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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Respectfulness.

When I was in Junior High School, I had an English Teacher named Mrs. Jackson.
Mrs. Jackson thought that she was precious and adorable.
Also in this class was her son, Tony.
Tony also thought his mother was precious and adorable.
Tony also thought that HE was precious and adorable.
Mrs. Jackson also thought that Tony was precious and adorable.
It was not at all a problem for Tony to be in his mothers English class.
I, of course, thought neither one of them was precious or adorable.
But I slogged through the class nevertheless.

One day, Mrs. Jackson announced a homework assignment:
"Go to your local library and check out a play to read. You're all going to see
what it's like to read a play."
Fair enough.
This did not seem to be any problem that I could foresee.
So I went to my local library, and asked the librarian where I could find plays.
She directed me to the 800 section.
Not having the slightest clue of what I should be looking for, because none was
provided, I extracted from the shelves a play entitled "The Respectful Prostitute"
by Jean-Paul Sartre.
I must have been about twelve.
I had no idea who Jean-Paul Sartre was.
I had no idea what a prostitute was.
I sort of had an idea of what "respectful" was.
So I bring "The Respectful Prostitute", by Jean-Paul Sartre, up to the check-out
desk, where they happily checked it out for me.
Mrs. Jackson had preciously and adorably asked us each to bring in the plays we had chosen to read.
I, quite innocently, handed her my copy of "The Respectful Prostitute" by Jean-Paul
Sartre.
She took one look at me, and said "Where the heck did you get your hands on Jean-Paul
Sartre?"
I explained "At the Glen Oaks Library."
Which summons up the question: "What kind of dumbbells do they have working at
libraries?"
Mrs. Jackson summarily dismissed me with "Go return it and bring back something else."
With no further explanation.
Now, she had not given us any guidelines as to what sort of play we should be looking for.
I'll give it to her that nobody else in the class had that problem.
But in retrospect, it would seem likely that the odds would dictate that SOMEBODY
would.
In this case, that somebody would be me.
Shouldn't she have given us a list of acceptable playwrights?
Such as Mary Chase? Or Kaufman and Hart? or Thorton Wilder?
I'm sure that Tennessee Williams would have been off limits too, unless someone had brought in "The Glass Menagerie"
But no. She didn't.
And she left me out there, twisting in the wind, to be thoroughly embarrassed in front of the class, who didn't even know why I was being embarrassed, nor did I.
So I didn't know who Sartre was, and I didn't know what a prostitute was.
But I knew what respect was, and I sure knew I wasn't getting any.

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My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

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4 comments:

  1. Did you ever read the play?
    I want to. Since I teach I wonder if I've got legions of wonderful folks out relating similar goofs I've committed in my teaching.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You might be qualified for a complimentary Apple iPhone 7.

    ReplyDelete

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."