Teachers Have Bad Days Too

December 1, 2018

 

Terry had an absolute miserable day teaching. She was hired to teach guitar and keyboards as an elective to high school children in an impoverished area of the city. The pay was good but it was nothing more than babysitting. Her classes consisted of Hispanic and black gangbangers with neck tattoos, some with ankle bracelets to monitor their every move by the police, some pregnant, most high and all profane.

“Eh eh Ms. Bitchtits… This motherfucker ain’t got all it strings. How my bout to learn this shit when y’all done gave some defective shit. I don’t see Pedro motherfucker over dere wit his leafblower on his motherfucking back missing no strings on his shit… That discrimination, Ms. Bitchtits.”

Pedro took offense to the leaf blower comment as he tried hard to form a G chord without cramping his fingers.

“The only one with bitch tits all up in this bitch is yo fat ass, motherfucking Fat Albert motherfucker. What kind of crazy bitch mom names their kid Sirarthur? Yo momma was cracked out when she gave you that bitch name.”

A fight broke out. Two guitars were casualties. The school security separated them and took them out. A string of other outbursts occurred through out the day. Run of the mill swearing, playing music on their phones, eating in class, sleeping in class and general disrespect for the Terry brought her to tears on the way home.

 

Chris was a private school teacher in a really rich suburb where there were eight students in the class. The kids spent most of the day on social media or skyping friends in other schools. Kids ignored most of what Chris was trying to teach the children. Chris had a student named Floyd who dressed in black with died black hair and a safety pin through his bottom lip. He wore shirts of death metal bands you never heard of and hated everything. His parents were divorced and the dad had an older Costa Rican woman taking care of him while travelling the world on business. Floyd was in prep school but got thrown out of so many that they brought him home. His stepmother detests him and the dad just gives his kid more money to placate him. The assignment was to read allowed what the perfect day would be. Floyd read his in front of the class.

“My perfect day would be to tie up my parents in their fucking sauna and turn the temperature up to about 150 and leave them in there for a good while to ensure their reproductive organs were officially shot. I would then come to school with a dozen large sows and let tear gas off in the school. I would sit out front with a six-pack and a lawn chair on the school’s front lawn while the pigs and girls squealed like pigs and then I would probably take target practice on the knees of those running from the mayhem. No murder, just a little maiming. Of course this is just a fantasy, you see… For I have no sows at home.”

Chris dialed the police and the police showed up before Floyd could finish his essay. The police hauled Floyd in. His father was in New Zealand and the stepmother was fucking an Internet buddy in San Diego and so the Costa Rican au pair had to sort it all out. The father, who donated thousands, maybe tens of thousands to the school on top of tuition each year, pledge to see that Chris would be fired when he returned. Chris drove home crying.

Chris met Terry through a friend of a friend. At the time, they were both dating men but went on to become partners. They were once really romantic but Chris began to gain weight and Terry had become a health nut. It was just a few days ago that Terry had to break the news to Chris that the funky smell in her vagina was due to all the shit food she was eating and a little bit of poor hygiene. Love had been on the rocks and now they both had a really bad day. They walked in to find that their cats were fighting and had broken porcelain figurines that had belonged to Chris’ grandmother. The gloves came off the moment they both got home.

“I hate these cats… I hate them, I hate them… We couldn’t get fucking dogs because we live in a building that won’t allow them. So these destructive little fucks have ruined something of mine once again that can’t be replaced. I have had a day from hell and I don’t have room in my life right now to be dealing with destructive fucking cats,” shouted Chris.

“Fuck you… You teach at a country club. Try one day in my goddamn shoes and you need more therapy than you’re getting now,” said Terry.

“How dare you use that against me… You are a hateful bitch… When your parents get here, I will be staying at a hotel. I am not putting up with your criticism and theirs together. You are all unhappy people and then you shit on me. Your parents raised you to be a mean combative bitch. You’re just like them. I’m outta here.,” said Chris.

“Yeah… Will you be sending the what are you doing tonight text to your old boyfriend?” Asked Terry.

“What are you talking about? We’re just friends. I don’t hate Paul. It just didn’t work out.”

“I get all the neurotic bullshit and he gets to buy you a few drinks, slip you the genuine article and you both go on with life. I’m not blind,” said Terry.

“I’m not having this tonight. I had that weirdo kid talk about tear gas, wild pigs and shooting people in the legs today and now his rich dad wants my head for calling the cops…” said Chris.

“Welcome to modern teaching, sister. Yo this Motherfucking, bitch, niggah, bitch, niggah, motherfucking bitch ass mothefucking motherfucker… Now that’s commonly used just for description… Every minute of everyday. So you got a rich Goth psycho. You must be stressed.”

“Fuck you, you fucking bitch!”

In the lobby of condominium were the parents of Terry who had difficulty coming to grips with their daughter’s change of life but were ready to shrug it off and wish them all the happiness in the world. The button to the intercom had stuck. Chris had pressed the button with maple syrup on her index finger earlier that morning when the Amazon man arrived with a package and that darn button never released. For a great while Terry’s parents just quietly stood in the foyer and listened to domestic car crash taking place. The parents quietly agreed to each other that they were really no different than any other couples. And that’s just how it goes on really bad days.

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Third Period-Running Time

November 30, 2018

Joe told the parents back when they were little mites, about five to six years old- give it time, they will learn and they will be good. Joe went through years of tying skates, checking on players who collided with opposing players and lay there like they were shot, only to spring up and skate back to the bench on their own. It took time to learn the offside rule, to cover the points in their own zone, to pass when they should and so on. As squirts they got a little better. Two years later as pee wees, they became quite formidable and two years beyond that as bantams, they were a machine. The passing was fast, shots precise, hard fore-checking, hard hitting and their defense made it such that they hardly allowed a shot on goal. The forwards back checked well and the defense was smothering. The goalie mostly watched the game from the far end, occasionally piling up snow in the corners. The ice in their zone would be clear after the first period and the other side looked like it needed the Zamboni. As pee wees, they came close to winning it all but as bantams, they were ready. The team was like a family and the family was a machine. Joe stood on the bench with his arms folded the way Rommel or Patton did on top of tanks after conquering new lands during World War II. They were great.

