When a first or second grade class starts to get out of line you can clap your hands a few times and ask, “ Ok , now, what grade are we in here?” The children will look at you with wide-eyed innocent surprise and declare with obvious pride and in a resounding voice of achievement, “Second grade!” No matter what adult irony, sarcasm, or reprimand you had in mind when you posed your rhetorical class management question, unless you are a total miscreant, you have to drop it and be immediately recruited into their innocent world and respond to it appropriately. That’s right! And what do second graders do when the teacher says we’re getting too loud? That’s right! Very good. You are definitely second graders! Way to go!

It would be useless to try to use irony on children this young. They are not developmentally capable of responding to such adult foils. Some people are not capable of responding to irony even onto their old age death beds. That would be a cruel time to test to see if they had finally been able to develop a sufficient response to irony. Imagine the cruelty you would be contributing to if indeed they had by this too late date finally developed a response. The stark terror they would feel when they have finally realized at this much too late moment how much of the black spice of life they had missed or so many years. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy if I had one.

Now, some people assert that using sarcasm towards children is a sign of a truly deficient human being. I would certainly agree. Children have plenty of time to recognize and learn to either appropriately or inappropriately respond to end-of-innocence sarcasm. They will find their own way into this adult character defect in their own time.  Why hurry things. There is a useful developmental period for the nurturing of innocence.  Many people would say that using sarcasm towards anybody of any age is a sign of deficient character and moral formation. Perhaps. However, this is not a proposition that one of clearly marked character deficiency and notably fragmented psychological integration such as I would care to entertain. In fact, I could easily give you three single spaced pages of very broken French on the immense jollies I get being sarcastic with purported adults; character and decency be damned. Character and decency carry such bourgeois coloration, anyway.

Appropriate and judicious reprimand can surely be allowed for people of any age. Everyone needs their ears pulled or leash jerked every once in a while. In fact, I appreciate it when I am on the receiving end of judicious reprimand.  I find it has a bracing character building quality and, as I have said, I can use all the character building I can get. I need no contribution to my sarcasm and my irony.

If one has been around children long enough one soon realizes that the answer to the  rhetorical class management question of ,”Hey! What grade are we in here, anyway?” quickly changes after the second grade. Children of eight and above immediately recognize the sarcasm and Jimmy Cagney grapefruit in the face quality loaded into the question and they respond to it with the appropriate pique and resentment. This response increases with age. The question definitely doesn’t get the response you want but, that’s really not something you really give a shit about at this stage of personality development unless of course you  are a person of higher character and psychological integration than I.  Don’t crow.  It’s not that big an achievement.

If you want to feel the grand prize of pique and resentment at the question, “Hey! What grade are we in here, anyway?”, address it to an ardent Obot. You want to make sure that your sarcasm can easily carry a toxic waste warning label and you want to make sure that your reprimand has the quality of a good solid two by four thrashing.  Man, talk about some frosted asses! But…you get to feel the high only available to ones willing to occupy the lower rungs of character development and psychological integration.  Come on down!

The greatest difficulty one still faces with adults is when you run into the rare adult that still manifest and responds to the world as if they were still second graders. This is a real problem. I am talking about people with the political intelligence of second graders and still uphold a second grade innocence in their worldly presence. I could build a good case that innocence should be protected no matter at what stage of life it is encountered. Some people seem to be following an enchanted developmental path. The difficulty is recognizing who these people are before you transgress their innocence. Now, of course, those who still have second grade intelligence but present themselves as possessing wisdom. I am repeating myself. You just wail away with that two by four with no mercy.

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Voting Instructions 2012


Unless there is some intervening cataclysmic event, we can agree that it will be either Obomney or Rombama in 2012, yes?  I realize that many of you will take umbrage at my glib use of the above name corruptions.  There is only so much I can do to restrain my punk nature in some forced attempt to assuage easily offended sensibilities. Surely, you can put up with my one concession to my favorite character defect, inveterate High School punkdom, just this once. I will be observing the dictates of adult social decorum for the rest of this appeal  to you that you try to use the questions I pose below to disabuse yourselves, if only just for a moment, of all your notions of the differences between Obama and Romney even if you are far enough along to subscribe to the notion of LOTE (lesser-of-two-evils). I am asserting that these notions are dangerous to you and our country. Entertaining them is nothing other than placing hope and prayer into dangerously contaminated turning vessels on a very loose axis.  No amount of frantic spinning and chanting will expel the contaminated hex or straighten the wobbly spin. This long stretch for hope is empty and without foundation. It is a primitive incantation wafting out of some unconscious recess of your minds. This unfounded hope or change is at best  the result of a woeful lack of information and understanding for whatever reasons regarding the current state of affairs.


