Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tales of Northeastern Ghetto Tech. From Strelnikov.

Some preliminaries before the jump into the Grand Clusterfuck

“Why is Strelnikov so mean to the students?” (asked in a whiny snivel)

I’ve always hated them, even in grade school, but then if you’ve been following my comments (which I guess is impossible) you know I attended a string of Krazee Kristian Skools from about the 5th grade until I graduated from high school, whereupon that final “institution” collapsed thanks to a pastoral sex scandal. I hated the students then because they submitted to being crushed by this idiotic orthodoxy willingly; I only made friends with people that had their own minds or who had learned, like I had, to become two-faced and privately critical of the school, the principal, or that Godforsaken joke of a religion. In college my hatred began again when I started taking day classes and ran into the snowflaky scumfucks this blog is built around and I realized I had been around these doofuses my whole life.

“Is Northeastern Ghetto Tech a real school?”

Yes; a certain comedian who sold pudding and home computers from Texas was a graduate. For the purposes of this series of reminiscences, the city where NGT is located will be called Pretzelton, located in the state of Arboria. The street it straddles will be called Monstro Avenue, and the cross street where the subway is will be called Rufus T. Firefly Way (because the original name of the street, Cromulent Lane, had connotations in the city of mugging, armed robbery, and young men on the corners giving you their best mad-dog stares.) Not that Monstro was a street to be proud of - people drag raced up and down because it was the only road in the area with more than two lanes, 99.9 percent of the buildings were either abandoned or had unused upper stories, and many of the residents rightfully were angry at NGT because they had purchased blocks of those shuttered buildings and were holding on to them for future expansion.

So let us begin….

When Wolverine of the X-Men Pissed in my Shower

Drinkin.’
That was what drove me up the wall about living at the Ministry of Truth; the NGT students’ need to get hammered EVERY. FUCKING. WEEKEND. My suitemates were no different - Farraj, Phil the Sex Machine, and Zontar the Thing From the Suburbs loved booze.....and drugs…..but mostly booze. I was older than them, so I had gone through the “let’s smoke dope on your parent’s patio” and “let’s get drunk at noon” phases a-while back…..so that meant they wanted me to buy booze for them at the state Arboria likka stows. I resisted (if I had been caught, I would have been expelled), the trick was the security in the Ministry of Truth was so slipshod I could’ve claimed a bazooka was a walking stick. What drove me to be their frakkin’ booze mule was the night Farraj came back from a party where he had gotten so smashed he started a fistfight with a brick wall; Sterling the local gentleman drug dealer propped him up and got him past the uniformed grandmother and the shitfaced cocksucker smeared his blood all over my wall, before we poured him into his bed. My theory was that if I could get them totally gone, maybe they wouldn’t head out and play the bratty college student/trainee alcoholics. Let us not forget I wasn’t there to play these chickenshit teenaged games – I wanted a diploma, their livers be damned.
            The trick with getting booze in Pretzelton was, unlike Surfer Rosa (my home state – in America) you couldn’t just pull up to the Piggly-Wiggly and get Stolichnaya from the locked glass case across from the bread aisle; you had to buy the stuff from the aforementioned state liquor stores, and being perfect Quaker assholes, the state government did not list the store locations. However I am a wanderer and I found the places with their red banners and pictures of Gorbachev and Reagan shaking hands. Let me mention right now that all three of my co-internees in the Ministry were too scared to take the subway; I had never ridden one in my life but the minute I could buy a token I was riding all over the Greek Cross, even to the parts of town they were horrified to hear I had gone…..I don’t know how I do it, I just blend into the woodwork or people assume I’m an undercover cop. At any rate, the experiment was a colossal failure; I could drink them until they were numb, but THEY WOULD STILL GO OUT. So I gave up.
            At this point I should bring up that Farraj and Phil had a plethora of friends, most left over from high school and all students of Northeastern Ghetto Tech; there was the Triumvirate, three girls who later lived in a small house in Coolsville (where all the “happenin’ ” people boarded), and you have already met Sterling, and then there was Wolverine, who was this wisenheimer whose hair reminded me of the comic-book charater. Like Phil he was a waiter, but unlike Phil he didn’t pick up women at his restaurant and bring them back to the Ministry to have loud sex. Anyway, I can’t remember clearly how Wolverine did what he did, maybe I was coming back from work on a Thursday (when the “weekend” began) or from my other weekend job. Zontar (and I call him “Zontar” here because he was this inhuman shitheel; he knew full well I worked at the Chinese Library, but he pissed and moaned about my alarm all the same – he wanted to get up late on Saturdays) wasn’t there as far as I remember. What I do recall was that it was deep into my first semester at NGT and the inmates of the Ministry were already starting to trash the place: garbage in the elevators, a stupid game where they slapped the fire exit signs (we were all fined at the end of the year as collective punishment), stealing fire extinguishers, flipping tables in the student lounges, other childish grabass. I think I was walking in from the hallway and I looked right and there he was, the shower curtain pulled back, urinating into the drain. I think I screamed “You MOTHERFUCKER!”  or maybe I said nothing because I was THAT angry. What I do remember was putting my bag down and heading right out across Monstro Ave. to the local drugstore/bodega. Drifting around inside I noticed the carpet was the worst shade of grey I’d ever seen. Wolverine apologized a week later after the liquor wore off.

***
When I collected two friends, Steve-Dave and Fat Randal, and I introduced them to Phil and Farraj, my suitemates were so gone (they were both prancing about in their boxer shorts) that they didn’t remember meeting Steve-Dave or Fat Randal.

