could feel the puke make its way up the back of my throat and fill my entire mouth.
Creole spaghetti, burnt toast and chocolate pudding is all I could taste as it
began to leak out between my lips where my hands couldn’t cover.
wrong, Tabb?" asked Jimmy Foster, as he continued to pull the dead squid
apart and lick the shell thing that was inside of it, which reeked of formaldehyde.
felt the bile juices drip down my chin as I tried to swallow furiously.
you don’t like seafood, there’s always the sheep’s eyes,"
that, he took one of the detached blue eyeballs that was lying on a metal plate
before us and put it in his mouth.
he bit down.
juice sprayed all over my face, and the next thing I knew, I was running as fast
as I could toward the boys’ bathroom at Parkway Elementary School in Greenwich,
you okay?" asked Mrs. Cole, the kindly old librarian as I tore past her,
chocolate pudding dripping off my neck and onto my red-and-white striped Izod
said nothing and finally reached the restroom. There, I threw up my entire hot
lunch, which had cost around 70 cents. A lot of money in those days.
I went to the mirror and began the task of wiping the vomit off my face, neck
and shirt. And also the sheep-eye juice, which smelled like vodka and raw hamburger
I was cleaning up, I heard someone open the boys’ room door and I looked
behind me in the mirror.
then I froze.
kid who was making my fifth grade experience more of a nightmare than Jimmy Foster
and his incredibly strange eating habits.
dat?" asked Bobby, as he stared at me with his eyeless sockets.
said nothing, and continued to wash myself off. I didn’t want a conversation
with this kid.
know someone is in here with me," said Bobby, as he ground one of his thumbs
into his dark black empty right eye socket.
me," I said to Bobby, perhaps feeling a bit sad for the blind kid.
I knew I shouldn’t have.
who?" said Bobby, as he moved toward me and the sound of running water.
I repeated, not wanting to tell him who I was. It was bad enough my younger brothers,
Lloyd and Seth, had trouble with this kid, but it was worse with me. Because I
was older and should have been able to defend myself.
said Bobby. "Is that you?"
think it is," explained Bobby, and with that he moved in and felt up my face.
I don’t mean just touching it. I mean he felt it up. Like I later learned
to do with boobies under those tight knit sweaters.
see," says Bobby, "curly hair and a big nose. It must be a Tabb, because
I feel a Jew!"
try to move away but Bobby backs me into a corner between the sink and a toilet
I hate Jews!" yells Bobby.
next thing I see is Bobby’s left hand moving very quickly, then I feel that
really sharp pain on the top of my head. I put my hand on the pain, and, of course,
there is plenty of blood.
fucking asshole," I yell at the blind kid.
is the only thing Bobby Kessler says, as he leaves me alone in the boys’
room with not only vomit on my shirt, but now blood.
in the nurse’s office, I have the same conversation I’d had a week earlier,
and one that I was bound to have again.
did this happen?" asked the old nurse lady as she sponged up my blood with
lots of cotton balls.
same as last time," I told her.
shouldn’t make up stories," she said to me, meanly.
not!" I exclaimed. "It happened just like last time!"
I’m supposed to believe you?" she asked.
I told her, even though I knew she wouldn’t.
I was right.
wasn’t like I had anything against Bobby Kessler.
At all. In fact, I remember the first day I saw him at school. It was during recess,
right after the first block of lunch, which, for some ungodly reason, was at 10:45
saw him walking around the playground and the monkey bars with his blind kid’s
Tabb," said my then friend/enemy, Scott Applegren, "look at that freak!"
never knew if I liked Scott or not. One day he’d be my best pal, telling
me all about how to kill small animals with safety pins, and what girls hid in
their underwear. But the next day, he’d be like the other kids, calling me
"Big Nose" and putting his leg out in front of me so when I fell he’d
say, "Have a nice trip, see ya next fall!"
look at the kid Scott is pointing at and it’s Bobby Kessler. At first, I
must admit, he scared the shit out of me. The kid had black holes where his eyes
should have been, and big brownish-black circles that extended over his eyebrows.
