t-bone & b-rock
April 21, 2009, 6:14 pm
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: ,

in high school, i called my teacher a b**ch while her husband was standing 10 feet away listening. and i survived.

let me back up a bit. 

my maturity level did not grow as fast as my body. actually, it kind of did because i have always been short. but you get the picture. this left me as a high school nerd, not happy with who he was and desperately trying to fit in. i suppose that isn’t all that surprising. lots of kids are there. but acting out in class seemed to be what kept me going to school each day. i didn’t like getting in trouble. but at the same time, i couldn’t resist. so when mrs. brennan refused to call terace bert and i by the names we wanted to be called, we decided to make things difficult for her.

she was a new teacher. no one knew what to expect from her. she was young, fresh out of college. i think we assumed she would be a pushover. she was anything but that. during the first class, she asked us to write on a piece of paper the name we liked to go by. for instance, my actual name is kenneth, but people call me blair. that is what she meant. but me and terace decided we wanted to be called t-bone and b-rock. i don’t think that’s exactly what she had in mind…the requests didn’t seem to unusual at the time. we hoped she would go by it, but she didn’t, and things went downhill from there. most days ended up with us being kicked out of her class. we refused to follow any orders she gave unless she addressed us by t-bone and b-rock…which, of course, she never did. so as you can imagine, this led to many conflicts. it all came to a head one day at the public library. we were there to do research for our projects. while the librarian was talking to us, i leaned over to whisper something to my friend. i was met with a quick snap back to attention from mrs. brennan. i shrugged it off, not thinking much of it. she apparently had had enough of me. looking back, i don’t really blame her. i mean, to come to a new place with a new job and have the kids who you are supposed to care for and educate slap you in the face (not literally, although sometimes i thought about it) day after day must have been disheartening. and so on this day, when i committed the most minor of offenses, she decided to slap me with detention. it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. i got detention most days. but something about that day with mrs. brennan, i decided it was time to stand up for my rights…as a…jerk.

i disrespected her like i had never disrespected an adult. i knew her husband was standing close by, but i didn’t care. the adrenaline was flowing. blood was pumping. i think it was just before lunchtime, so stomachs were churning. and then i let it out. the word…the word that is so disrespectful to women that to call someone that now would make me sick. i walked away feeling pretty satisfied. i told all my friends and they thought i was pretty cool, or at least t-bone did. i was banned from her class after that. i’m surprised at the restraint of mr. brennan. if some snot nosed punk like me said those things to my wife, i would gladly knock them upside the head…ahhh…wait…i guess youth ministers shouldn’t say those things.

communication almost ended there.

i got married to melissa and had mostly forgot about my jerkish history. i still had tendencies towards that behaviour, but for the most part had left it behind. and so one day, i was approached by the brennans at church. they wanted to know if melissa and i would like to come to their christmas party. i wasn’t sure what to say. we had gone to the same church for a couple years, but our past had caused me to avoid them at all costs. i made an excuse, and so they invited us for supper instead. i am not very clever, and one excuse was my limit for the day, so i had to say yes. i was half worried it was an ambush. she would invite me in while he hid in the closet with a baseball bat. but it was a nice time. full of good conversation. they became some of our closest friends in regina at the time. they were a couple that loved on us and cared for us and fed us and taught us how to raise kids. we were close many times to giving up on church, but i believe this expression of grace is one of the reasons we never did.

and they never brought up my past. i apologized at one point, and they just laughed at me. i’m not sure what prompted them to approach me that day. i don’t know why they would even want to. humans are creatures of habit, and we tend to stay far away from those who hurt us. but they took a chance and broke that habit. and i wish more people in the church would let go of their hurts and move towards love and reconciliation. i know we think some things are just too messy and overly complicated to be that simple. but maybe they aren’t. maybe we need to break our habits and take the first step. maybe it’s some punk kid that lipped us off. maybe it’s some older person that made you feel little. maybe it’s some overly conservative person who hurt you by looking down on your ideas about the way the world works. maybe it’s some left wing liberal that believes some crazy things you don’t agree with. maybe it’s someone who lied to you and cheated you.

maybe we need to start letting go of our past in order to grab on to something new. expressions of grace are beautiful. lets practice grace more often. there you go, john c. i ended with that picture perfect sermon ending just for you.


2 Comments so far
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you sold out my friend. still. . .nice one.

Comment by the john

[…] in the middle of one of my responses to a question. in bible study. you already know the story of t-bone and b-rock. in grade 12, i was a dorm assistant, which meant i was in charge of keeping the law in our […]

Pingback by cusswords « story time with blair

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