Friday, January 18, 2008

OXFORD CONFIDENTIAL:
Of Mean-Ass, Downright Evil, High School Dictators, Fortresses of Suckitude, and Notes on a Wildshield


When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

- 1 Corinthians 13:11,
King James Version


This is a dude who, 700 years ago, totally ravaged China, and who we were told, two hours ago, like totally ravaged Ashman's Sporting Goods.

OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- I was fidgeting with my truck keys when I noticed the bright pink paper tucked into the windshield wipers.

Upon closer inspection, I realized that it wasn't a parking ticket. Instead, something slightly more disconcerting had been left by someone other than Oxford's dreaded Meter Nazis.

Someone had left me a note, complete with purple ink, smiley faces, and very girlie-girl handwriting. More appropriately, someone left a note that began with Dear Mr. _______ or Zenfo Pro and ended with Sincerely, Anon. - P.S. Don't get mad but I don't like email.

I'm used to getting emails and IMs from just about every social demographic in Southwestern Ohio. Since 2005, I've gotten notes - 97 percent electronically - from students, alumni and staff at most of the Tri-State's colleges and universities, various area residents, two social services folks, and even a few members of the armed forces serving overseas.

But notes from Local High School students are indeed rare.

Especially notes left on my windshield at nine o'clock in the evening, on a school night.

* * * *

Buried within the simple note, intertwined with the compliments and admonishments over my smoking, the reader had a request.

There is apparently a demonic, authoritative menace stalking the local teenage wasteland, a terror undocumented and neglected by my Hypertext record, one who crushes youthful dreams like soda cans and shatters mischievous hope like a cheap wine glass.

And she (I'm going to go out on a limb here and call the reader a she) wanted me to write something about it, to provide some sort of warning to future Local High School students, to cry out into the World Wide Web about injustice and intolerable cruelty.

A Local High School administrator, from what I'm told, apparently sucks. And given the fact that something about this administrator drove a kid to leave a note on a blogger's windshield, the educator - at least from the student perspective - must suck something fierce.

Sadly, without anything more to go on, besides the cry of suckitude, I cannot condemn a school official for sucking, no matter how much or how great the level of sucky-ness.

And, even if I could, I wouldn't use the sucker's real name, because, well, this sort of sucking isn't exactly outside of a skilled secondary educator's job description, has never been a crime or a misdemeanor.

* * * *

These sorts of things can't exactly be documented by a 29-year-old blogger, really - one who last dealt with sucky high school teachers in the Year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Six.

By high school standards, I'm, well, ancient, a relic of that Gen-X Paleolithic Era, a fossil from a time when Dinosaur Jr. walked the earth, flannel was the trendiest of trendy loin cloth, back when Nirvana was achieved by smelling the air for teen spirit.

Yes, I come from a late 1990s Ice Age, one filled with cop-killing, O.G. pimp pterodactyls and Amerikkka's Most Wanted reptiles, a barbaric time when we all sipped on Gin and Juice and did it Doggystyle while smoking a time-wasting herb nicknamed, appropriately enough, The Chronic.

And, for the record, 99.7 percent of my high school's administrators sucked some serious, deep, unwashed ass. The three-tenths of a percentage point? Well, those were the ones who managed to drill something into my juvenile delinquent, often booze- and narcotic- filled, skull.

I can't even remember the exact number of days I logged in detention or solitary in- and out-of-school suspension, but I do know that I spent a few weeks, easily, trapped in various crusty, vomit colored rooms, surrounded by my fellow inmates.

I'm fairly certain - to this day - that my high school's senior disciplinarians became sexually aroused by the amount of senseless, sucky-ass punishment they doled out like vengeful dominatrices. Yes, they were mean and evil and wretched, human bird shit splashed atop the forehead of youth.

Despite their best efforts and in spite of myself, I survived. In some ways, it made me a stronger, better person. And in other ways, I became more stubborn, more devious and snide and sarcastic.

Not that I'd ever thank my own mean, sucking teachers. Some are dead; most I'll never see ever again. But I did, over time, learn to appreciate their place within the American teenage wasteland. Without those who are intolerable, without those totalitarian educators who make lives hell sometimes, the whole individual high school experience would be, well, boring as fucking shit.

And, hell, I think I turned out okay...

Sorta.

* * * *

"I'll be in front of the movie theater, k?

"The... no ... the MOVIE THEATER, okay? God... Yeah... I will ... Yeah... K, bye."


A Local High School kid stared at me as if I were some ancient, alien menace.

I'd been, well, just holding up a city trashcan, smoking a cigarette outside of a coffee shop when she crossed the street, furiously texting and then chattering into her cell phone.

Two days removed from reading - and then shredding - my mystery correspondent's note, I decided to go hang out at the same place, guarding the same lonely trashcan, that the reader claimed she'd witnessed me doing all summer. Maybe she'd spot me again, stop and say hi, or offer some insight into the terror that apparently is the Local High School's administration?

Maybe this was my mystery tipster?

And this one teen stopped, for no obvious reason, less than five feet from me, just stared. So I did what every mature adult does in such situations - I stared back, made a face.