Try to be as rational and objective as you are able to be in assessing the following questions. Try to get over any resistance or resentment you may feel in knowing that these questions are coming from me, the incorrigible, unsupportable punk.  I know I have done much in the past year to goad, prick, and irritate you and your resentment may be well warranted. Try to get over it.  There….you see…the spots on the leopard. The questions:


In the next four years will there be any, I mean ANY, change in:


A-     The continuous mathematically certain ruinous and near insane printing of endless container loads of electronic fiat money to bail out an utterly and completely and irreversibly insolvent private international banking cartel? This is a process that guarantees a catastrophic devaluation of whatever savings or assets you may have accumulated. All questions of tweeking Social Security will vanish and become less than moot or academic even if events allowed you the luxury of such parlor ruminations.  You will have no financial future or a society you would willingly want to live in. You will have needed to accumulate a substantial amount of assets to allow yourself to live your current disconnected lifestyle with an asset devaluation of up to 70%.


B-      The mitigation, not the prevention, of the catastrophic results of climate change that have ALREADY manifested and continue to grow. The consequences of these changes on our lives that are already on line are unimaginable in the devastating effects that they will have in that quickly blurring area between deadly present and catastrophic future.


C-      Any reversal of the domination of fossil fuels to meet our energy needs and the environmental and geo-political calamities that unavoidably accompany these policies. Any chance of preventing a nuclear solution? How clean can coal get?


D-     The chances for the ONLY program that can in any meaningful way save us from certain health care disaster that is ALREADY happening and can only grow worse. This program is single payer, universal coverage.  It is a program that is utilized by EVERY other civilized, advanced industrial nation with changes made to conform to individual country needs.


E-      The continuous expansion of economically ruinous, criminally violent, immoral, aggressive, illegal and clearly imperial military bullying, adventurism, wanton slaughter, and the complete disdain of the rights of other countries to utilize and develop their resources as they see fit and develop political systems that reflect their historical and cultural conditions.


F-      Any reversal whatsoever of the devastating economic effects of neo-liberal trade policies and the direct, incontrovertible effect they have on all your unfounded hopes of “turning the corner” on recession


G-     The continuous trashing of the law of our land, The Constitution.


H-     Etc., etc., etc., through “Z” and beyond. Questions so, so very easy to formulate.




“A” through “G” above is what Obama, not Congress, not un-cooperative Republicans, but Obama, the object of your endless and misguided infatuation, has  already done, is continuing to do, and has just as well promised to continue to do. These are manifest, clearly proven realities beyond debate, quibbling or piqued and pouty protestations. Romney will continue these policies. These policies are DICTATED by the puppet masters of both these puppets. The masters show all the conventional skills and attributes of mastery.  You have NO say in the implementation or reversal of these policies. To think that you do under the current system is a delusion of the highest order. I am sure that many of you hold the last few statements as manifestations of a paranoid and obviously disjointed view of our polity and your understanding of it.


You may want to assert at this point that the above is not the whole picture of nearly four years of Obama. What about his achievements? Clearly there has been some temporary relief for relatively narrow strata of the population. However, I am confident that if you do an honest assessment of even the “crowning achievements” of the Obama administration like:  Obama Care, TARP, auto industry “rescue”, student loan relief, the JOBS program, to name some of the more highly touted “achievements”, you will find that they are not nearly the “achievements” they are touted to be. In fact, many of them actually present worse solutions than the original problems they were supposed to address or solve. Some are filled with such obvious deceit and obfuscation. This deceit has been pointed out by commentators much more informed and competent than I. I also wager that it is the very rare Obama supporter that has actually looked into and objectively assessed Obama’s achievements to the extent that “should” be expected of any reasonably intelligent non-expert citizen. I am always left with the impression that Obama support ranges from smug, self-serving, to desperate attempts at grasping for straws for bolstering some personal psychological need to continue to support Obama or bask in whatever fictitious light of comfort his mythic halo emanates.


