TEACHERS OF HISTORY
Now, if you’ll open your history books to chapter six. “The New World Holds Promise.” Begin reading where it says “Indians are gullible…”
Remember the days substitute teachers took over the classroom.
Was that fun or what?
The regular everyday teacher in grammar school - Mrs. Homely - Held the secret to a quiet classroom - Elmers Glue - If you got caught talking, you had a choice – paste or glue – Most of us picked paste cause it tasted better, and Mrs. Homely would glue our lips to our tongue. It was very effective. She pioneered many of the early experiments in child humiliation. The punishment always fit the crime. If you got caught passing notes she’d read it over the intercom and one time Jeff Bergowitz became the first boy in the sixth grade to be publicly chastised for liking a girl. The note she intercepted read, “Dear Julie, can I walk home with you after school?” Jeff Bergowitz was teased so badly that to this day, he claims it had a direct correlation to his current homosexuality.
Daddy, none of my other friends eat dinner together and watch Lassie movies…Are we dysfunctional? Oh God, we’re not Christian are we?
Remember how teachers hated it when you’d slam your wooden desk tops? About 6 or 7 of us boys knew just how much this contributed to the teacher’s migraine…
She’d tell us to get out our math books and before she could say, “quietly,” a fury of rapid fire cannon-like slams - as her eyes would roll back in her head and her hands would fumble for the middle drawer, where she kept the aspirin, the tums, and a small automatic -- We’d giggle behind our text books.
I am King Arthur... I am King Arthur... I am King...Arrrrggghhhhhh!!!
Okay, well maybe I'm really from the House of Windsor...But my cousin's cousin
was raped by a Royal... Don't need this sword anyway I have a gun permit...
Mrs. Homely wouldn’t stand for that, though - She pointed out how the design of the desk was similar to a guillotine - She put Roger Saltzman’s head inside and dropped the lid - Mrs. Homely invoked respect - The last kid who spoke during a History lesson is himself a History lesson. She said, “How can I conduct a constitution lecture while people are talking freely?!?”
One day, Mrs. Homely, who hadn’t been sick in 67 years, took a day off to do something she enjoyed. She had to attend a funeral.
I think you should destroy it before it's too late...
So, of course, we got that substitute teacher we’d been storing up all our deviant and anti-social behavior for…You name the mistreatment - spit-balls, rubber-bands, paper airplanes, food, disgusting noises… The laughter could’ve been canned and sent to Hollywood.
Mrs. Stiffskirt, who’s name alone sent the sixth grade into spastic guffaws, and who’s skirt really was stiff - Has been missing for nearly 20 years now, and I would like to confess she’s buried in the sand under the jungle jim.
A Cowardly New World
Was this the origin of the Indian’s peace pipe? Did they experienced similar reactions to this smoke?
"More firewater, Chief?"
"Mmm . . . No . . . You turn red man onto bottle, we turn whiteman onto pot."
The chief then pulled out a long, carved pipe and a stash box.
"That’s not a pot, that’s a pipe." Custer was square.
"It’s a peace pipe," the chief explained.
"Looks like the whole pipe to me, Chief — get it?"
"Pony soldier as funny as 200 lb. papoose,"
"Hey Chief . . . That’s the good stuff . . . we usually smoke the Mex with pale face." Wise Wolf was wise to everything.
"Wise Wolf right. This good stuff. Forty-five a quarter ounce," the chief admitted.
The chief lent a hand. "I light . . . you toke."
General Custer sucked in heavily.
"Hold it in." The chief instructed as the match bowed to the bowl.
Custer started coughing as smoke filled the air. "Wow!" he proclaimed.
The chief handed the pipe to the lieutenant. "You toke too, soldier."
Lieutenant smoked as if he’d done it thousands of times before. He held it in and then released the smoke in a direct line over his head like a true connoisseur. "Mmm . . . good smoke."
Wise Wolf was lying down with his hand over his mouth. He had had a bit too much to drink.
"I don’t feel too well," Wise Wolf groaned.
"Take it outside Wise Wolf." The chief didn’t have much sympathy when it came to holding his own while partying.
"Hey Chief, why do you call it a peacepipe?" Custer asked curiously.
