Sandwich

Posted: June 11, 2015 in Applebee's, fiction, sandwich

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We sat in rows, watching Mr. Sammich deliver the usual lecture about geometry.  Something about congruent angles.  I doodled in my notebook, drawing a picture of the teacher.  Square, boring.  White bread, turkey, lettuce, tomato.  A typical sandwich in Wonderville.  I looked around the room and sighed.  More of the same.  Square white bread, some sort of deli meat, lettuce, tomato.  Everything neat and tidy, all the condiments and toppings were tucked away neatly.  “Tucked away is A-Ok!”  That what was on all the signs around the school.  It was hard to tell what kind of sandwiches they were.  The peanut butter and jelly kids were off in a remedial classroom, learning how to mop floors and babysit.

I daydreamed about a factory churning out sandwiches all day, every day, rolling off the assembly line.  Teachers would have ties spraypainted on their fronts.  From the back of the room Ezra threw a wadded up piece of paper that hit me in the back of the head.  It bounced off my crust and fell to the floor.  Furious, I scrawled out my doodle and cursed under my breath.  Mr. Sammich turned to me and said:  “Is there a problem Ms. Provolone?”  My crusty cheeks turned red, and I put my head down.

“No Mr. Sammich.”  The lecture continued.

Suddenly the door flew open.  Mr. Sammich dropped his chalk.  All the eyes in the room turned to see the new student.  I did a double-take.  Standing in the doorway was a sandwich unlike any we had ever seen.  A massive sandwich that had to be held in two hands.  From his front his fillings hung out, unashamed, juicy, forbidden.  He was wearing a leather jacket and black leather boots.  In his hand he held a transfer slip from the office.  A sneer graced his face, and he looked directly at Mr. Sammich, sizing him up.  “This geometry?  It must be because you are all a bunch of squares.”  I looked down at my bread and choked back a laugh.

Mr. Sammich collected himself.  A troublemaker.  “Yes it is.  Give me your slip and sit in the empty desk next to Ms. Provolone please.”  He pointed toward me.  I slunk down in my desk, trying not to meet the steely gaze of this new, bold flavor sensation in the classroom.  Mr. Sammich continued, but all eyes stayed on the new kid.  He was still standing in the doorway.

“I don’t play by the rules you whitebread mother f****r.”  A gasp rose from the class.  Mr. Sammich dropped his chalk and turned a deep shade of red.

“What?  Report to the office immediately young man!”  Mr. Sammich reached for his classroom phone as he spoke.  “What is your name anyway?”

He looked around the room, and held his arms wide.  “Look at me.  I don’t fit in.  I am too juicy for this b****h.  “My name is Applebee’s New Handheld Pork Slider.  I break boundaries and hearts for a livin’.  You can call me Sly.”  Sly.  A perfect name for this iconoclastic culinary innovation.  Sly rocked his head back and brought it forward, spitting toward Mr. Sammich.  “All you old crusty white-a** sandwiches better listen up.  Gaze upon your future, and wallow in your obsolescence.  I’m taking taste to a new level and redefining palettes worldwide.  Anybody want to join me in this flavorevolution?  How about you redbread?”  He looked at me as he spoke.

“This is highly irregular!”  Mr. Sammich stammered.

“Yo teach.  Your turkey is showing.”  Sly pointed toward him.  Sammich looked down, mouth agape.  He was so angry that he forgot to clench his bread together.  A pile of turkey, lettuce and tomato fell to the floor, smeared with mustard and mayo.  Plop.  Mr. Sammich ran and hid under his desk.  The class burst into laughter.  I got up and ran to the door.  Sly pulled out a bottle of spiked barbecue sauce and took a quaff.  We ran to the parking lot and jumped on Sly’s motorcycle.  As we peeled out of the parking lot, Sly pounded the rest of the sauce and threw the empty bottle through the window of the principal’s office.

“I told them I don’t play by the rules.”