There was and probably still is this easy inclination to label as fully sprouted fringe fruitcakes people who question the ability of our country to continue into 2016 on its present course and succeed in any way to resemble the country to which we have become accustomed. I suspect that there is a growing  doubt of our ability to survive into 2016 is gaining amongst the citizenry, especially the millions who are RIGHT NOW living in the midst of a full blown  devastating( at least to THEM) Depression and have been living in the thick of this unabating storm for the past four years or longer totally and purposefully hidden from our awareness. The “awareness” you develop on you cushions or wherever else you attempt to develop it cannot be divorced from this first civic obligation of awareness.


No matter who gets elected in 2012 you can be more than reasonably assured that for the next four years, at least,  you will be able to marry whomever you want, take whatever contraceptive measures you choose, and take any intervention you decide. The political and legislative realities of our country virtually guarantee these rights…at least for the next four years. We, I believe, are not that bonkers as a country in such a close to the bone, “your ass”, way. I am sure that plenty of tea baggers and right wing wacko women have taken these measures and will want to continue taking these measures. Biology and body know no ideology or religion no matter how down-home, lofty and hypocritical protestations and moralizations to the contrary and, there are way too few of us who can be swayed by ethereal, Scholastic, theological convolutions of mind. Not an issue.


There can never be any real changes for the better in our country as long as the overwhelming voting majority subscribe to and enroll in this macabre Jonestown suicide pact the two party corporate duopoly has been asking you to sign up for for years. How successful they are  in their recruitment drive has been something that has bewildered me for years. What will you do, if you are that lucky to make it to 2016? Go through this tragedy AGAIN!! hoping to make it to 2020?  I think there is only so much cosmic luck available to any country. How far are you willing to push it? You just may need some for later. There are no easy solutions. However, there ARE solutions.


2012 is a done deal. It’s in the trolley basket(case) rolling at a fast clip downhill. It doesn’t matter who wins.  The velocity of the descent is much too fast and the bottom of the hill is rising to meet us much too quickly.  To realize this in 2016 will be too late. You need to act NOW. Find a third party candidate that most closely reflects your values and appeals to your intuitions of decency and integrity and vote for him or her. There are some eminently sane and honorable third party candidates with strong party platforms. However, they will not win. As I said, 2012 is already a done deal. However, if enough people vote third party it will be a clear signal to the powers that be that their gig is up.  That you are hip to the suicide pact they want you to sign up for. If enough people vote third party it will delegitimize the ongoing two party corporate heist of our country. Enough people voting third party in 2012 means there is some chance of winning in 2016. It has to be done now. There is NO other choice. 2016 will be too late. The country is swirling faster and faster in the toilet bowl of its own destruction. Obama, Romney, Clinton ( both of them) are characters who through their own personal defects and life stories have been caught up and enmeshed in  a classic Greek tragedy of hubris much bigger than they are capable of understanding. This is the nature of such colossal hubris and ambition. Unfortunately, it is not their tragedy. It is ours. We bought tickets for this tragedy, took our seats in the marbled arena, suspended all rationality and disbelief and willingly painted our faces and intoned in the chorus. Curtain time. Time to untrance. Vote third party.


Disclaimer:  I have never been this pessimistic. I am very clear that voting third party or getting even the “right” third party candidate elected is not the solution.  All this hoped for event can possibly accomplish is to as clearly as possible delineate the nature of the real problems and bring into the foreground the power relationships that perpetuate our past and current dilemma. The solution is pedagogy. Developing a pedagogy of critical political consciousness in as many people as possible. A pedagogy of freedom. Of course, this is not my idea. It will have to be the subject of another at best reluctantly read post.  Hasta siempre la Vitoria. Venceremos! If you’ve read this far post “white toro” on my fb wall. Thanks. And…please feel no obligation or com(punk)tion to do so. Don’t worry. My self-esteem is way functioning. A requirement of the Punk Faction. Right Arm! Power to the People.  This means YOU!