The chief explained, "When my tribe is straight, we make war . . . when high, we make peace."
"Firewater works similar, only when you’re drunk, you can’t ride or shoot . . . so you make peace." Custer offered up some valuable information.
"I’ll keep that in mind." The chief wrote that down in a book called "Good War Ideas."
"Lieutenant, why don’t you make the chief here another drink? How ‘bout you Wise Wolf?"
Wise Wolf slapped his hand over his mouth and sat up. His cheeks puffed out.
"I’ll take that as a no."
"Should have told me you were coming Pony soldier . . . would have made more ice cubes." The chief was in a good mood.
The lieutenant turned to the other chief. "I was wondering about that Chief. How does an Indian make ice in this heat?"
"Clever," said the lieutenant.
"Don’t worry Chief, if we run out I’ll send one of my men to the Seven-Eleven store." Custer was always generous with his men.
Wise Wolf ran out of the teepee to throw up.
"Okay, you go Wise Wolf and bring me back a cherry Slurpy,"
"Seven-Eleven store? Whiteman work fast. How long they open?"
"A sun and a moon?"
"Ya know . . . you’ve got a way with words, Chief — I like that. A sun and a moon . . . You ever read any of Hathorne’s stuff?"
"Hiawatha wrote book?" The chief misunderstood.
"Fill another bowl, chief."
The chief filled another bowl, put it to his mouth, lit it, and inhaled. He passed it to General Custer.
"Needs a light." Custer smoked, but wasn’t getting anything.
The chief lit it for Custer.
"Hold it in now."
The lieutenant watched Custer take a long hit "Leave a hit for me, you reefer head...Sir."
"Whoa . . . what a head rush, what do you call this tobacco?" The general was feeling the effect.
"cincamean. It’s Indian. It means to visit far-off land and not leave teepee. Good buzz, huh?" "Good?!? I’m seeing lights and colors."
"Can you sell any, Chief?"
"Maybe a bud or two. What you give me for it?" The chief negotiated.
"How ‘bout $24.00 in trinkets?"
"This ain’t Manhattan, Pale Face, this kick-ass dope, not overcrowded island. How ‘bout one hundred firesticks."
"Sounds reasonable. What do you think General?" The lieutenant was an idiot.
General Custer reached out and grabbed a handful of nothing. "It’s like wow . . . the sky . . . the lights . . . the colors . . . Wow."
"He’s for it. It’s a deal, Chief."
"Gotta baggie?" The chief asked.
"No. But I think I’ve got a film container in my saddle bag."
The lieutenant fished through his saddle bag for a container.
"Hey . . . do you think the world is just a minor dimension in the vast horizons?" Custer was way out there.
"The lieutenant found what he was looking for and handed it to the chief.
He answered the general, "I don’t know, what do you think, Chief?"
"My personal theory stems from the air we breathe and the corn we eat," — a theory he applied to just about everything.
"Yeah, yeah, I can dig it. What do you think of the chief’s theory, General?"
"The geometric shapes." Custer was drawing rectangles in the air.
The chief looked at Custer like he was out of his mind, and then at Lieutenant.
"Is this guy for real?"
The lieutenant waved his hand in front of Custer’s face.
"Hey, General Custer!!" He snapped his fingers.
"Shouldn’t we discuss the Iron Horse with the chief?" The lieutenant nudged the general.
"Iron Horse?" Custer was lost.
"Iron Horse?" The chief smelled a rat.
"Er . . . General . . . You know . . . Choo-choo?!" The lieutenant nudged him again.
"All aboard!" The lieutenant continued to give hints.
"All aboard? All aboard what?" Custer and the chief cried in unison.
"The steam locomotive?!?" The lieutenant lost his patience and screamed at Custer.
"All right! What you guys up to? Steam loco-what?" The chief wanted to know.
"Motive, loc-o-mo-tive." The lieutenant sounded it out for the general.
The chief asked, "That what want to know . . . your crazy motives!"
"Oh . . . yeah . . . the steam locomotive . . . Why didn’t you just say so Lieutenant?" Custer was back from his journey beyond.
