Today I was sitting at my desk drinking a cup of hot Twinings Earl Gray Tea when Mrs. F plops down at her desk across from me. Today she got to chatting with me right off the bat. Usually she'll sit down and wait a few minutes before the customary "Ahemmm..." or "biiiigggg Boooooggeerrr sensei...." (in a totally nasal tone)... But this time she just directly started talking to me without any hesitation.
She said, "I am eating rhubarb these days." And I gave her a look like "Where do you come up with these intro-sentences?" I mean, we weren't discussing anything, I wasn't even looking her way but the first thing she said to me was this bit about "Rhubarb" so I was totally not prepared for it.
So I said to her, "Why are you eating rhubarb?" And she goes on to tell me some story about a friend giving it to her and so on. And then she gets to the juicy bits and let's slip that she's constipated and she takes the rhubarb to fix her constipation. In Japanese the word constipation is 便秘 （べんぴ）bempi. So I we got to talking about constipation, which lead to poop talk and some other bodily function talk which proved to be a very strange conversation once it was all said and done.
Then later on that day, we get to what I dub "The Crazy Kid Meltdown." It was just after lunch and I was at my desk reading the Asahi Shinbun on the internet when all of a sudden I hear this animal-like screaming ripping down from the hallway and into the teacher's room. The door was closed but it sounded like some monster had been turned loose in the hallway and was eating students alive.
So the book salesman who was standing nearby looked right at me in horror/amazement/shock, and I look back at him in much the same way. I decide it must have been a fluke so I ignore it and go back to my news during lunch. Less than a split second later, that same jungle-roar bellowed out again, and this time I heard some screaming and shouting. I decided to go take a look just in case someone was hurt or something.
So I opened the door to the teachers room and peered right. Nothing. No one was in the hallway and nothing was happening there. So I jeered back toward the left and that's when I saw where that wild noise was coming from. At the foot of the staircase, there I saw two male teachers and a male third grade student in what looked to be like some sort of pro wrestling hold. In between the two was an old ragged umbrella that all three were trying to hold on to.
I walked closer and noticed that a whole gang of 3rd grade students had gathered at the top to watch the action. Well, I guess this had been going on for a few minutes because there were about 20-30 kids watching these two teachers try to wrestle that umbrella away from the boy. So I casually walked over, looked at one of the struggling teachers, gave him my best "can I give you hand" gestures, and he nodded. I grabbed that umbrella and jerked it right out of all three of their hands. It snapped right in the middle and the boy just started wailing like some caged up raccoon that's been taunted for weeks.
I acknowledge the teachers, helped the one who nodded to me to pick up the shattered pieces of the umbrella, and let them still holding the student down on the ground. I walked back into the teacher's room and continued to drink my tea and read the news. Well about 2 minutes later I hear a scuffling noise and that boy starts screaming and running down the hallway. I figured he'd broken free and was making a dash for it. Within seconds, "Crazy Meltdown Kid" was at the school entrance, and had bolted for the door. In doing so, he slammed the door open so quickly and then it bounced back with such force that it shattered. We all heard the tell-tale sounds of shattering glass all the way down the hall in the teacher's room.
So I walked toward the 玄関 genkan (entrance way)and made a visual inspection of the broken glass. Rapidly about 10 teachers started cleaning the mess and taping up the dangerous shards still stuck in the door frame. Soon a man would come and replace the glass and everything went back pretty much to normal. It was eerily quiet for the rest of the lunch period, but not long after it was as if "Crazy Meltdown Kid" didn't even exist.