Scenes from Silver Creek: Mrs. Blakey and the Amazing Disappearing Joint
Mrs. Blakey was the least popular teacher at Silver Creek High.
Junior high students were told horror stories about her by their older siblings and went into Freshman Social Studies with severe trepidation. She was like our own version of the boogeyman. Only in polyester pantsuits and a beehive hairdo about 20 years out of date.
She ruled her classes with an iron hand wrapped in an iron glove. And room 402 always smelled of her personal combination of baby powder and chalk dust.
To give you an idea of what a martinet she was, on my first day of her class (my very first day of high school) she gave me detention. Her reason? My older brother, Peter, had earned it but graduated without serving. In her power-mad world this made sense, even seemed fair. But to me it just served to make me loathe her as much as I had been warned I would.
Mrs. Blakey was approximately 137 years old and, it was rumored, had actually always lived on the site of Silver Creek High even before it was built. She was some sort of ageless, eternal evil siren and her lore only increased once you realize that nobody ever saw her outside of room 402. Ever.
She was never seen in the grocery store or the library. Nobody ever saw her walking across the parking lot in the morning. She was never witnessed going into the teacher’s break room or the cafeteria. I always supposed that she hung from the ceiling at night.
Because I have always had awful luck I drew Mrs. Blakey every single year. And by senior year she and I had reached an understanding: she would ignore me and I would stick pins in my Mrs. Blakey voodoo doll while she wasn’t looking.
Scene: room 402. I’m sitting in the last row of the classroom, trying to be invisible and counting the minutes until lunch. In the desk next to me Ricky Garcia is trying to be invisible and practicing his joint rolling technique while hiding behind his textbook. Out of nowhere, Mrs. Blakey calls on Ricky to answer some lame question about the Continental Congress or the Gross National Product of Peru. And Ricky, in a cannabis haze, panics and throws the joint into my lap.
Mrs. Blakey, seeing something flying across the aisle, stomps back in her Frankenstein shoes, her lime green polyester pantsuit making sparks as she walked. And there I am, all bored innocence, with a joint in my lap.
Thankfully, at that moment, Grace Minolli (always a kiss up) starts to answer the question about the Continental Congress or Peru and Mrs. Blakey is momentarily distracted. So I did the only honorable thing: I throw the joint across the aisle to Liam O’Connor. Who throws it to Andrew Neison. Who tosses it to Laura Fontaine. Within minutes this become the most well traveled doobie in the history of drugs. In an informal debriefing in the locker corridor after the Social Studies period it was decided that out of a class of 28 students, at least 17 had at one time had this joint on their person.
The only problem was that at this same debriefing it was also discovered that nobody walked out of the class with the contraband. Or at least nobody admitted to it.
At the end of the school day, when my friend Sean and I walked past the closed door of room 402, it was noticed that the room had a certain aroma surrounding it.
And that day Mrs. Blakey was finally seen off of the school grounds. Buying Hostess Twinkies at the 7-11.