What is there to say? I'm not very interesting. I'm not a good writer. I don't even dress well. If you insist on knowing something about me just wander through the archives. It's all there.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

On the advice of a gym teacher

When I was in the ninth grade, I was blessed to have been instructed in the manly art of physical education by Mr. Dunstone. You can easily imagine what we called him behind his back. He loved to have us scrawny fourteen year olds participate in the usual tortures like dodge ball, running around the track in ninety degree heat, and calisthenics.

Mr. Dunstone had an indistinct southern accent. What made him really painful to listen to though was the fact that he spoke very, very, very, slowly. He would place the most incredibly long pauses between each word. It was as though each word that he spoke held the full weight of prophetic pronouncement.

During one of our health classes when we were shown what appeared to be an Army training film entitled “Emergency Childbirth” (I am NOT making this up!), he was only able to get out, "You… may. . . leave . . . if . . . yuh . . .start. . .feelin " before half the class had already run from the room gagging. I got through that film, but the one by the Iowa State Highway Patrol with the graphic pictures of fatal car accidents was almost beyond me. I could barely make it past the officer in the huge Smokey Bear hat saying in a monotone, “Yes, this could happen to you…” (cheesy echo effect) while they flashed up pictures of mangled corpses. Who writes this stuff?

Mr. Dunstone did leave me with a piece of advice that I treasure to this day. We were doing a class where we learned to jump and flip on a trampoline. Mr. Dunstone lined us up in front of him arms length apart, of course. He walked up and down our line and spent a good two minutes slowly intoning the following warning that has stuck with me to this day . . .

“Gentlemen, Ah will only say this once. Don’t git yur gonads caught in the springs.”

Truly, words to live by.


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