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There aren’t many prairie dogs in central Ohio, but that didn’t stop Prairie Norton Elementary from naming this barking rodent as their mascot. Besides visiting the prairie dog exhibit at the zoo, I have only one memory of my Kindergarten through third grade years at Prairie Norton, but it is a terrifying one.

The toilets were very small, even to a wee first grader, and I was struggling with the closure on my pants inside the undersized stall. Garanimals were all the rage and I was sporting green jeans with a striped top I had chosen myself using their trademark matching tags. “Garanimals helps the pre-schooler to handle his/her own wardrobe. That sense of ‘I Can’ fosters the child’s growing sense of independence,” said Dr. Joyce Brothers. Little did she know my sense of independence was about to be squashed and I was to be scarred for life.

When Mrs. Gettinger with her gray beehive hairdo came to see why I hadn’t returned from our bathroom break, I had to walk out of the restroom with my pants undone. The memory still awakens me at night, although in my nightmares I am significantly more disrobed.

Have you ever been caught with your pants down? Do you fess up or do you cover up when you’re em-bare-assed with Ms. Jones? To what lengths do you go to hide your humiliation and protect your reputation? Some people will lie to cover themselves, or twist a tale until they become the innocent bystander and somehow you are the one to blame. Others are easygoing and offer an explanation with an apology before things get out of hand.

Ms. Jones also hates to be mortified. Do you graciously overlook her less-than-stellar moments, or do you take every opportunity to broadcast her blunder? Solomon said, “Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!”

By the way, Garanimals were relaunched last year. Someone ought to develop the same idea for Ms. Jones’ furniture.

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