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“Dad, I will not apologize,” she scowled. “Your ‘offend the offender’ classroom strategy is draconian, reprehensible, outmoded, and shameful.” Click, buzz.

You’re An Insolent Jerk!


By —— Bio and Archives--September 28, 2017

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Nowadays on many college campuses, if a teacher is not a secular progressive liberal new-world-order globalist, his colleagues may view him as a pariah. If he is a pro-life, pro-America, anti-political correctness, Southern white heterosexual male capitalistic Christian conservative, as I am, they will likely view him as a walking hate crime. 

Toward my college teaching career’s end, I learned how true this was after scolding a wimpy, coddled kid for disregarding my insistence on punctuality, preparation, proper classroom behavior, and attire.

He complained to his father, who complained to my supervisor, who called me on the carpet and warned me that if I didn’t go along in order to get along, he would issue me a pink slip reading, “So long.”

Seeking consolation, I called one of my daughters, who is employed by an institution of higher learning.

Un-consolingly, she said, “Dad, you’ve never been able to control your anger. Why, when we were kids, you actually spanked us if we misbehaved. You’ve got a serious, almost sociopathic, anger management problem.”

When I related her comment to a friend, he chuckled and said, “With your daughter’s harsh words fresh in mind, you’ll appreciate a story I heard about how a guy named Keith managed anger.”

The story went something like this: When Keith misdialed a phone number, the answerer cursed him and hung up. Re-dailing, Keith said, “You’re an insolent jerk!” and hung up.

From then on, whenever Keith needed to assuage his anger, he dialed the jerk’s number, repeated the insult, and hung up.

One day, when Keith was about to pull into a vacant parking spot, another driver swerved in front of him and took it. Angered, he noticed a “For Sale” sign on the driver’s car and dialed the number.

The seller said, “I’m Trevor. If you want to look at the car, come to 203 Price Street.”

Recognizing an opportunity to manage anger by pitting one jerk against another, Keith said, “You’re an insolent jerk!” and hung up.

Then he called the first jerk and repeated his usual insult, to which the jerk shouted, “If you’re not the coward I think you are, give me your name and address, and we’ll settle this matter in a manly fashion.”

“Trevor — 203 Price Street.”

“On my way, Trevor — say your prayers!”

“Oh dear, I’m t-t-t-trembling,” Keith whimpered.

Then, after notifying the police that he was headed to 203 Price Street to murder a co-worker, Keith arrived in time to see the two jerks doing battle, as blue lights, reporters, and photographers converged on the scene.

“Wow! What a story,” I said to my friend. “I am about to call the daughter who berated me disrespectfully. Please listen in.”

“Dad, I will not apologize,” she scowled. “Your ‘offend the offender’ classroom strategy is draconian, reprehensible, outmoded, and shameful.” Click, buzz.

“It’s a good thing that she wasn’t howling those words in Keith’s ear,” I said to my friend. “He’d call her back and say: ‘You’re an insolent jerk!’”



Jimmy Reed -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jimmy Reed is an Oxford, Mississippi resident, Ole Miss alumnus, Army veteran, former Mississippi Delta cotton farmer, and retired college teacher. His collection of short stories is available via Squarebooks.com, telephone 662-236-2262.

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