Mr. Garcia – The Exterminator


Every substitute has that little “clause” in their job description that makes them the fill all, save all.  Even after the long work day dealing with the wonderful OCS kids, a good substitute usually sticks around to monitor the halls or the outside campus grounds.

This particular afternoon, I was delivering my kids’ classwork to their respective teachers when I heard this really loud scream from down the hallway.  This scream was quickly followed by some laughter, a few more loud screams then … nothing.  I walked up to the office and the head clerk, the nurse, two lunch ladies and the vice principal were standing in the office talking about the size of something.

I gave an awkward smile when they all stopped talking and laughing.  Then I heard the question, “Ask Mr. Garcia if he will do it?”  I braced myself for the worst and one of the lunch ladies finally said,”Mr. Garcia, Will you come to the cafeteria storage room and kill the rat?”  Confused but relieved, I agreed to “dispose” of Mickey’s asshole cousin WITH GREAT VENGEANCE AND FURIOUS ANGER!!!

On our short walk to the storage room, the cafeteria lady described to me why I heard the scream, why the laughter followed and why the rat wouldn’t be “at full speed”.  Apparently, the lunch ladies had taken their fearful frustrations out on this rat with the business end of a dust pan.  I don’t remember much of that conversation, except for the last part.  It was very evident since there was a nice trail of blood from one door to another.  So now I turned into Elmer “Fucking” Fudd, hunting this injured rat with a small dust broom and the same dust pan that made it bleed.


I swear to all that is holy, in my head – all I could picture was this wounded rat stitching itself up, “Roadhouse style” but then I’d hear in my left ear … “If it bleeds, we can kill it.”

Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to see.


I followed the trail behind this large cardboard box of Clorox and there it was.  Its tail was six inches in length but its body was a good 5 inches.  When I moved the box to make sure it had no exit plan, it looked back at me as if to say, “Are you gonna bark all day, little doggie or are you gonna bite?”  That was all I needed to finish the job.  I took my left foot and dug in for grip as I lifted the dust broom like a spear and that’s when that stupid “in the arms of an angel” ASPCA commercial music started to play in my head.  I really didn’t want to end its life and was thinking of just sweeping him into a box and releasing him in the field outside of the school but then that Mickey Mouse reject hissed at me …




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