How James Bond Almost Got Me Suspended

English: James Bond films
English: James Bond films (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is fair to say my mouth has gotten me into trouble more than once and that sometimes I deserved it. It is also fair to say my attempt to use James Bond to keep me out of trouble didn’t work out as well as I would have liked it to.

The substitute teacher that showed up in class never should have been a teacher. Without her heels she was probably 3.5 feet tall, with them she was just about four, add in the beehive hairdo and maybe she was almost 4.5 feet.

It didn’t help that she had a funny accent or that she didn’t seem to catch on the antics of a room full of 14 year-old boys and girls.

My moment with her came during her second visit to the class. She asked me my name and I said I was James Bond and that the guy on my left was Pussy Galore.


The class roared with laughter and my friend told her that his name was Pussy Galore, but she never heard it.

That was because just hearing Pussy Galore made her turn purple with rage and squeal PUSSY!!!! I don’t think it was because she was jealous of Honor Blackman either.

“You get up and go outside!”

I stood up but I didn’t move. She walked over, looked up at me and waved a finger in my face.

“Out! I said out!”

I walked out of the room and sat down on a bench. Inside the room was in an uproar, she was wandering around the room muttering “Pussy, Pussy, Pussy” and my classmates were dying.

That funny accent combined with her odd appearance and our juvenile sense of humor blended together to create a teacher’s nightmare. She had no chance, but whether she recognized it or not I cannot say.

What Came Next

Since our sub had never instructed me to do more than go outside I didn’t bother going to the office. I basked in the sun and wondered how much time was left, surely the bell would ring soon and I could grab my stuff and go to the next class.

And then I saw the vice-principal and knew walking down the hall and got nervous. We had already enjoyed several visits in his office and I was certain he wouldn’t miss out on an opportunity to ask me why I wasn’t in class.

I stood up, turned my hat backwards and walked back into the classroom.

“Who are you?”

The question took me by surprise. I couldn’t believe she didn’t recognize me.

“I asked you a question. Who are you?

“Ma’am, I am a new student. I just transferred here. I am Vinnie Barbarino.”

Yes, I was a smart ass and I gave her that response because I was sure she was going to send me to the office. Instead she told me to take a seat and explained that I would have to give my paperwork to the regular teacher when she returned to school the next day.

All Hell Breaks Loose

I sit down at my desk and there is almost complete silence. No one can believe what they are seeing.  Just when things are settled the guy next to me says I can’t sit there because that desk belongs to James Bond.

“Yes, he is right. You can’t sit there because that is James’ chair, but we can share a seat.”

Now I am struggling not to lose it because the speaker is my friend with the feline name.

“Oh, thank you. what is your name,” I ask.

“I am Pussy Galore.”

And with that everyone loses it- it is madness inside the classroom and the poor sub throws all of us out. Yep, she tells every single student to get the hell out.

Sadly this happened within ear shot of our beloved vice principal who was forced not to return to his office to enjoy a powdered sugar donut and a cup of coffee so that he could figure out what happened to our normally quiet classroom.


I haven’t shared all of the details because some of them just wouldn’t be funny unless you had been there, but I can tell you that my buddy discovered that being nicknamed Pussy Galore wasn’t the kind of name that women found attractive.

For years he blamed me for his not being able to get a date, but I still think it is because he looked a lot like Arnold Horshack.

Join our discussion


    • says

      Hi Jens,

      I didn’t share all the times my jokes didn’t go over well and that people didn’t find me funny. Happened more than I like to remember.

    • says

      Hi Bee,

      I had fun in college too. I was the guy who passed around a note that said, “why is there a footprint on the ceiling?”

      That was one of my favorites.

  1. says

    I can’t say I’ve read all of your posts, but of the ones I have, this was the BEST! I was laughing at your returning to class, but then having the smarts to know it would make for a great story, you asked the name of the student next to you. Wow, that is just brilliant.

    Stories are not some random occurrence, they are born of opportunity seized. Great story tellers, of which you are one, are always on the lookout for a chance to turn a good story into one that will be told decades later. I’m glad you are such a person. You made my day.

    • says

      Hi Brian,

      Thank you. That is very kind and I really appreciate it. A great story is invaluable and like you I am always searching for one.

      Sometimes we get lucky and they fall into our lap and sometimes they…don’t.

  2. says

    Haha, so funny! I love how you said you’d already “enjoyed” visits to the office. That poor woman – she certainly didn’t stand a chance with the likes of you!

  3. says

    As I read I wondered what would have been the harm of her laughing? You know? Write the class off and just laugh? She must have been stressed. Teenagers are so funny. I’m not good for them ’cause I really enjoy them. But if you think about it, humor is a great connector. Right? When I teach teenagers I have a blast. They are pretty deep, too. But if you have no sense of humor, forget it.
    Brings back a lot of god memories, Jack. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Betsy,

      This woman had no sense of humor and was exceptionally up tight. I had her in more than one class so I can’t say it is solely because she hates James Bond. 😉

      She was just odd and not really built for teaching high school.

      Teenagers can be a lot of fun but an enormous amount of work too. If karma is real I am going to pay dearly for the stress I caused during my teeenage years, oy.

      Humor is a great way to build connections and forge relationships. It is not always easy to manage, but it can be a very effective tool.

  4. says

    I always felt bad for the subs. My elementary class was particularly difficult and I remember on more than one occasion the boys making the sub cry!

    That is pretty funny that she didn’t recognize you, though. You must have had her so flustered with your dirty, dirty mouth, ha ha :)

    • says

      I once had a PE teacher threaten to paddle me because of my dirty mouth. I got into more trouble for suggesting that could lead to legal and physical issues.

      Subs are brave people and I am not saying that because I was one either. It takes some hard work and a thick skin to make it work. Kids are good, but they will take advantage of you.

    • says

      I felt badly for her then and worse now. I don’t know why she became a sub, but she was just awful.

      I am sure she meant well, but she went into a hard job and just got abused because she consistently provided fodder and had no training to deal with it.

  5. says

    This is a great story. I can’t believe your Vice-Principal didn’t know who Vinnie Barbarino was. Or James Bond.

    That poor teacher! You were quite a handful, Jack. It’s difficult to believe that a guy like you who always plays by the rules would get in trouble that way! :-0

    • says

      Hello Carolyn,

      Those teachers are lucky I didn’t have my Galaxy Note II to assist me in creating conversation and community building.

      Most of the time I was a good student, but sometimes sitting in class made me a bit squirrely and things happened.

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