Seriously wrong

by Bruce Anderson

Out of pure desperation, I'd taken a job as a long-term substitute teacher at San Luis Obispo Junior High School, as a hurry-up replacement for the regular teacher who'd wigged out one day, locking the door to her classroom from the inside, removing all her clothes and dancing nude on top of her desk as she swigged from a bottle of whiskey, until the fire department beat down the door to rescue her.

The harried school boss who'd hired me had memorably advised, "I don't care what you do in there, just keep them from roaming the halls."

"Them." I've always laughed remembering that revelatory assessment of our nation's future.

I had no idea, and less interest in teaching, let alone six periods a day shut up in a room with out-of-control 9th graders, who had driven my predecessor crazy. I simply entertained the unruly little bastards as best I could, which turned out to be more than good enough for the boss man who wanted me to stay on.

So there I was that day in November of '63 swapping witticisms with 14-year-olds when boss man came over the intercom to say that the president had been shot, and school was suspended as of right now.

As a Kennedy liberal in those naive days, I was next to distraught, and hurried back to my tenement room to watch events on television, which I was doing the next day when Kennedy's alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was shot by Jack Ruby in the basement of the Dallas Police Department.

"No way," I thought. Something is seriously wrong here. And veered terminally wrong beginning in '67.

Bruce Anderson writes for, edits, and publishes the Anderson Valley Advertiser


1 comment:

  1. Yes, that was when the timeline we find ourselves split off from the timeline that should've been. And then it forked again in '67. And again in 2001. And most recently in 2016. I believe in business they're called cascading failures. And I fear it's only going to get worse.


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