Sunday, January 19, 2014

"I'll Slice it Off!"

I earned my first degree at P.S. 77 on the corner of 85th Street and First Avenue. My education continues this Tuesday at BADYHOUSEStorytellingConcert #6 is here!

Robin Bady hosts storytelling with Siobhan V O'Loughlin, Megan Hicks, Judith Heimeman and me. It's a groove this Tuesday, January 21 @ 7pm.

85 Chester Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11218
View Map · Get Directions 
Here's a P.S. 77 memory.

I'm at work on Church Street in the Post Office building, its ten o'clock at night. I'm making art for a friend's birthday card and needed to use the paper cutter. My whole life I've been afraid of that device.

I went to Kindergarten at P.S. 77 on 85th Street and First Avenue. In the spring of 1960, Eisenhower was a lame duck President and the presidential campaign was kicking off.  Because of Kennedy's Catholic thing, there was a buzz in my papal favorable neighborhood about the election. Everybody's parents were taking strong sides; so of course, you did too ~ just repeating whatever you heard. I was for Kennedy, and John Cupo, a five year old, staunch Republican, was for Nixon. John and I had big mouths and we fought over anything. One day, he hit me, I hit him, but the teacher, Mrs. Brown, only saw my punch. She punished me by putting me under her desk in front of the classroom.

I was pretty angry about this and when I heard Cupo laughing at me I started yelling at him from under the desk. This led to little kicks in my ass from Mrs. Brown. She leaned under the desk and told me, "If you ever expect to get out of there, be quiet for the rest of the morning." I said, "OK."
Five minutes later, I heard Cupo and at least two other guys laughing, I assumed at me, and I went a little crazy, yelling, "stupid, fat head, dummy," and other five yr old insults.

By this point, Mrs. Brown was working my ass with her foot like a bass drum. I was immune, Cupo got my goat. I kept it up.

That's when, Mrs. Brown leaned over and said, "Thomas, say one more thing, and I'll put your arm in the paper cutter and slice it off."

Not a word. I'm still scared of paper cutters.


ellin kirk said...

what a stupendous story in honor of this sunday.thomas i2have a fear of paper cutters from ms.delaney@ps#8in the bronx.went2kindergarten@st cecilia's in iselin,nj, teacher was named mrs.prune~she actually had the patience of a saint.r classroom was in a quonsithut,cuz there were so many of us that year.i loved kindergarten~cept4the"nicknames"

ellin kirk said...