April 28, 2007
piggy banks and the other kind

So, what have I been doing this week? Thinking about money, spending money, thinking about spending money. We bought our couch this week, also our washer & dryer. (Well, technically my parents bought it on their Sears card. But I'm on the hook for the money.) I had no idea what appliances or couches cost. To paraphrase Gordon Korman, for a girl who goes broke Tuesdays and alternate Thursdays, buying a good couch is really really expensive. We're just lucky that we don't have to buy any more major pieces: the dishwasher is coming from my uncle, we're stealing my brother's dinette set, the fridge & stove are currently upstairs and will be moved out, Blake's bed is coming from the Boy's mom, and Rob at work has offered to let us have a bunch of stuff because he & his fiancée are moving to Hong Kong this summer. The only things we lack are adornments, little touches of style, and hopefully I can work on those this summer. I foresee a lot of oddball knitted art in our future.

I've put off telling this story because I was hoping to have a happy ending to share. Since that isn't gonna happen, it's time to tell of the Stolen Pig.

Way back in October, I found out that Maeve was charging her students a quarter every time they were late. The money went to World Vision, and her logic was that if you can't get them to change, get them to do some good. When I decided to follow suit, I also decided that I could do better than a coffee can: I would use the dollar store pig that was hanging around our house like a blue plastic tumbleweed. The pig was a success, and I continued to collect this semester. But last week, when I returned after a sick day, I found a big empty place where the pig should be.

Someone Had Stolen The Charity Pig. Someone had stolen the whole pig to get to the $12 within. $12 that might have gone to poor children was loose in the shady school economy. I was PISSED.

But really, what could I do? I told each class that to keep an eye out for the pig, that I didn't care about money or revenge but I wanted to save the pig from an ignoble fate at the bottom of a garbage can. And I didn't care about money or revenge. How can I possibly punish the perp? Karma already has their number.

But my most obnoxious kid, the one I get an hour off Purgatory for every day I don't kick him out of class, likes to bring up the pig. He likes to claim that I suspect his class, and him specifically, of lifting the pig. He was going on in this vein on Monday, and I decided to play along.

"You think I took it, don't you?"

"Yeah, [student name], because I noticed that you came in the next day in new $12 shoes."

The rest of the black boys started to holler, and this kid did something that totally stunned me: instead of responding, he got up and left without a word. The Boy loves this story and he tells me that this quip was the equivalent of winning a rap battle. I don't think so, but it was an excellent moment, and one I'll remember with fondness when this rocketslide is through for the year.

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*