ride until it ended. The whole group was upset at Jimmy when he stepped off the roller coaster. "Do you realize you made everybody wait while you took one more ride than everybody else?" Mr. Moiarty glared as Jimmy mumbled an apology. That was only the start of our dorm mate's mischief. On the bus home, Jimmy decided to steal a fist-full of Buzzers, the transit company's newsletter. Fortunately, our supervisor was able to flag the bus and return the stolen papers. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Deliverance from Jericho abounds with vignettes of what from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Please feel free to click on the link to my books or contact me directly for more information about them.