100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #93.

The main reason that Buffy The Vampire Slayer has become one of the most enduring television shows in history is simple:

High school really is Hell.

Joss Whedon may be many things, not all of them good, but he was smart enough to recognize the potential that lies in our high school years and he transformed all those seemingly-innocent experiences that terrified us all into action sequences and brilliant plot lines. And that’s why we’re going to focus on one of high school’s most terrifying protagonists:

#93: That One High School Teacher You Wanted To Disembowel.

You may have blocked out their memory, but everyone has one. For me, it was Mr. Kidney. He taught business (and how to hate going to school), his dress code was Sixties shop teacher chic, his arm hair was as thick as a Persian rug and he had very pointed views on yours truly.

“You’re a slacker, Hookey! And if there’s one thing I know… It’s that you always will be!”

Mr. Kidney’s dead now; sadly I wasn’t responsible for it, but his legacy of terrorizing his students endures in their memory. Teachers are gods in some ways; they shape our young minds and help chart the course of our entire lives. And some of them know it. And those instructors are the most terrifying of all.

 

I didn’t hear this much in high school. That, and, “Yes, I’d be happy to engage in coitus with you!”

 

To be fair, I recognize that many teachers were once students themselves, full of lofty ambitions… That life ground into a fine paste later on. And so they turned to teaching to pay the bills rather than wind up on the streets congregating verbs for twenty bucks a pop.

But abusing one’s power over another is never acceptable, no matter how bitter you are. Still, I suppose I should be grateful to my high school nemesis for teaching me to be persistent all my life.

It’s been decade since I left my high school’s hallowed halls and I still hate the son of a bitch.

And I’ll be damned if I’d give him the satisfaction of thinking that I actually was a slacker who took the supposedly-easy way out rather than stick to the business of living. As Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez) once said in Young Guns 2, “I shall finish the game.”

Take that, Kidney.

See you in the lobby, kids…

 

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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23 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #93.

  1. Theresa says:

    I had a teacher like that, a nun. She was “affectionately” called Tweety. Big round glasses so thick her eyes looked bigger than they were and with her Nun Habit, the shape of her head was EXACTLY like Tweety Bird’s. She was at the school for over 25 years and taught generations of us. One day while I was hysterical laughing at one of my classmates, she pulled me aside and said she wouldn’t recommend me to be a dishwasher!! Well, I knew she was wrong, she was just pissed at me for crying-laughing most of the time in her class. I can proudly say, I am a Network/Cyber Security Engineer, and you know what, I hate washing dishes!!! That’s what automated dishwashers are for!!!

  2. susielindau says:

    Sister Mary Catherine. She was my teacher in 7th and 8th grade. I know you were talking about high school but I was invisible to her. Not sure why she didn’t like me. She always picked the same people to work on the bulletin boards and made it clear that I had no ability in art. I majored in it and became a professional illustrator. Ha! Last I heard, she worked in the Chicago slums.

  3. My careers teacher said I didn’t have the brains to work in a bank. Not only did I swerve her from Ist Till position when I worked int eh Hugh Street, but I went on in later years to become a financial analyst for one of the American Banks, responsible for four of their European offices, no less.

    Wish I could have shown the old biddy that!

  4. I didn’t mind high school so much but I was glad when it was done. I only really disliked one or two teachers but none that made me crazy. But BOTH were math/algebra teachers so what does that tell you? I still don’t like math but I am better at it than I use to be. I made all A’s in college classes.

    I did have one teacher in the 4th grade that was a real B*&^% and she even told my mother she was a bad mother because I was such a disruptive child in her class. Which is not true… I was/am ADD and smart enough to have my work done eons before the rest of the class and had to find something to do.. LOL!

    SO, I talked to my friends. I was not a bad child and made it all the way through 12 grades with no paddlings (corp punishment was still permitted back then). That witch died at some point but I don’t know when.

  5. Doug in Oakland says:

    I lucked out and liked most of my teachers, and had I been smarter, would have learned more from them while I had the opportunity.
    My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Blazer, was a religious nut, though, and tried to indoctrinate us, and I didn’t care for that, but I had a couple of outstanding high school teachers who I am grateful to to this day.
    That kind of works the same way, though, as I wouldn’t want to have had Mr. Miller or Mr. Morgan read my obit and find out I had killed myself.

  6. Good post, Hook. I had a teacher who advised that I should go to auto mechanics school since he didn’t believe I would be able to finish college. Well, I did and a Master’s to boot.

  7. Bad time to say I actually enjoyed most of my time at secondary school?

  8. dianaepona says:

    You are the supreme commander of button pushers! I love it!

  9. I like to think that Mr. Kidney would not make it in today’s high schools. I spent ten years (2000-2010) working with special ed students in a large high school, attending all of their classes, seeing how all of the teachers taught (or didn’t). The slackers or mean teachers didn’t last long, I’m happy to say. In my high school freshman year I was bullied by a Mr. Chard, who didn’t think I’d amount to much (awkward, shy, thick glasses). I got contacts, a spine, and ended up becoming the editor of the newspaper (he was the teacher in charge of it) and an actress in his drama dept. – he didn’t remember his put-downs. I reminded him. He apologized and became a better teacher. We became friends. Sometimes, there is a happy ending…

    • The Hook says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this.
      You’re proof of how amazing a blog can be when a community of writers and readers come together.
      Thanks for making my little corner of the web so much better than it actually is.

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