Tuesday, October 28

CDP Top 30 Of All-Time ('06-'08) - #3.

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#3 - "Don't You Go Forgetting About Me."
(Originally Published December 18, 2006.)

Only losers wear backwards baseball caps.
(If you want to skip this news article, complete with witty banter, it's your loss. But please, for the love of God, take the time to scroll down to where it says 'STORY!' You're not going to want to miss this. Also, reading the news article will enhance your enjoyment of said story.)


FORT COLLINS, CO. - High school teacher Carrie McCandless carried on a romance with a 17-year-old student, which included the exchange of 76 text messages in a single day, according to her arrest affidavit.

(Hey, what grown woman wouldn't be lust-struck by a 17-year old boy? The way their acne shines off of the fluorescent lights, the way that they constantly smell like French fries and Brute, the way that everything on the planet gives them an erection. It's like Spanish Fly with a crooked baseball cap.)

The teacher also supplied the students she was chaperoning on a late-October field trip with alcohol and "did everything except have sex" with the male student during the outing, the affidavit said.

(Everything? Did they go hang-gliding? Did they play dueling pianos? Was there a Yak somehow thrown into the mix?)

McCandless' behavior during that weekend ultimately led to felony charges against her of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and contributing to the delinquency of a minor by providing at least one student with alcohol. The 29-year-old was fired from the Brighton Charter High School where her husband, Chris McCandless, is principal.

(This story just keeps getting better. You thought that the students treated the Principal like a douchebag before this incident? Well, let's just say that the respect won't be arriving in droves after these facts get out. For a student, screwing around with the Principal's wife is just about the greatest thing you can do, second only to airlifting his Lexus onto the school's roof and setting it ablaze.)

McCandless was formally advised of the charges against her in Larimer County District Court on Tuesday. The affidavit, which was unsealed after the hearing, details what allegedly happened on the overnight hiking trip with about a half-dozen students and how the school reacted to the situation.

(What school allows a teacher to take 6 kids on an overnight hiking trip? Just 6?)

School officials did not report the incident to police, who first learned about it from a television reporter. Former school board chairman David Mundy Sr. has been charged with tampering with at least three witnesses or victims and failing to report child abuse.

(Oh, I see. This is the kind of school we're talking about. Essentially, every school I've ever attended. Corrupt, rich, bald, white guys with a stick up their ass and a complete disdain for youth.)

Mundy resigned from the board on Friday. The remaining board members have reassured Brighton school district officials, who hold their charter, that similar incidents would be reported immediately in the future.

(So, they're pretty much admitting that this sort of thing will happen again. I love Fort Collins!)

The boy has told police that he started calling and text messaging McCandless in early October, when they started planning the trip and was "very excited."

(Teacher Rule #1 - Don't give your cell phone number to students, unless you plan on giving them "everything except sex.")

Phone records reveal that McCandless and the boy exchanged 76 text messages on Oct. 10, according to the affidavit.

(Student Rule #1 - STOP SPILLING THE BEANS, YOU'RE RUINING IT FOR EVERYONE. I know it's exciting and all, but if you tell someone, the fun will end. It's a fact of life.)

In one exchange, the boy wrote that he was cold, and she responded, "Just pretend you're here, sweating with me."

(Okay, that's seriously the hottest thing I've read in a long time. Can we get a mugshot, anyone?)

On the afternoon before the school trip to Estes Park, McCandless and the boy "made out" in a car outside a Sam's Club for about 45 minutes, he told police.

(They made out in bulk, and saved lots of money! I suppose they had to move all the 5-gallon drums of Mayonnaise out of the backseat beforehand. They're bulky, but cheap as hell; just like this teacher! ZING!)

The next morning, Carrie McCandless, the boy, and about a half-dozen other students drove to Estes Park and went on a hike. During the hike, McCandless and the boy lagged behind, the affidavit said.

(You'd be tired, too, if you spent all last night making out in bulk. My personal record is 18.4 seconds.)

The boy brought a bottle of Everclear grain alcohol on the trip, and he told police "they were all drinking." He said McCandless also "brought up a bottle of Jack Daniels for them to drink" and shared it with him.

