Monday, November 12, 2007

Alec's Fables


Your faithful servant, far right, in 1981.


So when did we get so mean? And why is it okay? I understand that we are all filled with various degrees of anxiety, resentment and prejudice. What I don't understand is when and why we started taking so much pride in these personal shortcomings?

When I was a pimple faced young punk rocker in high school my gym teacher was also my driver-ed teacher -- one of those made for TV drill sergeants who wore tight beige nylon 'coaching shorts' no matter the season and barked "Hands at 10 and 2!" every 20 seconds in my ear during test drives. He seemed to me to be expressly placed on this earth to humiliate, degrade and fail people just like me. I didn't fear him so much as I simply dreaded the inevitable verbal smack-down that I knew was lurking around some yet unknown corner.

Finally one day, while on one of our "10 and 2" test drives, he looked me up and down -- taking in my bleached hair, scrappy clothes and combat boots --and it began, "You know what your problem is?"

To this point our test drives (which regularly involved me, the only person in the class who actually did NOT already know how to drive, running his afternoon errands) had mercifully involved zero personal interaction --other than his tapping the rear view mirror with a pencil and barking his usual refrain.

I braced for the inevitable.

"Your problem is that people fear what they don't understand. Fear and anger come from the same place, you know?-- insecurity. People like you remind others that they do not, and may never, understand their world. I just wonder if you understand who you are. You're not done questioning, young man. HANDS AT TEN AND TWO!"

6 Comments:

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Fra, said...

In Italia, ai miei tempi, si insegnava di tenerle alle 10,10. Forse perchè noi bisogna usare il cambio più spesso. Adesso, ho sentito in TV (e quindi è vero...) che vanno tenute alle 9,15. Per via degli air bag, che sarebbero osteggiati dalla consueta posizione . Ciao!

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Alec The Bee said...

9 and 15 (9 and 3 in English), that's crazy-talk! Now, let's discuss the shorts...Ciao, Fra!

 
At 11:29 PM, Blogger lajules said...

Your article gives further evidence to one of my oldest (and thoroughly experimented) theories: men's brains work better when the testicles are under moderate, but constant, pressure.

As you might have noticed, baggy khakis are "les trousers of choice" in the Capital.

Nice story, anyway!

 
At 9:35 PM, Blogger Devadeva dasi said...

well, glad our shared record collection has brought me to your blog. good, solid read.

 
At 12:41 PM, Blogger Alec The Bee said...

Hi Devadeva,

Thanks for stopping by --record collections have a way of bring people together. Cheers to that!

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger Alec The Bee said...

um, bringing.

 

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