by Jerry Vilhotti
"WEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOO!" Nutsy Harridan said to Johnny as they were indulging in a smoke in the boy's room at Commercial High, where girls outnumbered boys.
Johnny had decided to transfer from Dabingle High and regrettably Nutsy followed his move a week later. Johnny had enough of the freaky guy after the incident when Nutsy asked him if he could join him in a little meeting he was going to have with guys from Alcatraz Trade High who wanted to kill him for being Irish and Johnny said yes; emerging from the front entrance, Johnny saw a mass of guys from the other school. When their leader came to them saying to Johnny: "You crazy taking on two hundred guys?"
He noticed none of the fifty "friends" Nutsy said were going to show up. Only Johnny's friend Fernando was with them. Johnny said: "Look I know you'll kick our asses but I tell you the first wave will have five guys going down!". Johnny said this not bragging. He believed in what he was saying and what he could do.
That's when their leader said: "You are crazy for defending this harp who called us retarded for going to a school named after a prison!" The leader waved to the large mass of guys yelling: "Forget it! This guy's nuts too!"
Dabingle's vice-principal would beg Johnny, every morning the two years of his attending, to please get out of his school and let peace begin again. He suspected it was Johnny who: - orchestrated the falling of all the rows in the auditorium by having all the screws taken out - producing a domino affect of sixty rows falling to a heap - and he strongly suspected the hyphenated American had no business attending his school from which eighty percent of the student body, most of whom he would proudly say were of his "race", would enroll in college - cajoled the whole freshmen class to walk the third floor hall in prison fashion while teachers were retreating to their classrooms; looking at them frighteningly from widow panes of their locked doors.
Some insane guys even began throwing hallway monitor desks out of windows and then the cops, the army of the rich, came with guns drawn - making the riot "Take back dignity" suddenly end.
Mr. Moriarity could never get enough evidence on Johnny. It was one of the few times no Burywater guy ratted out.
In fact Johnny had planned the whole event even appointing Joe Big Cherries to bang out rock and roll melodies on the piano and Johnny would marvel at a piano playing R&R singer copying Joe's style to perfection a few years in the future by standing and pounding away at the keys almost out of control.
This weird compulsion of Nutsy to scream funny would get Johnny expelled for two weeks in his senior year at Commercial when Ambrose the vice-principal entered the history class - in which Johnny would meet his future bride, blue-green eyed Linda Ann, at the June class picnic and marry her five months after they graduated - and pointed to the ruggedly handsome Johnny saying: "OK out! You're expelled from my school Johnny Sanque!" Johnny asked: "Why for?"
The answer given was: "Because your friend Harridan is on the third floor screaming weeeeeeooooo like that niggero singer Jim-boy Brown!"
The history teacher Mr. Percy told all his colleagues later that was the first time in his thirty years of teaching he had ever seen something like that done by an administrator.
Mr. Percy had been the school's football coach. Eight years before he had to cut Johnny's older brother Tommy Tom Tom due to one of his legs was half eaten by polio. He would never forget the crippled kid's moxie and Johnny many years in the future would tell Tom of this hoping to prevent his dying. It would not work. His closest sibling born in the same decade as he would die from the polio that would revisit him in the late autumn of his life.
Johnny nodded almost doing the Burywater expression of holding his mouth opened wide while deep furrows spread across his forehead; instead, he left; almost happy for the two weeks of vacation. His older sister Alice would come to plead for him as she had many times before - keeping it a secret from their mother who would hit her offspring in front of the administrators who would nod approvingly but this time Alice would not go to Mister Ambrose. She would go see the compassionate principal Mister Moran who had never forgotten what was done to his people in the "Ole Sod" by haters and exploiters.
He knew he would eventually get used to these people living in a town that would have a polluted river overflowing their heads every ten years or so. He knew. He knew.