Sunday Scribblings, "Language"

The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is Language.

“Language. What we use to communicate. Different languages (how many do you speak?), exotic alphabets. Language can be a barrier and it can be what connects us, what elevates us above animals. We use it to tell stories, to profess love, to record events, to function in just about every conceivable way, and even to curse at each other. What do you have to say about it?”


The Capo of St. Ignatius Elementary

Me and the Penguin, we don’t see eye-to-eye.
I may be the Capo of the student body of St. Ignatius Elementary, but the Penguin, she’s nearly got the whole Special Dispensation thing down, if you know what I mean.
Ever since I rose to power in what’s come to be known as the Timmy Mortinelli Affair, it’s been tough keepin’ the Penguin off my back. I mean, I may be a third-grader and all – but still I run all the rackets, from the gumball sales on the playground to the lunch money shakedowns. And I rule with an iron fist.
But the Penguin, sheesh. She’s always askin’ for – and begrudgingly gets – a cut. An “honorarium” she calls it. A “donation” to the order. Twenty percent. It kills me.
My crew boosts a shipment of pudding cups bound for the cafeteria. We was tipped off by the delivery guy who accidentally let the cases fall off the truck in trade for some Marlboros we had in stock. Man, we was getting great action with ‘em, specially with the fifth-graders. And all of a sudden, she was like, 50 percent. Like right now.
But what’s a guy to do? Cross her and it’s a close encounter with the Golden Rule.
No shit, a foot-long ruler made out of 24-fuckin’-carat gold. She brings that thing like Thor drops a hammer, I tell you.
But what do I do? I resist. No need for any of Mortinelli’s crew to smell blood in the water. No sir.
“Chrissakes, you’re already getting’ 20 percent on the backend, now you want 30 up front?”
“Language!” she says, brings the Golden Rule outta that black wool habit of hers. “Kneel here Mr. De Luca, you know the drill - fingers on the desk.”
I gotta do it.
She raps me on the knuckles.
“Jesus, but that smarts,” I scream.
“LANGUAGE!” and comes down all Medieval and shit.
I take it. I take it with a smile on my face.
And she doles out more harshness – then in frustration, sends me to the office.
As was my plan.
I spill my guts. Quietly ask for - and get – full considerations.
I’m ushered back to class by the Big Man hisself. A reassuring hand on my neck.
“Sister Mary Eunice, a word,” Monsignor Rossi said. “My office, please.”
And all it cost me was 15 percent on the front-end, plus a pledge my parents buy a grand in parish raffle tickets.
Language my ass.

8 comments:

Sweet Talking Guy.. said...

Hi Thom, Nicely told! that's just the way I remember it too, we must have gone to the same school!

The American Sandwich

justplaininsane said...

Very well done! I cracked up... often

Jennifer Hicks said...

funny to consider that even without the word "bad" in front of it, every kid knows that the word "Language" on it's own is not a good thing!

Dee Martin said...

I went to public school and she scared me. I am in awe of you sir!

AdellBeek said...

I don't want to steal from Sweet Talking Guy's comments, but it sounds like the nuns never really changed through the years, because my grandfather still talks about getting hit across the knuckles when he was in school.

I went to a private school, and can relate to the mean teachers.

I liked the story.

quin browne said...

one of your best, ever.

MichaelO said...

Damn, even the monsignor is in on the take! That was funny. Straight out of Brooklyn.

Jason said...

Great story brother. I really enjoyed that.