Greater Than Less Than

Some people learned that the greater than symbol is an alligator that eats the bigger number.
Other people learned that the less than symbol is an arrow that points at the smaller number.
My second grade Math teacher, Mr. Henson, taught us both.
“It’s up to you to decide,” he said.
The next day, when we arrived at school, there was a bloody trail leading into Mr. Henson’s room.
The room was a ghastly horror.
Last night, an alligator had broken into the school, and when Mr. Henson arrived, the beast attacked and ate him.
We all pointed and screamed.


Peter always wanted to go into space.
But the Treaty of Kkaskktk clearly states that Earthborn must remain on Earth.
Satellites enforced the treaty. Earthborn who tried to break the blockade were sent crashing down.
Instead of living within their ecological means on their homeworld, Earthborn continued to ravage their planet, and instead focused their efforts on trying to break the blockade.
For every satellite destroyed, ten would take its place.
Peter tried to design a hyperspace gateway to jump past the blockade, but it started a chain reaction.
Everything was atomized.
But, technically, Peter’s atoms float around in space.

School Days

For centuries, Catholics called the Jews “Christ-killers.”
I didn’t know this until I was sent to private school.
A Catholic school. The only private school in the area.
I didn’t have to go to Mass. Instead, I was sent to Study Hall.
I’d read quietly, until the bullies showed up.
“I’ll tell the headmaster,” I said.
“He’s the one who sent us,” grinned O’Brien.
I stabbed him in the face.
After I finished with the others, I went to see the headmaster.
“Self-defense,” I said.
He confessed to molesting those boys, and thanked me for helping to cover that up.


Due to budget cutbacks, the school district laid off all the guidance counselors. They were replaced with hats that contained strips of paper with the names of careers written on them.
Students line up, pick a career name out of a hat, and then pick classes based on the skill requirements of that job.
They used to flip through a book and stick their finger on a page to pick out a career.
But the book was in alphabetical order, and word spread fast that the last career in the book was Zymurgist.
Speaking of which, care for another beer?


Blood River High School’s football team is a championship factory, led by Coach Bart Basher for forty years.
PLAY THROUGH THE PAIN! shouts Coach Basher.
PLAY THROUGH THE PAIN! shouts the kid on the ground, and he struggles up to his feet to rejoin the huddle.
It’s Thursday’s workout drill, and a kid takes a savage hit and goes down.
What was the kid’s name?
Who knows?
Every kid wears jerseys without numbers.
Nobody’s limping or lollygagging, despite the blood and gore and…
Every kid shouts it back.
Except the kid without a head.

Candy Ass

We used to call Candace Winters “Candy Ass” back in grade school.
It wasn’t because she was any kind of weakling. She was huge and strong. The ultimate girl jock.
No, she got the name because every time she’d win anything, she sit on the loser’s face and shout “KISS MY ASS LIKE IT’S CANDY!”
The school didn’t stop her bullying because she filled the trophy case by the principal’s office.
Then, one day, the PA system announced:
“Candace Williams to the principal’s office.”
Everyone gasped.
It was just the school paper wanting to photograph her standing by her trophies.

What do you want to drink?

The stewardess asked me what I wanted to drink.
I said “The tears of every bully who picked on me in school.”
She checked her cart.
“We’re out of that sir. Care for some Pepsi? Or juice?”
“What about their blood? Do you have their blood?”
“Sorry, sir, but we don’t carry that either. Maybe you’d like a glass of milk?”
“Just don’t give him any booze,” growled the guy next to me.
Frankie Podhoertz.
Sitting next to me.
He used to beat me up for my lunch money every day.
“Just a straw,” I said. “A sharp straw.”

Bad Spelling

Most school kids participate in spelling bees.
My school? It had a spelling hornet. It was much nastier than a spelling bee.
But the private school in the area was even worse. They had a spelling wasp. Some kids ended up in the hospital after that.
All throughout the county, kids had angry red welts on their skin. Allergy medication was scarce, and the schoolyard drug dealers pushed epipens instead of ex or weed.
The state board of education intervened, and standardized all schools on spelling spiders.
Why spiders? Well, why bees? Charlotte was a spider, not a bee, right?


College costs a fortune.
My student job doesn’t pay very much, but it helps.
So, I end up eating a lot of those awful ramen noodles.
They’re totally disgusting, but it’s either them, or no school.
I can’t afford the dorms, so I live in a hut made from noodles.
Clothes? Goodwill won’t sell to a college student like me.
Yep. I wear ramen noodles.
Pretty much my whole life is noodles.
But when I graduate, I plan on never eating or wearing them again.
I will invent a new cheap food. And become filthy, stinking rich.
Until then… noodles.

Of Industry

After graduating from Harvard, Arthur became a very successful businessman, and grew his company into legendary size.
But despite his success, he never gave a dollar to Harvard, refusing to meet representatives from the Alumni Fundraising Committee.
Only after he died did he leave money to his alma mater, along with a note:
“Harvard is where captains of industry such as myself are created. Why create more competition? So, I gave money to state colleges to educate the corporals and cannon fodder of industry I needed to hire.”
The alumni representative shrugged, crumpled up the note, and deposited the check.