 

Joe remembered back to a tournament when the boys were 9 and 10 year old squirts and how they got absolutely rocked by a team from across town. That team had garment bags for their jerseys with their names on it and monogramed bags with their names on it, as well as stick bags and warm up suits. They were good for their ages and under their coach’s direction, ran up the score against Joe four years earlier, 22-0. Not only did they lose by that score but they kept the score up on the board. He had crying kids who wanted to quit after that game. Joe had to beg his goalie to stay with it. Parents questioned everything Joe did and told them that things were not going well. Joe talked them into staying with things and it paid off. Joe saw the opposing coach with his slicked back black hair, chewing his gum in a circular motion. After the warm up, Joe asked the players if they remembered the team, the coach and score. They did.

“I want you to keep in mind what that motherfucker did to us and so here’s what I want from you…”

Joe pulled the goalie after the drop of the puck and put out a sixth skater. Joe’s team cycled in their own end, the neutral zone and the other team’s zone. They held the puck for two periods without the other team so much as touching the puck but Joe’s team refused to shoot. After the second period, the slick coach stood on the bench and yelled over at Joe.

“This is horse shit what you’re doing. Play the game!”

“Oh, we’re about to open this bitch wide open now. We just were getting warmed up for two periods.”

Joe ran up the score to exactly 22 goals in a period and then went back to cycling in their own end until time ran out. When it came time for the handshake, the slick coach with a tightened jaw gripped Joe’s hand and told him that he was a dick and that it was horrible and that there was no reason to do what he did. Joe refreshed his memory.

“You beat us by this same score four years ago… Remember me now? That game was an inspiration to us all… I had to deal with crying little kids that day. They got better, didn’t they? Thanks for finishing the game…As they said in Goodfellas and you look like someone from that movie- now go home and get your fucking shine box.”

First Liners and Speaking Portuguese

November 18, 2018

Pam was anti everything as a young woman. She didn’t like religion or government or patriotism or marriage and for sure not sports. She was a dowdy young thing that didn’t care to tweeze her eyebrows and only showered sparingly. She went to college to play tuba in the college marching band.

It was in her mid twenties that she met an older man at a bar. He befriended her by commenting on how good the USC marching band sounded at halftime while eating really salty peanuts at a lounge inside a hotel. Pam commented on USC and other schools with really good marching bands. The conversation moved to what she did and what he did and three drinks later, Pam had gone upstairs with the middle-aged businessman. It went from simple making out to fifty shades of gray around the temples in no time. A bottle of Viagra and Champagne, a few rounds of what felt like love to Pam and as they say in French-voila.

Twelve years later, Pam was the mother of a boy who looked a lot like what Pam remembered of the man she slept with one night only that sired her offspring. Larry was a different sort of lad and had a hard time keeping friends and an even harder time staying focused on things that did not interest him. Larry was put on Ritalin and went to special classes and then moved entirely to a Montessori school to hide his ADD. At the Montessori school, if Larry wanted to read about snakes or walk around the room making dinosaur sounds with his shirt pulled over his head, he could do that and a nice, young underpaid teacher, would tell him how well he did at imitating a dinosaur. Even at the unique school, Larry was having a hard time finding friends and fitting in. The young social worker that Larry would see weekly, suggested Larry take up ice hockey. Now Pam detested sports but thought the idea had merit and went to the local park district and put him in learn to skate classes and within a short period of time, Larry was put on a peewee team before he was ready. Hockey is like a language. If you cannot skate, you cannot play or even fake it. If you do not know a foreign language, you cannot converse in that language.

Picture a child taking Portuguese once a week for a month and then being plopped in a room of people speaking Portuguese… Bem Obrigado… And very little beyond that. Larry struggled to skate forward without leaning on the stick. Skating backwards was a butt-twisting waddle with no lateral movement. Receiving passes was as difficult as trying to shoot the puck without missing.

Larry drew a grizzled veteran who after coaching for many years, found himself coaching house league pee wees. Otto thought the kids were nice and attentive but he often grew impatient with their lack of ability. In practices and games Otto would often speak openly and plainly to the young boys.

“I know you all swear… I know you’re all looking at graphic porn on those phones when mum is not around. I’m not the police and neither are any of you. What I say stays in this locker room and does not go home to mum… Agreed?”

The boys nodded a yes and wondered where the coach was going with things as he paced back and forth in the locker room.

“People will tell you that winning isn’t important… Those people are lying to you. Do you think Ovechkin would have skated around the rink jumping up and down if he lost? Do you think Hillary Clinton threw a party for coming close and losing? Fuck no. I say fuck for emphasis, boys. Fucking comes later in life but we use the word now for emphasis… There is no and fuck no. I don’t ever want to fucking lose. I hate to lose but I can live with a loss if everyone moves their ass and does everything they can on every shift. If you are standing around like a right fielder in a little league game, I will let you know strongly. Play every shift like it’s your last and you will always try hard. Pretend that your goalie is not in front of that net and you will play good defense. Pass when you should instead of when you absolutely have to and think before you get the puck and you will be a smarter player… Let’s get out there and do what we practice and win this bitch.”

Otto’s goalie was a scarecrow in the net and let nearly every shot in. One line played well and the other was behind the action. Larry stood around watching everyone race around after face offs. As a right wing, he never covered the points and stood only feet away from the defense as they struggled to clear the zone. The concept of going the opposite direction in the second period perplexed Larry. The idea of not going into the other team’s zone before the puck, made no sense to Larry. Tagging up too was a difficult concept. Larry had killed momentum five times by going offside in just one period alone. Otto called a time out and got in face of Larry before a face off in the other team’s zone in a tied game with twenty two seconds to go in the game. Otto thought about passing up Larry and a few other of his lesser players on the team but he already had to discuss with the hockey director, an attractive young woman who figure skated as a girl that did not play ice hockey, that occasionally in order to win, you have to put out a power line, you have to have the right center and so on. Otto had to listen to a lecture about balanced ice time among all players. In a snarky reply, Otto told the director that Larry’s balance on the ice is reliant on leaning on his stick. Otto looked at Larry during the time out and gave him a pep talk.

