By Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
January 01, 2006
Oh, she didn't look good. Not that she ever looks good, but at that moment, she looked especially not good. Her face was turning bright red. I had never seen color in her face before.
The next thing we knew, Ms. Adolf let out a noise that wasn't like any human sound I had ever heard. It was somewhere between a cough and a hiss and a gasp.
"Water!" she hissed. "Get me water!"
She sounded like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. She was hissing pretty loudly, and her face looked like a tomato about to explode. Then she started hopping around the room, like a kangaroo with its feet on fire.
"You go, girlfriend," Frankie whispered under his breath as he watched her hop.
Ashley burst out laughing. I didn't want to laugh, so I just concentrated on smiling very, very hard. Sometimes that keeps the laugh inside.
"What happened to that poor woman?" Mr. Morimoto asked.
"Must have been something she ate," Principal Love said. Then he turned and looked directly at me. "I hope it wasn't your enchiladas."
That wiped the smile off my face really fast.
"No sir," I said. "Like you always say, there's no such thing as a bad enchilada, sir."
Man, oh, man. If only that were true.
Ms. Adolf grabbed an ice cube from the punch bowl and rubbed it all over her tongue. Then she rubbed it on her face, too, eyebrows and all. Then it went back on her tongue again. Face. Tongue. Face. Tongue. She couldn't slide that cube around fast enough. And then her face started to drip.
Ashley had tears in the corners of her eyes. That happens to her when she's dying to laugh but has to hold it in.
As I watched Ms. Adolf mambo around the room, I started to think how interesting it was that she had been standing right next to our pan of enchiladas when her tongue attacked her. I wasn't the only one to be thinking about that little fact. Frankie shot me a suspicious look.
"How much chili powder did you put in, dude?" he whispered to me.
"I told you," I whispered back. "The absolute right amount."
By now, Ms. Adolf's tongue was hanging out of her mouth. She looked like Cheerio after he's gone for a long run in the park. She was leaping around the room, fanning her tongue with her hands.
"Are you all right?" Ryan Shimozato's mom asked her.
"Shiiicy," Ms. Adolf panted.
"What?" asked Ms. Shimozato. "I'm sorry, but I can't understand you."
In case you've never noticed, it's hard to understand people who are talking with their tongues hanging out of their mouths.
"Spicy!" Ms. Adolf screeched. She had shoved her tongue back in her mouth long enough to say that one word. Then, with two fingers, she grabbed the tip and pulled her tongue back out into the air and started fanning it with her gray silk scarf.
"I think she ate something too spicy," Ms. Shimozato said to the group of people who were standing around.
Frankie looked over at me and raised an eyebrow.
But before he could say anything, Ms. Adolf started to do this thing like she was whistling, but instead of blowing air out, she was sucking it in. That was followed by these horribly loud grunts, like my dad makes when he snores. A bunch of kids burst out laughing. It wasn't the nicest thing to do, but if you were there, you would have been laughing, too. I promise.
Ms. Adolf got a really weird look on her face. She came to a full stop. What was going to happen now? Whoosh! Suddenly, she started to move across the floor, wiggling her rump like she was doing the tango.
I don't know how to tell you what happened next without using the fart word. So let me say it this way. Ms. Adolf propelled herself across the Multi-Purpose Room as if she had a rocket in her skirt. And there was a certain sound that went along with that move. Once again, I can only refer you to the fart word.
"Eeuuww," Katie and Kim screamed. "Gross."
"Watch out, she's letting loose another one," Luke Whitman cried out as Ms. Adolf came shooting across the floor in the opposite direction.