Junior’s Formative Years

After yet another altercation with a fellow student in his sixth grade class, a young George Bush Jr. awaits his fate with Principal Bill Harding.

Harding: Get in here boy and have a seat.

George: Yes sir, yes sir. Mr. Harding.

Harding: So this is the second time now that you’ve gotten into a fight with, ah, what’s his name … a Mr. Hassad Ali.

George: Yes sir.

Harding: The last time, as I recollect, you sucker punched him, didn’t you. And this time…correct me if I’m wrong, you took it a step further and blindsided him with a stick. Do I have that right, George?

George: Yes, but it — it was self-defense, sir.

Harding: Self-de…what. He was unarmed boy, and aren’t you also quite a bit bigger than him?

George: But it was a prenemptive strike, sir.

Harding: A what? Boy, don’t you start messing with my head. Now, what kind of nonsense are you talking about?

George: A prenemptive strike sir, I had to do it. Sure, I’m bigger than Hassad now, but who’s to say that that’ll be the case a year from now. I had to git ’em while I could.

Harding: Boy, I told you not to be messing with me. Now, just what did Hassad do to merit such a vicious attack? You do have a good excuse, right?

George: A first rate excuse. sir. He looked real mean at me when he passed me in the hall …

Harding: Boy!….

George: …and, and I also heard rumors, rumors that he was planning to get even with me, on account that I… I hit him the last time.

Harding: Hmm, so this was what gave you the right to…to do this pre-emptive strike, huh?

George: No, not by itself, sir, but then I also heard rumors that he called me a silver-spooned, yellow coward sissy and …

Harding: Now you wait right there a second, boy.  Isn’t it true that you actually paid your friend Scott to spread that lie?

George: That’s a lie. I never paid him any…. any, I mean, I mean … damn that was supposed to be a secret between us. We even shook on it.

Harding: So he did spread the rumor then?

George: Yeah… he did.

Harding:  So, other than “these” rumors to go on, what justification do you have for hitting Hassad on the head with a stick?

George: Well, here it is, sir. Here’s my inresputable justification. I “personally” overheard the playground monitor say that Hassad was nothing more than a dirty, rag-headed foreigner who hated all American’s.

Harding: Boy, you’re starting to get me …

George: Sir, listen, just listen to me. He’s an immigrant threat to all of us.

Harding: You mean an “imminent” threat, don’t you?

George: What’s that?

Harding: That’s, that’s someone who is an “immediate” threat.

George: Yes sir, he was that too.

Harding: And just why is that, George?

George: Because… because he hates our freedoms, of course. He, he hates our way of life.

Harding: Now that’s a serious accusation you’re making there,  boy.

George: Sir, my daddy says people like that are what’s ruining our country.

Harding: Now George, your daddy’s a good man, I even voted for him, but tell me, isn’t there some other way for you to deal with people who you don’t agree with?

George: Like how?

Harding: Like, how about talk to them. Try to reason with them in solving your problems. And if that doesn’t work, like I told you last time, maybe ask God in your prayers to guide you into doing the right thing.

George: And I did just that, sir.

Harding: Yes, and…?

George: And, God told me to whomp him good.

Harding: Boy! I think it’s time you handed me that paddle on the hook over there.

George: No, please sir. I’ll straighten up. I promise. I won’t start no fights no more. Just don’t hit me with that paddle.

Harding: Then we have an understanding, boy?

George: Yes sir, Mr. Harding.

Harding: I promised your daddy I’d look out for you George, but this is the last time I’ll be looking the other way. If anyone else had done what you did, they’d have been pulling splinters out of their hide for a week. So if I find out you’re breaking the rules here one more time, I guarantee, that paddle over there will be finding your backside. You hear me?

George: I hear you perfectly, sir.

Harding: Now get your tail out of here. And send in Mr. Hassad on your way out.

George: Hassad? What did he do, sir?

Harding: He refused to stand during the pledge of allegiance this morning, and by God that’s grounds for permanent expulsion in my book. Now, George, you tell your daddy I says hello and that we’re real proud as ever of the job he’s doing. He’s a real American.

Marty Zupan is a a foundry worker from Seattle. He can be reached at martinlzupan@yahoo.com. Read other articles by Marty.