#CTTW: You Changed the World a Little Bit

This is another one of those rare posts that isn’t supposed to be funny (as opposed to my posts that happen to not be funny because I’m just not that good a writer). You would think this one would be a hoot since yesterday I went to the dentist to have a crown put on and I totally misunderstood the whole process. It does not, in fact, result in me being named the Queen of anything. In fact, it resulted in the dentist breaking the tooth he was trying to fix and then having to pull the mother fucker out of my head in four different pieces.

You would also think this post would be funny because I’m now on really good drugs (see story above). Sadly, if I’m this bizarre when I’m supposedly sober, I should be awesome while high. I’m not. Instead, I make tree sloths look like steroid-abusing Olympic athletes.

But here is the serious post: you changed the world a little bit. You, my good internet people, answered the call and filled in the gaps. When I was given twenty copies of Fahrenheit 451 to give to my students for World Book Night, all of you took to the internet and sent gift cards for me to buy extra copies for the remaining students. I not only ended up with enough to give to every student, there are about five leftover copies on my desk that I give to new students coming in.

One student was actually in the facility with me last year and remembered being given last year’s book, The Book Thief. He said it was the only book he’d read at the time, but that he’s read “way more’n dat” since then. His face lit up when I handed him this year’s book.

Other students told me a much more heart-wrenching tale. Several told me that they read it one time just because I was nice enough to give it to them, and that it was good enough that they had to read it again. MANY students told me a different story:

“If all those people on the internet bought this book for me, the least I could do is read it for them.”

You. You did that. And I’m clapping for you right now.

Going Ham. Well, More Like Going Pork Chop.

I teach a very special group of young people, and as a result I have come to develop a very colorful street jargon. It’s hilarious (even to my students) when a middle-aged, gray-haired English-teacher-slash-author starts discussing the hundreds of varieties of marijuana and their potencies, can accurately list the necessary ingredients to go about producing crystal meth via the Shake and Bake method, or can tell you how many years you’re gonna get for a standard B&E if a firearm was involved.

I have one absolute favoritest street term, though, and it’s mostly because it’s a full-body thing. It involves making an angry face and jerking your arms in front of your torso very quickly while taking a step forward with one foot. You do all of those theatrics while simultaneously announcing, “I’m gonna go ham on you.” You can amend the statement to include “on yo ass” if the situation warrants.

Obviously, being gone ham on is not something that you want to happen to you, ever. I also have to admit that I’ve never actually witnessed a full-on hamming, although I do watch people threaten to ham someone on a daily basis.

Sadly, I’m insanely jealous that going on ham on someone is not a threat that I can use because it just reduces my pork victim to tears of laughter. Trust me, I’ve tried it. Many times. NO ONE was impressed with my angry threat, not even my twelve-year-old, and I even did the jerky arm stompy thing while saying it. Maybe my angry face needs work.

I’ve had to resort to the concept of going pork chop on people instead. It involves actually following through with the hamming, instead of just running your mouth about it, and the jerky posturing thing has now been replaced by a swift punch to the throat with the flat edge of your open hand, hence the “chop” part. Now, in response to hearing someone announce that he is about to “go ham,” I can reply with my threat to “pork chop” him. I had the opportunity to try this out this week, and I’m happy to report that there was no laughter. Lots and lots of confusion and a modicum of lack of air for a few minutes, but no laughter.