(Clearly, the boy isn't as innocent as the prosecutors want him to be portrayed as. This is probably going to be the single greatest experience of his teen life, so why send people to jail over it? Everclear is essentially poison, by the way. Don't drink it.)

Other students told police that they observed McCandless and the boy sneaking away repeatedly, presumably to smoke and drink, for 30 to 45 minutes at a time.

(This McCandless woman isn't a very tactful and experienced seducer. Get creative; don't just sneak away! Fake a heart attack and have him 'drive you to the hospital.' Where's the excitement?)

That night, after the other students had gone to bed, McCandless and the boy "made out" on the floor in the front room of the cabin, where another boy was sleeping on a nearby couch. The boy involved with McCandless later told police that they simulated sex with their clothes on.

(Okay, forget what I said before. This is the hottest thing I've read in a long time. If I were the boy that was pretending to sleep on the couch, I would have sprung up and outed them like nobody's business. There's no way I'm going to let this chance at a free 'A' pass me by. Blackmail makes the world go 'round.)

They "did everything except have sex" and it was obvious to everyone what was going on, a friend of the boy's told police.

(Seems pretty obvious from here, as well. Perhaps she wanted to get caught, as a way to get back at her Principal husband for some reason. Beats me, but I need a shower.)

Hey, we found a photo!

Well, there you go.

Interesting. Very interesting. Allow me to share a quick theory with you.

Women like Carrie (or any of these female teachers, for that matter) aren't in love or even lusting after these teenage boys that they educate. They're not trapped in a loveless marriage or living a life of lonely singlehood. All of these teachers have been reasonably good-looking, and would have no problem picking up any guy in any bar in any city in the nation. For women like Carrie, meeting men who want to sleep with them is not a problem. Hell, for any woman, it's not a problem.

There's only one reason someone would risk their career to do something like this. There's only one reason a woman would negate meeting adults the normal way, and carrying on a typical relationship like we all do. There's only one reason someone would do something like this.

They're crazy. Plain and simple. That's the only way this makes sense. Let's elaborate, shall we?

STORY!

Rockin' the vest.
(A blurry photo of the CDP in Grade 8. I was too lazy to run this through the scanner.)

When I was in the 8th grade, I met a student teacher named Sheila, who had arrived from a neighboring college. Over the course of the next several weeks, Sheila and I bonded; mainly in that I was the only student mature enough to have a decent conversation with her. She was learning the thankless ropes of the Middle School, she wasn't getting through to the students and faculty, and she longed for someone, anyone to share typical thoughts and feelings with.

We swore in front of each other. We talked after class and walked in the halls. We even sat next to each other at some of the football games. I was starting to like Sheila as more than a teacher, but was still smart enough to know that I was in the 8th grade. Clearly, she was humoring me, or simply being nice to the one student that she 'got through' to. I wasn't an idiot; I knew that this was sort of a weird relationship we were having, and soon it would end. I mean, she was only a handful of years older than me, but the difference between 14 and 20 might as well have been an eternity.

As the weeks rolled on, something interesting started to happen. Thinking that Sheila was solely being nice to me from a student-teacher perspective, I started to ignore her. I stopped trying to run into her in the hallways, and I stopped chatting with her after class. I didn't want to look like an idiot with a crush, so I decided to stop leading myself into inevitable heartbreak (I later went on to lead myself into heartbreak multiple times in High School). Amazingly enough, she then started to seek me out, wanting just to talk about things that had nothing to do with school. This relationship was now being initiated by her, and quite astonishingly, she was no longer acting like my student teacher.

This conflicted me to no end, as you can imagine. It made no sense whatsoever. For a teenage boy of my age, this kept me up all night, frantically attempting to understand the validity and nature of the situation. Don't get me wrong, it was exhilarating, but mostly just confusing as hell.

Students had been talking about me and Sheila for a while at this point; it was difficult to overlook that I was spending more time around her than I was with my friends. I recall one night at a football game, me and her were sitting together and talking in the highest row of bleachers, when a couple of my friends showed up. They asked me if I wanted to leave the game early and spend the night at one of their houses. I politely declined, as I was getting to know Sheila better and almost always chose women over close friends. A minute after they left, she gave me a hug, silently thanking me for choosing her over them. The next day, the same friend that invited me over said, "You're either doing one of the dumbest things I've ever seen, or one of the coolest." Then he started getting saying filthy things, and I tuned him out.

