Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ash Wednesday: a condign beginning

It's only apropos, I suppose, that Ash Wednesday should assail me with all the worst students on my schedule. My day starts with Sam, the goofy seventh-grader; it's followed by Maximus, the sullen and recalcitrant fourth-grader; finally, it ends with a nice, steaming dollop of Iblis. All my little assholes in one day.

I've come to recognize that Wednesdays are, for the time being, my endurance days. It's a matter of my sanity's survival: can I make it through six hours without harming anyone? Just as certain warts and sores can have "on" days and "off" days, there are times when Sam and Maximus can be compliant and docile. But then along comes loud, stupid Iblis, who insists on blaring his ignorance to the world.

"Three minus four is negative one," I told Parvati one time.

"NO, IT'S NOT! THREE MINUS FOUR IS JUST ONE!" declared Iblis, once again ignoring his own work and butting into other people's affairs.

I gave him a baleful look. "Negative one," I intoned.

"IT'S JUST ONE!!" Iblis honked. I let it go. There's little point in debating the congenitally obtuse. But it's the sort of problem I have with Iblis all the time. He's a perfect storm of assholery: unconscious of how he comes off to other people, constantly contrary, frequently obnoxious, rude, and insulting. I'd love to push the fast-forward button and see Iblis years from now, when he'll be, theoretically, calmer, more lucid, and politer. (Fat chance, eh?)

But we live in the now, and I must face my Unholy Trinity today. So I've got that goin' for me. Which is nice.



  1. Wednesdays are also my days of hell.

    So to make me realize just how good I really have it, I re-watched My Left Foot. Brilliant doesn't begin to describe that movie and the acting of Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh O'Conor, and Brenda Fricker or the directing by Jim Sheridan. Then, of course, I get depressed when I see just how much Christy Brown was able to accomplish with one truly remarkable left foot and one genius mind in comparison to my unremarkable feet, hands, and dull mind. Bugger!

  2. Iblis deserves a just and fitting, proper and merited condignation . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  3. John,

    By strange coincidence (paging Dr. Jung), my buddy Steve Honeywell just reviewed "My Left Foot."



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