Nov 2, 2007


Why are muthafuckas so dumb? Really? Anyone got an answer for that?

I was in my room, getting a jump on my new English teacher’s first assignment. Old Mr. Novacs ALWAYS asked you to do the very same damned assignment, every damed year, as son as you got back from vacation. High school junior and I’m still fucking doing “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” bullshit-ass assignments. I had Mrs. Mickleson last year, and Mrs. Mick was awesome. She was fucking unpredictable, so lazy motherfuckers didn't like her much, but I dug her. She liked the subject, and didn’t seem to be on some “I’m teaching you brown savages the finer points of this English shit” type-thing. Short white chick in the middle of tons of black and Mexican kids, but she did her thing and tried to teach something. A lot of illiterate fucks made it hard for her, but some of the kids protected her as well as we could.

She really encouraged folk to write what they felt, to bring in what they liked to read. She didn’t bat an eye when Dave Perez wrote a rap all in Spanish, although we all held our breath when, on a dare, Christie Hughes brought in a Playboy magazine for the example of what she liked to read. Mrs. Mick thumbed through the usual airbrushed beaver shots of generic-ass white chicks and started to quiz Christie on what exactly she liked. The articles? Interviews? Playboy Advisor? Hell, the jokes? Christie mumbled something, and Mrs. Mick let her off. After class, we all called Christie a dumb-ass: if you’re going to embarrass the teacher, make sure you know your shit and can take it as far as you can. Mrs. Mick took no shit, but she laughed a lot and seemed like she gave a damn.

That made it even more disappointing that I had Novacs this year: his classes never changed and he never seemed like he put any energy into it. Makes sense, now I think about it: why would you put energy into the same fucking lesson plan you’ve taught since Jesus was a boy. Fucker had been teaching English for ninety damned years, and every year another set of people would do the same thing. This “Summer Vacation” bullshit. Reading the same run of shit: a bit of Shakespeare, some old “classic” shit, and more dead white muthafuckas. The only bit of excitement he’ll allow his shriveled heart is switching up his “fun” book of the year. And he announces it as such, somewhere around the middle of the school year.
“Class, we’re gonna read something FUN now.”
It’s either some random ass Stephen King novel or John Grisham joint. Who is this fun to, exactly? Him? “Oh, boy! Let’s read about this rabid ass dog!” Thing is, i’ve read “Cujo”, and I haven’t found anyone who’s had him explain why ol’ boy in the book decided to bust a nut on homegirl’s bed on some stalker shit. That may be something to look forward to.

B-More’s older brother, who was out of college and working for some bullshit-ass PR firm downtown - “man, white bitches EVERYWHERE,” he gushed, “but snooty as fuck and look right through your black ass” - told us that was how old man Novacs worked the juniors back in his day. Other friends’ older brothers and sisters reported the same thing - that seemed to be the rut he was comfy in. And his bitch-ass had seniority, and wasn’t going anywhere. And because he wasn’t going nowhere, I was writing this bullshit-ass essay about my summer. Suck it, Novacs. I hadn’t had him as a teacher yet, and I didn’t like him already.

I thought about being funny with it:
I was engaged in hearty interpersonal relations over this summer season, analyzing the difference in the sexes via personal interviews conducted in private. My findings will be published in all esteemed journals worldwide.

I thought about writing it in rhyme:
There was a young man down South
Who was notorious for running his mouth.
“For the benefit of female clients
I could be thought wise with my silence!”
Then he spoke, and removed all doubt.

Mrs. Mick woulda fucking LOVED those. Took me a while to come up with those shits, too. Big words and shit, which they never expect us to bust out. Half the English teachers think we communicate strictly on words with one syllable mixed with large portions of fuck, shit, damn, bitch...

But all in all, I decided against doing some shit like that, since that would be breaking the rule of new classes. You never outed yourself as the smart muthafucka at the beginning of the year. You hung with the pack like it was some horse race, making sure no one was too far ahead and no one was dragging ass, and if you pulled ahead over the course of the year, that was due to you and your work, not some bullshit ass-kissing that got you noticed at the beginning of the year. So I did my shit straight up and bland. I’ll hit em with the good shit later.

I was in my room with the door open, the blips and bloops of the Sunday afternoon karate movie Ang was watching weren’t that distracting. Ang was 13 and “beginning to feel her oats,” as Pops called it, to which Mom always rolled her eyes and gave Ang the look of death, which always caused Ang to look as if she wanted to dissolve into a powder or something. Ang could handle yelling and whuppins, but she couldn’t handle the Stare. Hell, I couldn’t either.