“Our center is going to tie up their center and not play the puck. The defense is going to come in and get the puck and fire it at the net. I need you to get your ass to the net with your stick on the ice. Don’t fuck this up. Puck drops get to the net… Am I clear?”

It all worked like planned. The center tied up the opposing center and pushed him back just far enough to not get an interference call. The defenseman came in got the puck and fired it on net. Larry panicked thinking that the shot would hit him. As he raised his stick and twisted his body to avoid being hit, the puck bounced off of his stick and found the back of the net. Larry was tackled by the players on the ice and got the game puck. As Otto was sneaking out the side door to get to his car, there waiting for him was Larry’s mother Pam. She had on a knit hat with pussycat ears and a puffy jacket with political buttons up and down both sides. Otto was ready to hear something whacked out as he approached his car. Pam asked Otto a question that he was not ready for.

“Would you like to go out for a drink some time?”

I can’t tell you if they talked about marching bands or ate salty peanuts in a lounge. I can’t tell you if there was champagne or Viagra involved or if they worked on making a sibling for young Larry. People want happy endings. Things were weird between Pam and Otto before their date and they got even weirder after. Larry never made the power play or learned to speak Portuguese very well. Otto often ignored Pam’s text messages and calls. And that’s just how things go.

M.C. Trump

November 3, 2018

In a quest to create and be successful at a new reality television show, an obscure cable channel came up with celebrity political roasts. The platform was three Democrat politicians and three Republican politicians who would take turns roasting a prominent political figure who agreed to go on the show to be poked, prodded and straight up skewered. The final roaster or master of ceremonies was always the president of the United States, Donald Trump. MC Trump. From his desk at the White House, the president would unleash zingers.  Some of them light hearted ribbing and others a deep stab wound. Love him or hate him, people could not refrain from hearing what he would say next. The man, our president, has to be exhausted keeping us free and safe and employed while battling the press and Democrats and those high brow Republicans who refuse to acknowledge his merits even though he has done everything they dreamed of but could never find a way to do. Any and all money he would make from being on the show went into a fund to help build a wall on the Mexican border. The show went so well that they made a collector’s addition CD that could be purchased for $19.95. The title- Trump’s Greatest Hits. It went a little bit like this:

 

Don Lemon CNN- Don… Sweet Don… I like to call him Sweet Don. We have a lot in common. We share a first name and we’re both men. I happen to be a white man and maybe that’s part of the problem. Whose problem? I dunno…. His problem, my problem, your problem. I know the white man he keeps at home is not the problem. He’s probably admitted white privilege and purged himself for the sins of his relatives from hundreds of years ago. Whenever I feel good about the economy, the record low unemployment for African-Americans, protecting our southern border, reining China in with sanctions and turning Little Rocket Man into my personal golf caddy, I turn on Sweet Don. If I’m feeling good about myself, Sweet Don brings me down to earth. Me, a white man, responsible for terrorism in this country. A Nazi who holds his grandchildren on his knee during Yom Kippur and teaches the kinder all the words to Deutschland Uber Alles in German and let’s them know that granddaddy’s Reich will last for 8 years.  A man in bed with Vladi Putin… Picture that! Me, a white nationalist, xenophobic, misogynistic boob who just happened to get enough yahoos to come out from the set of the movie Deliverance to give me the electoral vote. I think it was Sweet Don who said that I didn’t deserve to win because I didn’t win the popular vote. Sweet Don who would probably try to catch a football and fail at it because being sweet and all, he doesn’t understand that in elections just like football, you don’t win on yardage, you win on points… Just like the Electoral College. Speaking of college… Sweet Don would have made one hell of a cheerleader for the losing team and then spin it to make it appear to the low information crowd that if hadn’t been for that Russian exchange student, his school would have won… Keep it up Sweet Don… Your show is now below the Hallmark Channel and the Cartoon Network. Somewhere there is an army of women at home with two cats and no man who still hasn’t gotten out of bed yet since November of 2016. All three of them are watching you nightly. You’re that safe black man that they yearn to be alone with in an elevator.

 

Bill Clinton- I like to call him Wild Bill… I don’t need to say the things that have already been said a million times. I happened to be in Italy with the President Berlusconi. Silvio and I were playing golf and through his interpreter he asked what the problem was. I had to explain that the problem was that he didn’t call Julia Roberts. Instead Wild Bill corrals a chubby Jewish chick… Oh here we go with the groans… Donald Trump hates fat chicks and Jews again… I love them. They voted for me. I just don’t love them the way Wild Bill does. You could have sent the evidence flying anywhere but it landed on a blue dress… Remember if it doesn’t fit you must acquit? If you wore the dress, you must confess. I’ll confess this… In order for me to nut with that chick, I might have had to have your wife Hillary in the room watching.  You’re all thinking… Mr. President! That is disgusting! You never know what turns a man on but the thought of that is truly dirty and we all know how dealing with Hillary can be truly dirty. Now then…Wild Bill… There are the things we know we know, the things we think we know and then the things we don’t know shit about. This will all come out one day on a coffee table book right along side the Kama sutra in that room in the white house where you took furniture and sold it… Christ, could you imagine if Obama had done that? Everyone would have said that’s his father’s side coming out in him. I might not make to see that book come out, Wild Bill but I have been to the mountain and I’m not afraid… Wrong night… Wrong speech.

