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. A 12-year-old boy from central China got caught smoking cigarettes by his mother. She handled things Chinese style. She removed her belt and beat his little ass. But the kid became very angry and stabbed her twenty times with a knife. Later, he told the police that she had committed suicide. The child is too young to be punished, and he’s now allowed to return to school. Understandably, the parents of the other children are quite nervous.
I’m by no means a fundamentalist Christian. Yet I do believe in everything that the bible says. People are bad, and no one is innocent—especially adolescents. This boy is a dirty criminal, and he should be treated as such. If I were king of the world, I’d throw that little asshole off a cliff. But what do I know?
I took a quick shower and walked downstairs. I haven’t been jerking off lately. Maybe I’m dying of cancer. Then I ate a bowl of oatmeal with Rice-Boy Larry. It was topped with crunchy granola.
He said, “What’s wrong? You look sad.”
“I’m not sad. I’m just fighting with my boss.”
“Yeah, the Chinese government wants all the children to go out and run in the mornings. And they want the homeroom teachers to jog by the side of their class in a half-assed military formation. You’ll have to do it, too. We start next week.”
“Tell me about it. Anyway, I told my boss that I’m too fucking old for that type of shit. And I also told him that I don’t want Big Brother forcing me to exercise in the mornings.”
“What did he say?”
“He ordered me to run.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“What the fuck can I do? I’m going to smile and jog at a snail’s pace.”
“Therefore, you’ve decided to handle the situation in a passive-aggressive manner?”
“That’s correct. You’re a very smart boy for your age.”
“I plan to do the same thing. I’ll pretend that I’m about to keel over and die. Maybe they’ll let me sit under a tree.”
I smiled. “Now you’re thinking. Like father, like son.”
I got to school at 7:30 a.m. We had a meeting. Sadly, I can’t remember a fucking thing that anybody said. Most of the stuff we talk about is never very important. Management often gives meetings just to say they did so.
I walked to my classroom and called Ken the Chicken Man.
He said, “Something weird happened.”
“I started playing poker on my virtual reality machine. I was really killing the game. I won just about every hand. Then I got banned from the site.”
“Take my advice. Stay away from anything resembling vice.”
“Dad, nobody is playing for real money.”
“It doesn’t matter. You pissed somebody off. Study math instead.”
“Of course I’m boring. I’m old. All old folk are boring.” I changed the subject. “How’s life in chicken land?”
“Things are the same as usual. People order sandwiches, and I make them. The river just keeps flowing.”
“Well, routine is important.”
Later in the day, I talked to one of my Chinese co-teachers. She’s a real pistol who always dresses in the highest fashion.
I said, “You won’t be able to wear those clothes when we start running.”
She said, “I’m not going to change my style for anybody.”
“How can you possibly run in that dress?”
“You don’t understand China. You just have to look like you’re making an effort. Appearance is everything.”
I got home at 5 p.m. and watched Tucker Carlson. Donald Trump got caught paying off his former sex partners. Tucker believes that giving an extortionist hush money doesn’t constitute a crime. And what can I say? I agree with him. Great minds think alike.