The husband and I stroll up outside the cafegymatorium (a term we've absorbed from "Everyone Loves Raymond" - giving credit where it's due) and are pleased to see lots of parent friends we've not caught up with yet since summer ended. There is much hello-waving and near-miss hugging. The husband moves off with a couple of dads and I stand with one of the moms, swapping information about our son's new teachers.
Mom #1: "Oh, you're so lucky! Gomez is going to love that teacher - she's fabulous! So who'd Morticia get?"
Me: "Mrs. Yummy. I met her the first day and she seems really nice."
Mom #1: "Oh." [looks away]
Mom #1: "Oh, nothing. I'm sure she's great." [avoiding eye contact]
Me: "What is it?"
Mom #1: [lowers voice] "It's just that...you know who's in Mrs. Yummy's class, don't you?"
Me: "No, who?"
Mom #1: [looks side to side and leans in closer] "Chuckie." (Note: totally random, made-up name)
Mom #1: "Morticia's pretty quick on her feet, right?"
Me: "Why do you ask?"
Mom #2: [approaches] "Hey, guys, what teachers did you get?"
Mom #1: "Morticia got Mrs. Yummy."
Mom #2: [hand flies to throat] "Oh, no! Your daughter's in with Chuckie?"
Mom #3: [approaches] "Who's in with Chuckie?"
Mom #1: "Anna's daughter."
Mom #3: "Oooh, tough break. Does she know Tae Kwon Do? Any martial arts at all?"
Mom #3: I'm just saying, best to be prepared."
Me: "Wait a minute, isn't your son in Mrs. Yummy's class, too?"
Mom #3: "He was. For a day. Then we got out."
Me: "How'd you manage that? They said no one could switch teachers. No exceptions."
Mom #3: "They make an exception when you have a restraining order."
Me: "A restraining order?"
Mom #3: "Just against the mom." [she looks over my shoulder and her eyes sweep the crowd of parents]
Mom #3: "It's a long story."
Mom #1: "Yeah, and a good one." [wiggles eyebrows]
Mom #3: "She has to stay 100 yards away from me. Except on school grounds she's allowed to come as close as ten feet." [she turns suddenly and looks behind her]
Mom #2: "I can't believe you don't know who Chuckie is. He's, like, famous throughout the district." [sees another parent friend walking by and calls to him] "Hey, who'd you get?"
Passing Dad: "We got Mrs. Rainbow!" [raises fists in triumph] "No Chuckie!"
Have I mentioned that I miss summer vacation?