The Teachers’ Lounge – The final funniest moments of the year

Ned Bitters

Our School Is Located a Whole 20 Miles from this Mysterious “White House”

Kid: “Mr. Bitters, where is the White House at?”

Me [pausing, not sure if this is a serious question or not]: “Washington.”

Kid [after a pause]: “Ummm … like … Washington as in …”

Me: “D.C.”

Kid: “Oh, cool!”

Senior African-American Female to Senior White Female Best Friend

“You’re the black one! You’re the one who showed me The Color Purple for the first time! You’re the one who told me all about who Tupac was! You’re the one who taught me how to make fried chicken!”

Same Girl Discussing Her Single Mother’s Feelings about the School’s Best Looking Male Teacher

“My mom said he’s too young for her. She likes those silver-topped, crypt-keeper types. She says she’ll take money over muscles any day.”

Same Girl Discussing the Scene in The Godfather when Paulie Beats up His Pregnant Wife Connie

“And I’m like, ‘She’s pregnant, asshole! Hit her in the face! If you’re gonna smack around a pregnant bitch, you hit her in the mouth and then you catch her before she hits the ground so you protect the baby. That’s like basic pimp-hand code, bro!’”

Two Kids in One of My Senior Honors English Classes

Girl: “Woohooo! TGIF, baby!”

Boy: “It’s Thursday, dumbass.”

Senior Honors English Student in the Cafeteria:

Kid [pleadingly] : “Mr. Bitters, can you help me revise this college essay I wrote?”

Me [enthusiastically]: “Sure. When is it due?”

Kid [seriously]: “Yesterday.”

Right after I Passed Out the Graphic Novel The Arrival

Kid [after leafing through book]: “You mean there ain’t no words in this entire book?”

Me: “Nope, not a one.”

Kid [almost in tears and dead serious]: “Damn. This is gonna be the first book I ever read all the way to the end. You’re awesome, Bitters.”

Cafeteria Exchange Between Obese, Greasy, Gross Girl and Young Male Teacher She Likes:

Girl: “Mr. Linton, I passed my tests! I’m a certified EMT now!”

Teacher: “I’ll tell you right now, Angela … If I’m dead when you find me, let me stay dead. Because if that tongue ends up in my mouth I will come back from the grave and torment you forever.”

Perplexed Senior on a Monday Morning

“I almost got a huge fine this weekend at the track. The sign said ‘Smoke-Free Area’ so I started smoking. I thought ‘smoke-free’ meant you were free to smoke there.”

Senior Confirming Why School Cops Are, In Fact, School Cops and not Street Cops:

Me: “Why are you so late?”

Kid [bitterly]: “I got fucking searched.”

Me: “What were they looking for?”

Kid [resentfully]: “Someone said I had drugs.”

Me: “Did they find anything?”

Kid [indignantly]: “No!”

Me: “Well, that’s good.”

Kid [un-ironically]: “Yeah, thank god I had it in my shoe.”

Which One of the Following, All Spoken Within a 10-Minute Time Span by the Same Girl, Does NOT Belong?

A. “What’s the difference between ‘doesn’t’ and ‘does not’?”

B. “How do you spell ‘nervous’?”

C. “What does ‘random’ mean?”

D. “I’m going on my college tour this weekend!”

Same Girl the Following Monday

“They say I’m gonna have to take more math courses ’cause I’m so much better at English than I am at math.”

Girl in My 8th Period Telling Me Why She Is Considering an Abortion

“Mr. Bitters, I’m only 17! I haven’t lived yet! I want to get out and experience life and do so many different things. I have so much I want to do in life first. I want to be like Lexus [another pregnant girl in that class]. I mean, she did it right. She waited until she was 20 to get pregnant. She’s lived her life already.”

Girl Telling Another Girl about the Strict Graduation Screening Process

“Girl, they gonna be checkin’ everything. You can’t be hidin’ no phone in your titties or nothin’.”

Senior Boy Telling Another Senior Boy about an Important Senior Memo He Received that Morning

Kid 1: “I don’t know, they passed it out first period.”

Kid 2: “Well what did it say?”

Kid 1 [not trying to be funny]: “There was a paper … it was from Stevens … it had a whole lotta words on it and shit. That’s all I can remember.”

And Finally, an Exchange Between Me and a Very Slow but Well Meaning Senior the Day After the Boston Marathon Bombing

Kid: “Mr. Bitters, did you hear about that bombing in Boston?”

Me [for once resisting the urge to respond sarcastically]: “Um … yeah, I did see something or other about that on the news.” [Okay, I was a little sarcastic, but he didn’t pick up on it.]

Kid: “What do you think it was?”

Me: “If I had to guess, I’d say it was just some whacked out American acting alone, but who knows.”

Kid: “You know what I think? [Long pause. The distress is obvious in the kid’s face.] I think … I’m not sure … I mean, don’t take this the wrong way … I really don’t know for sure, but … I probably shouldn’t even say this, but … man, this might be wrong … but … ”

Me [thinking he’s going to blame it on Whitey or say how he supports the bombing or that he’s pretty sure the bomber is his uncle]: “Just say it. I assure you that whatever you say is okay and you won’t get in trouble.”

Kid [looks around room, then leans in close and conspiratorially]: “I think it was … [voice goes even lower, gives a final look around to make sure there are no Department of Homeland Security agents in the room] … terrorism!”

Yep, it’s the nonstop barrage of wisecracks, inanities and absurdities like those that make teaching so rewarding. Well, that and the nine week vacation I’m about to start.

Ned Bitters teaches high school and dreams of one day seeing one of his former students on stage at a strip club. You can contact him at

  1. Greg July 1, 2013
  2. Wilson July 2, 2013

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