Sunday, March 4, 2012
High School Confidential
Occasionally, especially when he is a bit late, I drive my son Brandon to high school.
The following is a lurid tale of what happened recently during one such 7:25 A.M. excursion. You decide if I am just another frustrated but relatively normal overage American male for whom "the road ahead seems suddenly all in the rear view mirror," or if you need lock up your daughters, your sons, and most land mammals when I chance by.
"Isn't that your ninth grade science teacher pulling into the lot there?" I asked Brandon as were were coming to the "School Zone - 15 mph" sign where the traffic backs up a bit.
"Yes, that's Mr. Fishbein," said Brandon. "Aside from the fact that we usually had to show him how to light the Bunsen Burner and he always had his lab coat on backwards, he wasn't such a bad teacher."
"But what's happened to him!?" I exclaimed. He looks as old as Walter Brennan!"
"Dad, he looks fine. And he's ten years younger than you. And who's Walter Brennan?"
"Ten years younger.... can't be! Say, I know that tall athletic kid at the door. Who's he?"
"Oh, that's John O'Donnell. Remember, he was in my third grade class at Oakmont."
"Oh, yeah, the kid who used to eat paste. Looks like kind of a jock now."
"Boy, is he! Captain of the soccer and lacrosse teams. He really got his act together."
("Great," I said under my breath, "wonder when it's gonna happen for me.")
"What's that, Dad?"
"Oh, oh, nothing. Just saying wonder when it's gonna happen for me that this traffic clears up and ... Holy Crap!!!"
"What is it, Dad? What's wrong?"
"I mean ... umm ... Holy Crap! Captain of both the soccer and lacrosse teams, you say?"
"No, that wasn't it. I don't think you're that excited that a kid who used to eat paste is now captain of two sports teams."
"Well, frankly, I was looking at that young blonde girl over..."
"Dad!!! I warned you about that! It's not appropriate for you to be salivating over girls under 30, let alone in high school. There's a Cut-off!"
"No, no, no, that's not what I was thinking at all! I was ... er... wondering if she's a good student."
"Really? Why would you be thinking about that?"
"The way her hair shines so lustrously! I ... uh ... what I mean is, I thought perhaps she shines in classroom discussion as well."
"That's not very convincing, Dad."
"You're wrong, Brandon! I was merely observing the bulges ... that is, the bulges in her book bag, because it looks like she's reading a lot of weighty and serious books. You know, I'm concerned about the entire student body here ... the lithe young student body ... no, no, I mean ... "
We were at the front door. Time for Brandon to get out.
"Dad," he said, "we've just got to have a talk when I get home."
So, am I just another frustrated but relatively normal overage American male or should I get on the phone forthwith to the Wayward Jewish Baby Boomer Counseling Services of America and take their Industrial Strength Plan?
You let me know. I'll be at the house, waiting for Brandon.
And reading Lolita.