I will tell you stories about the Silver Times, when everything was shiny and the air was full of invisible messages. When pictures and words and music flew through the air.
Hardware, too. Jets. Missiles. Remote-controlled drones.
I will teach you startling new words and concepts every day. Smartphone. Lexus. Super Bowl. Spacecraft. Virus.
You will not believe these stories, you little hyenas, but they are true. Many of your fathers and mothers will call these stories lies. They will tell you I am some sort of lunatic ghost.
I am not a ghost. I look this way because I am old. If you live to be old, this will happen to you, too. It is the way things work. It is not magic. Magic is for losers.
If you behave, I will tell you jokes by the great Woody Allen, the great Mel Brooks, the great Chris Rock, and many others. I will also tell my own jokes. I am an expert on jokes.
I can see I have my work cut out for me. Here on Easter Island.
I am your teacher. My name is Dr. Mickey. I am too old to have a first name, even though it is true my last name, Mickey, was once a common first name.
When I close one eye, like this, this is called a wink. When I wink my eye, it might mean I am telling a joke. It might mean I am stretching the truth. It might mean I want you to play along. It might mean all of these things at the same time.
If you want to speak, raise your hand, like this. I will point at you, so. Then it is your turn to speak.
You back there, shut up. Stop picking at each other and I mean it.
Once upon a time, in a place called Africa, and maybe a few other places, there were dog-like creatures called hyenas. They made sounds very much like human laughter.
Frankly, geography will probably not help you in your lifetime any more than it helped the Indians. The Native Americans. The Native Americans were the people who lived here before there was ever a country called the United States of America. Some Native American people lived in these very hills. They left drawings of turtles and stick men and deer on the rocks that sheltered their fires from the wind and rain. I have seen these drawings.
Hey. You with the demented hair. I still have pretty good aim. Close your mouth or I will bounce a rock off your head.
Discipline is an important part of school. Discipline means you do what I say. Or I will bounce a rock off your head.
Some of you will not like me. This breaks my heart into tiny little pieces.
The human heart is located here, in the chest. The heart pumps blood to the rest of your body. The heart is a muscle. The heart is like a little creature living in there, about as big as your fist.
My heart has been pumping blood through my body for 90 years. My secret, in case one of you stone-faced urchins happens to give a rat’s ass, is simple. Eat right, exercise, and find a way to survive the extinction of most of your species.
If you place your finger here, on your wrist, you can feel your heart working. When your heart stops beating, you die. Don’t ask me what happens after that, because I don’t know. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it if I were you.
My heart is not broken into tiny little pieces, or I would be dead as a squirrel. People used to say my heart is broken when someone or something hurt them. But not enough to kill them.
We will learn about the human heart.
I will tell you stories. I will try to make you laugh. There was a time when people laughed and told jokes and made very loud noises. I am from that time, the so-called Silver Times.
Once upon a time there was a man named Bill Clinton. William Jefferson Clinton. He was a top man. He was the top man. The president.
President Bill Clinton was a real poon-hound. Many presidents were real poon-hounds.
Just file that away. It might be funny later.
I was born in the time of President Bill Clinton, in the United States of America, which is where you are presently located, even if no one has bothered to tell you. It is a real place. You can touch it right now. Everything you see and breathe and shovel in your mouth is part of the United States of America.
We will learn the history of the United States of America, or what I recall of it.
History is what happened before you stinky little retards showed up. Long after your bones have turned to dust, history will still be happening. Life will go on without you.
Boy, will it ever.
I see I have touched a nerve. We will continue with the shock and awe, then.
Outer space, that’s a good one.
We will learn about the sun and the stars and the planets and the universe and … I don’t know, gravity. I will teach you all the science I know. I doubt it will be enough to get you into any trouble you would not otherwise discover on your own.
We will learn about language. Language is made up of words. Everything you say is a word. Our language is called English. It started in a place called England, a land across the ocean.
The ocean is a big salty lake. It is so big you can not see the land and the trees on the other side of it. It goes on damn near forever. Nothing but water.
Sometimes I use bad language. I am too old to worry about it. Besides, I have tenure.
Wipe that drool off your chin, son. I know, I know. You do not understand this strange old goat and his astonishing gibberish. You want to find a small animal and torture it to death and, perhaps, eat it. That is fine. The great circle of life continues.
This is called school. If someone asks you what you did today, you say, “I went to school.” We will have school five days a week until I am sick of you, or until I die, and after that you are on your own.
I am ancient and terrible, like the Old Testament. But you will come to appreciate me, you little apes.
B2L2 contributor John Hicks maintains a sunny disposition.