The Tale of Mrs. Butler
Just tonight I realized I may never have told the tale of Mrs. Butler. This will not do.
Long ago, a common ditty sung by schoolchildren on the playground at Cotati Elementary School in Cotati, CA, to the tune of a well-known radio jingle, was:
“Channel 91, Butler’s got the runs, gonna get a gun, shoot her in the buns.”
Channel 91 was a reference to the popular radio station KEWB, 910 on the AM dial.
And the Mrs. Butler thus mocked was the meanest teacher in the school, who terrified us at recess by cracking down mercilessly on any roughhousing or tomfoolery she might run across. We all got very alert when we saw her approaching, and woe to the child that crossed her.
One day my teacher had startling news: I was being transferred to a different class… the class that was taught by… Mrs. Butler. I was to report to her classroom the very next day.
This was the most dreary of news, and I dejectedly slumped home at the end of the day.
“Mom, the worst thing ever has happened. I’ve been sent to Mrs. Butler’s class,” I moaned in despair.
“You have?” she responded, clapping her hands together in glee and doing a little dance. “That’s wonderful!”
I looked at her like she had three heads, with a golden crown on each one.
It happened that Mrs. Butler’s class was the advanced class, which would explain my mother’s delight.
To my surprise, her class turned out to be a wonderful experience, with self-paced lessons on a variety of interesting subjects.
And I was equally shocked to learn that Mrs. Butler actually was a nice person; she just didn’t put up with any nonsense from her students, which actually worked in my favor when she caught some of them trying to bully me.