"Junior! Junior! You get that little caboose of yours in here right this minute."

"What is it, mom?"

"I just got your report card and..."

"Uh oh."

"And you've got some explaining to do. Just look at these grades. Twelve 'D's, little George? Twelve 'D's - that's below average, totally unacceptable. Just how do you explain that, little mister?"

"Mom I..."

"You keep your mouth shut until your mother is finished talking. Five 'F's!!! Arrrgh! Five 'F's. Your father is going to tan your hide when he hears about this."

"I'll take the old fart on, mano y mano."

"Oh I am so sure that I am impressed by your braggadocio, little George. Too bad for you that Spanish wasn't part of your curriculum. And let me tell you something else, little mister..."

"Oww. That hurt, mom."

"Well, there's more where that came from, and you can bank on it. Honestly, George, your father and I scrimp and sacrifice to get you into Terrorist Whumping School, and you bring home a report card with deplorable grades like this? I am appalled, I tell you, simply appalled."

"But look, mom, look! I got an A in terrorist financing!"

"It's an A minus, and you know good and well that taking the terrorists lunch money is an elective. Just look at these other grades. Critical Infrastructure Assessment - a D. Airline Passenger Pre-screening - an F. Don't you remember what happened on 911?"

"Kind of..."

"Kind of? Well, you sure go around crowing about it enough, Mister Kind Of. Civil Liberties Oversight - another D. Coalition Detention Standards - F."

"That one doesn't count, mom. The coalition hates me."

"You hush your mouth before I hush it for you. Government Information Sharing - D. You've always been a selfish boy, always."

"It's my information, mom. I don't have to share it if I don't want to. And besides... all these classes are hard."

"You've had four years to pass them, George. And see this note from Professor Lehman - 'None of this is rocket science. None of these subjects are in the too hard category'. Now, what do you have to say for yourself, young man?"

"Nothing..."

"Nothing is right. You've been squandering all your time playing around over there in Iraq when you should have been studying. I'm going to let you choose your own punishment, George. Either I'm taking your bike away for a week, or you can drop those pants and bend over for a whipping. What's it going to be?"

"Just promise you won't hit too hard, mom."

 

2005, Mark Hoback