Substitute teaching elementary school children and middle school children who act like elementary school children is every bit as awful as I thought it would be. Not all the time - some first grade classes are better than some sixth grade classes, and some sixth grade classes are perfect but some third grade classes are straight from the bowels of hell. (I did a day teaching six sixth grade classes and a day as a librarian covering the whole spectrum.) But it's a gamble, so I'm definitely going to keep aiming for high school. Also, I didn't think my desire to reproduce could be lower than it already was, but surprise!
Yesterday I went outside just in time to see a teenager come down the road on a bike, and right in front of my apartment, the front wheel came off and the back wheel flipped over his head. He lay in a fetal position in the road with the bike on top of him, gashes on his forehead and wrists, and had a seizure. Another teenager came up behind him on a skateboard and screamed, "AW SHIT! AW SHIT! AHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHH!" That freaked me out more than the initial accident. I ran up and tried to move the bike, but when I pulled up on one part the other part went down, and I didn't want to make things worse and I figured the bike being on top of him was not the most pressing issue, so I ran back inside for my phone that I hadn't bothered to put in my pocket because nobody ever calls or texts me. For this guy's sake I put aside my hatred of Logan Regional Hospital and the Logan City Police Department and I called 911. I explained everything to the dispatcher, and then she put me on hold, and then another dispatcher picked up and asked the nature of my emergency so I explained it again and she said they already knew about it. Um, okay.
The skateboard teenager had also called 911, and he asked the injured one's name and age, so at first I thought they didn't know each other but of course he was just checking to make sure the injured one remembered. After the seizure, I thought for a brief awful moment that the guy was actually dead, but then he spasmed and then he tried to get up and his friend tried to keep him from getting up. His friend asked where it hurt and he said nowhere. I could see blood on his teeth as he spoke, but he said he was fine. A FedEx driver stopped to see what was going on, and an EMT stopped to see what was going on, and then the fire department and the police but not an ambulance showed up. Nobody knew how to contact his parents, so they debated for a moment whether to take him to the hospital. Why was that even a question? Oh right, because this is the United States, and the hospital bill might ruin his parents' lives. The police investigator asked me for my contact information and I gave it to her and I wonder if she recognized the name. The department leadership is very aware of who I am, and for all I know they've got an illegal file on me. I don't know what she even needed to investigate since no crime took place or was suspected. The second teenager came back later to pick up the wrecked bike, and he said he'd snapped (snapchatted, for you boomers) his friend and he was in a neck brace but seemed fine.
For anyone wondering, no, he wasn't wearing a helmet. Wear a helmet. I'm never getting on a bike again without a helmet.
Yesterday evening, my next-door neighbor tried to have a game night, but too many of our neighbors were gone for the long weekend so we just watched a movie with one other person. The movie was Back to the Future Part II because I selfishly always vote for movies I've already seen instead of trying new ones. Now, this next-door neighbor is ultraconservative (her word) and frankly her worldview disgusts me. She wears Thin Blue Line shirts, she identifies as anti-feminist while happily taking advantage of the rights that she owes to feminists, she unsubscribed from Disney+ because it's "too woke," she subscribes to the Daily Wire instead, and they sent her a Thermos labeled "Liberal Tears" that she likes because it's a good Thermos but now she's worried about offending her vegetarian roommate. I'm not offended by it, I just think it's pretty pathetic coming from people who tried to overthrow the government because their candidate lost. But anyway, I just stay away from those topics and I've managed to be her friend and enjoy her company anyway. Thomas Jefferson said, "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." And yes, even though he owned enslaved people, he had some good ideas.
So in Back to the Future Part II, Michael J. Fox reprises his role as Marty McFly and plays Marty McFly's son and Marty McFly's daughter. When my neighbors realized that he was playing the daughter, they found that very amusing. Fair enough. But then the the super conservative one joked about how she'll get canceled and banned from all her social media platforms for not saying that Michael J. Fox is a beautiful woman, and they both went back and forth joking about that for a minute, just obviously poking fun at transgender issues and liberals. And this topic hits much closer to home for me than it did a few months ago, and I couldn't stay silent. I didn't want to make a scene in front of the other neighbor and in the middle of the movie, so I texted her, "I have a transgender sibling, so I would appreciate you not mocking transgender people in my presence." And she read it and then, with the maturity one would expect from the kind of person who drinks liberal tears, she went ballistic on me. How dare I be passive-aggressive, how dare I have the audacity to text her in her own apartment, how dare I not say what I had to say to her face if I had something to say. And she condescendingly explained that it's just funny that Michael J. Fox is dressed as a woman, that's all, and pretended like she didn't just say the overtly political stuff she just said.
So you know, I don't think I respect her at all anymore. And that's rather awkward, but whatever, it's not the worst falling out I've had with next-door neighbors. Just ask the police.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.