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Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Mischief trends abounded in the 1960s at Holy Rosary School in Ashland, NJ, in the Diocese of Camden.

Some memorable trends: shooting rubber bands; shooting spitballs; using your lunchbox lid to create annoying flickers of light; making the "BOI-I-I-ING" sound on your desk with a wooden ruler; wiping the bottom of your shoe on a classmate's navy blue trousers (which left a nasty, hard-to-erase dust mark); and making strange noises just soft enough to avoid detection by a nun, but just loud enough to make a classmate laugh while, say, giving an oral report.

In seventh grade or so, the spitball trend suddenly became pervasive. Every boy in our class had a straw and an arsenal of spitballs (that is, tiny balls of paper rolled with saliva to be shot through a straw) at the ready.

The minute Sister turned her back, the spitballs were flying! One time, a classmate named Danny was writing on the blackboard, and someone shot spitballs RIGHT ON THE BLACKBOARD WHERE HE WAS WRITING! Sister didn't notice. We were all dying, trying not to laugh. Danny made things worse by OPENLY FLICKING AWAY THE SPITBALLS instead of pretending they weren't there! Miraculously, Sister didn't notice THAT either.

But the fun couldn't last forever.

Finally, one day, Sister DID notice. So she rounded up the usual suspects and instructed us to go out into the hallway to kneel under the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue and wait for her. A minute later, she materialized holding a newspaper. She gave us each a sheet of newspaper and told us our punishment: Make 100 newspaper spitballs in 10 neat piles of 10 spitballs each. Sister said she would return to count them.

As we were making our spitball piles, we had an inspiration: Sister wouldn't count ALL 100 spitballs of each kid. That would take too long. She would probably just count the piles to make sure we had 10 each. So we were making piles of 9, piles of 8, all the while laughing at how clever we were.

Sister returned and did something we hadn't thought of: She began to count RANDOM PILES of spitballs. Within seconds she found a 9-spitball pile. Our new punishment was for ALL OF US to make 100 spitballs each . . . AGAIN.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really? This is what you do with your time? That story sucks!

7:50 AM, April 26, 2015  
Blogger flamingo in nj said...

It was amazing Denise Wilson class of 71 Holy Rosary

3:50 PM, June 26, 2016  

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