Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Remembering the Tum Tum Boys

Scott Howard, as a five-year member of the Tum Tum Boys, lived in a trailer and never brought cupcakes to class when it was his birthday. But that didn't mean he never brought food.

Among other items, Scott brought our fourth grade class a briefcase lined with Pizza Hut coupons (which he bundled like dollar bills and tried to sell), a coffee tin full of cookie crumbs (which he passed around the room), and a stack of Dixie cups to go along with the suspicious Kool-Aid his dad once dropped off with the teacher, who placed it awkwardly in the back of the room.

I remember riding his bus once and looking at the trailers and converted garages and storage spaces out the window and feeling sorry for the Tum Tum Boys, always dirty and late to school. But the Tum Tum Boys had their own self-defense against pity like mine, and I learned about it as they sang a rhyme over and over again, the bus rattling and bumping over the dust-filled, pothole-ridden turnarounds and driveways:

We are the Tum Tum boys
We have no toys
We live in caves and ditches
When pussy’s rare
We’ll fuck a bear
‘Cause we’re mean sons-of-bitches

That made it plenty obvious why the cookie crumbs went uneaten and the room-temperature Kool-Aid sat untouched on the back counter that June afternoon. These were scary kids. But now that I live in a trailer and teach students who live in trailers, I think there might be another reason: we were afraid of the unknown, especially the unknown part of ourselves that lived in people like Scott.


Blogger Eat More Beef said...

Pizza Hut coupons..Now thats what I'm talkin about!
Buy or Sell Anything Here!

11:13 PM  

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