He looked like a zombie.
in fourth grade," explains Scott Applegren, "and I hear he’s blind."
tell Scott that I could see that.
he can’t!" yells Scott, then rolls around on the ground, laughing.
tell Scott maybe we should make friends with him, and Scott, for some reason,
thinks that’s a good idea.
both approach Bobby Kessler and his blind kid’s cane, and I clear my throat.
I manage to squeak out in my prepubescent voice. "I’m George, and I’m
here with my friend Scott."
sound like a girl," Bobby says to me.
I say, ignoring his last comment, "I would just like to welcome you to our
school and maybe we could be friends."
asks Bobby, "You want to be friends? I’m not being a friend to a gay
fag with a girly voice."
think I like this kid," says Scott, and the next thing I know, he and Bobby
Kessler are laughing it up together and making up names for me like "Georgina"
and "Georgette." And "Pussy," of course.
couple of weeks later I’m called to the principal’s office. I walk in,
and seated in the small and musty room is my brother Seth.
Seth," I say to my youngest brother, "what’s up?"
tell you what’s up," says Dr. Perkins, the head of our school. "What’s
up is your brother has an attitude problem, and maybe you can help."
ask what’s going on, and Dr. Perkins explains that Seth was caught fighting
with the new blind kid, Bobby Kessler.
I say, not liking that blind fuck very much either.
the HELL is wrong with you Tabbs?" yells Dr. Perkins. "The kid is BLIND!"
a bully," says Seth, "and he started it."
start to tell Dr. Perkins I agree, and that Bobby called me a girl, when he goes
off the deep end.
Kessler is the sweetest kid in this school. He would never pick on ANYBODY,"
yells the principal. "You Tabbs are bad news. Picking on handicapped children.
What’s next? Theresa Johnson? She’s in a wheelchair! Perfect for you
and I both start to say that this is unfair, but the principal cuts us off.
I hear anymore of this," he says, "you guys are gonna be suspended."
and I shut up. We knew that being suspended was bad. Not because we got to miss
school, but because we’d have to stay home with our stepmother, Connie, who
was likely to kick our asses because then she couldn’t be alone with the
night Seth and I are discussing Bobby Kessler when Lloyd, the middle brother,
walks into the room.
guys talking about that ol’-thumbs-in-the-eyes Bobby?" he asks. "Bobby
can be a real dick, a real cocksucker. A real whore-licking ballbuster. A motherfucker
and a cunt!"
and I look at Lloyd like he’s speaking another language, which, to us, he
was. Lloyd always had a knack for learning "adult" stuff first. I guess
that’s why he got laid at 14, and it took me till I was almost 19.
started a fight with me in the library today," said Seth, the third-grader,
"he called me a faz and a homamexicall, then hit me."
FAG and HOMOSEXUAL," said Lloyd, "and was it with his right hand or
thinks for a minute then says it was the right hand.
says Lloyd, "what you really got to watch out for is his left."
a week and a half later I run into Seth in the hallways between fifth and sixth
block. He’s limping.
happened?" I ask him.
Kessler," he replies.
he kick you?"
he tells me what happened.
days later I’m in the computer room. Mr. Oppenheimer, our teacher, had
left the room. It was me and Bobby. Alone.
brother Seth is dickless," Bobby tells me.
ignore him, hoping he’ll vanish like his eyesight.
you Tabbs are fags. In fact," Bobby Kessler says, "you’re Jewish
fags. Matzo-eating cocksuckers."
tell Bobby to shut his mouth, and that Mr. Oppenheimer will be back any minute.
enough time to kick your ass," he replies, and hits me in the face with his
right hand. Closed fist.
first I’m in shock. A blind kid just hit me.
I’m not sure what to do. If I hit him back and hurt him, I’ll be the
total creep of Parkway Elementary School.
the matter, Tabb?" yells Bobby, as I dodge my way around the room, trying
to hide behind him so he can’t feel me with his outreached hands. "Scared
of a blind boy?"
tell Bobby I’m not, and to not hit me again or I’ll tell Mr. Oppenheimer.
then tell him about this," says Bobby Kessler, and then he used his left
I guess it wasn’t really JUST his left hand. It was also what he carried
around in it.