Mom and Dad weren’t home, and I had basically finished my “Summer” piece of shit, so I went out to check on Ang. We both loved the karate movies, and I often watched them with her on Sundays when I was around. That meant we saw some of the same ones over and over again, but it got to be where we were subbing in our own dialogue and shit, which made the ass-kickings these Japanese or Chinese cats were dishing out and taking even funnier.

“Want something to drink before I siddown?” I asked, pausing in front of the fridge.

“Nah, I’m cool,” she replied, eyes still on the screen as an older dude, apparently QUITE pissed off, was yelling at a room full of young roughneck kids about something or other. I loved these deals. The old dude would send fucking ARMIES of young dudes to go kick some kid’s ass, and at the end, the young dude would work his way to him, snappin necks and dispatching muthafuckas with ONE HIT, and, depending on how bitch the old dude was, would either get begged for forgiveness or get this BIG-ASS sharp axe-thing pulled on him, when all our hero had was his fists, feet, and the love of some Jap dimepiece who wanted to give him the draws SO BAD she would wait on the sidelines for the fight to be over so she could claim everlasting love and blowjobs as soon as old dude breathed his last. I fucking loved those shits: I wished a chick would wait on a nigga like that. I’d be in heaven.

“Hold up, girl. I’ma go put a foot in this old fucker’s ass, win the school back, or redeem your family’s honor, and um, I’ma need you to get up on this dick immediately afterwards.”
“All right, Daddy.”
“And swallow this time.”

See? That would be some ill shit. I fucking love these karate/kung fu joints.

I sat on the couch behind her and popped open a can of pop. The young cat was being informed of the incoming ass kicking and not really giving a fuck. Some stupidity.

“What you doin?” she asked.
“Writing this bullshit paper,” I said. “Everyone says that the teacher I’m gonna have this year asks for it. So I’ma do it early.”
“Ah.” Ang understood me, usually. Chicks are so fucking illogical, when you find one that actually thinks and is logical like you are, it’s a lovely thing. And she was my sister, which made her cooler. We got along pretty good. Usually.
“Wahtchoo wanna eat? A nigga’s gettin hungry.”
“I was gonna go to Cee’s house after this was over,” Ang replied. “I can’t remember, is Mom on A schedule or B? Because I was gonna try to be home so she could braid my hair up.”
“I’m comfy now, girl. Damn. I’ll go look inna minute.” I was stretched out on the couch, which meant that, any fucking minute -

Sure enough, the fucking phone rang. Aarggh.

I looked at Ang and she looked at me during the first ring. I wasn’t expecting a call. She may have, but she didn’t exactly look anxious to get up from her comfy spot on the floor.

At the second ring, I thought about the people who could be calling that we actually gave a shit about. Mom was at work, either Schedule A or B. Pops had left not too long ago, and they wouldn’t call the home phone first; they would have called my cell phone. They figured we went out as soon as they left anyway; what was the point of calling the home phone? Ang was with me, and if they would have started worrying, I would have been the one telling them exactly where Ang was, or at the very least, where I dropped her off.

At the third ring, I gave up. Curiosity killing the cat and shit, I guess. I groaned and propelled myself off the couch, rolling onto the floor, Metal Gear/Navy Seals style. Ang muted the TV as I reached the phone on the kitchen wall.

The digital display read UNAVAILABLE. Fuck. Telemarketers, “friends of your local police force,” recorded messages from this political candidate or another. I didn’t give a fuck about any of the above. I looked at Ang in time to catch her stealing a sip of my pop. Dammit, girl.

I decided not to bother, and on cue, the phone stopped ringing. Fuckers.

I sighed and looked at Ang, who had taken it upon herself to finish my pop. Such a brave warrior. I walked back to the couch, and Ang cowered, the brave warrior ready to defend herself against any smack to the back of the head with her arsenal of high-pitched yelps and thrashing arms. I cooly reassumed my comfy position on the couch. Suspicious, she rearranged herself so that she wouldn’t get an unexpected pop in the back of her neck. I ignored her and watched as our hero was recovering from his first ass-whuppin. Can’t be a hero if you didn’t get your ass whupped at least once. You gotta lose one; that way they don't expect you to win another and it’s so surprising to everyone except the audience when you come out and completely wreck shit. No one but white people win ALL the time.

That’s why black folks fuckin up now. They took a HUGE L with the slavery shit and no one expects them to be able to amount to shit when the Revolution comes.

I yawned. “After this, you wanna go?” Ang nodded and eyed me, still expecting payback. I learned a while ago that delayed payback is awesome in two totally separate ways. First, to be able to smack a motherfucker hours or days after an offense just FEELS good. Second, if you forget, you can always claim to be the bigger man. Either way, you feel good about yourself, and there’s not a lot out here for a nigga to feel good about.

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