“I think I’ve got a staph infection, Ms. Carver.”
I was neither alarmed nor surprised by the declaration Jake made as he walked through the door and swung his book bag onto his desk. He took a big swallow from a Styrofoam cup containing a beverage the color of puréed flamingoes.
“What makes you think you have staph, Jake?” Kids are always hoping to contract something contagious that will get them out of work and back home on the couch before you can dole out the next assignment.
“Cause I’ve got this suspicious looking spot on my leg. Wanna see it?”
Gee, could I? The only query that beats a question like that is the imperative command: I think this potato salad has gone bad. Taste it.
“I’m going to pass on that, Jake.”
He shrugged, hiked up his blue jeans, and turned to his classmate. “What do you think, Bayly?”
Bayly looked at the exposed area of shin and shrugged his shoulders in response.
“You didn’t look at it close enough. Lean in. See that spot there? Poke it. It feels as hard as a quarter.”
Bayly drew the line at a tactile experience, so Jake cornered Daniel, who had actually just fought a round with a staph infection and won. Given Daniel’s expertise in this arena, he felt free to lean over his desk and survey the perilous pestilence before giving a medical diagnosis.
“That’s not staph. That’s not even close to staph. All you need is a Band-Aid and some Neosporin.”
“Are you sure? You let something like this go, and the next thing you know, I’m getting my leg amputated.”
“Please,” Daniel said, plundering through his book bag. “And no, I’m not touching that spot,” he stated, as Jake wiggled his shin closer to Daniel’s desk, “so get your boot off my chair.”
“Fine!” Jake declared and let his Levi’s fall back over his Georgia boots. “But if I die, you guys are going to be sorry!” He stomped back over to his desk and shoved his book bag to the floor. “Hey, Ms. Carver, did you hear it’s supposed to be 37 tonight? That’s great deer hunting weather.”
“That right? You could probably go this weekend if you didn’t have that horrible staph infection …”
“Who’s got a staph infection?”
I guess it’s one of those diseases that just comes and goes.
© 2013 – Traci Carver