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Blue Cheese Cake

Blue cheese cake? I hope you are not conjuring up images of some Jelloed trailer trash monstrosity. The blue in this cheese cake is nothing short of aristocratic blue blood.  This is a desert that could easily be served at the Czar’s Court .As far as I know it is original.  I came up with the idea probably one Winter evening dozing off on the floor in front of a fire place after a sumptuous dinner with friends. This is not a desert you would want to prepare with any meal which featured cold vichyssoise as a  starting course. It is purely a fireplace and port desert. Right now, precisely, I am thinking that a standing mutton (lamb in a very long pinch) roast with mutton fat roasted rosemary potatoes,  chestnut honey glazed Brussels sprouts with toasted walnut pieces would be a good accompanying meal for this heavy, blue blood desert. The accompanying wine would, of course, be a big leggy red.

As with all my recipes I don’t give quantities. The concept and the envisioning of the final result is always the thing.  On Rodeo Drive I would be called a “high concept” cook.  Always remember, a good cook cooks with the senses…all six of them.  We don’t cook with measuring instruments.  That would be like asking someone how much their imagination weighed.  Everything takes place in the mind… only what first arises in the mind can manifest in reality. Never throw your mind into a cookbook when you cook. What comes out is always good if you pay attention and put yourself into the natural turns of the mind. You need to develop the practice of infusing your cooking with Rinzai authority and playful decisiveness. Whack!  No heavy shit or forehead wrinkling in the kitchen.  No heavy shit anywhere, for that matter.  Except maybe for Congressional hearings on impeachment of Obama for high treason. Even there I would prefer that all attendees wore Groucho Glasses. Heaviness would almost invariably steers us wrong and gives the imputed way too much unearned gravitas. If you need to be heavy go out and dig in the yard or garden and cook on another day or wash your harvest and cook ‘em up once you’ve ascertained that you’ve shed your unnecessary heaviness. And in case you haven’t noticed, a good cook should easily be able to keep her mind on a few disparate things at a time.

This blue-blood cake calls for a soured cream cheese as a moderately assertive but not too sweet background in which everything happens.  You prepare the cheese like you would in any cheese cake.  Go look it up.  Do something useful with your time.  Now, comes the “concept” part one.  I first thought a fresh, non-aged, creamy gorgonzola was what I would use with the cream cheese. That worked in my mind for about two years.  I subsequently switched to a drier aged gorgonzola.  Today I am thinking of a good aged Cabrales.  Whatever cheese you choose, get in your mind the right mould sharpness of the blue cheesey twang you want to feel on your taste buds and work that amount of cheese into the soured cream cheese.  I settled on a nice oak wrapped Cabrales because of its pronounced assertiveness.  Just a little bit would suffice for the twang that should come out of the sweetish cream cheese background. Do you get it?

This is “concept” party two.  Previously I was going to use just any ole commercial walnut in the shell.  However, this year during a walk in the Salerno hills I found a stash of wild walnuts that were still encased in their husks.  The husks had by now turned to a dark brown leather.  When I rubbed off the leather husk I came to the dry dark shell underneath.  Commercial walnuts you know have a clear shiny shell.  These guys were a dark earthy color with black veining.  It was the first time I had ever encountered wild walnuts. The walnut meat is decidedly different from the cultivated variety.  It is difficult to explain. The meat doesn’t quite have that slightly bitter edge of cultivated walnuts yet it still holds plenty of walnut flavor.  The meat is more moist than the meat of the cultivated variety and when you bite into it the your teeth more slice than crunch the meat.

Chop the meats up into a fine Almond Roca size almond crumble and work in some creamed butter to give it some sticking power.  Line a cheese cake pan with this walnut crumble.  Pour in the cheese mix. Bake. Galze with a thick homemade fig confit thinned with a little Schliwowitz. Let the glaze firm up and thicken as the cake cools in the fridge.  Sit by a fireplace and cut and serve to your guests. Any good after dinner liqueur will do.  Armagnac would be primo.

Your first Michelin Star should arrive in the mail pretty soon once the word gets out. No need to give me any credit.  I come up with this shit all the time.

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Off of Obama and Off of Facebook


White Shark Gianni, my tech guy, said it would be better to have an entry in each folder in order to ensure a “safe launch” for my blog. He knows best. Ok, here’s some filler.

