by John Gallaher
Gallaher. In A Landscape. XLIX
The college mascot is visiting the elementary school. It's celebrity reading day, and it strikes me as suddenly funny, as mascots are mute creatures best experienced from a distance. Last week the university president was the celebrity reader. He read a book called T Is for Turkey. I asked Robin if it was an autobiography. I love it when life gives us these little punch lines. Like the way "that's what she said," keeps making the rounds, which was once, apparently "Said the actress to the bishop," which comes from Britain, and might date from Elizabethan times, or, the much better, to some at least, when someone says something with an "-er" ending to you, you can reply, "but you brought her." Soccer? You brought her. Sucker? You get the drift. Hold a screw in your palm, and ask someone if they wanna screw. If someone is wearing something with a heart on it, you can say, "I see you've got a heart on." (That one doesn't work well on paper.) One of the ones I've known for a long time, I picked up from a guy in high school, Vick Vanucci: pick up a leaf and then hand it to someone, saying, "leaf me alone." A couple months after I heard him say that, I got to use a similar one on him. He was flipping my social studies book closed while I was trying to read (it was reading aloud day in social studies class), and writing "YOU ARE A DI_K" on the inside heal of my sneakers that were under my desk for gym class next period. I'd had enough. So I waited my chance and then hit him as hard as I could across the back of his trumpet playing hand with my gym lock. It was a dial combination lock with a big circular knob on the front. There was already swelling by the end of class. So then, next period, there we were in the gym. He does the whole arm-up-behind-my-back-smashing-my-faceinto- the-lockers thing. Ah, high school. He said, "Tell everybody you're a dick!" And I replied, "OK, you're a dick." I sometimes think it was the greatest moment of my life.