Recently, I was messing around on the web and I discovered the original artist that created my little, yellow puking dog. At first, I was thrilled.....I was going to email him and show him the life that his liitle hurl hound had taken on and all the various iterations he had been through. The Christmas Hurls, the Pukasso's, Hurlable Lecter, etc...etc...It was kind of like when you steal a lawn gnome and then take pictures of it as you travel around with it......Then I thought......."Steal"....that's an ugly word.....it's also an accurate word.......this guy wants 19 bucks to use this drawing.....I've used it about...oh...I dunno..... 30,000 times???? The thing is... I teach...poor people...I don't earn that kinda ching. So, I bit the bullet and drew my own Hurl using Paint....for a non-artist, I'm rather proud. But deep in the back of my brain... a little voice is saying "Should I contact this dude" and what would be his reaction?
The battle for feminism is over!....Right? Women now run nations, corporations and the annual bake sale at my local Congregationalist church. Time magazine just ran a cover story telling us that women have now become the major breadwinners of the new American family. This is all very good news for me because my nestegg will run out roughly 21 hours after I retire, especially if I opt for the topshelf vodkas. Thankfully, I have raised three intelligent, strong-willed daughters who with any luck will have the earning power to keep the Old Man well- stocked with Stoli, pot, shoes and books until the day that the Great Nothing calls me back to the fold. So....really....it's over.....equality and fairness prevailed and the dark ages of male chauvinsm are history.
Except.......and it pains me to write this........I found a nasty little cesspool of gender bias in the most unlikely of places.....Wonderbread High School.
Wonderbread High???? How can this be? The place is a gem! Clean, modern and well-moneyed, the place is virtually run by women, all of whom care deeply about education and the kids. So, what gives?
As with many horrors that have plagued our world, it all begins with a nasty, little man. For the basis of my argument, I give you Hitler, Pol Pot and Newt Gingrich. But, these are pla
It all began when a star student of mine came back to class from an interview to join DECA, a business/entreprenuer club that has chapters nationally and internationally. She had a troubled ex
Later that week, it turned out that she was right and it really bothered me, so I brought it up with the other science teachers (all female) during the cackle session we call lunch. "What's up with Cassie not getting in to DECA? I would have picked her in a heartbeat!" Our lead teacher, entered her name into her desktop and said "Wow.... perfect grades, softball, drama club.....what's wrong with this kid?" 'Well..." I said "I hate to say this....but I don't think she looks the part...."
Silence.......absolute silence......I was in a room full of women with Master's degrees, science careers and daughters of their own and I could see the wheels turning. The lead teacher said "You mean to tell me, that she didn't get in because she doesn't look good in a short skirt?!!!" I replied "That's my hypothesis. Try to find one female member of DECA that isn't tall, thin and very pretty. Actually, don't bother because you can't...they don't exist."
More silence......they know I'm right...That nasty little man was picking members using the same criteria he would use for a harem. And, he's been doing it for years..........But what to do? I can't prove it....I'm gone in two weeks when my assignment is complete.....and what about Cassie's feelings? She's probably figured it out already but do we suggest that she fight this? How do you tell a 16 year old girl that she wasn't chosen because she isn't stunning?
And so it goes.....the world may have its Hillarys, Maggies, Indiras and even Oprah. And they can make us all feel good about how far we have come.......but the garden still has its share of snakes and the nasty little men are far from extinct.
"Welcome to Wonderbread High!!!! Did you have any trouble finding a parking spot?"
"No", I replied as I looked back at my crappy Buick parked between a Beemer and a Lexus. "Wow", I thought, "judging by the cars, they must pay the teachers pretty well here."
"Good, NEXT time, please use the staff lot out back instead of the student's lot......."Would you like to take a walk to meet some of the other teachers and see your classroom?" I nod in dumbfounded assent and follow her as she gives me the tour of her domain. And make no mistake, Bubby, this IS HER domain. People literally cower or smile so hard it looks like they peed themselves as she walks by. Very pretty, mid to late thirties, she carries her walkie-talkie like a truncheon and uses it to dispatch orders as she escorts me to my room. She walks so briskly that I wonder if she is testing my aerobic capacity and overall fitness for this position. All the while, I wonder how the icicle that is sooo firmly wedged up her fine, little tookus remains unmelted.