I am perplexed by the current political atmosphere.  We have so many problems.  War in the Middle East that will never end, an exhausted population, a troubled economy that has shown serious defects.  An entire generation being smashed to death by student loans.  Widening income inequality.  Climate change that is supported by the overwhelming majority of scientists.  Rising costs that don’t match rises in wages.  Immigration issues.  Our education system is not working, standards are slipping and students are leaving high school unprepared.  Millions of them a year.  A drought in California and the West that is really cramping our style.  I know that most of the U.S. dumps on California, but we are an important state, even though our politics lean left, unless you actually bother to look at the reality of our state and meet the many Republicans here.

Instead we talk about ridiculous social values such as same-sex marriage and abortion.  Distracted by demagogues.  I wanted to examine some candidates and parties from the past to see how our politics measure up.

Let’s start with everybody’s favorite codgers, the Republican Party.

Modern Republican Party

Anti-everything.  Anti-taxes.  Anti-government, except for social issues.  Clearly “not” motivated by racism.  Dominated by radicals that call for an end to every issue.  Have no agenda beyond scrapping federal government.  Hate Common Core, Obamacare, Stimulus Package, Foreign Policy, Gay People, Immigrants, Liberals, Taxes, Entitlement Programs.  Want government to keep hands off Medicare.  Love Guns, Flag, Country (except anybody who disagrees with them).

medicare-keep-your-hands-off-my-medicare.jpg  (Further proof our educational system is failing)

19th Century Republican Party

Abraham Lincoln, photographed on March 6, 1865. U.S. President Lincoln ...  (Walk a mile in my shoes bitches)

Use Federal Government to build Transcontinental Railroad

Denounce Threats of Disunion

” That the present Democratic Administration has far exceeded our worst apprehension in its measureless subserviency to the exactions of a sectional interest…” (Replace Democrat with Red States)

“That the Republican Party is opposed to any change in our naturalization laws, or any state legislation by which the rights of citizenship hitherto accorded by emigrants from foreign lands shall be abridged or impaired; and in favor of giving a full and efficient protection to the rights of all classes of citizens, whether native or naturalized, both at home and abroad.”

“Finally, having thus set forth our distinctive principles and views, we invite the coöperation of all citizens, however differing on other questions who substantially agree with us in their affirmance and support.”

Give land to homesteaders to give people a chance (We’ll ignore where the land came from for now)

Use public monies to build state colleges

Root out corruption in government

Started income tax during the war

Used federal power to enforce Civil Rights legislation

Actively fought against white supremacists and the KKK

Supported voting rights

Actively sought to protect minorities from majority abuse

Opposed to same-sex marriage

Stood against state abuses of power

Would become corrupt when given power

Serious Issues!

But who cares?  End same-sex marriage!

I’ll do the Democrats later

A true American’s story

Posted: March 28, 2015 in current events
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ted cruz

Today we are interviewing Republican firebrand Ted Cruz, the senator from Canada that recently announced he was running for president in 2016.  Our ace reporter sat down with Cruz to answer the tough questions mainstream media is afraid to ask. 

Good morning Senator.   Last week you announced your campaign.  In your speech you spoke of your plans for the presidency.  I must ask, did you mean to say president?

Of course.  It is time for change in Washington.  Change you can believe in.
Seriously?  President?

As we say in Texas, yes.

You have to be fucking kidding.

Is that a question?

What is your view of the new Common Core state standards? 

Common core was cooked up by a bunch of lazy teachers that wanted to make their job easier.  Everybody knows that teachers tend to be liberal, ergo they are not real Americans.  Union gangsters that want to make it ever easier to brainwash students into their liberal agenda.  All teachers are traitors unless they agree with me.  First thing I would do would be to smash the corrupt teachers unions.

Weren’t unions one of the first targets of the Nazi party? 

Look, I don’t have time to mince words here.  The Republican Party wants to dismantle the public education system and give it back to the churches where it belongs.  Unions?  Gone.  Liberals?  Gone.  Anything that questions the greatness of America?  Gone.  Problem solved.  Everybody knows teachers hate this country, and their attempts to improve the educational system through reform are clearly a threat to liberty.  Public schools teach children that they must have mandatory abortions for Obama while worshiping Satan and wiping their backsides with the Ol’ Stars and Stripes.

That sounds painful.

Go ask our public school students.

How would you reform education in this country?

Back to basics.  Give teachers a copy of the Constitution and the Bible.

