First thing Monday was introductions. I told the little Chargers that my name is Mr. Carlson. I told them they could call me that, or they could call me Mr. Carlson-nuffaluffagus, Snuffy, or just plain 'ol "Mr. C".
This introduction sufficed when used with the third graders the previous week. For some reason, these weren't enough choices for first graders. Someone shouted out, "Can I call you Kermit?" (as I had delivered a very bad Kermit the frog impression as they entered the classroom.
"Sure," I answered.
Another student asked me who my favorite football team was. I was used to being asked questions seemingly off topic from third graders, so I told him it was the Detroit Lions.
Satisfied, he then told me he would call me "Mr. Lion". (and he did, without exception for the next two days).
The other children started shouting out their own recommended sub names simultaneously (made-up concoctions of unknown origins, other than from their fertile minds), so I told them, "you can call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner."
I knew when I told this joke that it would fly right over their little heads and that all I would get would be crickets. I was wrong. They laughed and giggled uproariously! Then it occurred to me that they didn't really care about the underlying humor of my statement - rather, just that I told them not to call me something nonsensical. In other words, I believe I would have received a similar response had I asked them not to call me... "Lord Chancellor of Neverland".
What I didn't count on was that half the class would address me as "Mr. Late For Dinner" for two straight days.