Bobby picked up his heavy-as-hell Braille typewriter and hit me in the fucking
head with it! The next thing I know I’m sitting on the floor with blood leaking
out the top of my head.
I say, then start crying.
says Bobby, as Mr. Oppenheimer walks back into the classroom.
happened to you, George?" asks Mr. O, as he looks at my bleeding head.
make up lies," yells my teacher. "You were probably doing some stupid
stunt like balancing on a chair or something. Go to the nurse’s office, and
never lie to me again!"
Bobby starts crying.
was scaring me," Bobby says, with no tears falling from his eyeless sockets.
out of here, now!" exclaimed Mr. Oppenheimer, and pushed me out into the
Braille machine?" asked the nurse in disbelief, a few minutes later.
thing is really heavy," I tell her, tears drying up on my face.
know, George," says the old lady nurse, "you really shouldn’t make
up stories about people. Especially special people like Bobby. It’s
not very nice."
try to convince the nurse that I’m telling the truth, but the more I tell
her, the more she hates me. So I give up, get my head cleaned with alcohol and
cotton balls, then make my way to my next class.
next go-around with Bobby is that day Jimmy Foster ate the squid shell and sheep
eye in biology.
I puked, and after he hit me with his damn Braille machine in the boys’ bathroom,
I ended up in the nurse’s office again telling the same story.
really shouldn’t lie," explained the nurse, "you can end up in
Hades forever for that."
Hades?" I asked her.
she told me in a mean voice, "a place where you’ll probably end up.
Bobby is great kid. I can’t believe you’re jealous of him and make up
told her I wasn’t, and then she poured alcohol on my open wound.
yelped in pain.
that hurt?" asked the nurse.
told her it did.
she said, then roughly cleaned up all the blood with a jar of cotton balls.
told my dad what had happened
with Bobby one night at the dinner table. Seth told him almost the same story.
God," said my father, "my sons are such pussies that a blind kid beats
them up! Go upstairs! No dessert for either of you!"
Seth and I went, realizing that life just wasn’t fair, and we were fucked.
so we thought.
a week later I became bent on revenge. Not only did no one believe me that Bobby
Kessler was a bully, but now he was telling everyone that I bullied him. Then
he’d cry. Girls like Amy Hudson and Jennifer Sirrot would walk up to me and
slap me in the face, calling me "a bully to the blind."
I had enough.
day, after recess, I told the principal that I’d had enough of Bobby, and
I’d prove to him that the kid was a bully. I had a plan. Dr. Perkins, for
some reason, went along with me on it.
I set it up that Bobby and I are called to the principal’s office at the
same time. When we arrive, Dr. Perkins is sitting behind his desk. As quiet as
not here," I tell Bobby. "I guess we should just sit down and wait."
cocksucker will be back soon," says Bobby, "but in the meantime, maybe
I’ll just kick your Jewboy ass!"
Perkins has a look of total shock on his face.
I say to the blind kid, "if you’re gonna kick my ass, you gotta catch
then run quickly around the room and stand behind the principal.
here," I say to Bobby, as he extends both hands forward, grasping the air
for my blood.
he grabs onto Dr. Perkins. First he feels his jacket and tie, then reaches up
and feels up his face. His forehead, eyes, nose and mouth. With his smelly, empty-eye-socket-stained
that was about the end of that.
Except of course for the time I rearranged the desks in second period, so when
Bobby Kessler went to sit down, he fell on his ass. Hard.
the time I put superglue on the handle of his Braille machine and it took two
nurses to cut his skin away.
when I replaced his pint of milk at lunch with a pint of my piss.
when I told him the school bunny he was petting was actually a rat I brought to
never seemed to get in trouble for any of it.
has a new CD out on BaD-Pac records
called "Permanent Sensation," and boy do these two chicks and one guy
rock! I recently saw them twice at Don Hill’s, and each time they blew me
away. Imagine Slayer meets AC/DC, but with two hot chicks fronting the band. That’s
TANG. The bass is heavy, the drums heavier, and the guitar? Fucking incredible.
