In middle school there was this art teacher, Mr. Held, who was really creepy. Everyone that went to Bedford Middle School has his/her own Mr. Held story, it’s a right of passage (I BEG of the Bedfordians to comment with your Mr. Held story when you’re done reading this post. Because there are no Mr. Held stories too small or insignificant, they’re all great/scary).
What you’re about to read is my Mr. Held story. It is 100% non-fiction. It needs no embellishment at all, because the bizarre real events are way too twisted to attempt to twist any further with lies.
The scene: Art class, Bedford Middle School, 5th grade.
The assignment: Patterns.
So we’re drawing patterns in art class, ya know, normal 5th grade stuff. I decided my pattern was going to be hearts and flowers, which, in retrospect, is strange because I was the biggest tomboy EVER until 7th grade. Maybe the hearts and flowers thing was my inner-pothead/democrat/hippy sneaking it’s way out. Anyway, Mr. Held approaches me, in class, I wish I could remember who was sitting at the table with me so that I could refer back to the actual witnesses of this event, and he says “Oh, what’s your pattern?”
“Hearts and flowers,” I responded.
And here’s where it gets weird…
Mr. Held: Oh, I didn’t know you love sex…
5th grade Me: Um… what?
Mr. Held: Well let me explain this to you. What is a heart a symbol of?
5th grade Me: Love.
Mr. Held: And what is a flower a symbol of?
5th grad Me: Nature?
Mr. Held: Nope. Flowers are a symbol of sex. So you drawing hearts and flowers together is like saying you love sex. Do you understand?
I understand that you are FREAKING ME THE FUCK OUT, Mr. Held.
Sorry, ya fuckin sicko. But just because Georgia O’keefe painted flowers/vaginas does NOT mean that flowers are a sign of sex. My answer of “nature” in response to what flowers are a symbol of is not only totally legit, but as a full grown whoa-man (someone get that “So I Married An Axe-Murderer” reference) looking back on this incident, flowers DO signify nature way before they can be associated with sex. Especially the horrible doodled flowers of a 10-year old in art class.
I obviously went home and told my mom this story. She obviously called the school and demand that action be taken, which did not happen. Because Mr. Held, and his belt that he wore with the buckle on the side instead of in the front, had tenure and he continued to wreck havoc on the Westport Connecticut Public School System for almost 10 more years. But before he was stopped, he did send me an invitation in the mail, inviting me to a photo shoot for a book he was doing about redheads. The man was obsessed with redheads and like writing a book about them or something.
Hellooooooo?!? CREEPYYYYYY.Besides the obvious and inherent creepiness of this, the cherry on top is- NO ONE likes redheads. There’s a whole South Park episode about it! Gingers have no souls (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Thank God I’m a Daywalker) But nope, still wasn’t caught. My mom’s friend’s son went to the photo shoot and apparently he left without being molested. So whatever. Ok… Mr. Held wasn’t a child molester, or ChiMo (pronounced Chee-Moe), as my roommate and I like to call them. But here is what happened to Mr. Held:
In 2005, Mr. Held borrowed a computer from his neighbor and left a CD in it that contained pictures of naked children. Yup. That’s how he got caught. In further investigations it was discovered that Mr. Held had one of the most prolific child porn collections on the Eastern Seaboard. He had literally MILLIONS of child porn pictures, including pictures that were taken from cameras that were placed under the desks in his classrooms. Thank God I was basically a boy back then and only wore shorts (specifically Umbros, duh). But still, who knows what he had of me, of any of us. And now he is in jail for 10 years.
If you read the article, it’s actually really sad, but like totally SVU. There should definitely be an ep based on this story, because you can’t make this shit up, it’s too good, and by good I mean horrible and disturbing. You know what I mean.
So yeah, I’m sure if I was Catholic I’d have a real story about interactions with a real live ChiMo, but for a redheaded Jew, I think this is a pretty damn good/awful one. Public school for life.