 

Jeff Sessions- Jefferson Beauregard Sessions Benedict Arnold III… I walked ahead of good ole Jefferson and wondered what the sharp pain was in my back. I turned to see good ole Jefferson just smiling as big as he could. I tried to take my suit coat off and found that I couldn’t do it because I had a knife stuck in my back… Picture him in that folksy voice telling me that he had a vision and that Jesus Christ himself appeared to him and told him to take the job of attorney general but do nothing further until he returns… Jefferson is waiting of the return of Christ and has recused himself of his job in the interim. Speaking of interim… I have to pat his understudy down every time I see him for fear he’s wearing a wire and everything we discuss is being broadcast in real time on CNN… Look at Sweet Don smiling over there. He thinks that would be a good idea. Meanwhile back at the ranch there are dozens of the best lawyers the Democrats could buy, working on finding something, anything between the Russians and me. Look at Wild Bill over there… He made a half million on one speech in Moscow… Wow! What a country! I want to thank you all for letting me spin you over the spit. I go through it daily with our less than objective talking heads in the fake news. Like someone once said, all the bad press makes me stronger like Godzilla… So I thank you for coming… God bless you all and god bless America…

Genetically Modified Men

October 4, 2018

I thought maybe it was just me. I thought maybe it was just my age and that I didn’t understand that things change and people change along with them. I began to notice that some men just disappeared and then others made a dramatic change from who they were. When the NFL banned tackling and the NHL banned body checking, I began to wonder what was going on. How could so many men change at once and others just vanish?

 

As A medical doctor, I began to examine men who went through big personality changes and found that most grew center punch man buns and beards. They began to develop breasts and discussed things that were less than manly.

“My wife and I found a lovely little town in the country that is basically a strip of antique shops. We found some fabulous deals and stayed at a really charming bed and breakfast that they claimed that Ulysses Grant once stayed at during the Civil War… If you would like information on this, let me know, doctor…”

This was coming from a man who once drove a truck for a living and now works in the children’s section of the local library.  Words like “lovely”, “fabulous” and “charming”, were never part of his lexicon in the past. Every other word in the past was profanity such as, “My fucking back hurts and I’m having a really hard time taking a shit, doctor.” It was quite a change. I’m not a particularly political person but I began to bring up the president to men that I felt had lost their masculinity.

“That man is not my president. He is a horrible man and he needs to be stopped by any means necessary!”

“What about our GDP or unemployment or Wall Street going through the roof?”

“And what about those poor children ripped from their mother’s arms and sent around the country like it was Auschwitz. What about that? No human is illegal, doctor and borders are not who we are…”

“Really? Hmm… Fred… Let me ask you about playing hockey recreationally. How is that going? Are you still playing several times a week?”

“Well doctor, my wife and I take ballroom dancing and Pilates together and go for nightly walks now…”

“Interesting… Can you tell me who you believe will win the Stanley Cup this year?”

“Doctor… I really don’t have time to follow that stuff. I have a list given to me by my wife that I need to complete of things that need to be done around the house. I’m happiest when doing those things rather than sitting in front of the television all night.”

What could it be? What was going on? Why wasn’t I falling victim to this mass transformation? One day I thought I would treat myself to $5.00 latte and went into a Starbucks. The counter girl had a nose ring and a rainbow shirt with a big button that said Resist. I was taken back by her question.

“The usual, sir?”

“Usual? I haven’t been to a Starbucks for years.”

“Is that so… Well, then this one is on us, sir and we hope to see you everyday going forward.”

I drank the coffee and had an overwhelming desire to have another. For no reason I put on the View and asked my wife if she was interested in seeing a romantic comedy rather than playing softball with my team and drinking until the bar closed. All day long I sweat and fought back the desire to leave and get another latte. All night I sat on the couch rocking and thinking about having another latte. When I woke, it had passed. I felt myself again- I ate, dressed and went off to work. I began to loiter at a local Starbucks and noticed the same people coming in over and over again. Men who looked like androgynous hipsters who once looked like frumpy fat men. Weeks later I examined a man who appeared to be examining me.

He eventually couldn’t refrain from telling me what he discovered once he was sure that I wasn’t one of them.

“I’m a garbage man by trade. My job is to collect refuse and take it to a dump sight. Nothing unusual, right? Well I noticed a pig farm next to the dump and wondered what was going on at 4am. I walked through the mire to a fence where they had lights lit up enough to play baseball by. I noticed body bags on the back of trucks… Hundreds of dead bodies and a conveyor belt of old, dead white men. Their nutsacks were being cut from their bodies and dumped into buckets and then fed to pigs. The bodies then went into a crematorium. The people doing the castrating were all large women. I imagine them to be lesbian but maybe just large European types. I was amazed. I wondered where all the old white men were going. I found it, doctor. Tell me you’re not with them! Please tell me!”

I wasn’t one of them and I had to see it for myself and it was just as described. I began to notice that everyone except Eddy the garbage man had become like them and I didn’t know what could be done. I woke this morning to find a latte next to my breakfast cereal. My wife was smiling as if waiting to watch me swallow arsenic. I refused to drink the latte, grabbed my things and headed for the door.

 

“ Someday you will want it. All men want it. They need it. They live for it and when you do get it, it will come at a price, love.   You will pay for who you are.”

“What am I?”

“You know who you are, I don’t need to tell you…”

“I’m not that sharp, Susan. What am I?”

“A man who is white… And you know what that means.”

 

I ran out and began speeding towards the office. I was stopped two blocks from home by a female police officer. She approached the car and never asked me why I was going so fast. She put two hands on the door and looked at me dead in the eye and asked me if I had my latte this morning. I panicked and took off. Here I am at my office with the door locked. I can hear them through the door. Women with sweet, calm voices trying to convince me to unlock the door.

“You have to come around, doctor. All the others are changing and you will change right along with them… It’s futile to resist… Resist… Resist.”

 

I woke up sweating and looked over to find my wife sleeping. It was a dream but it was so real that I sat there for a moment wondering. Just wondering.

Anything…

September 22, 2018

It’s been years since you watched a sunset
And saw the beauty of a day ending.
It’s normal to keep pretending when you make eye contact
In the rear view mirror, that the path and
Direction makes sense

Maybe others see what’s going on
And they’re at peace when they sleep
They ask you what do you want and what do
You want to be?  Where will you go?

Maybe there’s no truth
Maybe there’s no proof
Counting grains of sand for eternity
Treading water in a sea of futility
Consciously deciding things unconsciously.
What does it mean?  That maybe everything is nothing.

