¿QUĖ PEDO, PEDRO?
By SANDRA AGUIRRE-MAGAÑA
Chapter Two: The Air Freshener
The next morning Miss Ameyali unveiled a new gadget. She took advantage of the most insignificant instances to give her students a chance to practice using their English language skills.
“Guess what I bought and then brought to the classroom?” She accentuated the words her students consistently confused. — Miren lo que compré y traje al salón. She held the gadget with both hands and walked in her best cat-walk towards the carpet where storytime took place. She stopped, made a flashy turn, and snapped her hair back.
Juan was the first to follow her example, cat-walk, turn and snap with a twerk of his head before he sat down on the carpet. Mariana and Itzel followed suit. Pedro simply walked to his spot on the carpet, looked at Juan, shook his head in disapproval, and sat down. Everyone made their way to a spot on the carpet with as much flare as they chose.
Miss Ameyali held the gadget in her left hand and with her right hand modeled the gadget, like the models on the “Price is Right” when unveiling a product. “This is an air freshener, aaaaaair freeeeeeeesh-en-er. Can you all say that?”
“We have one in our house. It smells really good,” informed Mariana.
“The one at my house smells like cinnamon and apples, mmmmmm, so good,” added Itzel.
—¿Es para eliminar los pedos de Juan? — hinted Pedro.
“English only, Pedro, and no. It is not to eliminate Juan’s gas. It’s to eliminate yours and everyone’s gases, burps, and body odors…hopefully.”
“Where are you going to put it?” asked Juan.
“Here, where we all sit after recess, when we are all a little odorous. Now, let’s get this day started. It’s center time. Everyone, go to your morning centers.”
Capítulo Tres: ¡Fuga!
The morning flew by and pretty soon it was lunch time, followed by recess. Miss Ameyali heard the shuffling of twenty pairs of tired feet walking toward her classroom.
When students hit the doorway, they dashed toward the carpet as fast as they could walk without running. Juan was in the lead, heading for the ever-cherished beanbag.
Juan knew the beanbag was going to be his for storytime. He couldn’t believe his luck. Usually Pedro or Itzel got it. He was going to have such a restful recovery from recess. The beanbag looked so welcoming like a soft and puffy red marshmallow. It beckoned him.
Just as he plopped onto it, it happened. The loudest, sharpest reverse burp exited his body.
There was no doubt who it came from. Juan’s brown happy faced turned a cherry red.
Juan covered his face with both palms of his hands and yelped, —¡Ay, no! He couldn’t believe what had just happened. “I’m so embarrassed. I’m so sorry!”
—¡Ja ja ja! ¿No, qué no? — Pedro blurted. “It is you! Ha ha ha! You’re the pedorro!”
“It’s those bean burritos we had for lunch. They always make me gassy,” Juan explained.
“You’re gassy all the time!” scoffed Pedro. “Not even that air freshener works against your farts! Ha ha ha.”
“But it’s true. Those bean burritos make us all gassy.” Mariana defended Juan while patting him on the back.
“Mmhmm,” Itzel agreed shaking her head up and down. “My mother says it’s because the cafeteria cooks use canned beans. If they boiled the beans like we do at home, they wouldn’t make us so gassy. They’d probably taste better, too.”
—¡De todos modos, Juan es el pedorro! Pedro continued pestering. “Any way you look at it, Juan is the stinky farter!”
“Today it was me, but not yesterday or any other day. I go to the bathroom during recess every day.” Juan whimpered in his best effort to hold back his tears.
“Don’t be embarrassed, Juan, we all do it.” Mariana said in a comforting tone.
“Not like Juan! Ha ha ha. It was so loud, parecía trompeta!” Pedro bullied. “Juan’s got a bugle butt!”
—Ya estuvo, Pedro —Miss Ameyali muttered through clenched teeth. “That’s enough, Pedro.” Miss Ameyali’s eyes were barely visible through the slivered slits her eyelids had become. “Go to the time-out desk. Think about your unkind words and write an apology to Juan.”
Pedro punched his thigh with a closed fist. “He should write us an apology for stinking up the class.”
She turned to Juan who now had a stream of tears flowing onto his pink polo, —Mijo, ¿Quieres ir al baño? She pursed her lips. “Do you want to go to the bathroom and wash up?”
Juan nodded and stood. As he walked by Miss Ameyali, she accompanied him outside. Once they were in the hallway she stopped and turned Juan to face her. Placing both hands on his shoulders, —¿Estás bien? —she asked. “Are you okay?”
Juan sniffed and shrugged his shoulders.
“Please don’t feel bad, Juan. Pedro doesn’t know when to stop.”
“He always makes fun of me.” Juan looked at Miss Ameyali with pleading eyes. “It’s not only today. He does it in the morning on the playground before school starts, during recess, after school, anytime he has a chance.”
“Why didn’t you say something before?”
“I have!” Juan blasted throwing up both hands. “I tell the playground monitors and they say the same thing. Ignore him, but it never works.” He lowered his gaze.
—Bueno, yo me voy a encargar de que ya no lo haga. Miss Ameyali placed her index finger under Juan’s chin and lifted it, “Don’t worry, I am going to make sure he stops bullying you.” Miss Ameyali thought for a moment. She cupped her elbow with one hand and tapped her chin with the other. Then a sneaky grin took over her face. She lowered her hand and cupped her other elbow. “In the meanwhile, how about you and I teach him a lesson?”
Juan’s eyes lit up. —¿De veras?
“For reals,” she laughed. Shaking an excited finger, she explained, “The next time he blames you for farting, tell him what my grandmother always told me, ‘El que lo huele, debajo lo tiene.’”
“Whoever smelt it, dealt it!” Juan rubbing his hands together giggled, “I love it.” Pausing he tilted his head and asked, “I have your permission to say that?”
“Mhmm.” Miss Ameyali nodded. “Now go wash up before I start my story.”