A recurring subject of the tract writers was the evil of cursing.
—The Life of Johnny Reb, by Bell Irvin Wiley
Spike, my homeroom teacher’s pet and human pretzel and resident elf, asked me today during the final and heated moments of the school day in afternoon homeroom, right before they knock over desks when they blow out to their rides or buses, if they could use the phrase ... Bitch monkeys ... a lot ... when they all talk to each other.
I looked at Spike.
Spike looked at me.
Everybody went real quiet.
Spike said in his voice … Just us here in homeroom. We’ll use it here and there in our conversations with each other.
I kept looking at Spike with an expression I was contorting that gave the viewer the impression of wisdom, experience, age, and maturity. But I think it always makes me look dull.
Spike said they wouldn’t say Bitch monkeys to anybody else around the building. Just here in homeroom. That it would just be our thing that we do.
I looked at the other eleven members of my homeroom. I saw extreme expressions of expectation and hopefulness. I got the immediate impression that Spike had already worked the idea around the fellows long before afternoon homeroom. I asked Spike would they call … me … a Bitch monkey?
With great deference and respect in his voice, Spike said ... Todd, only if you want us to.