Kenneth Avery is a Southern humorist with well over a thousand fans. The charm and wit in his writing span a nearly a decade.
This is a Serious Piece
that I hate to write. No. I simply loathe the subject, so bear with me. This is a very short presentation that I hope will raise awareness about those with anger management. I know of only one person with this problem, and I tell you here and now, it is a huge problem. It could rival that of drug abuse, spounsal abuse, child abuse and let's not leave the animals out, animal abuse. Stop! What bottom-feeder would dare bring pain to such creations that God gave us to enjoy? And we used to think that Dog Fighting was okay as long as the public didn't see it.
Then former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick, was arrested along with several individuals who were willing participants in what the officials said was a Dog Fighting Ring. Then in a few months, Vick came clean and apologized, but only to those who could hear him. What about his responsibility to the dogs he paid to breed for fighting? Sure. I get this worked-up now and again, but what did these innocent dogs ever do to them? Plus, and yes, there is a concluding plus. I remember just how many millions the Eagles paid him and now he was arrested for allegedly breeding and having dog fights.
Why, for God's sake? When you rake in a few million a year, whydo you want to wander from whatever way is right, just to blow the scratch, bring shame to you and your family, become a criminal with a record and lose your job? I wish that some psychology master would tell me.
But Enough About Vick
this is about an eighth-grade math teacher that I was sorry to ever darkening his classroom. You will see later. I would call his real name, but he is now deceased and has answered "the" biggie from God, "Why? did you . . ." You will see later. Pray for me. I need it.
To reinforce my personal theological stance, I'm no one's judge, Vick or anyone else, including Charles Manson. Don't be afraid. Just letting the truth roll.
There this male math teacher sat and looking at himself, he seemed humble enough. Even spoke with a low clarity that (I know) teachers use to get their point across. Apparently he knew his formulas well. I was just in it to get myself passed to the ninth-grade and move on. But this math teacher stood in my way. And those in my class.
Then came the day when I sat in his class and relaxed. This was not new ground for me. We had been around the block. We had blown through seventh-grade, so listen, Mr. (name withheld), how about teaching us something we can use. This was what I thought, not said. His first words to us was hi, and quickly told us his name. His speech patterns were rapid--such as The Flash in DC Comics, and made this habit of sucking air to get inside his mouth, then as a finale, he clicked his teeth, I guessed for good luck.
But as time went slow and the eighth-grade went slower, we could never get really settled in to fall in love with this guy. And even us unlearned sized him up as being a control freak and not used to his authority being challenged.
So there it was.
Time to get busy studying his background and finding-out if there were any weak places in this presidio. It almost worked, but we instantly knew why he made us like Eliot Ness and his G-Men made a Chicago bootlegger. We had not built-up our many tales and stories designed to make any teacher gasp with fear. But we never used them.
Then We Got Wind of a Fellow Classmate
almost finding his big weakness and I gave him credit, the classmate friend of mine. Seems that without really trying, my friend, "Tony," and not an Italian, not that there's anything wrong with that, really set Mr. so and so afire like an Oklahoma brush fire. "Tony" was a slacker. But we loved him. He told us the story of what happened between him and this angry teacher.
One day in class, "Tony," asked the teacher, do you like to be respected? Before the guffaw's began, Angry Math Teacher Monster flew off the handle and shouted yes! And not giving "Tony" any space to breathe, he let go one of the most ignorant, braggadocio story that could ever come from the lips of an intelligent math teacher with so much on the ball, but he forced he issue and told "Tony," if he had any children?
Angry Math Teacher replied you, bet.
"Tony", when your children disobey, do you punish them?
Angry Math Teacher, you bet I do. Ya' see, smart mouth, ("Tony"), I have one boy, 16, and does good work in school and around the home, but . . .each time I arrive home, I take him to my tractor shed and whip his butt with a horse whip!"
"Horse whip?" "Tony" asked. Then looked around at me and others.
"Yes, smart mouth, (You know who), every day that comes!" Angry Math Teacher yelled.
A mystery: By now there was an awful stench in the atmosphere in our classroom. "Nothing like Napalm in the morning," remember?
"Tony" (not giving A.M.T. a chance to reload, may I ask that if your 16-year-old son does good work at school, as you have just said, and good work around the home, then what is this child doing to provoke your temper enough to whip him with a horse whip?"
There was now a silence unlike any that we had ever seen in our time in seventh-grade and even now. Quite frankly, I was on edge as well as my classmates who were glued to Angry Math Teacher who was now standing and propping his clenched fists on his desk top and glaring at "Tony." We could all hear that unquestionable sound of his mouth sucking in air and letting it filter over his teeth. This was not a class. This was soon to be an evil doctor's lab as we use to see in black and white horror shows.
I would tell you the rest of this tale, but why "kick a dead horse?" It wouldn't profit me or anyone else to stomp on Angry Math Teacher with four feet. I figure that in the few years after 1972 (our graduation year) that he retired. Enough about him.
I just pray that he and others with Control (and Anger) Issues are there in "that" peaceful, healing place that would make each one of them a regular person.
Truthfully, he deserved better.
April 08, 2021_______________________________________________
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