Louise raised her hand and asked her question.
“You say that what goes up must come down. What happens if you’re an astronaut and you run out of gas on the moon and can’t find a gas station and you’ve got four flat tires and not one tire shop on the whole dang planet? How you gonna get down from that? Answer me that one!”
“First of all the moon is not a planet,” said her home school instructor Miss Marginal. “It’s a satellite. Second of all -”
“It doesn’t look like a satellite,” interrupted Louise. “A satellite is what circles a planet and takes pictures of people doing naughty things in their bedrooms and we get to watch it on TV and then a member of the government has to step down from his position and make a ton of money explaining what he was doing in that hotel room with the baby-sitter. And his wife gets to make a lot of money explaining what a big stinker her husband is. Gotcha, smarty pants! Do you have any credentials before we continue with these excruciating exercises?”
“What circles a planet is an artificial satellite,” cranked Miss Marginal. “The moon is a natural satellite. But to get back to Newton’s law of -”
“Whoa, there, Miss Marginal,” said Louise. “If I’m not mistaken Newton was a physicist. Correct?”
“That is correct,” said Miss Marginal. “Very good, Louise. He was also a mathematician, theologian, natural philosopher, alchemist and astronomer.”
“Was he a member of parliament?”
“He was not,” groaned Miss Marginal.
“So where does he get off making his own laws? A fine world this would be if every Tom, Dick and Louise got to make up their own laws!”
“Perhaps we should move on to spelling lessons,” said Miss Marginal.
“Fine with me,“ said Louise. “If you want to weasel out of a perfectly reasonable argument on my part. Let’s do move on to spelling. Let’s see what you don’t know about that!”
When the giant hired Miss Marginal to home school Louise he thought a little education would tame her wild ways, but all it did was destroy a student teachers dream of a career in elementary education.
Miss Marginal went on to her second childhood dream: drab housewife.
I caved, she would later explain in a memoir that was written in prison where she was serving time for the ax murder of her husband who was discovered in the basement, paddling the baby sitter.
I thought it odd that the baby-sitter continued with her employ, she wrote. The children were grown, with family’s of their own. Why on earth was a baby-sitter needed? It took several months, but I soon caught on.
Miss Marginal is due to me released on her 137th birthday.
With a reasonable diet, wrote Miss Marginal, I might just make it.