And Donald Trump as Richard Nixon

September 7, 2018
I stand here today, your president of the greatest nation in the world
to speak about this business of impeachment.  As you all well are well
aware, except for the People’s Republic of Massa chutes, I won every
state…  The greatest GOP landslide ever.  I served as your vice
president during the greatest peacetime growth this nation has ever
seen.  After suffering through the Great Depression and two major
wars, this nation was at peace.  When did that peace end?  I’ll go out
on a limb and say when Camelot moved into the White House.  You had
one of the greatest generals in this country’s history planning the
Bay of Pigs invasion.  How was that screwed up?  Cuba?  We could not
overturn that government?  So we looked around and tried to figure out
what weaker country we could invade to save them from themselves and
get people’s minds off of Cuba… Where to go?  Where to Go.  Ah…
Vietnam. Who ever really heard of Vietnam before and if you did, could
you find it on a map.  The great Walter Cronkite looked solemnly into
the camera to report that it is a war we couldn’t win.  I suppose he
knows better than generals.  I supposed if we had conducted a war
correctly, we wouldn’t have had such a long and useless war.  Kennedy
put it on a tee, Johnson hit it into the Gulf of Tonkin and it was my
job to fish it out.  Maybe if I was better looking and hob nobbed with
you all out in Martha’s Vineyard or Hyannis, got drunk and crashed a
car in a pond and walk away with some doll in the backseat…  Maybe if
I had a ménage a trois with Kissinger and Bridget Bardot, you might
all keep it down low, wink, nod and declare that Dick is a man’s man
and for the good of the country, we’ll just let this go.  Maybe I
needed to take charge and remind my men that there was better chance
of meeting Jesus Christ than Mc Govern defeating me and there would be
no reason to snoop on them.  Kennedy and Johnson brought you the war
and I ended it.  Kennedy and Johnson were a hair away from starting a
nuclear war with the USSR over again…  Help me out here… Anyone? Yes,
Cuba once again and I sat down with Brezhnev and worked out a plan to
limit nuclear weapons.  China…  That was I once again.  Trade
relations and a chance to sell a billion Buicks brought to you once
again by Richard Nixon.  The milk toast members of my party are
wringing their hands, worried that if they don’t throw me into the
fire, they might be next at some future date.  I said this to
Kissinger and I will say it all to you- the press is the enemy… The
establishment is the enemy.  Professors…  Communist perpetrators who
indoctrinate your children into believing that you’re the problem…
They are the enemy.  Tattoo it all over your body 100 times…  I go to
the people today and bypass the media.  The people have to know
whether or not their president is a crook.  Well I’m not a crook.  I
earned everything I’ve got.  You think you can get rid of me and
undermine the will of the people and my mandate, I say roll the dice…
Thank you all for listening tonight, god bless you and god bless
America.

Make Believe

August 27, 2018
Kurt ran the plates of the young woman who was swerving while texting in an old Buick.  The car’s registration was expired, the driver’s license was expired and she had no insurance.  She cried as he explained to her that she would be ticketed and the car towed.

“If I had the money for insurance and to get the license tag renewed, I would have done it.  I am flat broke right now until I get my first check.  If you would find it in your heart to let me park here and take the bus home, I will get someone to take me in and register the car…”

Kurt, a police officer used to dealing with so much gang violence on Chicago’s west side, actually felt bad for the young lady.  It did not hurt that she was fit and pretty, dressed well and her car was clean and did not smell of booze or weed.

“Okay Ms. Tonisha…  I will let you get this automobile home without towing or ticketing you.  You have to get everything in order.  The next cop you come across will not be so kind…  I have a favor to ask of you and you do not have to say yes.  There is no gun to your head figuratively speaking of course…”

Now Tonisha felt that white people were the devil and those they were all of privilege, responsible for slavery and for all the misfortunes of the black community and the world.  Only thing worse than a white man was a white male cop.  She saw them as predatory profilers.  Kurt while driving his beat, thought that many blacks were animals that preyed on each other and pointed everywhere except at themselves over problems in their community.  Like most people, Kurt didn’t see himself as racist.  He has a black friend he drinks with that also is a cop and a former soldier.  Every white person has a black friend and they often begin a sentence while speaking to black people by saying- I have a black friend…  Kurt was never drawn to black women particularly but saw how beautiful Tonisha looked and thought hanging with her for the night would be fun and really amusing. The thought came to Tonisha that he was going to ask for a sexual favor.  She hit the record button on her phone.  The question was weird but there was an opportunity to make some money.

Kurt showed up at the banquet hall in a convertible Jeep in a suit, Tonisha in a tight fitting black dress, with pearls to contrast against the tight velvet dress.

“All you have to do is roll with me…  I want to have fun with this all tonight,” said Kurt.

Kurt was fit for a man of nearly 50 years of age.  Kurt had not been to his previous 10 and 20-year reunions but told some old friends that he had lost contact with that he would come. Kurt didn’t believe in Facebook or Twitter and nobody really knew much about him.  He had attended a high school in a northern suburb north of Chicago, joined the military and then became a cop.  He grew up a hockey playing Punk Rock kid with a bald head, tight jeans, Doc Martin Boots, plain shirts with suspenders and hated the world.  He hated his mom for marrying a man he hated back then and the anger of Skinhead Punk Rock, appealed to Kurt.  Thirty years later, Kurt was still playing hockey, was divorced from his wife and living away from his children in another state.  Kurt had a great disdain for the people he went to high school with.  They made fun of the culture he had adopted and didn’t accept him in their circles of friends.  Even the guys on the hockey team felt he was a weirdo albeit a good player.  Kurt put his nametag on and one for Tonisha.  Kurt gave Tonisha his last name on the tag.

“Do you like Champagne?”

“Um…  Hell yes.”

A group of men who used to be on the hockey team were sitting at a table together with their wives.  Kurt walked up and pulled the chair out for Tonisha and then pushed the chair in.

“Wow…  Thirty years…  My god, where has the time gone?  Toni…  These are all guys I told you about that I played high school hockey with…  Lester, Tom, Jim, Horse…  You don’t wanna know why we called him horse…  Bill the goalie.”

