Dan O'Toole had just finished his lunch in the Salvador Deli. Even though Uncle Sal was still working on his pastrami and giant pickle, Dan asked for the check.
After a big sip from his Cajun martini, Uncle Sal said, "Whoa! What's your hurry, chief?"
"Unfortunately, I can't stay. I have to go to my son's school for a conference with his teacher. I don't know what's happened this semester. He's normally so good with math, but right now he's getting a D."
Uncle Sal removed a napkin from the shrunken head napkin dispenser and said, "Maybe it's the teacher. A good teacher can make a big difference. Like in the town where I grew up, ya basically had to go through a whole family of teachers, starting with Old Man Roy. He taught basic algebra. Before ya ever got to his class, ya heard about how he'd throw chalkboard erasers at kids in his class that talked too much. Then ya find out the hard way the first time one of them erasers conked ya in the ol' coconut. And if he ever caught ya chewin' gum in his classroom, he'd make ya scrape all the old gum wads off the bottom of every desk."
The waitress set the check on the table and after another sip of his Cajun martini, Sal continued. "Ya spent so much time being terrified of him, ya didn't really learn nothin'. Then the next year, ya got his wife for geometry. Nice lady, and nice to look at, but she ain't a good teacher. She'd explain sump'n and if someone asked a question about it, she'd explain it the same way. Finally, you'd get the son Kingsley for advanced algebra. He was a real good teacher. I mean, it ain't easy to make kids learn algebra, but he was always lookin' for ways to make math fun. First time in my life I got an A in math, mostly because the guy was nothin' like his old man."
Dan signed the check and said, "You may be right. Maybe this teacher just isn't getting through to him."
"See if he can move into a class with a different teacher. Ya never know who's gonna be able to reach a kid. Think about it. I had three teachers in the same family, but the only Roy who could ever teach me was the son of a creature, Dan."
This episode featured:
Dusty Trayles as Dan O'Toole
Hans Springfield as Uncle Sal
Jellybean Merengue as the shrunken head napkin dispenser.
Tune in next week when Uncle Sal says, "Are gringos falling from the sky?"