FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 2006

Yesterday or was it the day before yesterday,I walked the same halls kesey walked, at Springfield high school, talked the almost same talk, the way he did when he talked at Springfield high school, his old alma mater where he didn't run the play the coach called, in the final minute against the Eugene Axemen, for Springfield was the millers and whereas you would think they were milling wood, no, they were milling grain, and the millrace didn't carry logs to the mill, it turned a big wheel that turned the stone that ground the grain, quite fitting, for their coach was a grind it out kind of guy, the ground game his forte and of course he called a line plunge, Kesey changed it to a line plunge fake and a long pass and they scored the winning touchdown and the coach fumed, then cheered, and from then on Kesey called all the plays in the huddle and he wasn't even the quarterback, he played in the line.

While in high school, Kesey honed his magic skills and got to perform them at the McDonald Theater between showings of the Saturday matinees when the place was full up with kids. Kesey also was a ventriloquist, with a dummy who wisecracked with Kesey, and I was happy to inform the students that later on, I was the dummy who wisecracked with Kesey. Now I am working on my magic and ventriloquism skills.

A very attentive class, well behaved and all, and I was delighted to see they had a real chalkboard, which of course I called a blackboard and they hooted me down, but, hey, when I was in school it was black, but no nevermind because what is important is they have erasers you can bang together and make a huge chalkdust storm and smack black sweaters on the back and make a great chalk mark, but to get serious I turned and started writing my myspace address on the chalkboard and, just like my calculus teacher who had eyes in the back of my head, I could tell one of the students in the back of the class was lapsing in the attention department so, just like my calculus teacher, I spun and fired the chalk at him, not intending to hit him, although the calculus teacher was a dead shot and could drill you every time, much to my anguish and terror, the chalk didn't go into the back wall, but straight into the forehead of Kathy Harrington, the teacher, who had stood up, probably to better see what I was writing. Dropped her like a rock. There was consternation and rushing to prop her up, fanning of the face with manila folders, dabbing of water to the wrist from bottles everyone carries, and then, just as she was coming around, here came the campus cop, having seen it all on the closed circuit TV, and, totally humiliated, overcome with remorse and guilt, I was led off to . . . no, not on the last day of school, anything but that . . . DETENTION!

Ah, after being thoroughly chastised and chastened for stretching the truth a little too far, I must publish a disclaimer and state that's not what really happened. In the middle of my talk the campus cop did come in, but it was in response to, yes, monitoring me on the closed circuit TV and hearing me talk about certain forbidden topics and using language not allowed, and yes, I was led out in humiliation but it wasn't for nailing the teacher with a piece of chalk, I got detention for insubordination!

What? Still don't believe me? All I have to say on that score is, remember what the character, Chief Henry Stamper Bromden. said in that great American literary classic, SOMETIMES A GREAT CUCKOO, "It's all true, even if it didn't happen."


RETURN TO MAIN PAGE