Tonisha could feel all the eyes of people old enough to be her parents, burning into her.  The men were thinking that he had managed to land a very pretty, young, black woman… Black woman.  They knew that Kurt was one of those bald kids who hated everything and everyone back in the day.  The Skinheads hated everyone who was not like them and thirty years later, their star defenseman married a black woman?  No way.  After drinks and more drinks, some dancing and then dinner, the questions started coming.

“Toni was driving fast…  I mean really fast.  Texting, swerving, changing lanes without signals, blowing red lights just to get away from me…  Because I’m a police officer, not just some crazed white dude after a pretty African-American princess…  Naw…  I’m just kidding.  She has a thing for ice hockey players and white dudes in general and she happened to be at the rink watching another white dude that she broke up with to be with me.  After a few years, we married and have… two girls…  Twins.”

The women looked at the young woman with a waist the size of a neck and wondered how she got that figure back.  The women there were older, lumpier, wrinkled and Kurt looked like the fountain of youth with a shapely and pretty young thing that would jump-start any man’s libido.  When the night was over, Kurt stopped at a pizza place that never closes in Berwyn and in fancy clothes; they stopped to have a slice of pizza each.  After hours of dancing and drinking, they had worked up an appetite.  Tonisha talked about mundane things with Kurt as they laughed and ate but she had to know why Kurt went through such an elaborate lie with people he used to know.  Tonisha stood to earn $100.00 and keep the clothes he purchased for her and yet she had to know his reasoning for such a bizarre night.

“Those people all live in a Facebook world.  They might take forty pictures of their annoyed wife and kids but they post that one where everyone smiles and looks happy to be together on vacation somewhere.  I’m so happy for you that your kid got a trophy or that you’re at the Grand Canyon…  That’s fantastic…  Why should I give a good goddamn?  It’s not real.  You never hear that their lives are fucked up and that they are stressed out, maxed out on credit cards and suicidal.  They want each other to think everything is fabulous.  I was interested to see if I look as bad, better or the same as those fucks.  I’m trying really hard to fight the effects of aging.  It was purely scientific.  I appreciate your help with this whole make believe night.  I know it’s silly but I really wanted to put on a show for these people tonight.  What are they saying to on another on the way home?  Wow, she is so young, so beautiful and so… Not white.  I may never see them again in my life but I left them wondering…  Come on, I’ll take you home.  Your mom is probably waiting at the window to make sure the cop didn’t kill you…”

Kurt flipped channels as he pet his dog that was sleeping on the couch beside him.  Baseball highlights, hurricane footage from Hawaii.  Kurt was drifting off to sleep when his cell phone buzzed.

I HAD A GREAT TIME TONIGHT.  MAYBE WE ARE FROM DIFFERENT WORLDS AND MAYBE THAT’S NOT BAD.

 

YER WELCOME.  YES.  DIFFER WORLD NOT A BAD THING

 

After close to a half hour a response from Tonisha came in.

I WOULD NOT MIND GOING OUT AGAIN IF YOU WOULD WANT.  I CAN GET BABYSITTING FOR THE TWINS ANYTIME ; )

 

Kurt responded immediately.

 

I WOULD REALLY LIKE THAT.  REALLY I WOULD : )

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Let Them Eat Beets

August 17, 2018

Wonder drugs are really wonderful except when those darn side affects take affect. You know- hives, bleeding gums, swollen pancreas and feet, insomnia, sensitivity to light, night sweats, day sweats, heart palpitations, loss of libido, a hard on that never subsides that could service a harem… You get the idea.

 

The Millers were some large white people. The father, wheezed when he breathed. His neck was hidden between a half dozen chins. He would roll into the local 7-11 to buy those nasty tacos and wings under the heat lamp, a bag of chips, a double big gulp and that candy bar. I’m sorry, two candy bars.

“Vun for 69 cents, two for a dollar,” the Indian proprietor who announces as Bill the patriarch would get ready to slip his card into the reader.

The children were the American version of Hansel and Gretel. Middle school age cherubs that wore adult clothing. They sweat in cool weather and their eyes disappeared whenever they smiled. Hamburgers, frozen pizzas and ice creams were their staples. Their parents would cruise the aisles of the local grocery store in motorized scooters while their children waddled behind them begging for extra snacks. Very little fruit, very little vegetables and a plethora of artery clogging garbage to stuff their faces in front of their phones and the television. Bill outweighed his wife by fifty pounds and both of them were over 300lbs. When the four of them would get in the elevator on the way to the doctor’s, they would quietly do the math in their heads. The four of them were dangerously close to the maximum weight allowed by the fire marshall. Bill had a terroristic beard with a man bun that went up into a cute fountain like a center punch in the middle of his head. They would pull up at the local buffet on Mondays and smile at the register girl and Bill would always say, “You’re about to lose on this deal.” You get the idea. They were the archetypical fat Americans. They were sloppy, slovenly, sloths completely content with obesity until Bill happened to be reading about a man who looked like him and lost 250 lbs. He thought that he might just be a handsome devil under all that fat. The thought of working out hours a day and yanking fat and sugar from his diet seemed a life not worth living. Bill needed artificial will power or something to overpower his laziness.

 

Bill knew of a woman at work who lost an amazing amount of weight but appeared to have developed Tourette’s. The woman looked amazing but she had no filter. To prevent herself from saying too much, she would cover her own mouth and mumble through her fingers. Bill approached the woman in the parking lot and offered her a large sum of money if she would hook him up with the non-FDA approved drug from Mexico. The colleague agreed to the deal. At first, Bill felt nothing and after about a week he noticed that things began to change. Bill had a taste for salads with lemon instead of dressing, No burgers or pizza. He wanted to walk and lift weights instead of sit in the lazy boy and read his phone. After a month, Bill was running and doing a stationary bike, rowing machine and elliptical at the gym for hours at a time. No junk food at all and he walked around shaking a plastic container filled with a protein shake. It was an amazing transformation. Before long, Bill’s wife and kids were all taking the same drug. They became fitness machines and testimonies to clean living and exercise. Everything was great, right? Oh, yes… The side affects. The family did not lie down at the end of the night and sleep a solid eight hours. They did not sleep even half of that. They would periodically collapse and take a twenty to thirty minute nap here or there. Some times it would hit them at work like narcolepsy and they would involuntarily fall deeply asleep for fifteen minutes and feel refreshed and ready to take on any task at 110% effort or more. None of them realized that their resting heart rate was over 100 and that they were shortening their lives by racing their hearts at all times. The other side affect was brutal honesty and an inability to lie.

