You know how there’s always one pool in the neighborhood, and everybody goes swimming there?
Back in Ohio, as the subdivision boomed and built up, there was always a dug-out basement and foundation pit that would fill up with rain and drainage.
Not the smartest thing to do, to go swimming in a pool of runoff and filth and sharp-edged wood debris.
Every impromptu ghetto pool party would produce a few casualties.
News crews would swarm the neighborhood, the sobbing… the screaming.
I don’t like to swim. I just watched the forecasts for rain, and then printed the posters.
It’s another Saturday night at Spotlight Karaoke.
The owner sings “My Way’ by Frank Sinatra five times a night, just like he does every Saturday.
He doesn’t do any other song, and nobody else does that song.
It’s his song.
A few years ago, a guy tried to sing “My Way” and the deejay told him no. The guy got up on stage and started to sing it, but they cut the microphone off.
So, the guy sang it louder.
The owner offered him a drink, and took him in the back.
Nobody’s seen him since.
And nobody asks why.
Every night in the dormitory, there’s a pillow fight.
No, it’s not coeds blowing off some steam.
It’s some nasty fighting between the ghosts that haunt the building.
Sometimes, it’s so bad, the house master has to call the campus police.
A pair of exorcists enter the building, and after a few minutes, the noise ceases.
“Why can’t we get rid of those spirits for good?” asks the headmaster.
The exorcists shrug. “You’d have to tear the building down,” they said.
Besides, exorcism costs the same as bug extermination.
Compared to building a new dormitory…
The headmaster writes another check.
We get catered lunches at work.
They’re not chafing-dish and violin concerto affairs, mind you. They’re just restaurant entrees and sides in large serving trays in a breakroom that we get served buffet-style.
Often it’s just sandwich boxes with chips, but that beats having to go out into traffic and pick something up, or having to remember to pack something every morning.
There’s also a deli order menu for folks who don’t want the buffet.
If the deli order is large, it’s a vote of no-confidence in the caterer, and they eventually vanish off of the schedule.
Isn’t democracy grand?
I haven’t gotten a haircut in over a year.
Instead, I use a trimmer at home, and I give myself a buzzcut.
Sometimes, I’ll get out a razor and shave myself down to the skin.
Still, I feel bad for the staff at Fantastic Sam’s where I used to get my hair cut.
So, I go by there and get an appointment every few months.
“Oh, just a little off of the top,” I say, and I take off my hat.
If they just say “Done” I give them a 10 dollar tip.
If they argue, I just walk out.
Two kingdoms at war.
One stole the other’s flag.
Every flag in that kingdom was blank.
So, in retaliation, the wronged kingdom stole the other’s anthem.
Musicians just stood there, holding their instruments, and looking somewhat bewildered.
Oh, there was a war. A great war.
Lots of people died. Warriors, soldiers, spies, and civilians alike.
All because of a flag and an anthem.
Oh, and mineral rights.
Not the minerals themselves, but the mineral rights.
And drilling rights.
And religions. And cultures.
Makes you wonder what anything is, anymore. What really matters.
We watch as fields burn, and we cry.
Walt had been coughing a lot recently. The doctor said “lung cancer.”
Walt didn’t have long.
He didn’t want to leave a corpse and a stack of bills to his wife and son.
He was just a teacher. Didn’t make much.
Around the same time, the gym teacher, physics teacher, math teacher, and the janitor all got lung cancer.
The school building contained asbestos. So, they sued the school district.
They got a lot of money in the settlement.
Except for Walt. He cooked meth with a former student, and got into all kinds of shit.
Man, what a jerk.