Thanks, Mr. Swallow!

O.K. — I see what’s ALREADY going on in your nasty little heads — WRONG! Though I WILL admit, it’s a pretty good double entendre, and speaking strictly for myself here, always WELCOMED! See — now you’ve got ME doin’ it too; not that it’s THAT hard to drag ME down into the gutter (or maybe UP into the gutter).

Allow me to inject (Whoops! I did it again!) some clarification: Mr. Swallow was a teacher I had back in high school, roughly 152 years ago, when I walked 5 miles uphill each way to and from school, got my lunch money robbed almost daily from me from a small but consistent (at least until they individually and/or collectively got shuttled off to a more “proper” institution, if you know what I mean and I THINK you do!) band of not-so-merry hoodlums (which I will discuss in individual and lurid detail further along in this Blog), who somehow determined that a correct morning “greeting” for me was a good solid punch in either shoulder with a heavy-ringed fist, followed by the requisite “outstretched hand” which I was obliged to empty my money pocket into (“Uh, you can keep that pocket lint, Dick”).

The “Vernoy Boys” were THE worst of the worst offenders, as many of them had ALREADY been to Vietnam and back — I guess they were taking advantage of “The GI Bill” to finish high school, since my high school must SURELY have charged them some $ to allow them to come there! But there I go, digressing again; this is what happens when you are lucky enough to hit middle age and the majority of your brain synapses (whatever the fuck THOSE are!) are no longer functioning in a regular & orderly fashion. Now pardon me while I go launch a mid-morning mudsnake; it’s in me, and it’s gotta get out…


O.K., I’m back — THAT was one for the record books! Mr. Swallow was an odd fellow; in retrospect, he was most gentile, with a very clever, well-veiled sense of humor. However, due to his BEING gentile, and of diminutive physical stature, he got picked on relentlessly by us Jersey Boys.

He taught several “Girls Classes” in high school; remember, this was back in the day when men were men, and women were GLAD of it! He taught a class called “Briefhand”, which was a “dumbed down” sort of shorthand that I don’t believe ever caught on as a mainstream replacement for shorthand. (It was also a pretty good description for how long it took me to pleasure myself back in those days…)

He also taught a Speed-reading class, but most importantly, he taught Personal Typing. I can’t remember exactly why I thought that “typing” might somehow, somewhere be of ANY importance to me and my best buddy, but it occurred to one or the other of us that it may someday be so; we both signed up for it.

Well, it didn’t take too long for the aforementioned “Jersey Hoodlum Friends” of mine to find out that me and my buddy were in Personal Typing Class; in no small part due to the fact that we were THE first boys that took that class in the history of same!

We’d been in it for a couple weeks when my #1 hoodlum friend, after relieving me of my day’s lunch money and applying his “love tap” to my already-bruised right shoulder, pointed out to all of HIS hoodlum followers that I was carrying my little Personal Typing textbook; to wit: “Oh, look at Dickie, with HER Personal Typing textbook! How’s THAT going, girl? Wanna take some “dictation” for me right here and now?” His comment was met with chortles of laughter as well as the requisite finger-pointing, etc; and honestly speaking, that WAS pretty funny!

I just let ’em all laugh for about a minute — I even smiled and laughed with ’em, for effect. Then I turned to him (and the group) and said: “Yeah, me and my buddy, in there all alone — with TWENTY-EIGHT GIRLS — we sure are fuckin’ stupid, aren’t we?!” after which I walked off, leaving a vacuum behind me.

Next semester there were EIGHT guys in Personal Typing — D’uh! In retrospect — given the whole “Personal Computer Thang” that started up (at least for ME) in the ’90’s, Personal Typing turned out to be THE most useful class I took in high school — Thanks Mr. Swallow!


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