The Obituary of Mr. Hanley

Mr. Hanley, the new teacher at George W. Bush High School, strolled into his classroom. A thin, wiry man, he possessed the characteristic traits of a public relations man. He came in today wearing a blue business suit, freshly starched and pressed, and as he entered one could smell the acrid odor of far too much cologne, which he must have spritzed upon himself mistakenly thinking that it would, in fact, hide the unmistakable stench of bodily odors long neglected. The students, many of whom were slouched over onto their desks, suddenly bolted upward, hair standing on end, eyes bulging, red with tears, desperately attempting to find a small air pocket in which to breathe fresh air, which, it seemed, the new teacher had completely stifled.

“Hello, students,” Hanley said. “Today we are going to discuss the wonderful advances in technology that have occurred since the year 2007. We look around ourselves, and we see all these wonderful inventions–commuter spacecraft, virtual reality video games, and even more obnoxious Internet advertisements. And, of course, it all began, as so many things begin, with the Japanese.”

The students looked around, confused. After all, there are so many others they could place the blame on–Henry Ford, Richard Nixon, perhaps even Grover Cleveland–but who would want to blame the Japanese?

“You mean, they’re the reason that all our cars are ugly?” one boy asked.

“Yes”, Mr. Hanley said. “You see, back before the year 2000 all cars were reasonably attractive. But then came the Subaru Baja. After that, manufacturers realized that they didn’t have to make cars attractive. You began to see Scions and Honda Elements all over the road. And then, of course, manufacturers of everything–from bicycles to fishing poles to video games–realized that they didn’t have to make things attractive anymore, they could just throw a bunch of crap together and call it the latest model.”

“But what about all of this shitty rap-hip-hop themed crap that they have all over the place?” one girl, a straight-A student with black hair and buck teeth, asked.

Here, the Mr. Hanley had a problem, because it wasn’t the Japanese’s fault, that. Nor was it the fault of African-Americans. And then he realized a truth–one that would take the rest of the world many many more years to figure out:

Corporations hate everybody.

Mr. Hanley strolled into the bar. Sweat had stained the armpits of his suit, now ragged. He demanded a beer. He had lost his job. A student had accused him of being a racist (how very odd), and now, the man had lost his life. His wife left him, because she had never loved him. His son left him, because he had never loved him, either. Even his mother left him, because she never loved her son.

And don’t even get me started on his roommate.

He didn’t know what to do. He drank the whole mug down in one gulp. He asked for another. And he thought.

And he thought.

And he thought.

And he thought some more, so that I could continue writing with no real purpose, just to use some space on my website.

Ever since he’d figured out the truth:


he had been sad. His life had fallen apart. And now, the corporations were trying to kill him, using fermented hops and barley, mixed together into a liquidy sort of liquid. He didn’t know what to do. He walked out of the door. And he kept on thinking, as he went home, to his rathole apartment on Mouse Street and Tiny Rodent Avenue. He was just about to turn on the TV, his mind continually screaming at him


when he saw the girl in the building next to him stark naked, because she was a nudist and therefore had special protection under the law in 2050, along with NAMBLA, the ACLU and the Seventh Day Adventists, and the police came in and tried to arrest him, because under the Protections for Nudists Act of 2044 anybody who looked or even saw a nudist naked would automatically be arrested, because that means they’re a pedophile or pervert or stalker, it doesn’t matter, they’re something. He jumped out the window, and landed upon hard concrete.

His life had been sad. His death had been sad. His story had been sad. And his dog was saddest of all, because he didn’t get his nightly dinner. And it was all because of several different things that factored against him:

  • He was male.
  • He had decided to become a teacher, despite the fact that every teacher eventually has one loudmouth parent who does nothing but bitch about the entire American school system and then teach their equally loudmouthed children to do the same.
  • He liked attractive cars.
  • Nobody loved him.
  • His dog liked to eat.

And the list goes on and on.

What’s saddest about Mr. Hanley’s story, however, is that it sucks. I would never wish Mr. Hanley’s story upon anybody, even my worst enemies. And–this will shock you–I would never even wish this story upon my own mother, even when I’m angry at her because she doesn’t take me seriously when I want to get a $30,000 pickup truck.

And so, that is my point. Oh, to hell with it, I don’t have a point.

Oh, and by the way, to those teachers who want to know where I was this afternoon on the date specifically known as “Senior Ditch Day”: I had a cold.