Stand by me

On somebody’s page the topic of reading Stephen King at a young age came up, and it reminded me of how I got started on Stephen King. If this had happened today, I imagine multiple firings and scandal would have been the result.

You see, back before the invention of fire, when all we had for illumination was the reflected light off of disco balls and Osmond teeth, our public school classrooms actually had a main teacher and an aide. The aide was somewhere between a real teacher and a parent volunteer. They were paid, but weren’t credentialed. Anyhow, the aide in our 6th grade class was a very odd lady. I can’t recall her name just now. Perhaps Mrs. Cooper? It any event she was generally considered a battle axe, but occasionally she would be excited about something, and the year I was in her room that something was Stephen King’s The Stand.

I can’t imagine she actually read us the whole thing, but I distinctly remember her reading large passages, with some catching up explanations in between. Presumably this was so she could edit out the really graphic parts, but I can’t actually remember much editing. Also I think it must have been during the last couple of months of the school year when no one actually gave more than half a fuck, because she never got to the end of the book. Most of us who were actual readers had our own copies long before then, so it didn’t really matter much to us, but I can imagine some of the poorer or less literate kids never knowing what happened to Stu or Nick or Tom. Or at least until the mini-series came out, and then it wasn’t quite the same.

But I honestly can’t imagine any 6th grade teacher or teacher-like entity reading The Stand out loud to a class for weeks on end without being sacked. And those responsible for them being sacked. And a llama once bit my seester. There are times when I’m really grateful to belong to a generation of kids that nobody really cared much about. Because that aide was never LESS scary than when she was reading us stuff that scared the crap out of us. Some of the stuff we got to do because no one was really paying attention was awesome!


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