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                            The Ross Johnson Trick

After a little background info for those who came in late, I have my
version, then DC's colorful rendition of the Ross Johnson trick is below our picture.

Ross Johnson was our A group supervisor (or house parent as they're called
nowadays), a pipe smoker, which DC says stank-up the hallway. A huffy-gruffy
type of guy...always serious, hardly ever a smile...

Anyway, H. Hall has urinals and there's a trick that the boys always play on each
other. Set the popsicle stick just right on the urinal's drain hole so that when you
flush it, you are rewarded with a heavy splash.

Me? I knew better, a popsicle stick just don't accidentally fall in urinals and get stuck,
so my first time seeing that, I headed for the door without flushing.
Anyway, you get the picture.

DC has told this tall tale several times and swears I was the perpetrator.
Who, me? I don't think so...

Here's how it's supposed to have happened:

One fine day in A group, DC says I grabbed his arm and pulled him to one of our
rooms and told him to just poke his head out and watch the doorway of the
bathroom. When the sound of the urinal flushing was heard, I asked DC if he
heard that, "yeah". (Today he says I also heard the squish, squish, of
Mr. Johnson walking towards the bathroom doorway. Well, my hearing's
alright but it ain't all that good, I don't remember no squish, squish).

Out comes, Mr. Johnson...dripping...wet... with his pipe hanging from his
mouth...upside down. Just as he started to turn his ahead in our direction we
popped our heads back in the room and sat at the desk and started
homework, just in case he decided to pay us a visit.

That visit never came nor did we heard any more about it....except JG seys...
"...wish I had a picture of that!"

Yep, DC says I did it, yeah, he wish.
Thanks to Louise for this picture.

And now, here's DC's colorful version
Sent Thursday, September 04, 2008 -

Ahhhhh Les, Les, Lester!

You are good! Even Machiavelli would be proud of your cunning slyness of deflecting responsibilities
or blame for whatever you did.

You're good!

Even in the picture (above) you look like you got that Cheshire smile (after the character 'Cheshire
the Cat' in Alice's adventures in Wonderland) and I look like someone (hint, hint) shoved "Tweety
Bird" in my mouth and ending up making me look like Sylvester caught in the act...

(Shaking my head) you re goooood!

Now, a few corrections are in order - my lad.

It was one of those beautiful spring days that affects everyone. School becomes blah! and the
young folks' thoughts would wander to more pleasant thoughts, be it a sweetheart or plans for
the summer that's just around the corner.

But it also left some people cantankerous. After all, spring fever affects folks in different ways.

Unfortunately it appeared to affect one of the house parents that way. One of the house parents
who looks like an early version of Mr. Wilson of Dennis the Menace fame - appeared to be
affected in such a manner in that way...

The mood that week was somewhat somber in the "A" group of Hoffmeyer Hall. since Mr. Johnson
was on duty that week and wasn't in a very pleasant mood. As a result, a lot of fellows were
walking on egg shells. He was a bit heavy with his authority on trivial things. If one played his
radio a bit too loud listening to his favorite music, Mr. Johnson will have the boy turn it down
or he'll take the radio away. What really got some boys steamed is he'd be listening to the
"confiscated" radio. When asked for the return of it, he'll say "when your attitude has improved".

Eventually the boy would get it back in a week or two...not a day or two!

Or he'll approach a boy who would be deep in thought, or something like that, and be asked a
question or two. If Mr. Johnson got a flippant answer or a comment he didn't like, tempers
would flare, and then Mr. Plemmons would be summoned and dealt with it as best he could in
making a situation a win win without anyone losing any face.

Mr. Johnson, to be fair, does have a sense of humor. but its rarely seen or expressed...
but on that particular day, it wasn't to be, as it was a payback day... even on this spring-like
day! It seemed that Mr. Johnson routine for each day was closely scrutinized. And unfortunately
for him, it was - too well!

It was after lunch, everyone was walking back to their respective buildings where their classes
were to be. Half way down the hall of "A" group, as I was going to Upper School, I felt a hand on
my arm. I looked around and it was Lester. He tilted his head in the direction of a bed room
and told me to get under the bed. Another fellow, whom I can't recall now, also slipped under one
of the beds too. Lester commanded me to watch and keep quiet. Soon Mr. Johnson walked by
checking each room and cutting off the lights that were left on. Then he walked into the
bathroom and went to one particular urinal as he was a creature of habit. Lester (and I could,
a little) heard the flushing and swooshing sounds. Lester gripped my arm just to remind me to
keep quiet. Lo and behold! Here was Mr. Johnson walking very stiffly, wet from top to bottom
in the frontal area, as if he caught a full blast from a fire hose - looking straight ahead with a
look that could burn holes in a wall - be it concrete or steel. Water was dripping from his upside
down pipe, from the corners of his mustache, his tie and coat. I was so bug-eyed at such
a sight! I swore my jaw crashed to the floor!!! And Lester had that devious charming little
smile creeping up on his face...

And you could hear the squishing sounds of his shoes. squish, squish, squish - the sounds of his
shoes fading as he walked down the hall...

When we felt that coast was all clear, we quickly went to our classes. Nothing was ever said
about the incident. Even that afternoon, Mr. Johnson was there in his usual spot in the "A"
group, freshly showered, with fresh cologne, fresh change of clothes, and his hair combed in
place. He would certainly pass inspection on any parade ground of the Marine Corps! But he did
had that stern look on his face in a wistful way of wanting to know who 'set the urinal up'. To
his credit, he never mentioned anything about it.

Too bad that urinal did not survive the passage of time - for it would have gotten a
historical marker placed at the top of it.... The historical marker would simply say "Old Geyser".

Thus endeth the story. And no, it s not a tall tale since it s based on facts. And you know it, since
you were there!!! :-)

Cheers to you and all.

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This page was last updated on 03/23/2011.


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