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Friday, April 25, 2008

Gym Teachers in the Mist

A Zoological Exploration of One of Mankind´s Closest Relatives

08:20 First Period. We must be very quiet so as not to disturb our sleeping subject. Studies indicate that this particular primate sub-species is dormant for about 80% of the traditional high school work day. He looks so peaceful in repose even though it is a fairly awkward position: leaning back in a folding chair with one hand down the front of his shorts and a newspaper in his lap. But on the far end of the gym floor savannah trouble is brewing. Another lower primate species, called stoners, are planning an attack on gym teacher. A basketball is launched through the air. Violence may ensue so we abandon the observation area and move farther away from the subject.

Even at this distance we are able to document the crude verbal communication system employed by gym teacher: A primitive dialect consisting almost entirely of vulgarities and sports aphorisms. Gym teacher screeches at the other primates on the savannah and threatens to castrate the guilty parties but is unable to identify his attackers. Because of the gym teacher´s extremely basic level of intelligence, he is unable to deduct that those laughing the loudest at this prank are probably responsible. After a minute of angry howling and breast-beating, the gym teacher returns to his lair in the corner and picks up his newspaper which has been scattered in the attack. He turns to the sports section and if you didn´t know that they lack the intelligence for it, it almost seems like he is reading. Why are his lips moving? Fascinating.

09:05 Second Period. We have followed gym teacher down the hall to the Sex Education class he is assigned. Why anyone feels that gym teacher is qualified for this role remains a mystery to this group of scientists. From his obscene, politically incorrect ramblings on the subject of human sexuality—not to mention his pending trial on charges of indecency—this choice seems about as wise as hiring a lynch mob to teach a class on criminal justice. However, if you look in his briefcase he has several magazines with glossy photos of humans in various stages of intercourse, so perhaps he takes this subject more seriously than we think.

11:30 Fourth Period. Gym teacher is more at home here in his native habitat, the gym. In the classroom he was uncomfortable and out of his element, what with all of those books, pens, and papers lying around. Although he cannot seem to correctly grasp a writing instrument, he is able to employ certain tools. He has mastered the use of the whistle, another primitive form of communication that our studies indicate has only a single message: “Shut the fuck up, you bunch a pansies! I mean it!” He also carries around a clipboard he uses to scream out the names of some of the lesser primates on the gym floor. If these names are of foreign origin, gym teacher mispronounces them so badly that they become ethnic slurs.

12:20 Feeding Time. One of the downsides of studying this animal at close quarters is being forced to watch it eat. Even as far as lower primates go, this isn´t a pretty sight. At what we felt was a relatively safe distance of three meters, we are still sprayed with bits of bologna sandwich, fruit cup, and Pringles. At least we are not forced to share the same table with gym teacher like the unfortunate female substitute teacher that he is sexually harassing. To further demonstrate his sexual authority, gym teacher playfully pats the ass of the 60 year old lunch lady. We theorize that his belching and flatulence are also part of this peculiar mating ritual.

1:18 Fifth Period. He is sheltered from the attacks of the lower primates while he is in his den, or office as he calls it. He seems to have nodded off while studying one of his magazines on human reproduction. The fact that two of the models in the magazine are dressed as cheerleaders, violating at least a half a dozen school board regulations, doesn´t seem to affect the tranquility of his sleep in any way. Perhaps the three cans of warm beer he consumed have aided his rest. When it is time for gym teacher to attend his next class, a singing bass alarm clock violently erupts. Startled, gym teacher comically falls backwards in his chair and strikes his head against a file cabinet. A 30 second aria of profanity follows.

2:45 Sixth Period. We are observing the grooming habits of the gym teacher at disturbingly close range. Although he spends a good part of his day watching the lower animals in the showers, he himself doesn´t appear to bath. We note instead a vast array of techniques that include nose picking, crotch grabbing, ear digging, and butt scratching. We have named a certain nose-clearing technique after him wherein he uses a finger to plug one nostril and blows violently through the other, shooting a stream of mucus across his desk. We call it the "gym teacher´s handkerchief."

After the end of the work day we are able to follow gym teacher´s whereabouts by means of a tracking device we implanted inside of his Members Only® jacket. On his way home he makes stops at a strip club, an adult video rental outlet, his sports bookie, a liquor store, a tavern, and a massage parlor called "Ham Yankees." In the spirit of scientific inquiry we look through his mail before he arrives at his home to find a stack of nasty invoices from legitimate collection agencies as well as death threats from Mafia bookies, child support reminders, and a handful of restraining orders. We attempt to observe gym teacher through the window in his kitchen. We are able to remain hidden from gym teacher until one of our scientists bursts out laughing when, in the course of a phone call with one of his collection agencies, gym teacher gives his occupation as "educator."

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