Let’s discuss your plans for the country.  What would be your number one priority? 

Impeaching Obama.

… You don’t see a problem with that?    Wouldn’t impeaching the previous President be unconstitutional? And impossible?

Not if you understand the glory of American government like I do.  First impeachment, then we invade Cuba.

Why invade Cuba? 

Why not?

You claim to want to curb government spending.  Wouldn’t foreign wars cost lots of taxpayer dollars? 

Look over there!  It’s Obamacare!

What about Iran? 

I said it once and I’ll say it again.  Iran is full of Muslims, nukes and I assume communists.  Plus, they don’t like country music.  Disliking country music is a crime against God.  Plus they hate freedom and support gay marriage.

I don’t think that is true. 

No it’s true all right.  Don’t slap a chicken and tell me it’s Tuesday.

Why are you so opposed to same-sex marriage? 

Let me educate y’all.  Everybody knows that when gay people get married, abortion rates skyrocket.  It’s simple math.  Despite all your liberal Berkeleys and Harvards, liberals simply don’t understand math.

That doesn’t seem like a valid mathematical conjecture.  What study did you base your last claim on? 

Look you liberal elitist scum, I don’t have to explain where my studies come from.  It’s common knowledge.

Moving on….you also said that climate change is not really happening.  Care to comment? 

Liberal gay scientists giving abortions slapped together some fuzzy math and came up with some reports to get funding for their welfare science.  That’s all.  Don’t put a lizard in a bucket of paint and tell me it’s Crayola outside.  I see right through your agenda.  Typical mainstream media, ignoring science to promote their political goals.

You don’t think pollution is a problem? 

Sure if you are a communist.  Smog is the sweet smell of liberty and free-market economics.  I get some shipped in from Beijing every day and take a whiff just to remind myself of the glory that used to be America.

Don’t most scientists believe that global warming is a real phenomenon that is caused by human activity? 

That’s not what my speechwriters said.

So, are you eligible to be President?  You were born in Canada. 

As soon as I am elected we will have to clarify what “natural born citizen” means regarding the Presidency.  The Supreme Court will have to decide.

Recently you accused the Supreme Court of “judicial activism” regarding the gay marriage debate.  Wouldn’t changing hundred of years of precedent regarding qualifications for president be judicial activism? 

No.

Is that hypocrisy? 

I can be as hypocritical as I want.  I’m a Republican.

Let’s talk government shutdown.  Many people say you played a key role in shutting the government down in 2013.  Was that the best decision? 

I stand for liberty against fascist liberals and communists.  I will destroy Obamacare if it is the last thing the United States does.

You don’t care that it caused chaos for the nation? 

nope.

Was it appropriate to read erotica during your filibuster? 

Free speech is a fundamental right in this country, especially in times.of national crisis.  The first thing the Nazis did was pass Obamacare and ban erotic Gilligan’s Island fan fiction.  You’ll have to pry that erotica from my cold, dead hands.

During you filibuster you talked about how you regretted not wearing your “argument boots.”  Can you clarify that comment?

My argument boots are 100% American.  I strap them on when I am preparing to slay communists and lay waste to common sense.  In fact they are so American they are made in China.

You tweeted once that you were glad to be back in “America” when you got home to Texas.  Where is the “real America?” 

Red America.  Republican America where the patriots live and don’t pay taxes.  The America where we have the freedom to die without health insurance, and to shoot each other with abandon.  States with low taxes and horrific schools.  Where people understand things about this country, about immigration, about military service.

Is California the “real America?” 

Hell no.  Not one single real American lives in California.

Wasn’t Reagan from California? 

No comment.

Isn’t California the most populous state? 

I fail to see your point.  That is not America with all its immigrants and crazy customs and latte sippin’ liberals.  Hollywood?  Please.

Isn’t Hollywood a great example of the power of American capitalism? 

Their profit margins don’t count because they aren’t part of the real America.

Even though roughly 66 million people live in California, Massachusetts and New York, they don’t count as real Americans? 

Never.  I would have them deported.

Even though California has more people than twenty other states combined, it is not “real America?”

Nope.

Was is Obama like Hilter? 

