Sundays With Ingrid
Brucie Berman got on the bus, did what he must have thought of as a cool King Tut dance down the aisle. No one looked at him. He stopped by Ingrid’s seat.
“Way cool,” he said, “that thing in The Echo.”
“Huh?” said Ingrid.
“About dogs not voting.”
“Guy,” called Mr. Sidney from the front. “Zip it.”
“Thing in The Echo?” said Mia, sitting beside her.
“No one reads The Echo,” said Ingrid.
“I do,” said Mia. “What thing?”
It turned out that lots of people read The Echo, including Mr. Porterhouse, a dodgeball lover who taught gym and was also Ingrid’s homeroom teacher, which meant taking attendance and recording tardies before letting them loose.
“Our friend Ingrid here made the paper,” he said, standing under the basketball hoop and holding up The Echo. He took reading glasses from the pocket of his warm-ups—Mr. Porterhouse always wore warm-ups, the colors always intense—and read aloud: “Heard on Main Street. Best quote yet on the widespread and much-to-be-lamented disobedience of the town’s leash law comes from the mouth of thirteen-year-old Ingrid Levin-Hill, eighth grader at Ferrand Middle. According to young Miss Levin-Hill, ‘The problem is that the dogs didn’t vote.’”
No one laughed except Mr. Porterhouse.
“Get it, kids?” said Mr. Porterhouse, looking at them over the rims of his glasses. “Town meeting voted in this leash law thing—but The dogs didn’t vote!”
Silence, unless all the blood flowing into Ingrid’s face made a noise.
Mr. Porterhouse cleared his throat and read on: “We had the pleasure of making Miss Levin-Hill’s acquaintance when she dropped by The Echo office while researching a school project about ‘pretty much anything.’ Our intrepid middle-schooler, who has chosen ‘The Life and Death of Kate Kovac,’ is a young lady to watch indeed.”
More silence. Ingrid’s embarrassment deepened, got all mixed together with the dread.
“Enough culture,” said Mr. Porterhouse. “Choose up for dodgeball.”
From Down the Rabbit Hole.
Bernie’s blue collar NFL picks: Steelers, Packers.
Tags: Echo Falls Series
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