The Locker

Muckwucky Junior High had finally let out for the summer. Another year of drudgery was past, and now the boys were lounging in the park across the street from the school.

“Finally! I didn’t think school would ever get over!” sighed Tommy.

“Me either,” added Josh as he lazily looked at the school.

“When do you think it will happen?” asked Jason.

“Any time now. You know the routine as well as me. They always do a locker check a couple of days after they let us go. I can’t wait to see the look on old man Duddy’s face. This is gonna be fun!” answered Billy.

Farley Duddy had been the school janitor forever, or so it seemed. A meaner, crankier man you couldn’t have found anywhere. Always grumbling at any possible inconvenience he felt imposed on him. Changing a light bulb brought glares, and heaven help anyone who spilled anything. Even the teachers steered clear of him! The only way he kept his job was that he was the brother-in-law of the principal. The last straw was when he ran the boys off the basketball court for absolutely no reason.

“You boys git!” he had screamed at them.

“But why?” they had pleaded with him.

“I don’t want no scuff marks that I have to clean up!”

“On an outdoor concrete court?”

“I said git!” he glared while starting for them with a broom in his hand.

The boys took off running, and, when out of Farley’s sight, they stopped and huddled up.

“What’s the matter with that crazy old man?”

“I don’t know, but it’s time we taught him a lesson,” answered Billy.

“But how are we going to do anything without getting in trouble?” asked Tommy.

“Yeah! I can’t afford to get in trouble again. I was grounded for a month the last time I got caught,” added Jason.

“Ok! Listen up, you guys. I’ve got an idea how we can get him without anybody getting caught,” smiled Billy.

“Oh! Oh! Here we go again. Another of your crazy ideas!”

“Wait a minute. I think this one will work. You guys know that locker, on the top floor, that never was assigned to anybody?” asked Billy.

They all nodded their heads in agreement.

“Well, this is what we’ll do,” said Billy.

As Billy explained his plan, the boys started giggling hysterically.

“We have to do it! We’d never forgive ourselves if we didn’t!” laughed Tommy.

“The tricky part is getting everybody involved without Duddy finding out.”

“Why is it a problem? Name one kid that likes him?” asked Billy.

“Well, that answers that question. We should be able to get the whole school involved,” added Josh.

“Last day of school is two weeks away, but that should give us enough time. We need to spread the word and get busy,” replied Billy.

The next day they started their plan into action with each boy doing his best to tell every kid he could about getting old man Duddy. It immediately became a school project with almost unanimous participation. Kids started making trips to the locker on a daily basis, snickering as they thought about what was going to happen. Finally, the last day came, and the boys checked the locker.

“Guys, I do believe it’s ready!” smiled Billy.

“This is gonna be great!” added Tommy.

“We’re gonna go down in history as the ones who got old “Fuddy-Duddy,” laughed Josh.

They all laughed and agreed to meet at the park the following Monday morning. The weekend seemed to last forever as they anxiously waited for Duddy’s fateful day. Now they were lounging on the park benches.

“Hey, guys! I just saw Farley go upstairs with his broom and wastebasket,” observed Tommy.

“Shouldn’t be long now,” giggled Jason.

“Got the camera ready?” asked Josh.

“Sure! We have to take pictures to show everybody,” Billy answered.

Farley Duddy was in a foul mood. He had to check each and every locker for things left behind and then sweep them out. He had already filled eight trash bags with everything from scrap paper to soda cans, and he was getting madder by the minute.

Crazy Kids, he thought, always creating more work for me. I could be downstairs taking a nap in the boiler room. At least I only have this last row of lockers to do.

As he approached the last locker he noticed something peculiar. At the top of the door was a hole about the size of a fifty-cent piece. Strange, he thought, as he looked through his records to see who it had been assigned to. Noticing it had been vacant all school year, he started to turn away and go downstairs when a nagging thought came to his mind. There could be something in there, and he’d get in trouble if he ignored it. He remembered last year and the locker he neglected. The stench of a rotten sack lunch gave him shudders. No way was he going through that again.

Grabbing the handle, he tried to open it but for some reason, it wouldn’t budge. What’s the matter with this door, he thought, as he used both hands on the handle and it still wouldn’t budge.

“Dadblasted door!” he yelled in desperation.    

Taking a hammer, from his tool belt, he gave the handle a good heavy whack, and all of a sudden the door burst open with a vengeance. A look of terror crossed Duddy’s face as he screamed and fell before the onslaught.

Across the street the boys heard the scream and got a good picture of Duddy stumbling, spraddle-legged down the steps, and out the door, screaming and cursing as he fell. Rolling hysterically in the grass, they laughed until they cried.

“We did it!”

“It actually worked!”

“Did you get a good picture?”

“Uh-huh! I’m gonna save it for the bulletin board next year!”

“He might have all of those marbles picked up by then!”

September 2, 2020