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Lord of the Three-Ring

Oct. 1, 2010
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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So it’s finally autumn, that time of year when the temperature registers a crispness that forces these knobshines who drive cars to keep their windows closed, thus preventing them from sharing their crappy taste in music with those of us who walk to a way of living, what the fock.

And let’s not forget that autumn is also that golden time when the young people’s fancy turns to thoughts of skipping school as often as possible without getting caught. Yes sir, the sheen of a new school year has been dulled by this realization: “Hey, wait a minute, I almost forgot. School sucks.”

Many experts seem to feel that kids who skip school don’t learn as much about stuff like treaties in Ghent, hypotenuses, the capital of Djibouti, or the correct punctuation of human body part’s as do the kids who stay glued to their seats, I kid you not.

And many of these same experts feel that the learning of knowledge is a big deal if for no other reason than one’s self-esteem. They imagine, I imagine, that you just got to feel better about yourself if you know that prideful ignorance may get you somewhere in the Tea Party or Al Qaeda, but that prideful ignorance as a human way of life is no way to adapt to ever-changing conditions that ensure survival of the fittest species beyond the day after tomorrow, you betcha.

I remember talking to my favorite hash-slinger, Bea, over by the Webb’s on Third Street a while back when we wondered if kids still ran away to join the circus like they used to years ago, ’cause gosh darn if you don’t hear much about that happening these days, ain’a?

Today they run away and join a cult or a gang, but not the circus, and that’s a shame. Somehow we’ve got to figure a way to make the circus more accessible, ’cause when kids joined the circus they learned a skill, goddamn it. Ringmaster. Lion tamer. Clown. Cotton-candy marketer. Good jobs that could take you anywhere in the world, what the fock.

And speaking of jobs, I hereby offer my services to be Beertown’s top truancy officer for this school year. Prevention would be my modus operandi, and so I’d propose that maybe we ought to make our schools more like a circus, even if it’s as simple as having clowns and female lion tamer assistants who parade around in a bathing suit, silk stockings and high heels to serve as hall monitors. The circus might be considered old-school these days, but what the fock, school’s school in my book.

I’d make for a good truancy officer if only for the bona fide hands-on experience I’ve had in the field. Cripes, back during my glorious days served at the institution known as Our Lady in Pain ’Cause You Kids Are Going Straight to Hell But Not Soon Enough, I became so supremely skilled at cutting class that I was known to my classmates as “The Surgeon,” until I was suspended for the malpractice of my scholarly duties.

My first concern for the truant student would be the self-esteem of the child. Even though the attendance-challenged pupil more appropriately should don the dunce cap rather than sport the backward baseball cap, self-esteem must be encouraged. I’d strongly suggest that rather than describe a student as “truant”—such a negative term—we instead say the child has taken “French leave,” a colloquially acceptable term as well as a little more classy than “truant,” ain’a? And what kid couldn’t use more class? Hey, you tell me.

And then I’ll tell you that I’d provide any students on “French leave” a little extra help by offering at no charge the following science project they could have all-ready prepared for biology class the next time they focking felt like showing up.


Place four worms into four separate jars for 24 hours, thusly:

1. Place first worm into jar of alcohol.

2. Place second worm into jar of cigarette smoke.

3. Place third worm into jar of sperm.

4. Place fourth worm into jar of soil.


1. The first worm in alcohol—croaked.

2. Second worm in cigarette smoke—focking croaked.

3. Third worm in sperm—croaked.

4. Fourth worm in soil—lived.


As long as you drink, smoke and have sex, you won't get worms.

So, there you go. And let us not forget that as one ages the quest for knowledge should never cease, and so we recall the words of Socrates (the only actual hardcore advice he ever gave, whether you were a student or not):

“Brush your teeth and stay in school, I don’t care who the fock you think you are.”

I second that emotion, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.


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