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2012-09-20 digital edition

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2012-09-20 / General Stories

Home Country

by Slim Randles

There are some who say Jim Albertson, our school principal, sometimes
goes a bit too far, but when asked, they can’t really say why. Ask one of the students at the school about
“Mr. A.” and they’ll tell you in a whisper that he’s everywhere … and knows everything.
Just yesterday, one of the school’s biggest bullies, Butch Peterson, was sent for. He reported to the
principal’s office and sat in the waiting room for 15 minutes. Butch knew it was because Mr. A. was
preparing a firing squad in the inner office and they couldn’t find enough ammunition. He’d know for sure
it was doom if Mr. A. called him by his last name …
“Mr. Peterson …” he said, beckoning Butch inside. Butch was pointed to The Chair in front of Mr. A.’s
desk. He sat. Mr. A. looked at him as if deciding which vital organ to remove first, then turned his back on
him and looked out the window.
“I’m sure I don’t have to tell you why you’re in here today.”
He spun around and stared a hole through The Chair. The hole had to go through Butch first.
“I don’t really …”
“Mr. PETERSON … Do I look stupid to you?”
“No … sir.”
“Then tell me why you did it.”
“It … well, it was Billy’s idea.”
“Yessss. And what idea was that?”
“About making fun of the girls …”
“Do you like it when people make fun of you, Mr. Peterson?”
“No sir.”
“So what do you plan to do about it?”
“Maybe I should … apologize?”
“Before lunch today.”
“Before lunch?”
“You want to eat lunch, don’t you?”
“Mr. A.? Who told you about this?”
“No one told me, Mr. Peterson. No one has to. I’m the principal. I know these things. And I don’t expect
this will ever happen again, will it?”
“No sir.”
“You may return to class.”
Butch hit the hallway like a fire engine.
Mrs. Gleason stuck her head in. “Another fishing trip, Jim?”
“Yep. Making fun of the girls this time. Give me a couple more days and then let’s call in Billy Trimble.”
“I don’t know how you do it.”
“As the Bible says,” Jim said with a grin, “the guilty flee when no one pursueth.”

Brought to you by the personally inscribed new book “Home Country,” at

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