As we trot/jog through the building, my brain is whirling as it tries to adjust. There is sunlight in the halls......I don't smell urine.....They have a library.......with books......and computers...."And this is the entrance to our weight rooms and pool......."
"You have a pool?"
"Yes, and one of the top-ranked swim teams to go with it!"
Oh....this is too much.....I just KNOW she can smell the ghetto on me....I concentrate on breathing quietly and follow the staccato clacking of her heels until we reach my room.
My room..... Folks.....let's just say that a comparison between my old Room #3 and Room #327 is truly a study in contrasts. Room #3 was 14 by 14, had 10 desks, no computers and an old encyclopedia set that was missing "D-E". My new digs has 30 unmarred desks, 6 functional lab benches, 20 laptops, centrifuges, gel electrophoresis apparatus, a smart board and a fish tank. And.......... everyone is white.
EVERYONE........the teachers, the students and even the janitors. Their version of a minority population are the Italians. There is no rap music......there is no swearing.......no fights....the kids drink Starbucks and have bags from Au Bon Pain bakeries.....I think to myself...."Sheeyit, MY boys used to rob Starbucks".....I feel like Dorothy at the gates of Oz and I'm lost..........
Miss Twitchy finally breaks the spell and says "Here's your bathroom key, room key, lab key and computer cabinet key. DO NOT lose them!
Inside, I think...."Bitch.....I used to teach in a room full of murderers, thugs, gang leaders and rapists. All the while, I had the keys to get out, in my pocket. And the little monsters knew it.... Don't talk to ME about key security protocols." But outside, I simply nod and say "No problem...I'll be careful."
Today is the first day in 4 years that my classoom is being led by someone other than me. To smooth the transition in Classroom 3, the overseers allowed my replacement to shadow me and then slide gradually into place over a 2 week period. She has worked with this type of population before, she speaks Spanish and promised to continue my cooking classes on Thursdays. So, all really is well, but.........
I will really miss being addressed as G-Stacks. A G stack is pile of 20 dollar bills that add up to $1000 and my last initial is G and so I was christened by Ish and it stuck. But all good things come to an end, so I want to say peace/out to Burga, Eazy-C, Killah Kev, El Capo, C Money, Choppah and my boy, Dubs and all my other misfit toys on the island. May your crew respect you, trouble forget you, angels protect you and colleges accept you!
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It's that time of year again......time to take out the lazy Susan platter thingy, fire up the KitchenAid and get that gingerbread rolling! This year's insanity will take the form of the Sagrada Familia in all its incomplete glory. I'm hoping that my professional, marital and familial bonds will be able to withstand the strain of this all consuming mission to express my soul's yearnings in the medium of flour, eggs, molasses and allspice.
Like all bad habits, this one started out innocently enough. Some years ago, Mrs. Hurl came home with a pre-fab Gingerbread house kit and we assembled it with Hurlette in a matter of hours. The following year, we followed the Muse into the wilderness and began designing our own bigger, badder more gingery houses with elaborate candy ornamentations. Then came the Taj Macandy.......Then came the church with Jolly Rancher stained glass windows.......and then there was last year's triumph of Notre Dame.......Soon, I was leaving my less visionary family members behind........What did THEY know of fondant?......Could THEY create flying buttresses from that most holy of building materials??? NO!... No, I say! Their lack of committment (that word comes up a lot around here....) leaves me cold......but my oven mitts and my burning desire to explore the limits of both sanity and good taste have rekindeled the warmth in my soul. So....wipe the royal icing from your lips! Put down my M&M's and move out of the way! Hurl is a-building and let no hand try to stay me!.... I AM THE GINGERBREAD MAN! CATCH ME IF YOU CAN!!!!!
P.S. Pictures are now available on my picture album!
