While I excelled in my studies (graduating second in my class), the sciences were an area where I sometimes struggled. It wasn't that I didn't understand the concepts...I've just always preferred anything to do with reading and writing over any other subject.
The only science class I enjoyed was Biology. To say I LOVE animals is putting it mildly and any time there was an extra credit project offered I would jump at the chance to do them. Maybe I should have exercised a bit more caution.
One Friday morning my seventh grade teacher announced a "show & tell" extra project due the following Monday for anyone interested. Of course I was game and went home that afternoon wondering what I would bring in...never realizing Mother would give me what I thought was the perfect solution.
You have to remember when I say my family was poor, we quite literally took advantage of ANY opportunity to put food on the table. So when I walked in the door that day and saw a severed pig's head lying on the dining room table, I was barely surprised.
Any other child would probably have discarded the bones and thought nothing else of it. Not me. I decided that bag of bones would guarantee I would pass Biology class with flying colors. Another hour of boiling and they looked clean enough to hang in a museum. Boy, was I excited for Monday to arrive so I could wow my classmates during Show & Tell!
There were two things I didn't plan on. One, the fact the air conditioning was out in that old school building and temperatures were averaging in the mid 80's or higher in southern Louisiana where there is ALWAYS high humidity. Two, don't let anyone tell you that boiling pig head bones for an hour is enough to actually kill the bacteria continuing to grow unseen inside that paper bag I stored it in for three days.
I feel badly for my sister...an unknown "accomplice" to what the principal thought was some satanic ritual when the janitor discovered the source of the horrific smell emanating from an extra locker she had been assigned. I had nowhere to put those bones until Biology class so I simply tucked them in that locker and went on about my day.
Can't you just imagine the look on the poor janitor's face when he opened the paper bag and saw what he thought must have been some animal sacrifice? My sister was pulled out of her class to explain and the next thing I know I'm facing a very agitated principal who is trying to decide if this was an epic failure at using common sense or if I actually needed a psychiatric evaluation!
And here all I wanted to do was share a little pig head appreciation...