by James Bates
Growing up it never failed, and this year was no exception, the first day of school was always embarrassing. By that I'm referring to class introductions, where the teacher went around and had us introduce ourselves and tell something interesting about said self. Being painfully shy, it was not my finest moment.
"And so now we have this young man," Mr. Strout said, smiling at me and rubbing his hands together in anticipation of I'm not sure what. Well, actually, I was. "Tell us your name."
Titters wove through the classroom like a snakes through wet grass. God, I hated this, but Dad was kind of famous and I'd been taught to be polite.
"Edward Langston," I stated, trying to speak up and not mumble like I normally did. "Ed," I added, hoping this year in sixth grade I'd make the much anticipated move up from Eddie.
"Ed Langston", the teacher said. (Thank you, Mr. Strout!) Then he turned to the rest of the class. "Do any of you know who Ed's father is?" My ears turned red, my face felt like it was on fire.
Of course my best friend Mickey, class clown and goof-ball extraordinaire, had to raise his hand. "His dad is Arthur Devon Langston, the famous poet."
Mr. Strout smiled broadly. "That's right Mitchell." (Mickey was the nickname he'd chosen for obvious reasons.) "Arthur Devon Langston, the famous poet and lyricist. He's also well-known for his limericks if I'm not mistaken, isn't that right?" Now he turned toward me. "Isn't that right, Ed?"
I sighed inwardly. I wanted to crawl into my shirt and die. But, of course, I couldn't. Plus, Dad always told me to, as he put it, "Do our name proud."
"That's right, Mr. Strout."
Mickey chimed in. "He's really famous. He wrote that one about the guy's feet." Then he stood up next to his desk and recited dramatically, "There once was an old man from St. Pete. Who walked on his hands not his feet. He lasted one day. And then had to say. 'It's not a feat that I'd like to repeat.'"