Custer explained, "Uh, Chief . . . we . . . uh, that is . . . the United States of America has plans to expand civilization from the east coast white foam across the prairies to the west coast to create a faster, safer way to reach L.A."
"Cut the fork tongue jive, Goldilocks, what do you want . . . my land?" The chief demanded they get to the point.
"Er . . . not all of it, at least not yet," Custer admitted.
"What do you want me to do? Pack up my teepees and wigwams so you can build a choo-choo?" Sure, it sounded silly.
"Yeah . . . that about covers it, wouldn’t you say General?"
"Yeah, that about covers it." Custer was happy.
Custer put his arm around the chief.
"So let’s get some sleep and you can tell your tribe in the morning."
The chief wasn’t quite up to speed. "Sleep . . . Tell my tribe in the morning . . . You guys are kidding, right?"
"Sorry, Chief, but we’re perfectly serious."
"Why do you need my land? Why not Geronimo’s or Sitting Bull’s?" The chief inquired.
"Oh, we don’t discriminate — we need theirs too."
"Why don’t you build around us?"
The lieutenant answered, "You see Chief, we expect major metropolitan areas to spring up all around the railroad. We couldn’t run the risk of having an Indian reservation in Times Square."
"Reservation? We have to call ahead?"
"Although, General, don’t you think they’d make a good tourist attraction?" The lieutenant liked his idea.
"We’ll have to check that out with the president,"
"President? What is President?"
"Democrat, unfortunately," Custer grumbled.
"No, General . . . The chief means, what is a president." It was a good thing the lieutenant was there to translate.
Custer tried to help. "Oh, well, he’s kind of . . . He’s . . . uh."
"He’s kind of like the chief of the United Tribe of America." The pony soldier was good with a phrase.
Custer was proud of his lieutenant. "That’s a good analogy, Lieutenant."
"How does one get to be president?"
"Probably the same way you got to be chief, Chief — we vote."
The chief shuddered at the word ‘vote’ and signaled to the lieutenant to keep his voice down, whispering to him, "What are you trying to do? Rock my canoe? I vote . . . That how I become chief." The chief believed in a dictatorship.
Custer started to get up. "Then it’s settled."
"What is settled?" The chief looked and sounded worried.
"It’s settled — that you will unsettle your little settlement and settle elsewhere. Does that settle right with you . . . settler?"
"What if I say no?"
"The consequences will be very unsettling."
"I thought we were friends."
"We are Chief. That’s why we want to let you know that unless you move . . . we’ll be forced to reevaluate our friendship."
"What the lieutenant means, Chief, is that if you don’t pack up your little town, we’re gonna burn it to the ground."
"That’s black mail, white man."
But we’d be tickled pink if red man would make like buffalo and roam."
"Somewhere where there’s seldom heard a discouraging word,"
"And the skies are not cloudy all day? I’ve heard the song." The chief was not amused.
Custer switched songs, "So face the music, Chief, you we’re born a Ramblin’ Man."
"What do the Allman Brothers have to do with anything?" the chief griped.
"You were Born to be Wild."
"Like Peter Fonda?" The chief liked Peter Fonda.
Sensing they were on to something, Custer continued, "That’s right . . . Head out on the highway."
"Looking for adventure." The lieutenant sung while playing air guitar.
"Whatever comes my way, huh?" The chief was losing ground.
"You got it Chief." They slapped the chief on his back.
The chief felt lost. "I don’t know. It doesn’t seem fair."
Custer was sympathetic. "I know what you mean, Chief. Some guys have all the luck. Look at you. You’re a freeman. You can pick up and move on at anytime. As for me . . . I have to await my next order before I can go to the latrine. Yes, indeed, I wish I had your mobility."
"Sorry, my parents are living in it in Florida." The chief thought he said ‘mobile home’.
"What the general means, Chief, is it must be nice to pull up a couple of stakes and move on. If I wanted to do that, I’d have to sublet my condo. What do you say, Chief, be a sport. Don’t cross the railroad."
"Let me think about it."
"Sure. Take all the time you want. But if you’re not gone by 7:00 AM, we’ll have to destroy your civilization as you know it.
TO BE CONTINUED....
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