Bill weighed in at 185 lbs. at about six feet in height and about 6% body fat. He walked around wide-eyed with tense jaws and said the wildest things out loud. At home, it was astounding the things the family would say to each other. It didn’t matter much until they got together for dinner with their good friends, The Quentin’s. The Quentin’s were nice people. All of them had red hair to the point of orange. The kids had whitest of white skin and freckles on top of freckles. The Quentin’s had a rainbow flag in front of the house with a lawn sign that said, “Black Lives Matter” and “Hate has No Home Here” and “No Human is Illegal”. The Millers kept quiet that they voted for Trump and liked Trump and were really happy about their tax cut, their improving 401K and that Bill’s company kicked back $1,000.00 to him recently. They knew the Quentin’s were really liberal and were frantic about the changes that they could not control. They would always make off the cuff comments about Trump and Trump lovers such as ignorant, backward, fascist, Nazi, xenophobic, homophobic and so on. The Miller’s would politely listen and then try to change the subject to vacations or sports the kids were playing. The Quentin’s made ribs with a bean dip and potato chips, coleslaw and then cookies and chocolate cake. Bill and Tammy showed up with a beet salad and some sort of bland tofu. The Millers ate it like it was the greatest thing and the Quentin’s sort of snarled at it. Julie Quentin jokingly made a comment, which opened the door to brutal honesty.

“That looks like punishment, not a meal.”

Bill wiped beet juice from his chin, smiled and spoke first.

“You’re gonna eat all the calories you need for a week in one sitting? Your temple is a bank and I can tell you that you are putting way too much in the bank if you know what I mean. You have to be fatter than the last time we got together. If you’re not fatter, you certainly look fatter”

“What the hell, Bill!”

“I mean that all that shit you’re eating makes you feel like shit inside and then you think shitty things about the government and the whole world and then you go back and have a piece of cake and think, gee… I wanna kill the president…”

“What the fuck is wrong with you, Bill?”

Tammy jumped in to continue where Bill started.

“Julie, Julie… Listen… You’re unhappy because you’re fat and fat because you’re unhappy. It stems from your inability to accept reality. Your resist sticker on the back of your car tells it all. You are resisting reality; you’re resisting happiness and a better life. You think getting a “No Hate” tattoo in Arabic makes you not hate? No, you hate great and I know you hate hearing the truth. We sit here and listen to you both go on and on about everything you hate and you assume we are with you and we’re not.”

Julie stood up and placed her palms on the table and began to yell in the face of her good friend Tammy or former good friend.

“What kind of mind controlling Nazi shit has happened to you? You lose the equivalent of a whole human being and now you get preachy with us? How dare you!”

Julie’s husband took a drink of his beer and said nothing. Bill winked at him and took a sip of his lemon water. The women went back and forth, yelling and pointing until the Miller boy looked up from his phone where he was watching a steroidal man discussing how to make muscle fast. The lean 13-year-old boy, made a statement.

“Adults are always talking about hoping and praying for things… You know what I hope for? Aliens… Not the illegal ones…   I pray they come down and put you all in zoos. Aliens can watch you do all the crazy, sick shit you do sexually on the Internet and maybe they’ll throw a steak in your cage… If not a steak, maybe a beet salad.”

The fighting ended really quickly after that.

John Hughes Gone Wrong

July 26, 2018

Around the time that John Hughes was getting ready to write Sixteen
Candles and pick the homogenous, insulated, sanitized suburb of
Chicago, Luke was about to have a party in a less idyllic Chicago
hamlet.
“It’s fucking selfish of you to not have a party.  Your parents are
in Sweden for two fucking weeks?  Come on, don’t be a fag… If
something goes wrong, we have two weeks to fix anything that could go
wrong,” said Patrick.
Patrick looked middle aged as a junior in high school and because of
his height and receding hairline covered by a black bowler hat; he
could easily pass for 25.  The Korean liquor store clerk questioned
Patrick’s age when he came in to order the keg.
“License!  This is horse shit!  I fucking come in all the time and
buy from you people and now you wanna see my license?  Fuck it, we’re
outta here…  We’ll go buy somewhere else.”
The smiling older Oriental man and they were Oriental back then,
grabbed Patrick’s arm and told him it was okay.