I want Obama dumped so I can get back to my Trivial Pursuits. I have said so many times that once he’s out things only get much worse but, at least once he’s out there is no more camouflage to hide what’s really going on and what is going to be rammed into us at warp speed. There will no longer exist this perceived necessity to wake the babies in the nursery.  All the tools for the ruthless suppression of the people will have all already been put in place.  The willful lobotomy of Obama acolytes will be over. The lines will be clearly drawn in the sand and the blood can then show up quickly for all to see and all big boys and girls will have to stand on one side of that line or another.

There will be enough people out then to do the real work, the heavy lifting, and crowd control.  Coalitions will be formed. An effective opposition will form.  Soetoro will have served his essential purpose which was none other than neutralize nearly all opposition from the usual gaggle of liberal morons.  Obama will be dumped and the gloves will come off. I have never fooled myself into thinking that I could do anything of real value to get Obama so deservedly bumped. I told a dear friend more than a year ago that I was stupefied by the lack of any meaningful, organized resistance to Obama.  I told him that if I were in the States I would be doing everything could to get Obama dumped and that I would be looking for any viable way to help organize a third party opposition. Living in Ital,y organization work didn’t seem likely, though I did volunteer to do whatever I could to volunteer from this side for what seemed to be a promising October 12 Movement which turned out to be the usual “left wing/progressive” piss fizzle in less than a week. In every alternative forum I visited there were already plenty of people articulately posting on the positions I held.  The only remaining forum I had available to me was my then 39 friend facebook list out of whom 35 seemed to be politically clueless.  I knew it would be an exercise in futility from the outset that would only expose me for the fringe denizen that I am.  However, I could not not do my “Obama thing” and then go back to my Trivial Pursuits with a clear conscience. My pursuits take up all my time and this whole Obama “thing” was proving to be a major energy drain…

B.B.,i.e., Before Obama,I used to get up at 4:30 to brush my teeth, put some water on my face, and have a cup of tea.  I would then do my morning sit of an hour. After sitting I would warm my breakfast and sit down at my desk to eat it while looking out the window to get my first dose of necessary daily space out time. Then I would find some piece of Japanese and read for up to an hour as I have done for nearly 50 years now. Even when I was drafted into the Italian Army in my early twenties I got at least fifteen minutes of daily Japanese reading in. After breakfast I would take my morning dump. By this time my energy was again dense enough to do my 90 minutes of morning qi gung. It would seem logical to do qi gung right after the morning sit but, for me I feel this need to bring my energy down quite  bit after the open sky of sitting. After the qi gung my energy is at a more grounded place which is much different than the heightened expanse of awareness I feel after sitting.  Sitting energy is an energy that I need to come down from in order to get into the work-a-day world and qi gung energy prepares me very well for this. This is my early morning routine.

After qi gung I would mentally survey my daily chores after which I would go out and do my daily shopping to see what was going on in the neighborhood. Depending on what I was planning to cook for lunch, the main Italian meal, I would either start right away or get in an hour of reading before I started. Before lunch I would usually get in from half an hour to an hour of more free reading time. After lunch at 12:30 I would sit down at my desk again for my second dose of necessary staring out the window space out time. I would do this spacing out with my daily 2 oz. of whatever he curren ethanol spirit mix I was working on, e.g., bitter walnut liquer and grappa mix, my triple shot of espresso, 7 walnuts, a good plug of 70%+ cacao chocolate and 4-6 dried figs, depending on the size. Sometimes I would cheat a little on the spirits. After this nice little post lunch space out I would take a 90 minute nap. That was my post-morning, after lunch routine.

After my nap I would do 30 minutes of standing qi gung to come back to earth after my nap. Then I would go to my calligraphy area and do an hour of brush practice. After brush practice I would study either Mandarin or Cantonese for 90 minutes. Then I would find some other way to space out again for about 30 minutes after which I would do 90 minutes of tai ji. The rest of the day till my pre-bed sit of 30 minutes at 10:30 I would spend checking out various foreign TV stations from my satellite dish. Central China TV English Broadcast was my favorite.  I would follow this routine Monday through Friday.  This goddamn Obama thing was a complete and total bummer. Enough! I have more or less been back to my routine for a little over a week now and my energy levels are up and my weight is going down noticeably again. Fuck Obama!

