The Ink Drinker from Ship the Kids on Ahead

AMONG the many things that you can do to pass the long winter nights is sit and speculate about what happened to your childhood friends.

Whenever I do this I wonder what ever happened to a friend I had in the second grade who drank ink. I remember him well: his mouth was always blue.

Every lunch hour, for a while, he would drink a bottle of ink. Toward the end, kids would gather from all over the school to see him guzzle his daily ink.

It got so there wasn’t a bottle of ink left in the school; and this is probably what tipped off the teachers and ended the ink drinking. Then, of course, there was the ink drinker’s blue mouth.

His name was Sheldon Stone, and he enjoyed tremendous notoriety for several weeks.

Remembering Sheldon brings to mind an incident at the breakfast table not long ago. Ricky mentioned something about a girl in school, and Scotty said, “Oh, yeah, I know her. She’s the one that eats paste.”

“Eats paste?” I said. “That’s an odd way to refer to a girl.”

“Well, that’s what she does,” Scotty said. “She sticks her fingers into the paste jar and licks the paste off them.”

Why not? If my generation had an ink drinker, why not a paste-eater for the current tribe of second graders?

In the third grade we had a teacher named Miss Walker who could stand on a chair and then bend over and touch the floor without bending her knees. That’s the only thing I can remember about her.

She was quite tall and it was a very impressive sight to see her standing on a chair, doubled up like a worm over a wire. I wonder what ever happened to her?

Then there was the kid—I think his name was Spooner—who sassed a second-grade teacher and then ran into the little boys’ room. To the absolute amazement of all of us boys, the teacher —Miss Rosenberg—stalked right into the little boys’ room and dragged the culprit out by the scuff of the neck.

That incident was the talk of the lower grade hallways for days.

I wonder what ever happened to Spooner and Miss Rosenberg?

This as a sample story from the recently republished book “Ship the Kids on Ahead” available in print, eBook and audio. Included in Kindle Unlimited and whispersync audio. In the audio version this story is read by Sean Runnette.

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