Volume 8, Number 45, 2005

The Inspector's Visit
By Ruth Zavitz

I well remember the tension in our one-room school, engendered by our teacher, when she looked out the window and saw the School Inspector’s car coming down the gravel road. How he qualified to inspect schools I’m sure I don’t know. Even at a tender age I was aware that his educational credits left something to be desired. Certainly I had been taught never to spit on the floor but apparently he had not.

Nevertheless, he was the Power and the teacher willingly turned over the classes to him. One day he told us that he could put a piece of paper over a full glass of water, turn it upside down and the water would not spill out. He wanted to demonstrate, but there was nary a glass in our country schoolhouse. The only container available was a tin lunch pail that had started life full of honey.

He set the pail on Glen’s desk and filled it with water. Placing a page torn out of a scribbler over the surface, he picked up the pail and turned it upside down, drenching poor Glen as the water poured out.

Snickers broke out all around the room, in spite of glares from our teacher, though truth to tell, I think she was close to laughing, herself.

The Inspector blamed the failure on the size of the vessel but I learned a good lesson. Don’t believe even an authority, if common sense tells you they are wrong.