Denny Colt, the six-string shooter here, is quite amazing. Plus, she’s really
cool in person.
of hot girls, one of my favorite East Village babes, Tina Pedersen of Charm School,
has a new self-released three-song CD out. The tunes, "Trust Fund,"
"Big in Japan" and "Like the Movies" all rock in that Pretenders/Blondie
sort of way. Plus, live, these guys and gal are great.
the video game world, I got a couple of great discs for the Sega Dreamcast. Shenmue,
put out by Sega, is this game where you actually take on the role of a kung-fu
dude named Ryo, and you try to avenge your father’s death by running around
and getting clues and kicking asses. To say this game looks amazing is probably
the understatement of the year. The graphics are incredible, the game play so
deep you’ll truly believe you live in Yokosuka, and the fun nonstop.
great disc I got for the Dreamcast is Typing of the Dead, another release from
Sega. In this baby, you use your Dreamcast keyboard ($25) and spell out words
as fast as you can to kill approaching zombies. Sound weird? You bet. Gory? You
bet. Fun? Yes! And educational, too! But don’t tell that to the kids; you
don’t want them to think they’re learning anything, do ya?
Lillingtons’ new CD on Panic Button/Lookout Records called The Backchannel
Broadcast is like two great Ramones songs over and over again. Take "Commando"
and "Havana Affair," and rewrite them about a dozen times, and you’ll
have this album. Songs about spies, commies, bombs and more spies. All set to
the beat of the Ramones. Which kind of figures, since Ben Weasel wrote a song
here and produced the album. My favorite tunes? "Final Transmission"
the Pretty Horses. What a name for a band, eh? Well, what if I were to tell you
that the lead singer and guitarist, Venus, is a she-male? And what if I were to
tell you that I think a couple of others in the band may well be too? Also, what
if I were to tell you they played rockin’ as hell glam, put on amazing shows,
and have a new CD called Ruin that’s self-released on Skindog Productions?
To add to that, what if I told you Venus has a great voice, writes great songs
and maybe has a big penis? You’d open wide and say, "Ahhhhh," wouldn’t
you? You know you like it! Hit me baby one more time.
Henbane, my favorite Oi! band from Jersey, has a new one called Go Away
out on TKO Records, and boy, does it kick a boot to the face. Songs like "Don’t
Tread on Me," "Bonehead" and "Happy Happy Oi Oi" make
me pogo around the apartment. Then P.J. starts barking, Wendy starts yelling and
things really get fun! Punk rock!
now is the new self-released CD by Benjamin called The Benjamin Cartel.
Benjamin, whom I know as Ben from the Heartdrops, plays a sort of postpunk rock
not unlike the Lemonheads, late-era Clash and some Elvis Costello. Ben, who put
this band together along with Ben Trokan from Marky Ramone and the Intruders,
Dish from North Sea Story and Chris Bonner from Gloria Deluxe, plays guitar and
sings with the sorta soul you’ve come to expect from doods like Mike Ness,
with even a bit of Elvis.
Beaver. You have to love two girls who name their band that. Evil Beaver. Their
CD, Lick It, On RideTheBeaver.com, is mucho fun, with songs like "Macho
Man." No, not the Village People song, their own song. And it’s pretty
swell. So are the tunes "Enter Beaver," "Cherry Master," "Muff
Control Unit" and "Burnin’ Beaver Blues." Hey! Do I sense
a theme here?
Disaster’s new CD Put Out or Get Out on Pink and Black Records rules,
even though it was produced by Fat Mike of NOFX and Fat Wreck Chords. This band
consists of four chicks who, just by the looks of ’em, could kick the asses
of their San Francisco neighbors the Donnas. These chicks rock hard. Their
music falls somewhere between Joan Jett, the Germs and Black Flag, and songs like
"Down the Drain" and "Spoiled" really put a grin on my chin,
and a rocket in my pocket. Wait, that rocket comment sounded totally metal.
Ewwwwww. Next thing you know I’ll be wearing leather pants, cowboy boots
and a ponytail. Eeek. Shoot me. Now.