For a split second, I thought she may, indeed, be my victim of Local High School suckitude.

Another Local High School kid ran up and tugged at Miss Cell Phone's jacket.

"Oh my God," her friend whispered. "That guy... is like... so, like, creepy. Seriously."

Wow. Now that's embarrassing.

I stopped trying to figure out what, exactly, was creepy about me, because, well, the only scenarios I could think of, with my adult mind, were creeping me out. I went back to staring off into space, and the two girls went back to their conversation.

" C'mon! ____'s over there and he's not with her anymore! OH MY Gaaawd! Now's... your ... chance!"

The pair scurried back across the street, towards the long line outside of the theater's box office. Dozens of Local High School kids were waiting there, chatting on cell phones and whispering and staring and giggling at unknown fart jokes...

And for some reason, I suddenly remembered what that was like, what it felt like to be just a devious, pubescent pirate, coasting towards the eventual thrill-killing oblivion of adulthood, without so much as a care beyond the next weekend kegger, the next exam or the next smoked joint in the bathroom.

I stared at my cigarette and remembered what it was like to have mean-ass teachers step in front of my own youthfully awkward, too-damned-fun, train wreck.

And suddenly I wanted to write about how much, well, some educators...

How much...

... Some educators, including myself, just...like ...

... Like, totally suck some seriously mean ass, like, sometimes, like, when you're young and stuff...

Like, you know?

- # # # -

9 comments:

librarianwoes said...

You better be careful Jason. You're approaching relevancy with the wise and learned restraint you've demonstrated here. If the local children "see" what you have to say, they might actually learn something. :-)

Kids...

Anonymous said...

I just have to say that having graduated from Talawanda (Yeah Braves!), you're a much better influence on high schoolers than the college kids. I graduated in 03. And yep, we do have a history of bitchy mean teachers.

Love the blog. Keep it up.

Cooper said...

They suck some serious mean, ass like ya know, I mean sometimes, in grad school, like sometimes ya know, too.


Nothing like being stalked by the local highschool cheerleaders.

Cat. said...

"Oh my God. That guy... is like... so, like, creepy. Seriously."

I am DYING...welcome to the beginning of middle age. At least they still NOTICE you!! I'm officially invisible most of the time. You are now, officially, a Creep.

...this will keep me giggling all day...possibly because I spent the night with 8 teenage girls last night...

Curiosity Killer said...

Like, from what I remember, like, high school was totally fun, like, when you're stoned throughout, like, y'know?

Coyote Mike said...

Oh, God, high-school flashback! Did you get caught in the New Country craze? Line dancing at the Prom. Or were you a Bevis and Butthead fan? I am the great Cornholio!Or were you more the Pearl Jam type?

Ahh, the mid-90s. Marilynn Manson was new, nobody had an e-mail address or a cell phone, DOOM was the height of digital-game design, and nobody had ever heard of the word "Emo."

Those were good days :P

The ZenFo Pro said...

Woe:
Lol, wise restraint comes with having a blog reader know what your pickup looks like ;)

Anon:
You know, I don't know what it is, but I know more Talawanda alums from your era, offline, than I do non-Talawanda grads in this town...

Oh wait! I live here. Lol. Ya'll are some cool folks :) Not just saying that because of the compliment either.

Yeah, every school has its evil teachers.

Coop:
Heh, don't you know yet that to teach grad school, one must be born without a soul?


Cat:
Lol, I get noticed because, well, I'm one weird-ass cat. And, lol, the realization that, well, if I were a parent, I would seriously be concerned if my high schooler were reading this blog, kinda, almost makes me want to self-censor a bit better.

Eight?!?! I'm so sorry. How many Zac Efron posters were injured in that gathering? ;)

Killer:
Well, sorta fun. I still barely remember much of 1995 or 1996, my senior year. Plus, there's the senseless cartoon violence I both participated in and was the recipient of.

As for narcotics, well, my nose, tongue, and lungs have seen it all :)

Mike:
New Country? My God! No! But I had friends who did and there are now married folks with children who I can blackmail with pictures of boot-scootin', achy-breaky boogies.

I played in a punk band who's future was deemed "sold-out," thanks to bands like Green Day (Oh I remember how a Dookie-era shirt was enough to get a guy stomped...) so I listened to a lot of stuff - mostly hip-hop and hardcore, anything I could use to motivate to a good shakedown at my town's local colleges, or that went well with MD 20/20 and malt liquor....

Lol, I should have "Hippies Break Easy" tattooed on my body somewhere by now, now that I think about it. I probably made more money serving as a "collection agency" for other, less desirable entrepreneurs than I think I've made as an adult...

Heh. Hehehe....

I need teepee for my bunghole. Do you have teepee?

Heh. Heheh. Huh.

Angel, librarian and educator said...

I laughed at the creepy guy line. How could one not? You set the story up to that point so well. And your first commenter is right. Beware, those kids might learn something. As for me, if the 90's were the Ice Age, the 80s must be the primeval slime or something like that?

Best, and keep on blogging.

Steph said...

My God your blog demographic is insane! You're a celebrity! Teenage girls stalking you now? lol.