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Some kind of weird dynamics are going on in my classroom.  For instance, during reading today, there came a brief lull when everyone in every literature discussion group must have taken a breath at the same time.  One of those strange quick moments when a crowd is momentarily silent for no reason — all save one lone voice.  That lone voice exclaimed quite loudly, “What the f—?!”

And the silence froze.  It became stiff and uncomfortable.  My voice dropped into the void.  “Whoever that was, you need to leave that language at home when you come to school.”

Twenty voices rose in protest, “It wasn’t me! It wasn’t me!” 

“Wait,” I said.  “Let me double check. Nobody said it, but everybody heard it?” 

They all affirmed the truth of that – 20 witnesses — supposedly nobody spoke, yet the words were clearly heard. 


“What the f—, indeed!”

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. That happens constantly at my house. “Who spilled water all over the floor?” “Who left the lights on?” “Who left the door open?” Two little voices always chime in, “It wasn’t me!” And I’ve remarked on how unusual it is that the water is on the floor, but nobody is responsible for getting it there.

    Either somebody isn’t telling the truth, or they have some foul mouthed little guardian angels hanging around them. 😉

  2. Polona — yeah, right. 😉

    Brig — They are poltergeists. Their names are, “Not Me” and “Ididn’t Doit.”

    Bill — I even know which one, but I didn’t call him out.

  3. When I was a little fellow I used the F word, while playing in my backyard, without knowing what it meant. My mother heard me and rushed outside and angrily said, “That word is so bad even your father doesn’t say it.” Because he used every other swear word I thought the F word must be the mother of all bad words. This awed me so much that it was a couple of decades before I ever said it again.

  4. Mike — you just cracked me up. I spent a lot of time in logging camps while growing up. I knew the F-word was a really bad word because it was the only one the men scolded each other for using in front of me.

  5. your Not Me, reminded me of the comic strip Family Circus, they have run it with Not me and She did it or He did it running rampant among the children.

  6. Too funny! I think I have been known to do something like that on occasion myself.

  7. Lori — I think so, too. That’s why I didn’t make a big deal of it.

    Angela — We’ve all done it — then prayed for the floor to open up and swallow us.

  8. This post conjures memories of having my mouth washed out with soap for saying the “s” word when I was around 10.

    By the way, Quilly, is there a poltergeist in my computer? Because I am being invited to edit people’s comments. I have declined the invitation so far, but the temptation may be hard to resist. 😉

  9. Dr. John — our poltergeist talks, loses other kids’ homework, leaves trash on the floor, steals pencils, and pushes in line — and that’s only a small part of his repitoire!

  10. It was the second girl from the left, I saw it all Miss Quilly! She is also chewing chewing gum in class…thought I´d mention!

  11. Minka — the voice was definately male. And in my classroom, it is usually the tattler who gets punished first. Hmmmm …. what should your punishment be? ::thinking::

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