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Very Non-Chronological Sub Story #1


The elementary school is in a shop-at-the-co-op white neighborhood. It has the reputation of being one of the top schools in the district. I have a two day fourth grade assignment because the regular call-in sub was not available. These kind of schools ALWAYS have regular call in subs and…the District KNOWS that they can depend on Mr. A  to read the lay of the land pronto and not fuck things up so they give their old stand-by this peachy assignment.  I walk into the assigned class room and know immediately that this is for sure a top school. There are: creative, very detailed and colorful bulletin boards.  A reading corner with rug, couch, lots of pillows, lots of books neatly arranged in finished wooden bookcases.  Healthy green plants on all window sills.  Student work on walls.  All kinds of stuff hanging from the ceiling. Aquarium with live fish, vibrant aquatic plants, and clean bubbly water. Desks neatly lined up. Teacher’s desk neat.  Detailed lesson plans. Note with, “Please help yourself to the electric tea pot. Tea  bags in bottom right drawer. Hope you find something you like.  Please enjoy my kids.  They are fantastic”. Nice!

The bell rings and the kids start filing into the room from preschool recess. A lot of the kids look Korean and later when I look at the class roster my initial recconnaisance is confirmed. Another confirmation that this is indeed a top school. Koreans parents aren’t dummies when it comes to the education of their kids and they choose their schools wisely. I “know” these white kids. Their parents are the NPR/Seinfeld yadyda crowd.  Now, you ask how are you going to confirm this observation, Bucko?  It’s just an initial recon observation. Required tools of the trade for a tropical shirt, flip flop special ops sub. Ok, no sweat, I got this class down.

Good morning, boys and girls. Ms.Q said the first thing I needed to do is ask Hee Sung to lead the class in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Hey, what’s your name? Why, did I do something wrong?  The students look at each other with the expected what duh fuck look I wanted from them.  Just like my special ops jungle training told me they would. Well, no!  The first thing all the subs do is write their name on the board.  Oh, sure.  You think I’m going to fall for that one, huh?  That way some smarty pants is going to copy it down and they’ll have my name spelled right on the police report.  No way.  This is working just like I want it to. Then a little girl says in all earnestness that it’s just not right that they don’t know my name.  Now, you can’t argue with that unless you are a real child abuser; plus she has such an innocent, pleading look on her face.  OK. You’re right.  It’s not fair that you don’t know my name. I’m going to tell you what my name is even though I know I am going to be humiliated and suffer for having done so. Now, they are really wondering who IS this guy. I am going to tell you my name,OK, but You have to promise me that when I tell you my name you will not laugh and make me suffer.  What do you mean! I mean NOT laugh. Why would we laugh?  Well, they always do and I always suffer. Oh, yes, they’re going just where I want them to. We promise we won’t laugh.  Promise?  Yes.  The whole class? Yes. Promise for real? Yes!  OK. My name is Mr. Greenfart. I can see it.  They are trying to hold it in. They are struggling.  Really struggling.  The tension is getting to them. Finally some kid just can’t hold it in anymore and futilely tries to stifle a guffaw.  The class loses it. I turn to the wall and start “sobbing”. Then I turn around….SURPRISE.  I write my name on the board.  ANTONUCCI. Mr. A.  This class is in my pocket for two days.  Special ops sub strikes again.  Don’t mess.

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Non Chronological Sub Story # Whatever

Non Chronological Sub Story # Whatever

I once worked with this mixed-race troubled kid in a program set up maybe, let’s say, for the third most troubled kids in the Seattle School District.  I had also worked a lot in programs one and two, just to let you know. Anyway, I started working with Q when he was barely 12. One day the skirts (i.e. as in “suits” ) came in and told me that I would have to sit in on an IEP meeting the next day with the skirts, the head shrink of the district and Q’s Aunt who was the legal guardian of record.  I had to attend the meeting because I was the teacher of record and that was the rule for this kind of IEP or it couldn’t be held.  I felt the skirts would rather not have me attend the IEP meeting because, well, yeah, I’m a loose cannon. However, rules were rules and Auntie could protest the meeting if all the rules weren’t followed and by this time I am sure that the skirts knew goddamn well that if they tried to pull a switcheroo on me Q would eventually spill the beans and they would be in a whole passel of trouble. Skirts and head shrinks don’t like trouble. Their number one job in their professional life is to avoid trouble at all cost. The skirts made it clear I was there only to observe and I was not to open my mouth ( actually they said offer any comments) unless I was clearly and directly asked a question. Furthermore, I was to act completely normally with Auntie. This was crucial. What the fuck did they mean by this?