They were both black, they both wanted universal health care and they were both Muslim.

Any closing remarks Senator? 

This interview was a complete joke.  You did not mention how charming I am, or gush about my kids.  You didn’t even mention me reading Dr. Seuss during my filibuster.  My campaign manager told me that would play big in the real America.  Make sure you mention my heroic struggles against the Nazis, my fist fight with the Ayatollah, my enrollment in Obamacare and my devilish good looks.  Throw in some stuff about Jesus too.  Elect me so I can guarantee war with Iran.  Quote me on this:  I want your sons and daughters to go die in the desert to support my political agenda.  Make sure the American people know that if they disagree with me I hate them and that their views are juvenile.  Tell everybody I love the parts of the country that support me, but hate most of it.  I’m an anti-immigration immigrant.  I dislike science, the West Coast, the East Coast, certain parts of the Midwest, a few sections of the south and probably Puero Rico.  I don’t listen to rock and roll since 9/11.

Obamacare is going to force your children to have sex changes.

Rock and roll is the soundtrack of terrorism.  Umm…. oh yeah, atheists will be sent to death camps.

Cost-effective totalitarianism.  Ted Cruz for President! 

I’ve had it

Posted: March 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

I have reached the burnout stage in my career.  In life.  I am changing careers.  I was in Raley’s and my new path shone before me. 

I want to be the guy that thinks up cat good names.  Combine my aptitude at naming things with my basic literacy, add my appetite.  It is so obvious. 

Try our new sumptuous corn and beef leavings, soaked in hearty gravy. 

Enjoy our salmon genital nibblins with special whale au jus

Your cat can’t resist a heaping bowl of camel snoutlings and peas

Try and resist chicken liver smoothite flavor crystals

Let your special kitty dig in to our rodent bits and leech shaving gumbo!

How about our toenail bisque served on a bed of kangaroo uterus curls?

Not in the mood for kangaroo?  Try our koala hash with bits of squid casings and pig jowls today.

Eat up our new rabbit fur and tuna eyelash surprise.  Now with flavor!

For the finicky eater, try our new weasel scrotum bags, stuffed with real nuclear waste and worm castings. 

Try our new flavor, English food!

The Craving

Posted: March 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

As I walked out of Walmart, I made a bad decision.  I was standing in the lobby area, about to walk to the parking lot.  Try as I might, I
couldn’t shake the feeling.  I lost control of myself.  I’ve been to the meetings, did my 12 steps.  I thought about calling my sponsor, but I knew he would tell me something I didn’t want to hear.

Just one time.   I could hear my sponsor’s voice in my head.  “One is too many and a thousand’s not enough.”  Easy for him to say.  Come on, I was at Walmart on Saturday morning.  I just bought cat food and a king size Snickers.  I’m clearly in a shame spiral.  Just one little taste…

A homeless man with an enormous backpack looked at me.  He knew.  “Got the craving buddy?”  He pulled out a blue chip and showed it to me.  “Six months.  It gets easier man.  Got family?  Go home to them. ”  I stared at my shoes.

“You don’t know me.”  I finished snarfing my Snickers bar and wiped nougat off my cheek.  “I’m a grown man.  I make my own decisions.”  As I spoke I jabbed my thumb into my chest defiantly.  “Go get a job and then I’ll listen.”  The man shook his head and walked away.

I licked my lips and paced back and forth.  Screw it…..

I sprinted to the claw machine.  An enormous pink unicorn stood on the precipice, hanging one stuffed leg, daring me.  “You want me to take you home don’t you?”  An old lady walking by looked at me.  “Don’t judge me!” I realized I was screaming.

“You little tart…”  My fingers trembled as I pulled change from my pocket, fumbling for a quarter.  I dropped a penny and ignored it.  My body was flooded with relief.  I sighed and closed my eyes, feeling the plastic knob in my hand.  I moved it back and forth, getting a feel for it.  I dropped two quarters in the coin slot.

An hour later I walked to my car in disgrace, broke.  Miserable.  The memory of the pink unicorn left a raw wound in my soul that would never heal.  I realized with a shock that my wallet was empty.  My pockets were full of ATM receipts.  The homeless man was sitting on a curb.  He held up his blue chip and shook his head.

