All right, we're gonna take a break from dissin' on the kids. Don't worry, I've got plenty of li'l shitters saved for later, but today, and next week, in a special two-part post, Dickheadz is going ape:
The Story of Baboon Baboon begins with a middle school music teacher named Mr. Clehms, a balding, foul-tempered Scottish divorcee once rumoured to have grown breasts after eating Brazilian chicken.
Mr. Clehms was manic and sweaty. The contours of his pink, middle-aged spread were too often publicized through button-downs worn damp and yellowed at the pits, while the rest of his clothes—exemplars of mankind's most hideous textiles—came only in shades of cubicle felt and industrial carpet.
He was comprehensively frantic. He pounded the piano ferociously, directed choirs hysterically, and strode at an urgent, brimming clip—none of which helped his excessive perspiration. He kept a handkerchief to swat at his sweaty head and he did so fiercely, leaving his barely-hair in perpetual disarray.
This combination of anxiety and rage gave Mr. Clehms the air of a Velociraptor beset by self-doubt—his smile was at best a grimace, his laugh a nerve-wracked rat-a-tat, and he would frequently and quite thunderously lose his shit. His face was pocked with very small, broken veins, and he was prone to panicked, shifty glances. The man was s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d.
So it was no big shock that from time to time, Mr. Clehms would take a break. He would stop trying to teach us xylophone renditions of "I Want to be an American" (and other West Side Story hits), pause our appaling keyboard compositions, and have us watch a video instead. Of violin prodigies, Jesus Christ Superstar, anything that would keep us quiet and direct our glazed-over gazes to the television perched high atop some shelves. The additional benefit of this distraction was that he could dim the lights and be intimate with his piano. Yes, because on top of being a sweaty, short-fused lunatic, Mr. Clehms was also a big ole' perv.
The piano was strategically tucked into a corner of the room—all the better to conceal the 7x11 soft-focus print of Kenny G gingerly holding his sax, softly smiling, eyes half-closed, feelin' it. C'mon, Clehms. Kenny G? That pussy? Why not someone a little more manly, like Yanni? Yanni's online store may not offer anything quite on par with Kenny G's "Sax-o-Loco" Beanie and Scarf set (available in Camel or Navy Blue, $30.95) or his "Sax-O-Loco" Travel Tumbler (a travel mug that "will surely keep your beverage hot or cold depending on the moments [sic] mood"), but really, Clehms should've known better: Kenny G picture + middle school kids = asking for a clownin'. Simple as that.
When we were effectively distracted by the TV, Mr. Clehms would slip into the small space between his instrument and the window. Here, looking between the TV and down at Kenny G, he would begin to rub himself against the side of his piano, and it was this that Mr. Clehms was really most famous for. Ask anyone what they remember about him and they will answer unanimously: Dude humped his piano.
So one day Mr. Clehms puts on some Fliedermaus shit or whatever on the TV and we're all watching and he's hangin' loose with his piano and Kenny G. And I am small and probably wearing a very large t-shirt and bored out of my goddamned mind. My attention starts to drift, up and over the heads of my classmates, over to Clehms, humping the piano, and then out of the window.
Our classroom was positioned next to an external staircase, which had a curved awning running all the way up it. Casually sitting on top of this awning is what appears to be a large, greyish dog. And I'm like, now how did that dog...? But on double-take I realize, oh shit, it's a baboon. A mangy, surly-ass baboon, scratching his pink butt and looking bitchily unimpressed. Like oh, he's so cool because he's not in class and he just gets to sit on this thing and scratch his butt and do whatever. And motherfucker is totally sneering at me. What gives, Baboon?
So I'm like, Look everybody, a baboon!
Mr. Clehms stops mid-hump and roars WHAT'S THIS NONSENSE before snapping his head to the window. Then he shrieks and his hands flutter to his face, and by now everyone in the room is all screaming and the girly-girls in my class are whipping cameras out of their bags, grabbing each other and posing for pictures.
Mr Clehms rushes to the phone, breaking into a sweat, swatting at his head, wild-eyed as ever. But Baboon's like whatever, and by the time Mr Clehms starts dialling, he coolly picks himself up and strolls away—but not before giving me the stink-eye. Asshole.
After class gets out, me and a friend go looking for baboon. Which is cute, I guess. I mean, what are two pre-teen girls gonna do when they find a baboon? Hang out? Talk shit? We didn't find the baboon, obviously, but it didn't matter—I'd be seeing him again soon enough. TO BE CONTINUED…
Okay, I have a confession to make. And no, it's not that this was just an excuse to write about Mr. Clehms, although that is perfectly true. My confession is that I've spent my entire life thinking that this dickhead was a baboon when, in fact, he was not. Everybody else remembers this guy as a baboon, probably because none of us were correctly identifying primate sub-species when we were in middle-school, but it turns out that he was actually a Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta). Biologically different, sure, but personality-wise, they're both known to be dicks. So if it's cool, I'm gonna keep calling him Baboon Baboon, because Rhesus Macaque just doesn't quite roll off the tongue, and Macaca mulatta sounds like a coffee beverage with a "funky, Latin twist" served to you by someone who has been instructed to refer to you as a "guest" rather than a "customer." So I'm gonna stick with Baboon Baboon—unless any of you can come up with a good nickname. That's an invitation—my expectations hover at medium. Surprise me.