The next morning I walked into the IEP meeting room a little late. All the characters were already seated at the table.  I apologized for my couple of minutes delay. The excuse was accepted graciously, as I am such a charmer and hustler and I was introduced to head shrink and Auntie. Oh, now I get it. Auntie was not “really” an Auntie. In some books Auntie would be accused of perpetrating an immoral hoax on Q.  In my book Auntie was Ms.Q as she was introduced to me. Nice to meet you.

The meeting started. Usual boiler plate crappola that went on for about twenty minutes. I listened to and observed Auntie very carefully and I concluded that with Auntie as the legal guardian of record Q had a fighting chance of making it. The meeting was one second from being concluded.  Not a word was addressed to me. Duh. Then Auntie looks directly at me and says very clearly and distinctly, “Mr. Antonucci, what do you think about all this?”.  Oh, my god, I could just see the alarm bells going off.  This is the stuff I live for. Well, Ms. Q, you have to realize that I am not a professional and have had very little training in most of the matters that were discussed today, so whatever I say carries very little weight if it carries any weight at all. Hell, what do they want?  I just cut them about 3 clicks of slack. I got in the first three minutes of the meeting that Auntie was totally street smart and most definitely had her shit together. She was definitely not a lady you wanted to fuck around with. Ms. Q, I think Q definitely has some real behavioral issues he needs to work through but I don’t think they are quite as serious as they have been presented today and this sense, because that is all it is, is further confirmed from what I observed today. Auntie gives me  big smile and I am sure head shrink and the two skirts took major liquid dumps in their pants.

Unless I run out of things to trumpet on about in my blog, I will skip the countless daily interactions I had with Q for the next few months. I will tell you of just one. One day Q and I were playing this game where two people face a wall from about six feet out. One person bounces a big recess ball off the wall and tries to retrieve it without an interception from player two.  Q (just then I keyed in his real name!) was twelve and I was probably 53 and I was kicking his ass in this game and he went into his whiny belligerent routine. I told him to cut that shit out. Look, you are a little twelve year old punk who is three times faster than me, more coordinated than me and 41 years younger too boot. There is no way in hell I am going to cut you any slack. Your ball.  He slams it defiantly against the wall and as he goes for it I give a 260 pound hip butt to his little ass. He slams against the wall and collapses on his back. Oh, shit! I just lost my job ( I think again but so far so good…and till my last day in the District) . You OK? He lays there on the ground on his back and starts laughing and laughing and says Mr.A. you are really one crazy motherfucker. Permanent contact.

The next time I see Q I am substituting in a regular high school. There is this good looking kid in a letter jacket with two girls hooked in his arms walking past my door.  These kids are supposed to have been in class fifteen minutes ago.  I get right away these three are probably among the major school punks.  The good looking big dude football player looks at me as he walks by my door and gives me a big smile and runs into my room to give me a big hug. He tells the class listen you dogs this is my main man Mr. A. y’all damn better give him respect. Thank you, Q. Now could you please go back to your class.  That’s just where I’m going, Mr. A. As he leaves the class he turns at the door and tells the class I damn better get no bad reports about y’all, yuh heah?  That’s the last time I saw Q. I know with all his academic deficits probably the only place he is going to have a rat’s ass of a chance of making it in our society is to be a throw away cog in the imperial war machine.  It’s really a sad thought. He could have made it with the right help and enough time.  I hope he somehow did make it with limbs, mind, and heart in place.  What kind of odds are you going to give for this happening.  Don’t ask me. I’m a cynic. Limbs, mind, and heart?  Get serious.