PPS...It is done.......stay tuned for Bacardi 151 conflagration after New Years!
Lit Girl asked a question about developing confidence and it made me think about how much I have changed over the last 5 to 10 years. Mrs. Hurl and I organized a fund raising benefit for a co-worker of mine with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I've known John for 5 years and although he would never ask for it, he needed help. It was a big success. We raised $3000 dollars, had a great band, tons of food and over 100 people showed up to give support to my man, Johnny. While the band was taking a break, we had an impromptu roast of Johnny and anyone who wanted to speak had an open mike. Most of the roasters started off with "I've known John for 30 years, blah,blah,blah..." and went for the sappy route. I chose to be brutally honest. I thanked all the people on the committee, my wife and my sister. I spoke a little bit about Johnny's work with our nutty little bastards and then...."Well....I've known John for about 2 weeks and he seems like an OK guy.... but the only thing he ever really taught me was how to swear in Spanish......so....Here's to you, my little Mahmao." And the crowd went ballistic with laughter! The Puerto Ricans in the audience realized that I had just called the man of the hour a "little co#k suc*er" and were rollin' and explaining it to the Americanos who joined them in the howling laughter. As I put down the mike and walked back to my seat, I felt a rush unlike any other......I SPOKE IN PUBLIC AND I KILLED! Never in my wildest dreams, did I ever think this would happen.
Here's a little statistic to mull over......5 percent of my students will die of gun shot wounds over the next 2 years. I ba
I heard there was a secret dog, who drinks alot and keeps a blog.
But you don't really care for vomit do you?
It goes like this
An ounce, a gift, a major fall, I plead the fifth!
An addled dog composing Hurlalujah.
The weed was strong, but you needed proof.
He saw her drinking on the roof.
Her whiskey in the moonlight called right to you.
She sat you in the kitchen chair.
She rolled a bone and brushed your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hurlalujah!
I did my best, it was a stretch.
I couldn't write so I had to retch.
I spewed the truth, I didn't try to drool you.
And even though it had to fail, I did my time in EP jail
With nothing on my tongue but Hurlalujah!
One day, as the Jolly Green Giant was beeting his niblets, he had a birdseye view of Sprout
and his enormous zuchini. He strode over and immediately began to brussel Little Sprout's endive with his rutabaga. Sprout screamed, "Lettuce go!" But the Jolly Green Giant only replied "Ho, Ho Ho.....I gonna kumquat on you as I squash your yams!" Sprout cried out "Leave me in peas!" But, sadly, it was too late. The Jolly Green Giant radished Little Sprout's cabbage patch and gave him fiddlehead. Then he whipped out his radicchio, grabbed Little Sprout by his cauliflower ears and began to pumpkin with great vigor. He tried to stay mum, but all Sprout could say was "Arugula" . The Green Giant thought "Ahhh....he IS about to be organic!" as Sprout began to kale and moan "Oh, Gawd....I'm gonna cucumber!" Sprout bolted when it got too hot and went to seed. The Jolly Green Giant said "I miss my little legume, but I'm not worried....he'll turnip again."
We lost one last week. I found out in a phonecall from a friend on the last day of regular school. "Hey...I heard one of your boys got caught up in some drama last weekend....you might want to check the Globe." So, I googled his name and the word "arrested", and there he was.........
This one had a chance. He has a decent Mom. He's athletic, smart, charming and has a smile that could sell a icecubes to Eskimos. Unfortunately, he is also very slick........he thinks he fooled us. He thinks he fooled us, his caseworker, the judge and his Mom. He was so good during his stay with us that the legal system cut him loose after only 6 months and we had hardly made a dent in that bullshit armor of his. And now, it's too late.
At this moment, Boy is sitting in a jail cell.....waiting.........waiting to find out what happens to a boy that is now a "man" and has caught gun, kidnapping, and drug charges. His good looks and easy charm are now a detriment to survival. His charges can bring a prison sentence of DECADES. He's 18.