All in a Day’s Work

Posted: February 24, 2015 in Education
Tags:

A chronicle of the trenches of public education:

Woke up at 5:15.  Showered, stressed about the day ahead.  Half-hour drive to work, listened to iphone because the stereo in the van I borrowed doesn’t work.

8:00 – Economics.  Talked about current events in Africa.  Led students through a project comparing three economies (Chad, U.S. and North Korea) using data from the CIA factbook.  Hand drew a map of Africa on the board and discussed the complications of living next to Sudan, Nigeria and Libya.

9:00 – Pre-Algebra.  Seventh graders are like chipmunks smoking crack on a unicycle downhill.  Slowly walked through how to use the cross products property to solve proportions and find variables.  Trying out a new strategy of allowing students to teach their peers by demonstrating problems on the board and explaining their logic.  Worked fairly well.

10:00 U.S. History.  Extremely loud close that bullies teachers in every subject.  Making inroads with them through various strategies and perseverance.  This class has made me lose my voice this year, and today my throat is killing me.  Cough.  Implemented new classroom management technique – Using Enforceable Statements I picked up at Friday’s staff development (Love and Logic).  Worked fairly well.  Continued with Stanford’s Read like a Historian WWI lesson on free speech.  Posed question “Were critics of WWI Un-American?” with speeches from Debs and Schenck as models.  Got actual thoughtful responses.  Students grappled with the concept of being a patriot.  Debs says he stands with the traitors….  Discussed what  being “Un-American” meant with a few students and a German exchange student.  Fruitful.  Class still threw little balls of paper everywhere and made a mess.

11:00 – World History.  Loud class that likes to ignore teachers.  Practiced Enforceable statements.  Started class with the “Do Now” Quickwrite – What is a revolution?  Write a one sentence definition.  Students actually got to work and wrote thoughtful responses, even students I have struggled with all year.  Expanded question – What is a social revolution?  Students gave thoughtful responses.  I wrote their responses on board and showed them how most of the revolutions they mentioned were political.  Discussed French Revolution.  Are social revolutions always violent?  Good discussion. Finally posed question:  Did communication technology create a social revolution?  Long, insightful conversation into the changes wrought by social media and technology.  Generation gap.  Some students pointed out that people are more “reclusive” now.  Filled board with responses.  I felt like I learned something.  I demonstrated another tool that caused a social revolution and held up the textbook.  Built on teaching of Renaissance and printing  press.  Gave them an assignment to read maps.  Students identified title of map, locations of industry, wrote four questions based on maps that other students answered.  At beginning of year this took half an hour.  Discussed new unit – Industrial Revolution.  Gave homework assignment.

5th Period – Business Math.  Attempted to teach the concept of calculating a final payment on an installment loan. They finally got the concept of paying down interest versus principal.  Ended up discussing why hotels need deposits.  At least we talked about business.

Lunch:  30 minutes.  Ate cafeteria lunch.  Yum.

6th Period Prep.  Graded quizzes and realized how terrible my lecture for my night class was.  Made modifications.

7th Period – Credit Recovery.  Pathetically attempted to pistol-whip students into completing online tasks for Cyber High.  Sisyphus ain’t got nothin’ on me.

Staff meeting.  Discussed Common Core and school issues.  Was tasked with explaining new SBAC Performance tasks on from training I took last week.

Drove to work from work.  Worked on lesson for hour and a half before class.

8th Period.  Native American history part 1.  Gave lecture on English Colonies in North America.  Reviewed European History.  Cracked a Seinfeld joke that failed miserably.   Balanced difficult course material, sensitive topics and student boredom.  Historical Guiding Question:  Explain how the beaver changed world history.

9th period.  Native American history part 2.  Discussed the Puritans, New England and various colonial wars.  Pequot War was tough, watched a short clip about it.  Reviewed next week’s exam.

Came home.  Contemplating lessons for tomorrow, presentation on Instructional Implications of Common Core and Smarter Balanced Testing, Progress Reports that are due on Monday.

Probably should eat dinner.

Giuliani is a Chimp!

America demands to know!

America demands to know!