Monday, August 22, 2011

In Favor of Heathcliff

On March 12, 2001 Sir Chickenhead Antonucci wrote two stories. One of them we will document here today. It is called "In Favor of Heathcliff."

As I collected this week’s assignment, I noticed the same students, as
always, had nothing to turn in. One in particular caught my eye with his
nonchalant I-didn’t-do-itness. It was Troy Martin, the rebel in the class.
Marlon Brando in The Wild One. In his leather jacket, Triple-H
T-shirt, blue jeans and black Timberland boots, his attire reflected his
attitude. He was drinking arrogantly from a bottle of Naya, possibly filled
with vodka, knowing these kids and their drinking. Perhaps he’ll go to the
cafeteria later for an orange drink and make Sunny-D screwdrivers.

“Mr. Martin,” I said. “Do you have your assignment?”

“I wasn’t aware that we had one, Sir.”

“You know darn well you were to write a paper on Wuthering Heights that
was due today. Did you even read it?”

“My, uh…”

“If you plan on using ‘My dog ate my homework,’ you can save it. You’ve
used that excuse already, and I happen to know you don’t have a dog. Mr.
Martin, this is the fifth assignment you’ve had in this class this semester.
This non-existent dog of yours ate the first one. I believe you said
neo-Nazis stole the second one. I was shocked when you actually did
assignments three and four. Yes, I was even more shocked to see that for the
paper about The Awakening, you wrote about Hank, the angry, drunken dwarf,
from The Howard Stern Show. Then for your paper on Portrait of the Artist as
a Young Man, you wrote a compelling essay on mashed potatoes vs. Stove Top
stuffing. Now, what is the excuse or lame topic for this particular paper?”
He stood up and handed me a piece of paper, I was amazed that, not only
had he actually typed it, but it was titled “In Favor Of Heathcliff.” He
knew one of the characters! As I read it, however, my enthusiasm sank. He
was in favor of Heathcliff all right, but over Garfield. He wrote a
comparative essay about cartoon cats! What was worse, he couldn’t even fill
a page with this topic. By the third paragraph, he had changed focus to his
poll results for who was hotter: Kirsten Dunst or Jennifer Love Hewitt. The
results were tied 2-2, so even this horrid excuse for an essay was a

As I came upon the end of Troy’s dazzling submission, which promised it
was “to be continued” with Felix vs. Top Cat and Jessica Alba vs. Tara Reid
(apparently he was having a tournament), I felt myself becoming rather ill.
I let out a scream, and leaped out of the window. The fall didn’t kill me;
we were on the first floor. I got up and ran away, yanking the hair out of
my own head. Teaching is no longer for me.

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