Patrick sat shotgun in Luke’s mother’s 1979 Buick Regal.  It had a
nice stereo and a cassette player.  The song, House of Fun by Madness
was blaring in a distorted way.  Patrick wore a white dress shirt with
the sleeves cut off and a thin black tie under a suit jacket that had
the sleeves removed.  Luke wore a black pork pie hat and a white Fred
Perry shirt, jeans and penny loafers, in the back seat was Tom and
Craig who dressed equally as “Rude” Ska loving Rude Boys.  Patrick saw
Joey Dee’s car up ahead and told Luke to speed up.  Joey Dee owed
Patrick some money and he wanted to collect.  Just like in the movies,
Luke drove fast through side streets chasing Joey Dee in a Chevy Nova.
Joey panicked and hopped the curb and drove through a park, sending
moms and children scurrying in the mid-day summer sun.  Luke followed
and exited the park, swerved to avoid an oncoming car and hit an elm
tree at 35 mph.  The tree shook a tiny bit.  The car was cleaved a bit
right up the middle of the hood.  The four occupants of the vehicle
were involuntarily propelled through the windshield.
“Oh fuck!  I am fucked!  Look at this fucking car!”
Thomas had not said much up until this point.  After checking their
scalps for cuts from the windshield, Tom had a solution.
“Let’s get this fucking thing out of here.  We’ll park it somewhere,
go to the mall, call the police and tell them that we saw some blacks
creeping around the lot and that we think they stole it.”
Luke drove the car looking through a hole caused by his own head.
There were three other holes and then the windshield looked like a
kaleidoscope.  Before all the fluids drained out of the car, Thomas
parked the car and they all piled into Patrick’s car and went to the
mall.  It took the City of Chicago Police thirty minutes to arrive.
Luke looked distraught; the other three were nice and cool. That was
not difficult seeing that it wasn’t there car.  The cops asked what
happened.  Patrick and Thomas took turns giving their thoughts on who
stole the car.
“We saw two young Canadians looking going up and down the aisles
looking into cars,” said Thomas.
“Um Canadians?”
“You know… Porch monkeys, spear chuckers…  Colored folks…  Negros.”
“Okay…  I follow you now.  Anything else you wanna call them besides black?”
“No, I guess you know now.”
“Right…  So what did these two look like?”
Luke and Craig had eyes wide open like Buckwheat while Thomas and
Patrick spoke calmly and openly the way they thought two white cops
might appreciate.
“Um…  As you can see, it’s dark in the garage here.  They were young,
skinny and black.  One was wearing a Walter Payton Jersey and the
other had on a Bulls tank top.  I think he had on an Artis Gilmore
jersey or some shit… We’re pretty sure they stole the car.”
Patrick dropped Thomas, Luke and Craig at Luke’s house.  They carried
all the living room furniture into the garage to make way for the Ska
band that was going to be playing later that night.  Plans were set,
there was to be a party with maybe twenty people, booze, chicks.  Luke
had to figure out how he was going to keep the dog and his
grandfather, a World War I veteran in the basement.  Luke found the
key to the door leading to the basement and locked his grandfather in
the basement with the family dog.  The band set up, people began to
file in and be the time the sunset, there were close to a hundred
people in the house, the backyard, the front yard and on neighbor’s
yards.  The Punk Rockers showed and stood with folded arms and
listened to the band, while the Rude Boys skanked around in a style of
dance only seen at Ska shows.  The Italians showed and began to push
people around.  A big guy named Sal walked around ripping on everyone
at the party that had that new wave look.  The Punks stood up to the
Italians; the Italians began punching the Punks.  The Rude Boys jumped
in to help the Punks.  In all of the wrestling and punching, the keg
got knocked over and cracked the tile on the kitchen floor.  A few
minutes later, the police showed up and cleared out the party.  What
remained was Luke, his three friends and his grandfather who he had to
present to the police to prove that there was an adult in the home.
“Jesus Christ!  I think you broke that Hi-Fi.  It was damn loud up
here and the dog shit on the floor.”
“Sir…  Are you his grandfather?”
“Why yes I am…  Is there some sort of problem, officer?”
“No, sir…  No problem…  Hey kid, no more noise tonight, got it?”
“Yes sir…  We won’t sir.”
There was a sanitary device that clogged the toilet, foot prints on
the wall, cracked tiles in the kitchen and a destroyed car claimed to
be stolen by imaginary black people.  Craig took out two mason jars of
hooch moonshine purchased in Tennessee.  The boys mixed it with fruit
punch while listening to Blank Expression by The Specials on the
Hi-Fi, which was not broken. Luke had a few sips and then hooked the
dog onto the leash to take him for a walk.  The Doberman Pincher
barked for a solid four hours before becoming incensed and shit on the
laundry room floor.  Luke thought about everything that transpired
through out the day as the dog, which walked ahead of him along the
dark sidewalk.  The dog near bushes lunged and grabbed something and
began to shake it.  After a few seconds, the dog dropped what he had
in his mouth.  A white stripe on a small animal trotted away.  A skunk
sprayed both Luke and the dog.  The dog was rubbing his eyes, snorting
and flapping his head.  Luke came into the house barefoot and in his
underwear to get all the tomato sauce he could find to slather on
himself and the dog in the backyard.  The scent of skunk hit the trio
getting loaded up on homemade booze.  Luke went back in the backyard
and covered himself and the dog in sauce designed for pasta.  After
about an hour, Luke came in to find Craig and Thomas still drinking
and Patrick passed out on his stomach.  Patrick snored and wheezed.
Luke kicked Patrick hard once to wake him but he was truly passed out.
Luke left the room and came back with a blue rubber glove that his
mother used to wash dishes and a large jar of Vick’s Vapor Rub.  Luke
hiked Patrick’s pants far enough down to expose his large buttocks.
He then took his middle finger in the rubber glove and slammed it in
the Vicks.  Craig and Thomas laughed knowing what was coming next.
Patrick moaned as the rubber glove entered his anus.  Luke slipped his
hand out of the glove and left it in Patrick’s ass.  Luke calmly spoke
to his other friends.
“I’m fucked.  The house is fucked, the car is fucked and now
Patrick’s ass is fucked too…  I got another glove.  Either of you two
assholes want Vicks up your ass too?”
The four fell asleep on the living room floor until the sun was high
in sky.  After getting slapped by Patrick in the face with the glove,
they set about to touch up the paint on the walls, move an area rug to
cover the cracked tile, fish out the rag flushed down the toilet and
return the furniture to where it once stood.  A few days later, Luke’s
parents returned from Europe and slowly learned about everything that
happened including the theft of their car.  The insurance company
called to tell Luke’s father that they had found the car, there was
damage but it would be fixed.  Luke’s father, an intelligent man
looked at the car and told Luke what he thought.
“You know what I think?”
“What?”
“Here’s what I think…  You went joy riding and racing around in this
car with let’s see here… yourself and 1,2,3 other friends and you hit
a tree…  There’s tree bark in the grill.  One of you Einsteins came up
with the idea to claim it was stolen.  The cops and the insurance
company bought it but I’m not sold on that story.  You then had a
party.  You had a keg and cracked my kitchen tile…  You locked the dog
in the basement with grandpa, the party got out of control.  The cops
came and broke it up…  Am I close?”
Luke was so impressed with his father’s deductions that he admitted
to all.  Rather than yelling or slapping his son, he said nothing more
thing before they got back in their other functioning car and drove
home.  It was a very un-John Hughes ending for Luke and yet
unforgettable.