The Principal’s Coffee Mug

Victoria Caine and  Natalia Patterson

      One more minute until the bell rings, I thought as my math teacher lectured the class on adding and subtracting fractions. I didn’t see why we needed to review what we learned in 4th grade as 7th graders, so I wasn’t listening to the teacher rambling. Instead, I imagined myself eating the salami that was waiting for me in my lunchbox. One more minute, I told my stomach. Finally, the bell rang.

      I put my notebook into my backpack, stood up, and ran to the door. The faster I get out of this classroom, the sooner I’ll get to eat my salami, I thought. Just as I closed the door behind myself, I saw Buddy walking towards me. Buddy is big and tall, with black hair. In addition to that, he’s my worst enemy.

      “Hey Aaron,” Buddy called out to me. I pretended not to notice. It’s not that I was scared of what he had to say, it’s just that I was too hungry to talk to him.

      “Aaron, don’t pretend you didn’t see me. I know you did. Are you scared of me?” There was no way I could let Buddy think that I was scared of him, so I turned around. If Buddy thought I was scared of him, he’d make my life miserable.

      “I was just going to eat my lunch. I’m sure eating is more important than what you have to say,” I defended myself.

      “I just wanted to dare you to steal the principal’s coffee mug,” Buddy said with an evil smile.

      “Why? I’m not going to risk getting in trouble so that you can have the principal’s coffee mug,” I replied. If I got caught doing one more bad thing, my mom would not let me play video games until I’m eighteen. This punishment might sound mean, but even I will admit that stealing my grandmother’s $2,000 false teeth and throwing them away was a little too cruel. Just as I turned around to walk away, Buddy called me back.

      “If you don’t do it, or if you fail, then I’ll tell everyone in the school that you were scared of stealing the coffee mug and are a loser! And, I don’t need the coffee mug. You can keep it if you want.”

      “Fine, I’ll do it,” I muttered. And then I realized what I’d just agreed to. But I guess now I don’t have the choice if I do it or not. As I considered the situation, I walked over to and sat down at the table where Bobby, my best friend, was already starting on his lunch.

      “Hi Aaron,” Bobby greeted me.

      “Hi,” I responded.

      “Why do you look so worried?” he asked me.

      “Do you know what Buddy dared me to do? He said that I have to steal the principal’s coffee mug, or he’ll tell the whole school that I’m scared of doing it.”

      Bobby’s eyes widened. “You have to steal the principal’s coffee mug? How are you going to manage that? You know that everyone who tried to do that has failed.” The principal’s coffee mug was very famous at our school. Everyone hated the principal, but his mug had “best principal ever” written on it, so everyone wanted to steal it from him. In fact, so many people have tried to steal the coffee mug that the school decided that whoever managed to do it would be given the title of the school’s best prankster, which would be a cool reward, but only if I succeed….

      “It might be hard, but I have to at least try. I don’t want everyone in the school to think I’m a loser,” I replied.

      “Wait. I think I know when we can steal the coffee. The principal always comes out of his office at 3:00 right before school ends to complete his rounds. I see him pass by my classroom every day.” Bobby said.

      “Seriously? Bobby, you’re a genius! I’ll steal the coffee mug tomorrow,” I exclaimed. Now that I had a plan for how I could sneak into the principal’s office, I felt much better and was positive everything would go well.

      I sat with Bobby until lunch was over, and all my classes after that went by very quickly. I got home from school and noticed that I started to feel funny. I remembered how Bobby was sneezing at lunch. I was hoping I wasn’t getting sick, because that was the last thing that I needed. I drank a big glass of orange juice to try not to get sick, and went to bed early that night.

      That morning, I felt terrible. Even so, I was determined not to miss school. I couldn’t, or else Buddy would think I chickened out. But after vomiting in the bathroom, I knew that, unfortunately, I would have to steal the coffee mug some other day.

      “Mom, I think I’m too sick to go to school,” I told my mother as I walked into the kitchen.1

      “Are you sure you’re too sick?” My mom looked at me suspiciously.

      “I’m sure,” I groaned.

      “Wait…. Isn’t today your dentist appointment? You’re just trying to get out of it, aren’t you!” my mother accused me.

      “No, mom, I’m not,” I answered.

      “Yes, of course you are! You are going to school and the dentist today!” my mom yelled.

      “Fine,” I said. I guess I’ll just have to try to make it through the day.

      When I got to school, I felt even worse than I did in the morning. I didn’t understand anything my teachers were saying, and I threw up during lunch.

      Finally, I went to the last class of the day, which was English. This was my favorite class, taught by the nicest teacher. Even though I loved this class, I still couldn’t focus on what my teacher was saying. After about thirty minutes, I heard my teacher talking to me.

      “Aaron, you look like you might be sick,” she said, “I think you should go see the school nurse.”

      “Okay,” I replied. I slowly got up and trudged to the nurse’s office. I felt dizzy, and every step I took felt like five miles.

      Just as I started reaching my hand out to open the door to the nurse’s office, I spotted the principal coming out of his office. I looked down at my watch. It read 3:00. I couldn’t believe it. I would actually be able to steal the principal’s coffee mug!

      I made sure the principal was far enough away from me so that he wouldn’t be able to see me when I snuck into his office. Eagerly, I opened the door and saw the coffee mug standing on the principal’s desk. I snatched it and rushed out of the office.

      As I opened the door, I saw the principal walking towards me. Quickly, I hid the coffee mug under my jacket and pretended that I was still going to the nurse’s office. Then, the bell rang, and all the students emptied out of their classes.

      I heard Buddy’s loud voice, “So, did you steal the coffee mug?” I saw the heads of all the students turn towards me, including the principal, who was standing in the front row.

      At that moment, I started to feel terrible again with a sick feeling in my stomach. Oh, no, I thought. Desperately, I looked around. There were no trash cans or bushes within sight. There was only one thing to do. I pulled the coffee mug out from my jacket and threw up into it. “This coffee mug?” I said while looking at everyone’s stunned faces.  

      By the look on the principal’s face, I knew I would be in more trouble than I have ever been in before, but it was worth it. I am now the official school prankster.