I go back to summer school in about a week.......Boy has a poster project on mitosis and a poem about friends, hanging on my wall. They will have to come down to make room for the work of the next bunch of kids coming through the system......I won't be able to put the stuff in the trash.......too symbolic and hurtful. I'll just keep it in the portfolio in my home office........
Some things I've taught the boys:
How to tie a tie.
How to do the Twist.
How to calculate the cost of credit cards.
How to write thank-you cards.
How to pass a driver's ed. test.
How to say "Excuse me" instead of "move".
How to make hummus.
How to make an origami tulip.
How to tie a hook to a fishing line.
How the whole Shebang got started
In the beginning, there were two things. The One thing and the Nothing. And it was cool.
But then, the One thing began to resent the Nothing. This Nothing seemed to be everywhere. I mean, sure,..... it lacked mass and energy, but damn...this Nothing was just huge! Infinite, for Christ sakes! It finally reached a point where the One thing just couldn't take it anymore, and it began to expand.
Like all temper tantrums, this one began with a great commotion. We Dudeists call it "The Big Snit".
Once the dust and gamma radiation began to settle, the One thing came to a horrible realization. It may have become bigger, but it had done so by putting Nothing in between parts of itself. It cried "I'm not bigger,...... I'm full of Nothing!"
And thus, the universe and "The Great Nothing" were born.
The Birth of Humanity
Although it was still expanding, the One thing had had time to cool down and it began to take stock of the situation. "If I keep expanding like this, I'm going to end up as nothing! I gotta pull myself back together!" and soon the swirling dust bunnies of the cosmos began to form stars and the stars formed planets. And as any bio-physicist will tell you..."If you leave carbon hanging around with the other elements long enough.......Life happens"
Well, sure enough, Life happened. And it was cool. In fact, it was better than cool. It was chill.
And so, Life was chillin' for quite sometime. In fact, it was chillin' for billions of solar revolutions and then something remarkable happened. Life on Earth evolved into a form that began to question the nature of its existence.
And so, it came to pass that humans went forth upon the globe and were fruitful and it was most excellent. Things were pretty much casual and life was a "low to no stress" situation.
And then..... we found the 'weed of mental lassitude"....Now,..... we humans have had some experience with this "forbidden plant" shit before. Apples still make me blush and the "nudity thing" is a big part of the reason I still can't go back to Utah.
And so it came to pass that the "Great Nothing" used the Universal P.A. to warn his chosen ones to shun both the brown acid and this "weed of mental lassitude" for... "if any should partake of this plant, they will know what it is to be unwillingly sober!".
Well...it's not hard to guess what happened. Adam and Moonbow took the brown acid and then later smoked the "weed of mental lassitude" to calm their jangled senses. The next morning, tired, dirty and unwillingly sober; they were awakened by a stern voice from above....
"Hey! Get the Fu#k out my bean patch, ya friggin' hippies!"
And thus, thrown out of the garden,...... humanity began its endless cycle of birth, death and the search for the mellow buzz. And to this day, we earn our buzz by the sweat of our brow and mothers know the pain of a child that simply won't move out of the cellar and 'get a frickin' life!".
Previous PostsThe Importance of Being Hurl., posted November 10th, 2012, 6 comments
Feminism and Nasty Little Men., posted April 22nd, 2012, 14 comments
Wonderbread High, posted February 21st, 2012, 4 comments
They called me "G-Stacks.", posted January 17th, 2012, 6 comments
Lost boy 3, posted December 29th, 2011, 2 comments
Gingerbread Sagrada Familia, posted November 27th, 2011
How things change., posted November 24th, 2011, 2 comments
Lost boy 2, posted November 9th, 2011, 13 comments
Hurlalujah....we have a new Zen dudeist hymn!, posted September 25th, 2011, 2 comments
Hurl's Adult Veggie Tale, posted September 5th, 2011, 6 comments
Lost boy, posted July 2nd, 2011, 4 comments
Some things I've taught that weren't on the curriculum., posted May 4th, 2011, 8 comments
The New Zen Dudeist Bible, posted May 3rd, 2011, 7 comments
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