Thursday, July 10, 2003

The funniest thing I ever wrote in my life was when I was in fifth grade.

Fifth grade I recall as the absolute nadir of my adolescence. I was two years younger than everyone in my grade, which meant I was pretty much smaller than everyone. (Of course, God demonstrated His sense of humor later by making me 6'1" long after it could do me any good). And that particular grade, the classes were segregated by sex, so that meant that every single kid in my class was tougher than me.

One day one of the kids who regularly beat me up, by the name of Mike F., came over to hit me and I put up my arm defensively to shield myself, and his fist struck my elbow, which was bent at a very acute angle. He recoiled in pain, and promised to start hitting me again as soon as it felt better.

So a few days later Sister Regina Eileen comes into class and tells us that we have to do something for our missing classmate Mike F., who is in the hospital with a broken hand. I have no idea what he might have told people was the cause, but I knew he had to have lied about it. There was no way he couldn't have lied about it.

As a class project, she tells us that we all have to write a get-well note to Mike F. She even supplied the paper, which had a nice mimeographed Get-Well graphic on top.

I was in enough trouble in school already, and I wasn't going to disagree with her.

So I wrote:

"Dear Mike,

I hope you are feeling better. Get well soon.

Best wishes,

He never came near me or spoke to me again.

Lunch yesterday with my friend Vince Barone, who only gets to vent politically around me, so we had fun. My favorite topic was a story I'd never heard about when Timothy Leary was dying, and of all people Susan Sarandon organized some humanitarian award for the guy. Just the idea of a humanitarian award for a person who helped fry untold numbers of brains over the course of his life is pretty funny in itself.

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