School Supplies

Ya know what pisses me off? School supplies.

So I was walkin’ tru da depahtment store da otter day lookin’ for a birthday caad for my girl Alice. Her birthday is comin’ up dis Satuhday, and I wanted ta get her a nice caad to go wit da present I got her. So I pick out a good caad — it’s got a guy and a girl sittin’ in fronta a lake or some shit — and turn da cornah to leave da aisle, when all of a sudden, ya know what happen? I’ll tell ya what happen. What happen is dis: I tripped over a big freaking box of crap some meathead had left in da way.

Screw dat!

Now, lemme tell ya, old Paulie ain’t as young as he use ta be, but he’s still got some skills. I stumbled dis way and dat, but dere was no way I was gonna go down on my face in da middle of dis depahtment store.

Screw dat!

So I reach out ta grab da shelf in fronta me to, ya know, like, stabilize myself and shit. And my freakin’ head goes plowin’ into a whole big pile of dem Crayola crayons. Boxesa 64 crayons, boxesa 21 crayons, boxesa five crayons – dey all go flyin’ like da was dem Waylinders in da circus or some shit. I was like, what da fuck?

So I get my balance and I look around ta see if anyone is givin’ me da side-eye, because dats one ting I won’t tolerate is someone givin’ me da side-eye and lookin’ at me like I’m some stoonad. Screw dat!

What do I see? I’ll tell ya what I sees. I don’t see no people givin’ me da side-eye. What I do see is a whole freakin’ aisle of crap. But it ain’t just regulah crap. It’s a whole buncha crap like dees crayons and dry erase mahkas and boxes to hold ya pencils and five tousand different kindsa backpacks and shit. And I says to myself, I says, ya know what I says? I says, “Oh! Madone! What’s all dis crap!”

And just den dere’s dis depahtment store workah walkin’ by. She’s dis kid, ya know what I mean? I mean, she’s like a kid, she’s like 16 yeeahs old if she’s a day, and she says ta me, ya know what she says ta me? She says ta me: “Um, sir. This is the school supply aisle.” And I says to her, ya know what I says? I says to her: “Freakin’ school supplies? All a dis crap is so a kid can go ta school?” And this little girl, this little girl, ya know what she does? She just rolls her eyes at me and walks away!

Screw dat! I was half-cocked to smack da girl across da face like her mudda shoulda done..

But insteada doin’ dat, insteada doin’ dat I just looks around at all dees supposed school supplies and I tink ta myself, ya know what I tink to myself? I tink to myself: What da hell does a kid need all a dis crap just ta go to school? I mean, when I went ta school at PS141, all I took wit me was a few pencils and a few piecesa papuh and we was grateful just ta have dat.

So I walked up and down dis aisle and looked at all dis crap. Lemme tell ya: I never seen so much glue in my life. Bahtles of glue and sticks of glue. Why can’t glue just be glue? Fifteen different kinda scissahs. There should be only one kinda scissah! Sixty-five-tousand kindsa pens. I mean, fughetaboutit! Just get a Bic and be happy ya mudda got ya sometin ta write wit, ya spoiled brat. Folduhs in all dees different patterns and cullahs. And cullahd pencils? Whatdahell ya need a pencil dat druwahs in cullahs? Just write in da regulah cullah like everyone else did who’s made dis country great.

So ya know what I did? I’ll tell ya what I did. What I did was take my caahd for Alice and pay for dat caahd and get the helloutta dat depahtment store. I don’t need ta be around tings like dat.

Screw dat!

“Pissed Off” Paulie Magnotti has worked heavy construction for the past 35 years. He lives downtown and spends his free time on da stoop with da guys from Da Old NaybahhoodWhen he and da boys go out, he likes to drive his mint-condition yellow T-top 1981 Camero.


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