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Saturday, December 02, 2006If The Penguins Could See Me Now...
So last night I finally set about the task of finishing up this year's holiday cards. I actually have 3 different ones going out this year. The first is to the family members, the second to some of my friends who still have either wives or mothers who do their cards for them, and then there are what have been referred to as "my secret friends"... aka bloggers I read or people from the forum. I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to cards. This year actually is no exception.
My family is getting a photocard of DJ. They'll actually display that card instead of a photo of me flipping them off. That was the card I sent out two years ago, and my mom still takes shit from them about it at the family functions my brother and I don't attend. A cousin of mine made the mistake of making a nasty comment about it to my brother... so last year he sent one flipping them off.
My friends are getting either the glittery snowscene or the car decked out in Christmas lights. Inside both read "Happy Holidays" already printed. I simply sign the card with my standard figure 8 "D" for Dawg and press my paw print die-cut-punch through the corner. One of the asshat girlfriends from my little writing group friends made a comment once that it wouldn't be a bad idea to write the person's name in the card. The next year, much to Pudding's chagrin since we were still married, I had her write "Dear Omar and Bitch," in the card. Omar claims that is the reason they never got married and blames me. I think he owes me a fucking beer for doing him the favor.
As for the Blogging Buddies... heh. Well they'll have to wait to see it. It isn't what I originally wanted to do... but some of them do have kids dontcha know. Yeah, its true. Even though I really can't stand mommy bloggers I do read a lot of mothers that blog. I don't want to be accused of corrupting a minor. There was also the whole idea about lighting The Tree on fire... but once again I'm trying to stay out of jail and off the FBI hit list. Although Cuba supposedly has wonderful weather this time of year... I like my bacon well cooked, ya know? So as for the cards... well... wait for it. It may or may not make any sense... but you'll have to admit... it's an awesome t-shirt. They're going in the mail sometime this weekend.
So now that I have explained my Holiday card plans... your probably wondering why on earth I titled this "If The Penguins Could See Me Now..." when I haven't mentioned the little Arctic animal once... and there are no cards with said little Arctic animal. Penguin is actually a very derogatory term for me. I went to a Roman Catholic Elementary School run by nuns who dressed like... wait for it... penguins.
The whole social uproar about classroom corporal punishment hadn't really come to a fever pitch yet when I was in school. My father was also a victim of the Roman Catholic school system, during his sober hours, he firmly believed that if the teacher said you did something wrong you were automatically guilty and deserved whatever beating you got at school. During his drunken hours it became a contest of who delivered a worse beating, him or the Penguin. My mother on the other hand is a Protesant and while she would tolerate most things the Roman Catholic Church shoved down her gullet, classroom violence was not one of them.
So in second grade I had this Penguin named Sister Mary of No Mercy. What was her subject of expertise you ask? Penmanship. For over 3 months Sister Mary of No Mercy would stalk up and down the aisles lording over us as we wrote in the foreign script of cursive writing. She spent the first ten minutes of each hour period on how to correctly hold the pen. For whatever reason, I just couldn't do it comfortably in my hand.
When December came around she explained to my parents at the parent-teacher conference that I was "stunted" and "incapable" of writing cursively. However, she assured them, when she was done with me I would be the second grade's most famous caligrapher. It was after this reassurance and my parents unknowingly giving her the go ahead that the long reach of the yard stick would bleed my knuckles on a daily basis.
The first time she did it, I had switched the pen to my left hand. I had discovered it was more comfortable to hold it the way the Penguin had wanted it with that hand. I never saw the wood emerge from beneath the habit. In fact all I heard was the *THWAP* of the wood on something soft. It took me a full five seconds to realize it had been my hand. By that time she was screaming at me about how I MUST hold the pen in my other hand, how I MUST do as instructed, how the DEVIL and his consorts use their left hand to write the words of the LORD.
Words of the LORD? WTF bitch, I was writing "See Spot run." Where in the Ten Commandments did God write "See Spot run."? Where in the Church Canonical, Gnostic, or Apocryphic fucking gospels does Jesus say, "See Spot run."? Ezekiel saw a damn WHEEL... he didn't "See Spot run." So yeah, I'm still mystified over that gem.
So this went on for 5 months. Even with the pen in my right hand I was getting the *THWAP*. I realized later on in life that either she planned it that way, or she just got lucky. Writing was in the morning. So any bleeding or dried blood I'd have on my hand got washed away in the washroom. The scabs that covered where the wounds were became overlooked by my mother who was sort of oblivious since my brother had just been born in January and was depriving her of everything a normal human being needed. I don't blame her for overlooking the scabs on my hand considering all the other injuries I had as well. Yeah... I was actually a scraped up mess... so they fit right in.
The beatings were discovered one day in May. I had just had my daily whipping... which at this point wasn't so terrifying anymore as it had become kind of mundane and old. Maybe if she had switched it up a little it wouldn't have been so passe'. The truth is, I was making her work harder to make me bleed. She always got the blood though... for she was Sister Mary of No Mercy. So I was bleeding when the fire alarm rang. Of course we got up like good little ducks, walked along the wall, and out into the schoolyard. For whatever reason, my mother was there. She saw me as I walked by and smeared my blood from the hand against the wall.
Needless to say after what seemed like an eternity with my hand bandaged to five times its size in white gauze sitting outside the principal's office, well I no longer was in Sister Mary of No Mercy's class. I had the sweetest second grade teacher, Ms. Gorman for the remaining two months. While I would like to say the story ends happily with me being able to write with my left hand... well no. I still write with my right hand but continue to hold my pen like a left handed person would.
Fast forward to elementary school graduation, where Sister Mary of No Mercy walks up to me. In second grade you think your Penguin is an Emporer. In reality they're nothing more than a fucking little Canary, but whateva. She then chose to speak these words I will never forget... "You had such potential, but your handwriting is still horrid. You'll never be able to communicate your thoughts and ideas. May God bless you and watch over you."
My reply then is the same as it is now... "Fuck you." BTW, I learned the word fuck in fourth grade and have been using it ever since... but I'm digressing. I think you all can agree that I can get my thoughts and ideas across pretty well... granted modern technology has a hand in it. I think it's safe to say that while my handwriting is far from artistic, the words that are devised are the true tool. I think it would be interesting... if the Penguins could see me now.
So what brought on this little tirade you may ask? Well I don't have a printer hooked up here at home. So I had to handwrite all the addresses on the cards. So it's block print and it looks like a second grader wrote it. The first person who makes fun of it gets one of my left overs from two years ago next year. Kids or not.