Why I am the way I am (part II)

Grade: Kindergarten

Age: 4

Just before Christmas break Miss McNanny gave us a full day of recess. We were allowed to just play or take a nap or do anything we wanted all day long. It was pretty awesome especially to a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds (and one 7 year old that just couldn’t get out of grade K for some reason). For snack she brought us all a treat.

Cracker Jacks

Wow, what is this? Something I’ve never had before. I looked at the box…hmmm? Popcorn? I love popcorn! Peanuts? Yummy!!! All covered in SUGAR?!?!? Heaven!!! and we each got a WHOLE BOX!

I savored each piece. Oh, man! What a treat.

Then I heard a buzz about the room.

“What did you get?” asked one little girl to another.

A bunch of “Ooh! Neat!”s and “Wow!”s were bandied about.

I had no idea what was going on. Then someone asked me what I got in my box. I happily exclaimed on a slight sugar high “Popcorn and peanuts all covered in sugar! GLEE!!! *drool*”

“No, I mean what was your prize?” she asked.

“Prize? What prize?”

She showed me her little plastic toy, if I remember correctly it was a red plastic charm for a necklace in the shape of a dangerously pointed star, you know something that just belongs near your jugular vein.

“I didn’t get a prize” I said through a droopy frown face and I sat down and tore my little box of empty goodness into little pieces hoping my prize was somehow hidden in one of the flaps. No dice.

One kid in all of history received nothing from a box of Crackerjacks and that was me.

After watching the others joyously playing with their wonderful prizes I got up the nerve to tell Miss McNanny about my dilemma.

“Miss McNanny, I didn’t get no [sic] prize” I almost sobbed.

“Are you sure?” she asked, “Everyone gets a prize in Crackerjacks.”

I showed her the pieces of my box and explained that it never left my sight so no one could have taken it without me knowing. It just wasn’t there.

“I think you’re the only person ever to get a prizeless box of Crackerjacks,” she mused.

My eyes teared up. (Hey, I was only 4!) Miss McNanny pulled me aside and said, “Here, you can have mine if you don’t tell anyone I gave it to you. They’ll think you got it in your box so don’t tell them any differently.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said. She winked at me and gave me a little pouch. I smiled back at her to let her know I was in on the big scam. “I won’t tell anyone,” I said.

I tore into the pouch and eyed my prize. It was a little clear green magnifying glass that didn’t really magnify anything, it just made things look green. *sigh* I ended up throwing it away with my torn up box and sitting down and sulked the rest of the day with the 7 year old kid. He was sulking anyway but just because that’s what he did. He didn’t have a reason.

I wonder how many other kids never got a prize in their Crackerjacks. Oh, yeah. Zero. It’s just me.

Lesson learned: People will always share if what they’re sharing is crappy.

Trackbacked to:
Freedom Watch
Those Bastards!
The Liberal Wrong Wing
Common Folk Using Common Sense
The Conservative Cat
History Mike’s Musings
Diane’s Stuff
The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns
Quietly Making Noise
Mental Rhinorrhea
Right Wing Nation


  1. Maybe you did have a prize in the box and you… well.. ate it.

    Mmm… red plastic charm… mmm… gurrggrlll…

  2. That’s definitely a reason to be scarred for life. I think you ought to sue CrackerJack’s! It was nice of the teacher though to give you her prize no matter that it was crappy! And LOL at the 7 year old.

  3. Do you have many non-traumatic memories from kindergarten? Cause I sure don’t. You know cartoon-Calvin’s teacher Miss Wormwood? That’s who I had, though she used an alias.

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  6. You know, I think my jerk of a kindergarten teacher (should have been named Mr.Meany) never even gave out anything, so I guess at least you got the Crackerjacks, lol.

    At least, I don’t remember him being all that nice. Then, there was this stupid little shin-kicking boy that kicked me almost every recess. Arg!

  7. Alla these folks talkin’ about kindergarten… *sigh* I have NO idea what that’s all about. Never had it inflicted on me. Was reading when I first started school (in fact, have no memory of when I first started, it was just a part of my young life as far back as I recall), anyway, and wondered why alla the other kids in first grade didn’t already…

    I actually believe kindergarten is counter productive for many children. Heck, let ’em be kids! I do vividly recall many adventures during the time others were in kindergarten–exploring the neighborhood, building things, reading a book while watching B&W TV and listening to Mother’s collection of records (while sitting in The Green Chair with our dachsund, she hanging her head over the heat register, pulling my Radio Flyer (yep, a real one) around the neighborhood hunting up bottles for return (my own candy money!), organizing a tin pan band with my even younger sibs, and much, much more I would have been robbed of by kindergarten.

    Five was a great year.

    Six was boring. The anesthetizing experience of school closed down so many avenues of adventure. Gone were the days of walking around for hours pretending to touch things with an ELEVEN-foot pole that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole; the fun stalking and abushing the neighbor’s cat (using Heidi, our dachsund as a lure–cat attacked Heidi, and I got to swoop to the rescue–fun!); the Fort was neglected–in my younger sibs’ hands *sigh*, etc.

    My world went to hell in a handbasket when I entered “prisons for kids”.

    Oh. Well. At least I got my own back with college and later inflicting prison for kids on inmates under my care…


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