“Ms, what happens if an alligator bites its own tongue?”
“What do you think would happen?”
“Well, I dunno. They have sharp teeth. Would their tongue get bitten off?”
And that, folks, is my introduction to Alligator.
“Never mind, then.”
I teased him. “I’ll see your mother today right, since she usually volunteers today?”
“OK, OK, I’ll do it.” He raised his hand.
I wrote the names of the sixteen students who wanted to run on the board. “OK, now, if you want to win a vote, you have to make speeches. You have ten minutes to write a speech.”
The class protested and Alligator pointed to the sky triumphantly, “I quit!”
The students got started on their speeches and I walked around the room, making sure they stayed on task. I overheard Alligator say, “This so backfired on me. I am never volunteering for anything ever again.”
Another teacher came into the room and I told her what was going on. She rigged the named Popsicle sticks in the old metal soup can on my desk and pulled Alligator’s stick first so she could hear his speech.
“You cheated!” he said to me.
“How? She drew the sticks,” I said, gesturing to the other teacher.
Alligator looked at us suspiciously and I tried to maintain an innocent expression.
“If you vote for me, I will tell them whatever you want me to tell them and I will report back to the class. If I forget, you can yell at me. But I am not very responsible, so I will probably forget, so please be nice to me and yell quietly. And by the way, you can not talk about this with anyone outside of this classroom, and that means you can’t tell my mother. Please do not vote for me.”
I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my cheeks.
He didn’t win. But a lot of kids voted for him.