[In issue four we committed an oversight to the effect that some copies were without pages 11-14. In those issues a short letter was attached directing the reader to this site for the missing content. That missing content is now presented without further ado. It is by Christian Sablan:]
Pass or Fail
Ever tell your teacher her cleavage is the only thing that’s going to get you through the final? Then you skip class and show up the following day and find she’s twice as pissed off as before, one at what you said, and two, that you didn’t even bother to see what took hours of going through the closet to agree on what to wear that morning.
I hated school. Not the normal hated either, not the regular after four years of elementary school then your ego finally wakes up and tells you this is boring. I fuckin’ hated school my first day of 1st grade. I have an uncle on my mother’s side who told me a story when I was four years old I ran away my first and second day at school two miles from my house. This is odd because I can’t find my way out of my own backyard sometimes. Seriously I bring my gps with me when I walk my dog in case I take a random turn onto an unknown neighborhood.
I’m not what some people call self-reliant in any case whatsoever. My complete and total distaste for all things organized all started when I found out my teacher also went to school. I’m sure it was something relating to her degree to advance her positioning and better equip her to teach but this is not something you want to tell a kid with chronic ADD on security watch. This was dampened even more as I was held back a year during 1st grade, which is a nice way to say I was stupid. Which is strange because I believe first grade is ABCs and basic addition and subtraction; which I was fine at, but it was just getting me to do it that added to the decision that I should try again. It’s fucked up now that I think of it. I lip synced the Pledge of Allegiance every time. If I was asked to recite it today at gunpoint I’d be fucked. I excelled at everything else; I could break graham crackers down the line perfectly, play games, and nap-time—I had nap-time down pat. A natural. I even gave myself extra credit for going into nap time when not told to, even during a lecture on why the opposite of up is down. I felt obliged to doze off and hopefully receive a gold star upon waking.
I had a teacher shake me when I was a kid. Having forgotten her name, I’ll call her Tilda for now. I call her Tilda because she kinda reminded me of Tilda Swinton. Think ‘The Beach’ with glasses, with a yellow shirt. The day she etch a sketched me in the middle of class, it was during my second round at first grade. She accidentally stapled her nail. I pointed and laughed—and not like a snarky giggle—I stomped my feet and laughed so hard my desk shifted half a foot. Don’t get me wrong my mother handed my ass to me all the time so a teacher grabbing me and yelling nonsense didn’t bother me. She treated me like a used piñata, shaking out that last bit of candy in a lodged crevice. You know when you see cartoons get electrocuted when they grab something, that’s kinda what the kids around me saw. And I truly believe that nap time had to have been directly afterwards because I never told anyone.
We didn’t have to ask to use the bathroom at this point, so I was skating on thin ice already. I would go 4 to 6 times a day. I thought it was fun to just escape to the bathroom and pee standing on top of the toilet seat into the drain. While kids were painting self-portraits in class I was dousing the walls with yellow sunsets. It was fun, which honestly wasn’t. It was a sausage fest, literally. I couldn’t understand why no girls were there. I didn’t even know it was the boy’s room, which would have required me to look up and read. Fuck that. All in all it was a shitty endeavor. I only had two epiphanies the entire experience, one was the usual ‘fuck this place’ and the other got me my first detention in class as I leaned into the girl sitting next to me and asked if it was true that she couldn’t pee standing up. Nothing prepared me for what was ahead.
Fast forward to present day. I’m a comedian and comedy writer for an art magazine based out of the west coast called Brev Spread. I got where I am today because I am lazy, and not only do I not give a fuck, I’m proud of it. It’s built in pride. Being a comedian sucks most of the time. Every time I meet someone and we exchange job titles, it’s followed by a bitter taste because comedy is the only medium that you can’t go to class for, they don’t teach humor. And this wasn’t a first round ko. I tried many a things that got me where I am today. Tried to find God as a child and saw the amount of bullshit I had to read into and told myself that I’d just keep the name tag. Pondered playing football and saw the try-out lines wrapped around the gym and told myself I’m not going to wait in line to get the shit kicked out of me for two hours straight. I have no regrets either, because you know what the captain of the team is doing now? Mowing my fucking lawn. Tried to enlist, passed the ASVAB, passed the drug test, passed the medical exam, just couldn’t do the push-ups. Entertaining the troops was much more honorable then being the one in a fox hole telling fistfuck jokes about Bree Walker’s claw to a shell shocked gi who doesn’t like fistfuck jokes, and wants to kill me just as much as the guy in his crosshairs. Almost got married, ‘til it dawned on me the one thing I loved the most about the woman was my free time away from her. She never left me alone and I couldn’t sleep at night knowing one day the time I spent away from her she would plan and arrange. Never learned a language because it would taint my already polluted vocabulary. I have trouble talking my way out of ticket in English, I’m a bit finicky about trying it in another language. Everything and everywhere I’ve ever gotten in life has been attributed to my laziness. I was once told someone there’s no elevator to success, and that I have to take the stairs. I don’t do stairs. I didn’t get to where I am today by telling people I paid my dues. My actual response to that was a joke about how after hearing that I threw him down an upward escalator and as he moved back up I continued to repeatedly throw him down—and I have to say it was the most hysterical image ever.
I’m lazy. Education at my age is a self-help medium. It has taught me a lot of things. How to better myself and better equip myself to be a more versatile lazy man in the self-help world we live in. I look at the word “education” not as an acquiring of knowledge but more so a degree of knowledge. One that is riddled with more inconsistency than my morning wood. For every hundred smart men only one is brilliant. For every thousand brilliant men only one is a genius. For every line-up of genius’s only one make’s history that people care to reference. Usually the creator isn’t too proud of what they have created either. Einstein created the Theory of Relativity, and the first call he got from his corporate sponsors was in short, “How would you like to facilitate the development of a bomb that can level a country flat, eat the mercury out of a tooth filling, and leave all surrounding survivors left on fire that we’ll never use?” Steve Jobs created the best computer in the world to steal shit off the internet with. And like all geniuses, he died. Tried to hook him to a defibrillator but like any iPod he didn’t support flash. Tried to perform surgery on him but like any Mac the battery wasn’t removable. Fuck, every time I hear the word “education,” or anything related it reminds me how much I really don’t want one. Every time I get together with a friend who has just finished school, I think, “Just great, so what’s it gonna be, McDonalds or Popeye’s? Can’t be too bad, most likely he’s working there. Discount!” Or I just can’t get past the concept; like I meet aspiring attorney’s all the time. I’d have trouble sleeping with the idea that my job is to do homework for the rest of my life. I’m honestly thankful my failures have gotten me to a happy place in my life. I’m 30 and back in school and taking a class. Taking stagecraft, to better hip myself the theater life, completely surrounded by actors, or people who are going to play second fiddle. The only thing I go home with after class is that I should just use the gifts that God accidentally gave me. If you told me right now that I should get an education I’d recoil: “I know, I should really know how to grow my own marijuana by now, how do I not know how to do that?” I’m lazy. Never said I was perfect.