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Monday, April 24, 2017

The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans
 I recently left a comment on a fishducky blog, 
regarding a book and after school detention, that was a bit of a teaser.  She asked that I elaborate.

 Well Ms. Fishducky of the wacky state of California (cue the peanut butter jar label opening to a picture of Fran) “You asked for it!”

It is not much of a story; perhaps I can embellish it a bit.

As an adolescent, I was not a very good student, as a matter of fact that statement would be accurate for me at any age.  In middle school, I was a bit of a cut-up.  I don’t recall being totally obnoxious, generally I interrupted with a pithy comment but not in a too disruptive way.  Sometimes I said nothing but could not stifle a snicker.

“OK Mr. Hagy, what is so funny?” Then I would release my pithy comment.  Sometimes it was very funny…sometimes it was embarrassing.


In the eighth grade, Mr. Franks class, we were studying that American classic by James Fenimore Cooper, “The Last of The Mohicans.”  As I recall this book was awful.  It was, for an eighth grader at least, unreadable.  Plus, I had already seen the movie and did not even like it very much.  I don’t know why they do this to eighth graders. Somehow grown-ups have the opinion that if you are not conversant in the classics, you are uneducated.  The truth is I learned that the book was about Indians in New York State, it was written by James Fenimore Cooper, and stared Randolph Scott in the movie.  That was enough to get me three correct answers over the years while watching “Jeopardy.”

One fateful warm May afternoon we were discussing this horrible piece of literature.  It was one of those perfect spring days where it was stuffy inside the non-air-conditioned classroom, but outside baseball and refreshing spring air were calling.

I was seated next to those huge windows that could only be opened from the top using a long pole with a hook to grab and pull down.  The shades were drawn to hold out the sun (and any fresh air) and block out the distraction of a spring day. The shades were spring loaded things with a long cord to pull down or release (my older readers will know exactly the window and shade I am talking about)

During the discussion, I fashioned a perfect hangman’s noose out of the shade cord, and slipped my copy of “The Last of the Mohicans” into the noose.

When Mr. Frank’s back was turned, the buzzer sounded marking the end of the school day.  I pulled the cord and activated the spring roller.  It made a loud noise, and Mr. Frank and the whole classroom turned to see the book swinging back and forth high off the ground in the pull-cord noose.

“What the Hell?” Asked a startled Mr. Frank.

“No more Mohicans.”  Was my thirteen-year-old response.

The class thought it was very funny.

Mr. Frank was less amused.

And that Ms. Fishducky is how “The Last of the Mohicans” cost me two hours of after school detention.

I’ll bet you’re sorry you asked.


  1. This brought a big chuckle from me and after my workday today, I needed it. So thanks for telling your tale here.


  2. I love your solution, a perfect end to the Mohicans!
    I wasn't in school long enough to read such long winded classics, we Aussie eighth graders weren't deemed mature enough I suppose. We were given simpler books which I read entirely in the first week of summer holidays, so when school went back they'd been long forgotten by me already.

  3. Great story.... still laughing here.

  4. Heeheehee! He may not have laughed at the moment, but i can bet Mr. Frank got a lot of mileage out of that story.

  5. "A bit of a cut-up. . . pithy comment. . . not too disruptive. . ."

    That's a pretty good description of me in junior high (back before they called it 'middle school') and high school. . .

    Great story; and I'm sure the detention was totally worth it. . .

  6. Like you, I found it unreadable when I was in school.

  7. Not all the classics were readable. I agree with you on this one.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  8. I didn't have to read that one in school and I still haven't more's the shame to me.

  9. I read it, can't recall much of it. A lot of required reading was forgettable. I had a couple of my sons in the 'cut-up' category ...

  10. I'm NOT sorry; this post was hilarious (& I've never read the book)!!

  11. Hilarious to me as I remember the book being awful as well! Moby Dick was my most hated book. Talk about forced symbolism!

  12. Hope your detention wasn't too long for that was funny and I am sure your teacher had them rolling on the floor in the teacher's lounge as he retold it.

  13. I'm pretty sure Mr. Frank was also amused, but couldn't show it until he got to the teacher's lounge. You did, after all, wait until class was over. Your 13-year-old self was not as disruptive as you could have been.

  14. She may be sorry she asked (probably not) but I am glad you elaborated ha ha

  15. NOw that right there was funny, regardless of whether you're 13 or 66. ;)

  16. Well, so, time for true confessions- I only read two or three of the 'required readings' list through all of Junior and High school. The first couple were major duds, so much so that I can't recall anything about them. Gave up after Catcher in the Rye when the teacher insisted that it was somehow representative of what we were all thinking and Holden was just honest enough to act on his thoughts. Yeah, she was a bit of a creepy teacher overall.

    Anyhow, it quickly became apparent that the teachers and interested students in these classes would discuss more than enough of the novels in class for a lazy observer to pass tests and write essays on 'em, so I mostly worked on my math and science assignments and let English and Literature take care of themselves .....

  17. Hahahaha.

    I remember reading the book, but I don't remember much about it. I do remember that I didn't hate it. Maybe the translation was better than the original...hahaha.