My 7th grade Art teacher, ‘Mr. Feigele’ we called him, but not to his face; wish I could remember his name, But he was young enough then to maybe be reading this after a mere 50 years, so I won’t mention it.
Ok, the cheap trick worked! Only 12 years old and I already know how to manipulate the endocrine system. He gaily affixed an A to my ‘ANATOMY’ submittal. Great.
But even way back then, your Dear Xangan was alert to ‘odd letter coincidences’. After discussing it with my Mom; (“Vell, I vouldn’t know nuthin’ a-bout that!”) I decided to throw a small monkey-wrench into the workings, and for the next assignment turned in this little joke:
Feeling full of youthful righteous jism, I marched into his office the minute I got the grade on it:
“So what’s my grade here, an ‘A’ or a ‘B’?
“Well, a ‘B’ and an ‘A‘, on ‘BANDANA’, Solberg.” he explained, laying his pipe on his desk to, you know, indicate that there might be more to the story.
My suspicions were pretty much confirmed; I needed only to ‘test’ his competence. I mean, this guy in his silly beret, feigning a romance with the French teacher to cover his tracks…
“A ‘B’ for the shameful rip off of Magritte, huh?” I suggested.
“Who’s Magritte?” Feigele asked, failing my little exam, then added:
“No, the ‘B’s for the chick. What’s she got to do with a bandana?“
” I dunno, I just thought she added to the… ambiance.” I said, and left, more convinced than ever of his… um…well…
So the next week I decided to go for the gold, frankinsense and myrrh. I mean, this imposter was obviously just taking my titles and using ’em to grade me. The piece came out a bit irreverent, but here goes:
Oy, looks like he didn’t take it too well? But a ‘D’? All curiosity aside, I do need to get into law school after this school-daze hell is over. If only to hang out with Lena and OBL, among others I hadn’t yet met.
So I marched into the dude’s office, got his attention, then:
“A ‘D’, or a ‘TI’ on my worshipful ‘ADORATION’?!” I shouted, falsetto voce.
“Listen, punk,” he growled, losing his temper, “you an’ me’s gonna have a rocky relationship if you insist on being that ‘iconoclastic‘!”
Ok, he had me in a corner. Hmmm…WTF does ‘iconoclastic’ mean?
“I didn’t even look at it.” he confessed.
“Aha, ‘TI/DL’. You-uns critics’s got this shorthand down, huh?” I managed, before a speedy exit to the library and Webster’s.
One hour later:
‘Iconoclastic’! Moi? He’s the lazy pervert who oughta be hammering rocks on Devil’s Island for his Sin. It’s in the damn Bible, for god’s sake!
Oh well. As my exceptionally to-die-for Readers know quite well, childhood is a learning experience, and one in which we little victims fight a losing cause more often than not against
the Ensconced Powers. I give up.
Or maybe not? For the Final Project, I turned in an ‘Academic paper’. Called it ‘Famous Lost ‘Found-Art’. Just the title gave me wet linguistic dreams. Borrowed my dad’s WW II Kodak, and shot a scene of a rooster and a hen you know, ‘getting it on’ which looked so much like the famous V-J Day kiss in New York that Eisenstaedt woulda creamed his jeans for the negatives. (sorry, photo lost)
And what did ‘Francois-the Bird-man’ have to say about my footnoted opus?
Yeah, you guessed it: Scribbled a half-hearted, half-legible ‘C’ in the upper right corner.
It all made sense now, the System . ‘A ‘C’… a ‘demi’ ‘C’ on my Academic treatise. I should have known.
Yes some of my teachers were and still remain ‘demi-gods. ‘Feigele, unfortunately, ain’t one of ’em.
Wu: Not bad, for a planaria worm. Or a snail. They also do ‘found-art’. On the sidewalk, you know.
Me: Hmm.. So I guess ‘You tower above..‘ is kinda out of the question here?