Sheila's last day at my school culminated with a dance in the gymnasium. She was there, acting as a chaperone for wee children like myself. I was feeling down, mainly because I knew I would never see her again. Regardless of how she may or may not have felt about me, I was still sad to see her go. Part of me felt like she was merely screwing with me; using me as a martyr for all of the other students that treated her like crap. Because of their folly, I would suffer. Still, another part of me felt as if she genuinely liked me, and I was about to miss out on the chance of a lifetime. Yet another part of me thought that she was mistaking me for a Special Need student, and she was merely doing her part as a humanitarian to make sure I didn't swallow my tongue.

I did my best to act as invisible as possible that night. I didn't dance, I didn't run around like crazy with my friends, and I didn't spend all of my Mom's money on candy bars. I sat under the bleachers, keeping my eye on Sheila at all times, wishing there was something I could do to temporarily stop time. When I saw her interacting with all of the students, saying goodbye and mingling, I felt deflated. That's when a friend came over to me, and broke the news.

"Hey, did Miss _____ find you yet?"

"What? No. Why?"

"She's been looking for you all night, dude. She's asking everyone where you are."

"Seriously?"

"Yeah. You better go talk to her."

I really didn't want to talk to her. I mean, what was the point? One of two things was about to happen. Either she would thank me for being such a good student and walk away, or she would throw her arms around me, kiss me, and still walk away. No matter the case, I'd be hurt, regardless of how much I prepared myself not to be. There was no getting out of this one.

When Sheila saw me walking toward her, her eyes lit up as she ran in my direction. Just then, a slow song started blaring through the gymnasium, as couples started to pair off.

"I don't have anyone to dance with," she whispered. "Where have you been?"

I was all set to say, "Well, I've been hiding under the bleachers like a child because I have a crush on my student teacher who's been sending me mixed messages for three months and I don't want to look like an idiot and I wish I knew what was really going on but you're leaving tonight and I'm never going to see you again and I'm just a dumbass kid that doesn't understand how to act in situations like this so I'm just going to call my Mom and have her pick me up and take me home."

I didn't have a chance, though, because as soon as I opened my mouth, she grabbed me by the arm and kissed me.

Shocked, I took a couple of steps back. I looked around to see if anyone else caught a glimpse, but it appeared as if the coast was clear. Sheila again stepped closer, staring me down and acknowledging the slow song by tilting her ear to the ceiling and saying, "Do I hear you calling my name?"

By this point, the song was all but fading out, but she still interlocked with me and swayed until there was silence.

"I'm going to miss you," she said. "Don't you go forgetting about me."

"Me, too" was all I could muster. Looking back, I'm well aware that it made no sense.

As we said goodbye to each other, I (in a moment of bizarre bravado and charm) held her right hand and kissed it, chivalry-style. It was simultaneously the strangest and most romantic thing I've probably ever done as a teenager.

Before I knew it, one of the weirdest chapters of my life was over. Sheila was gone, and I never saw her again.

Do you want to know why?

Because she was quite obviously crazy, that's why. My aforementioned theory works, because I've experienced it first-hand. Looking back, I remember the way she acted very clearly. And yes, she honestly did like me as more than a student, but it was because she was nuttier than a squirrel's breakfast.

That doesn't make it any less amazing, though. It was a lot of fun while it lasted. I also realize that I end a lot of my essays with "...and I never saw her again."

However, if I knew then what I know now, I would have taken more advantage of her than you could ever imagine. I consider it a lost opportunity, and I also consider myself an asshole with no moral compass.

Just recalling this story is making me shake my head in disbelief.

Comments:
This essay, along with many others just like it, is available in 65 Poor Life Decisions, the debut book by Wisconsin humorist, blogger and raconteur, Ryan J. Zeinert.
 
Kisses on the hand are an excellent utility move. I did it Sunday night to the burlesque dancer who had nearly taken out my eye earlier in the evening. I'm totally not kidding.
 
The thing about 'duelling pianos' was brilliant. I now have hot chocolate all over my geography homework though.

You win this round CDP.
 
DUFF - Thanks, man. Sorry about the hot chocolate.

MICHAEL D - You simply must be careful around tassels.
 

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