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Non-Chronological Sub Story # 417


I have substituted for this particular class at this particular school so many times that I feel like a permanent fixture, though I am sure that none of the regular teachers or administration feel or would ever want to feel the same way about my presence there.  There may be one IA that does and maybe two students. Of course, it’s a BD (behaviorally disturbed) classroom. I feel like I know some of these kids since they were toddlers. I know all their moves and they still only know about a quarter of mine.  The kids are mostly African-American boys. One Chicana. And one really funny white kid.  How come he don’t get a capital letter?  Breaks of the game. This white kid has a stutter and has a real knack for zeroing in on the weaknesses of the other kids in a very calculated and effective way. He is quite good at it. We have had many interactions about this in the past. He is actually pretty bright and, with luck he could become a good attorney one day. He reads very interesting looking books. They are mostly science fiction and history if you can believe that.

It is silent reading time. The white kid likes to read and this is an easy time of day for him. Q has reading problems and starts acting out and riling up the other kids who are doing reasonably well in silent reading. I admonish Q to settle down and if he doesn’t want to read to place his head on his desk and be quiet till the end of silent reading.  This is an immediate cue for the white kid to get out of his seat , go over to Q’s desk and start ribbing him in his stuttering clown routine about Q’s reading difficulties.  I don’t get to see any of these kids’ files but I suspect that Q  may have some developmental problems as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome. Whatever he has besides a BD designation, he definitely has learning disabilities. I tell the white kid to get back to his seat before I come over and slap the shit out of him. His mouth drops open. The rest of the seven kids including Q howl with laughter. The white kid is incensed and goes on that if I just move my butt an inch off my chair he is going to make sure that I lose my job and that he is personally going to make sure that I will never, ever, again work in this gem of a school district. See what I mean about that attorney thing. I say fine. Get back to your desk before I throw this dictionary at you. The class continues to howl and begins to tell the white kid to get his sorry ass back to his desk. The white kid knows he is defeated and moves back to his desk. Then I tell the class to stop the laughing and get back to silent reading. Surprisingly they comply. The white kid gives me his characteristic goofy grin which tells me that for the ennth time he is convinced that I am a complete deviate.  He can relate to that.

There is a period in the day that I am left alone with Q in the classroom. We need to work on math. He starts pissing and moaning. Resisting. Resisting. I pull a chair up to his desk and tell him I don’t care what he wants to do. We are going to do what I want to do and what I want him to do is to sit with me for thirty minutes with the math book between us.  I don’t care if we get anything done.  I just need thirty minutes with me him and the math book even if all we do is stare at the math book. No staring out the window or at the ceiling.  If we’re going to stare we going to stare at the math book.  This gets in and he starts telling me with a noticeable sadness in his voice that it’s going to be useless because he is so far behind in all his school work that he’s never going to be anything. I tell Q that if he wants to be a brain surgeon he’s way behind schedule. Now, I’m not saying you can’t be one. It’s just a matter of doing a lot of catch up work so I am ready anytime you are, Q. We start working on a simple rectangular perimeter problem. I tap him from time to time on the head with a ruler and tell him to pay attention and to repeat back to me word for word everything I say. I go slow.  He is getting it. When I am sure I know he has it I ask him to explain the problem and the answer to me.  He can do it and he does it well.

Now the other kids are back in the classroom from whatever mainstream classes they were in. It is their turn to do the perimeter problems.  The white kid say he’s no good in math so he’s not going to do no goddamn math. Q says with a bright voice that he will help him. The white kid thinks that’s the dumbest thing he’s ever heard and lets the class know it. I tell the white kid he can’t fool me because I know real clear he is just afraid that maybe Q can in fact show him how to do the problem. Now the white kid knows again for the ennth squared time that I am a definite deviate and this time he’s going to prove it by golly. Ok, Q, come on over and show me how to do this problem, he chortles. Q goes over and does with the white kid almost exactly what I did with him except tap the white kid on the head with a ruler.  That would have been a disaster. Q does a masterful job of showing the white kid how to do the problem. I go over and give Q a smacking high five. He is beaming. The white kid looks at me bug eyed as if the flying saucers just landed and I give him my goofy grin. They actually pay me to do this job. If I ever need legal help in my dotage, I’m looking up the white kid. I’m sure we’ll win.

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