Only a good ‘ol boy in the tradition of the Dukes, like Bubba,
could in the same week be a school hero and a school bad boy. You see the Regional Technology Students Association contest was approaching. Bubba and his friend, Brandon, needed a project for the competition, and as Bubba needed a “stereo in a box” for his four-wheeler, loves all things car audio and has done carpentry with his dad, they decided to make this “Box” their entry.
Didn’t take long for them to find that when you are working on a project for a big competition with the school’s reputation on the line, time in the shop for your project becomes priority number one. One day as Bubba was working on this little project, he was running short on time. So his teacher who is the club sponsor called up his chemistry teacher to let her know he’d be running late to her class. Then he had to leave the school. Well, Bubba finished what he was doing and cleaned up the area in the shop where he’d been working and most probably piddled away a little time as well…being 16 and much more enamored with idle time verses chemistry.
When he did arrive to the class…seems he was in hot water. His chemistry teacher took the call to mean that Bubba was late, but already on his way. So, even with excuse in hand, he was off to see the junior class principle for truancy.
Few days go by. The project is coming along nicely, despite the theft of a pioneer CD player that Bubba had brought to the school for the project. They had a JVC in it instead, the speakers…each enclosed in their own separate compartment. They had a shiney flame paint job on the outside. Looking good!
Then the day before the competition, Bubba has worked thru his regular lunch and gone to a late lunch, right before Chemistry class. Grabs a cold Dr. Pepper out of the vending machine to quench his thirst a little and save the rest for the bus ride home. There he is in class, nearly time for the tardy bell to ring and he opens it to take one good swig before he tucks it under his desk. Oooops! Well, Chemistry teacher immediately says she has had enough. That she told the class no more drinks. Gotta throw it away.
Bubba had a bad experience along those lines in middle school. And being just a poor boy, he begged her to reconsider. Let him put it away and it’ll never happen again. Just please don’t make him waste it! After a little thought she agrees to this. THEN, in walks a tardy boy and guess what?! He is swigging on the last bit of a softdrink as he enters the room. So, teacher feels ignored, mad and her authority threatened and demands he sling it in the garbage, which he does. Then she tells Bubba to bring his to her until after class.
Then it really started. Late boy hollers, “That ain’t fair!!!” So teacher tells Bubba it’s got to be thrown away. Bubba is persistent with “No, mam…I ain’t wasting it.” Best I can tell this conversation circled around a few times and then ended with the ultimatum to “Give it to me to throw away or go to the office!” Now, folks…guess what Bubba chose? Yep, the office.
What had to be a weary vice principle told Bubba that little act of defiance was worth two days in ISS
starting tomorrow and the charge was “insubordination”. Okay Bubba. The Regionals at L.I.T. are tomorrow. How can you possibly do both?!
Folks, things weren’t too good for this redneck technology student. Mama gave him a little lecture on needing to take a page from Kenny Rogers and “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.” Well, Bubba skipped ahead to “know when to walk away and know when to run!” All I can say is add up the cost, boy. Is getting on that bus tomorrow for the contest going to be worth the cost you’ll pay when you get caught? Apparently, he concluded it would be.
He went to the Regional TSA contest. He showed his box. He took tests for other competitions. His sponsor got a call on his cell phone mid-morning from the school administration. Yep, he has him. First he knew of the ISS, though. But frankly, I believe he was so tickled with the prospects of Bubba and Brandon’s box that he was past the point of truly caring.
On Monday Bubba received a citation. Seems his little trip was considered more truancy by the vice principle. And it netted him three more days of ISS. For the mathematically challenged, that brings his total to 5 days In School Suspension.
On Tuesday, Bubba received multiple citations.
One was the First Place Blue Ribbon for his box. The second, was a first place blue ribbon fora test he took on site. He had to design a childproof latch that was easy for an adult to open. And the third, was Honorable Mention for a T-shirt design he also made on site. Bubba is headed to the TSA Texas State competition in Waco, TX the first week of May!!!! Even has orders coming in from some of the local-yokels for a custom stereo box of their own. Good start for a boy that wants to do custom car stereo installation for a living.
Now, folks, if you are wondering if this story has a moral, well…there ain’t one. ‘Cept maybe that good ‘ol boys ain’t always good, but they are always boys. And that redneck common sense and hands on experience can sometimes get you farther in a competition than a lot of book learnin’.