White Oleander

White Oleander

Sorry Dear Readers, I cannot claim that it was my vehicle that ran over the woman that will soon be known as “Poor Miss Yardley”.  I cannot claim that I haven’t dreamt of this moment since my daughter first told me of her English teacher’s bizarre fascination with watching animals die helplessly on the side of the road after they have been hit by a car.  She freely admitted to her students on the first day of school  that she makes no attempt to help them or even call for help, she simply sits on the curb and watches them languish.  Considering the profession I am in, that sort of thing rates just above pedophilia, but not by much.

My daughter came home one day very upset, she said that Miss Yardley told her she was “stupid and immature” and she asked me if I would “go White Oleander on the bitch”.  For those of you not familiar with either the book or the movie,  it is about a cold calculating manipulative femme fatale excellently portrayed in the movie by Michelle Pfieffer,  and I was nothing if not flattered by my child’s comparison of me to this character.  “All in good time” I told her, and that time came three weeks later at a parent –teacher conference.

Miss Yardley and the other  various teachers and officials were in attendance, all with stern faces in regards to my child’s poor grades in some of their classes.  When Miss Yardley expressed her concerns I had no problem expressing mine.

“Tell me Miss Yardley,  what is the driving force behind your desire to watch animals die on the side of the road?   Do you get some sort of sexual  pleasure from the experience, do you hope that you will gain some mystical power as their souls leave their bodies, or is it simply because Daddy snuck into your bedroom everynight after Mommy went to sleep? Oh I can see by the look on your face that it was a different daughter, say a younger sister, that was “Daddy’s little Girl”, she was prettier than you, wasn’t she?  Well, that explains it then.”

Miss Yardley turned a whiter shade of pale as the Principal and the faculty looked at her in horror, of course they were also looking at me in sheer  terror at the audacity of my speech, but it was their look of abject horror that was her undoing.  She stammered “animals have no souls” as she knocked over a chair in an attempt to flee the office, my answer “indeed” resounding in her retreating ears.

After some order was re-established, Mrs. Ash admitted to me that she was afraid to say what she needed to say after what I did to the then “Not So Poor Miss Yardley”.  I gave her my best Michelle Pfieffer imitation reptillian smile and asked her “do you have an obsession with suffering?”  “No. NO! Not at all” she replied, shaking her head in the event I did not understand her words.  “Then you should be fine” I purred.

Sorry Dear Readers, I cannot claim that it was my vehicle that ran over Miss Yardley during a brief snowstorm six weeks after her “resignation” from the school.  Can I claim that I knew where she would be, what road she would be on, that a perfectly timed flash of highbeams too close to her back bumper in her rearview mirror would cause her to lose control of her own vehicle?  Maybe.  Can I claim that because of the snow and the cement dividers in the median that I knew her car would roll twice before ejecting her body into oncoming traffic for a passing truck to run her over?  Possibly.

What I can claim is that I did exactly what Miss Yardley would’ve done.  I sat on the side of the road, casually smoking my cigar as I viewed the carnage that used to be her body.  Intestines strewn across two lanes of traffic, bones sticking out of places they shouldn’t, a small foot with a shoe still on it tottering on the shoulder of the highway, and against all odds of not having a broken back watching her one remaining arm and hand motioning to me, her bleeding mouth opening and closing, whispering “help, help me…please”.

“No thanks Miss Yardley” I shouted so she could hear. “I’m waiting to see your soul rise up from your mutilated body when it finally dies. Oh wait, didn’t you say that ‘animals don’’t have souls’? Well then, I guess I’m just going to watch for the fun of it” as I leaned back and took another drag from my cigar.  If her eyes could have widened they did, and after the third car ran over what the drivers believed to be a dead dear, I finally called 911. 

As I left the scene I cannot claim that I wasn’t laughing, laughing so hard that I was crying, so that when the Police arrived I looked appropriately upset as I told them how she lost control and before I could get out to help her a bunch of cars and trucks ran her over  and she died on impact, yes, what a shame.

I got home later tonight then I usually do, my daughter came out of her bedroom when she heard the front door open, and she asked me where I’d been.  “Just finishing some errands, go back to bed Sweetheart” I replied as I kissed her goodnight.   As I settled in for the night I sat on the couch, pondering tomorrow’s headlines.  “Former Teacher instantly killed on I-15”, I can only hope that I don’t burst out into laughter.  I propped my feet up on the coffee table and hit “play” on the DVD.  Coincidentally, the movie was “White Oleander” and I laughed all over again.


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