Jimmy Wu was named valedictorian of Young Angels Kindergarten by Miss Thustle. Why? Because Mr. Wu bought her off. Can you believe that? I don’t know what it cost him. Earlier I had mentioned a hundred bucks to Thustle and she turned up her nose at me.
Little Butch didn’t care. Heck, he couldn’t get farther than one syllable into “valedictorian” when he tried to say it. The decision bothered me and the missus, though.
“That’s all it’s worth to you for our son to be the best?” she said to me.”You’re imperiling our boy’s academic future because you’re a skinflint? I suppose you want him to go to State, not to a good university? Tightwad.”
“Honey,” I said. “I should have named a bigger number. I admit it. Everybody knows how serious the Chinese are about education. I guess I thought Miss Thustle might want to support the white race in a situation like this, even if it cost her a few shekels.”
“Fix it,” the missus said. She had that dark look she gets. The one where she calls her father.
My problem was, Thustle didn’t like me ever since I accidentally made contact with her a couple of times in the bust and buttocks regions. She’s a babe. Wasted on five-year-olds, if you know what I mean.
Then the missus told me that her dad was actually coming to the graduation ceremony. There was no way in heaven he was going to sit still and watch a ch… a Chinese boy win the big prize. Not with Butch sitting up there on the stage with the rest of his class.
So on the night, I went to Miss Thustle right away.
“Butch’s grandpa is going to be in the audience tonight,” I said to her. “Believe me, you don’t want to give the Wong kid the valedictorian Mr. Professor teddy bear with Wong watching. Two hundred bucks to change your mind.”
“Do you know who Mr. Wong is?” Thustle said.
“Don’t tell me he’s in the rackets.”
“Look. He just came in. See that guy beside him? The big one?”
“Butch’s grandpa just came in too. See that big guy beside him?”
Thustle turned and headed for the stage. I took my seat next to the missus and her dad and his goon. Wong and his wife and his goon were off to our right. The kids assembled on the stage.
The lights went down and the ceremony began with the little angels singing a song. Thustle said a few words. Then she apologized for feeling faint and told us that her assistant would direct the rest of the ceremony. She exited stage right. I could see where this was going and told the missus that I was having stomach cramps and needed to visit the little boys room.
I didn’t want to use my cell phone to make the call, but fortunately the lobby had an old pay phone that still worked. I traded a dollar for a quarter from the woman in the box office and dialed 911. Told the operator that there was going to be trouble.
Then I did use the bathroom. I was nervous because with these guys, you never knew when the guns were going to come out. When I got back to the auditorium door and opened it a crack and peeked in, I saw that Mr. Wong and Butch’s grandpa and both their goons and the missus and some other twerpy dad who imagined his son was the best and brightest, were all up on the stage with the teacher’s assistant, whose eyes were bugging out of her head. She had the Mr. Professor teddy bear clutched to her chest and Butch and Jimmy Wong were trying to pull it away from her. The twerpy dad’s kid ran and hid.
The goons began throwing punches. That’s what goons do; that’s what they were there for. The missus pulled her hand out of her purse with a .32 in it. I heard sirens.
At this point I left the building, meaning to stop by Podesta’s Bail Bonds on my way home to a TV dinner and ballgame. In the parking lot I saw Thustle stepping into her Prius.
“You’re a dirtbag,” she said. “but compared to the rest of them, you’re Saint Francis.”
I took that as a compliment.
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