Teachers were allowed to assault students.
That’s the way it was in 1973 when I was 16 years old attending Virden Collegiate High School in Manitoba, Canada and one teacher in particular got nasty hurtful with his brutal physical reprimands.
The Bilingual Musician Took No Prisoners
Max Parker was built like a football linebacker and his appearance was unforgettable due to only three humans at the time –
- “Who loves ya baby?” Lieutenant Kojak, and
- Is he gay or a pirate? earring wearer Mr. Clean
having bald heads.
Sporting zero skull fiber was still a long way from being fashionable but Max didn’t care because his serious demeanor normally extruded the respect he demanded. Dude was the only guy I ever met who could mount such a disconcerting smile that people around him grew uncomfortable when he flashed his ivories for too long.
While no one accused Mr. Parker of being light hearted it was obvious that he was in his element as a school teacher and everyone acquainted with him also knew that he would make a damn fine maximum security prison warden.
Max’s highly disciplined world revolved around music, mathematics and french and he was an avid instructor of all three.
I bet he enjoyed a high class average mark as a teacher simply because there was so much fear connected with not scoring well in the subjects he taught. Wary students were well conditioned to do whatever was necessary to perform in Mr. Parker’s class – albeit at a high emotional price.
The last thing anyone wanted was to be standing at the side of the big man’s desk in front of everybody, being loudly interrogated as to their inability to pay attention. It was an elementary school maneuver purposefully employed for denigration.
“What were they, daft?” Max would query bye-bye standers as if he really cared to know.
After the nervous ‘glad it ain’t me up there’ chortling from fellow inmates subsided, the dunce reprobate would be forced to endure a further three excruciating seconds of Mad Max’s creepy smile, in your face pregnant pausing.
“Whale… are yuh…?” he would drawl in a mocking hillbilly twang, “… deft?”
Yes-siree bob. Mr. Max Parker had a real slick way of driving home a point.
Inattention Is A Pain In The Neck
I could see that Bobby Spurrel was in for a world of hurt.
He sat directly ahead of me in french class and what he gave me the opportunity to witness was akin to having ringside seats at a snake biting festival.
It was truly awesome.
Bobby’s unconscious had engulfed his alertness on this day and Mad Max Parker was like a bald eagle when it came to snuffing out any theta condition in his classrooms.
Though my own damnably thick eyelashes I watched the entire scene unfold.
Mr. Parker’s retinas dilated on Bobby’s bouncing up and down cranium while my unaware of being screwed friend bobbed in exact time to Tony Orlando And Dawn’s Knock Three Times on the ceiling if you want me.
If nothing else the young fella had good taste in music…
Mad Max’s telegraphed squinting made it obvious that he too was aware of his competition with the catchy tune trio and as Bobby added a pencil eraser drum solo to the rocking chorus blaring inside his noggin, Max Parker launched effortlessly out of his chair toward the side of the room.
As he did so, I feign-fully witnessed Max’s eyes lock onto Bobby’s persona with such hypnotic coolness that I swear Bobby’s consciousness slipped a notch or two further into la-la land and with his quarry now fully entranced, Mr. Parker wafted as airborne as a two hundred and twenty pound wingless bird of prey can get.
Dude’s glide path was so turbulence free that even through my stupid eye lashes I could see the building lights gleaming from his perfect bald head when he swung vampire-like around to the rear of the classroom.
And from the limited input side of his hapless victim‘s head he swooped in for the kill.
I believe Bobby was just about to the “twice on the pipes” part of his mind concert when I smelled and saw the large vampeer’s suit jacket burst through my personal space to pierce poor Bobby’s trapezius muscle with its right talon, causing an immediate scream of shock and agony to leap from Bobby’s mouth.
Mad Max’s surprise rear attack on Bobby along with our collective experience regarding the lasting discomfort of a pinched shoulder muscle was enough to create not just a terrified scream from girl Spurrel but also a reflexive gasp from everyone else in the room.
Many had been where Bobby was right now and their relief at being spared today was palpable.
Without saying a word everyone in that room knew that Max felt he owned our full consciousness and he fucking reveled in it.
“Pay attention, dammit!” was the sneak attacker’s warped smile warning to Bobby, who was now preoccupied with massaging pain diminishing blood flow back into his bruised shoulder muscle.
My friend Bobby was a tough guy and wouldn’t cry but I could tell from his flushed skin and quiet moans that Mad Max had hurt him bad.
Bobby certainly wasn’t the first student that Mr. Parker had bullied and he was a long way from being the last.
Mad Max Parker’s teaching style was legend throughout the school and that day his fame touched me deeply. I felt so very fortunate to have witnessed exactly how the old buzzard hunted, stalked and attacked us weaker, smaller human beings under his control.
Even as this sickening assault transpired I knew I was experiencing something fantastic. I realized that violence and authoritarian teachers like Mad Max Parker were on their way out and someday would not be tolerated at all.
Unfortunately, that time could not come quickly enough for me and this wonderful, great day of learning was my last time attending any of Max’s classes which eventually led to me being asked to leave high school half way through grade ten.
I was happy to do so.
French – yeah well, I wish I would have learned french and I still can but what Max taught me about society’s acceptance and use of force transcended all languages.
I had been twist-christened into a world of influence without pain by the Mad Parker Clencher Hold.
It was time to see if I could make it work.
Thank you, friend.