Why I hate voting at elementary schools

People are going to the polls today to choose our next president. No matter who wins, Donald J. Trump or Hillary Clinton, I firmly believe they will go down as our worst president of all time. And that’s saying something because we’ve had some awful presidents.

Sheri and I voted early. If I’m ever allowed to vote again, if I don’t get thrown into a Trump re-education camp for things I’ve said on social media about Trump, early voting is the only way I will ever vote again. It’s a pretty spiffy way to vote. Here in Hagerstown, there is one central place to early vote. It’s a permanent facility maintained by the Washington County Board of Elections.

To vote on election day, we have to go to a nearby elementary school. I try to stay away from elementary schools, not because I was ordered to do so by a judge or anything, but because as a kid I hated elementary school.

I attended Quartz Hill Elementary School located in the high desert of southern California.

I grew up in an era where teachers could hit, beat, whip, or punch students. I don’t think the term “verbal abuse” was even invented yet. I was called derogatory names on a daily basis. Not by other students, but by the teachers.

When I was a kid, the only bullies we had at our school were the teachers.

Nobody at the school ever whipped me, but my entire 4th-grade class had to watch one of our classmates, Danny, get whipped by the 6th-grade teacher who taught next door, Ms. King.

Ms. King was a terrible, mean person. She wore the same clothes every day. She smelled of cigarettes and Brylcreem. She looked like a fat version of Adolf Hitler, only without a mustache.

Ms. King whipped Danny because he walked by her classroom coming back from a bathroom break and had to audacity to run his hand along with window panes of her classroom. Ms. King followed Danny back to our classroom and asked our teacher, Mrs. Gibson, if she could discipline Danny for disrupting her class. Mrs. Gibson agreed and Danny had to stand bent over while Ms. King whipped him on the back with her leather whistle lanyard.

Danny had welts on his back, but it was determined it was his fault because he was moving (he was not) when Ms. King administered her leather lanyard justice. She claimed to be aiming at Danny’s ass, not his back. Plus, Danny was a foster kid, so it’s not like he had parents that would raise a stink with the school.

Back then, teachers could beat students as long as it was focused on the ass. The 70s were a weird time. My 5th-grade teacher, Mr. Brock, would hit students on the ass with a wooden paddle. He would take us down to the principal’s office where he would use the principle’s paddle. It didn’t hurt that much because Mr. Brock was old and feeble. Plus, my parents “spanked” me with a leather belt.

A wooden paddle is some weak-ass shit compared to the sting of a leather cowboy belt.

I still remember the feeling I got when I learned Ms. King was going to be my 6th-grade teacher. My grammar school had two 6th grade teachers. I was just one of the unlucky half who was assigned to Ms. King’s classroom.

By the time I was in the 6th-grade, I think Ms. King’s whipping privileges had finally been revoked; I don’t remember her ever whipping anyone when I was in the 6th-grade. Maybe that was a punishment she reserved for just 4th-graders who lived in a foster home. She would still hit kids. She once punched me in the face for talking to a kid next to me. She was mean. She called me stupid on a daily basis.

So yeah, I don’t like elementary schools. I also don’t like women who look like Adolf Hitler. A coincidence? I think not.

What is with all the Kylo Ren merchandise?

To be honest, if I saw someone walking around wearing a Kylo Ren t-shirt, a part of me would want to punch them in the throat.

I finally got around to seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens this past weekend. I enjoyed it. In fact, as I write this, I believe it’s the best Star Wars movie ever made.

I may change my mind about that after I allow more time to pass and I have more time to place things in proper context. It is better than those horrible prequel movies.

The one thing I do not understand about the Star Wars: The Force Awakens has nothing to do with the movie itself, but has to do with the marketing of the movie. Who decided to make Kylo Ren such a focal point of the merchandise?

Kylo Ren is a terrible, awful person. I am not going to give away any spoilers, but let me just say that because of what he did in the movie, Kylo Ren is my most hated character from the entire Star Wars universe, and that includes George the Lucas.

Kylo Ren is worse than the Stormtroopers who murdered Uncle Lars and Aunt Beru. Kylo Ren is worse than the Death Star crewmembers who destroyed Alderaan.

Kylo Ren is worse than any of them.

Why then would I want a t-shirt with the image of Kylo Ren on it? Why would I want a Star Wars calendar where three of the months feature a photo of Kylo Ren? Why would I want a Kylo Ren Funko Pop! figure?

KyloRenFunko

To be honest, if I saw someone walking around wearing a Kylo Ren t-shirt, a part of me would want to punch them in the throat.

So no, I do not want any Kylo Ren merch because I watched the movie. I not only got choked up in the theater when Kylo Ren did what he did, I almost get choked up even now just thinking about it.

Bryce Harper drags foot over Braves logo

Spoiled brat Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals took some much deserved heat Saturday night from Atlanta Braves fans when he intentionally dragged his foot over the giant stylized letter “A” behind home plate. Evidently, this was done in retaliation for Braves fans booing the immature outfielder every time he made his way to the batter’s box.

Harper, of course, lied about it after Saturday’s game. That’s what he does. He acts like a punk and then lies about it after he’s called out on it. It’s the Harper way.

It’s hard for me to put into words just how much I dislike Bryce Harper. I can’t even watch Nationals games anymore. Living here in Maryland, I can watch every Orioles and National game on TV. I used to, pre-Harper, watch quite a few Nats games when the O’s weren’t on. Not anymore.

As of this morning, Harper is batting .249 and has only four home runs. Harper has struck out 65 times. Being the Bryce Haper hater that I am, maybe I should start watching Nationals games again for the schadenfreude.