Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some Time Later

When we catch up to him again, it is one year later.

He teaches English at a high school in a nearby city. The commute is tolerable. He's been known to remark, offhandedly, that this "is the only job [he's] ever had that doesn't feel like a job."

On Tuesday, while he was walking around his classroom, gently reminding some students to keep working and others to keep breathing, he distinctly overheard a boy saying, "Put it in your mouth."

There were several boys looking at one girl who had a smear of blue gum stuck on her desk. One of them--the one next to her--noticed that they'd caught his attention and explained that "Someone put gum under [his] desk and [he] accidentally put [his] finger in it so [he] wiped it off" on her desk.

So it goes.

The next logical step was to ensure that someone test the gum.

"Put it in your mouth." From many voices.

"I'll give you a dollar."

"Me, too!"

"That's, like, five dollars!"

"Do it!"

He was on his way to the supply closet for a roll of paper towels and some cleaner when his aide remarked that this was "like that girl who ate the goldfish in [his] class last--."

"I don't want to talk about that," he said quickly. "I'm still a little bit worried that that will come back to haunt me."

The situation, not the fish, is what he meant.

Students near the aide clamored for a story about a girl and a goldfish (and extra credit, but they didn't know about that), but the aide knew his place and kept quiet.

He grabbed the cleaner and a roll of brown paper towels and walked over to the situation just in time to hear an assortment of "She did it!"s and "Gross!"es from her hangers-on.

"Chew it!" someone shouted, but she had already spit a small shred of gum into the trash can by his desk.

"That wasn't part of the deal!" someone else fired back.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Not the Last

If Vanessa had ever seen something like that before, she’d never told me, but two days ago, as we were walking down our street, she pointed it out to me for the first time. Not the last. 

Not the last.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Terrifyingly Awesome

BREAKING: I have it on good authority that John Stockton was a member of SEAL Team Six, the elite squad of Navy SEALs that brought down Osama bin Laden.

An intensely private individual, speculation as to the specifics of John Stockton's post-mind-numbingly-brilliant-basketball career lifestyle has run the gamut of time-traveling super-hero (you don't know about it because it didn't happen--anymore), yarn bomber (, and purveyor of once-thought-lost vintages of fine wines and liquors (ever hear of the Jefferson Bottles?-- has the real thing).

Although government officials have been instructed to deny and disavow, President Obama has been sighted wearing a ring that leading specialists agree is a 1998 NBA championship ring bearing the logo of the Utah Jazz from an alternate timeline and given to him as a gift by Stockton himself on May 3, 2011, which many are interpreting as confirmation of Stockton's involvement in the mission.

Stick that one in your pipe and smoke it, terror.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bear with Me, Please, I'm Working on It

Permit me, if you will, to share one of my favorite parts of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin ( It's near and dear to me because (believe it or not) I'm working on it, all of the time.
My list of virtues contain'd at first but twelve; but a Quaker friend having kindly informed me that I was generally thought proud; that my pride show'd itself frequently in conversation; that I was not content with being in the right when discussing any point, but was overbearing, and rather insolent, of which he convinc'd me by mentioning several instances; I determined endeavouring to cure myself, if I could, of this vice or folly among the rest, and I added Humility to my list, giving an extensive meaning to the word. I cannot boast of much success in acquiring the reality of this virtue, but I had a good deal with regard to the appearance of it. I made it a rule to forbear all direct contradiction to the sentiments of others, and all positive assertion of my own. I even forbid myself, agreeably to the old laws of our Junto, the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fix'd opinion, such as certainly, undoubtedly, etc., and I adopted, instead of them, I conceive, I apprehend, or I imagine a thing to be so or so; or it so appears to me at present. When another asserted something that I thought an error, I deny'd myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing immediately some absurdity in his proposition; and in answering I began by observing that in certain cases or circumstances his opinion would be right, but in the present case there appear'd or seem'd to me some difference, etc. I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I engag'd in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I propos'd my opinions procur'd them a readier reception and less contradiction; I had less mortification when I was found to be in the wrong, and I more easily prevail'd with others to give up their mistakes and join with me when I happened to be in the right. And this mode, which I at first put on with some violence to natural inclination, became at length so easy, and so habitual to me, that perhaps for these fifty years past no one has ever heard a dogmatical expression escape me. And to this habit (after my character of integrity) I think it principally owing that I had early so much weight with my fellow-citizens when I proposed new institutions, or alterations in the old, and so much influence in public councils when I became a member; for I was but a bad speaker, never eloquent, subject to much hesitation in my choice of words, hardly correct in language, and yet I generally carried my points.
In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had compleatly overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bad People Marry Bad People

I love my wife.

This is a picture of her:

Vanessa is basically Darth Vader.

As I've chronicled all along in this blog o' mine, I am not role-model material. Apparently, like does, indeed, attract like: the other day, we saw this:

While a reasonable human being would (most likely) posit that this hieroglyph indicates something along the lines of although I cannot draw, I will purchase your melancholy house, my child bride immediately deduced that this artist buys "Chinamen."

I am so sorry.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Work Email: Service Announcement

Overheard in the break room about two minutes ago, for your information:

“She’s cute. I would definitely take her to the park and strangle her a little bit.”


Best regards,