Yesterday, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and drank a cup of instant coffee. Then I read the news on my smartphone while taking a nasty shit. Rich Chinese are buying too much baby formula from Australia. In fact, they're paying three times the normal cost. For instance, if a can of milk normally goes for thirty dollars, then that same can be sold on the internet for ninety bucks. In order to fight this underground market, grocery stores are limiting the customers to three cans per person.
Sadly, food in China is often looked upon as unhealthy by the nation’s very own citizens. And rightly so. Poisoned baby formula took the lives of many children several years ago. I believe the manufacturer received the death penalty—even though his actions were unintentional. Here’s my take on the situation. If you move to China, then you simply must accept the fact that the vittles might kill you. But that's OK with me. I no longer give a fuck about making it to a ripe old age. I’m almost fifty, so I’ve got one foot in the grave, anyway.
I walked to school with Rice-Boy Larry. The weather was very muggy yet again. That twenty-minute morning jaunt is torture for the both of us.
We finally arrived at my classroom at 7:30 a.m. I turned on the air conditioner and called my mom using WeChat.
I said, “How did Ken’s interview go?”
She said, “The interview is tomorrow.”
“Oh, shit. I thought it was today.”
“Don’t worry. He’ll do fine.” Mom changed the subject. “Next year, I’m going to let him drive my Lexus to school. But his friend Nate wants a lift every morning. I don’t like giving free rides to the neighbors. Ken’s not a taxi service.”
“Do you remember that sadistic gym teacher I used to have? The one who always made me kneel in the rocks? I think his name was Smith.”
“Oh yes! I remember that son-of-a-bitch as if it were yesterday.”
“Well, you were the one who turned him into a sadist. You kept calling and calling about my stolen sneakers, so the principal kept giving the guy all kinds of shit. Then Smith took his anger out on me. I can still feel that gravel poking into my goddam flesh.”
“What’s your point?”
“Why ruin a friendship over a ride to school? Sometimes, you just got to let stuff go in order to keep the peace.”
“You’re probably right, but I still don’t like it. Nate’s father ought to drive him.”
“Oh, for the love of God, let it be.”
My eleventh-graders arrived at 9:30 a.m. They wanted to know about the American Nazi Party and the KKK. They also inquired about the incident at Charlottesville, Virginia.
Patty Wang said, “America is filled with racists.”
I said, “Not exactly.”
She gave me the stink eye. “Then what would you call it when the KKK runs over an innocent person?”
“It’s definitely a tragedy. But there’s a back story. Would you kids like to hear it?”
They listened intently as I educated them on The Constitution.
“In America, we have the First Amendment. That gives every yahoo the right to stand up and speak his mind. This even extends to the KKK and the American Nazi Party. These guys had a permit to assemble in Charlottesville and spew their hate.”
A boy named Steve looked at me incredulously. “So you can say whatever the heck you want in the United States? I don’t believe that.”
“It’s true—for the most part. Why would I lie?” I paused for dramatic effect. “Should I continue, or are you going to keep interrupting me?”
“Go on,” Steve said regally.
“Anyway, these racists were spewing their hate when another group of idiots called Antifa joined the fray. This organization is way to the left. It’s filled with communists and anarchists. Antifa started throwing bags of poop and pee at the racists, and all hell broke loose. The whole affair degenerated into an ugly riot. Blood was spilled, and a woman died.”
Patty Wang said, “So you’re blaming the incident on Antifa?”
“God no. I’m blaming it on the governor of Virginia and the mayor of Charlottesville. They knew that the KKK and the Nazis were speaking that day, and they told the cops to stand down. If they couldn’t provide security, then they should have rescheduled the assembly. But what do I know?”
Patty said, “So what’s your bottom line?”
“I’m glad you asked. My bottom line is very practical. If you ever see the Klan or Antifa preparing to stage a rally, then run the other way as fast as your feet will carry you. Those idiots are crazy, and the government won’t protect you.”