You think I’m done.
I haven’t even started.




33 comments:

  1. Well, at least he got it in the drain. Pour a little bleach down after it, and it'll be good as new. Don't you think I remember being an undergraduate, too?

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  2. That's the all time avatar. Did Strel do it, or did Cal?

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    Replies
    1. I gave him the photo; he did the rest.

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  3. Replies
    1. No, this is "Iskra" ("The Spark"), which predates both.

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  4. Yep, that sounds like NGT all right. Only the real badasses would go outdoors after dark, let alone ride the subway.

    I have to say that many Pretzelton college campuses (of which there are quite a few) are shit-holes: across town at Dragass University, going into the subway stop right under the library, at noon, was likely to get you mugged, raped, and pushed onto the tracks.

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    1. I was lucky; I saw a lot of weirdness in the city, but it never touched me. The school had been touched, which is why there were security guards in all the buildings and most of the doors were rigged to open from the inside only.

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  5. I know exactly what you mean by Pretzelton, NGT, the Greek Cross, &c. Were you there in the 80s? The city and university have gained verve and optimism, but I don't like the thought of either twenty or thirty years ago.

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  6. Oh yes, the hooligans and tools. In another time, the backbone of the Komsomol and the HJ.

    In high school it was easy to avoid them (and laugh at them.) In college I lived with my parents and didn't have to deal with any dorm nonsense. And then in grad school, everyone was like me. I thought I'd never see the Morlocks again.

    But then...some resurface as students, and through some misunderstanding find themselves in my class. They quickly realize that this will hurt, and vanish.

    The problem is that their numbers are increasing.


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    1. It takes some brains to do well in the Komsomol; being a Hitler Youth is all about athletic prowess and the ability to be a soldier. I definitely lived with the Hitlerjungend.

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  7. I was sad, very sad, when Hunter S Thompson left this earth.
    But I am happy, very happy, to see his storytelling style live on Strel, and the subject matter is stuff I can relate to much more than, say, shenanigans by the Yippies.

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  8. Oh, and, Post of the Week? Hells no, Post of the tea partying MONTH. And if this series continues along a similar vein, Posts of the YEAR. Time to resurrect the Rings of Distinktion!

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    Replies
    1. Cтрел, у вас сок-пупет?

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    2. Стрел, но носок марионетками являются весело!

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  9. Bravo! Some of this sounds familiar to me, too (though I didn't go to school in Pretzelton, a sibling did, and my parents and grandparents grew up there. I probably should have taken the grad school admissions offer from the University of Arboria, but foolishly turned them down for what seemed like a better option given my interests at the time. That department fell apart just after I passed generals, I didn't cope well with the resulting chaos, and things went downhill from there). I'd been thinking, from earlier mentions of NGT, that one of my grandfathers and Strelnikov might share an alma mater, but it turns out that grandpa the architect was a (night-school, two-year) graduate of the even techier (or perhaps artsier?) institution not far away; I think it might be the one Meanie calls Dragass above.

    On the other hand, one of my grandmothers grew up in a house near Monstro and Compressed Carbon, which has, if google maps can be trusted, since been swallowed up by the campus (or perhaps that convenience store Strelnikov mentions). Grandma attended a high school that was affiliated with NGT. She was very proud of the fact that it was coed, and that she held her own among the boys, including her older brother, but her family still never thought of sending her to college, though one of her cousins went to Swarthmore. Mind you, I think the neighborhood was considerably less ghetto then (the nineteen-teens). It was, however, patrolled by Irish cops, who apparently had a habit of courting and marrying the maids my grandmother's family hired "straight off the boat" from Ireland, much to my great-grandmother's consternation (she liked training them herself, so they'd do things her way, but when they went off to pursue the American Dream with their policemen, she had to start all over again).

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    1. Yes, Dragass did have a rather strong night school program; left over from the days before it was a Uni-goddamed-veristy. That was one of the reasons University of Arboria students would sneer at us low-class blue-collar Dragassers. Either that or because the Dragass school newspaper published recipes for Rat Étouffée and Pickled Pigeon's Feet.

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    2. That sounds right. Grandpa's background was decidedly blue-collar (if I'm reading the census correctly, his father worked his way up from the production line to foreman in a gas meter manufacturing plant). His answer to the Grand Tour was talking his way into WWI, despite his thick glasses. He served in the Army Corps of Engineers in France, keeping the railroads running, trading a German POW a canteen for a Luger, and sketching the details of medieval buildings in his spare time. In some ways, it was the adventure of his lifetime; he was still telling stories about it 60 years later (which I wished he'd stop repeating over and over when I was a child, and now wish I could remember). Trying to stay afloat professionally during the Depression was an adventure he recalled less fondly; the WPA and, eventually, the opportunity to work two jobs during WWII, while the younger men were at war, got the family back on a steadier financial footing, but there were some scary years in there.

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  10. To summarize:
    Rocky
    Great Expectations
    The Outsiders
    Altered States

    as told via Crime and Punishment?

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    1. I was thinking more "Kitāb alf laylah wa-laylah" ("The Arabian Nights") but it morphed into Hunter Thompson's "Hell's Angels" meets "The Outsiders" with a touch of Thompson's article "The Great Shark Hunt", especially when he is so drugged out he is seeing "square out of one eye and round out the other" and hallucinating on top of that.

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  11. I have a degree from NGT! Go Scarlet Muggers!

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    1. I thought our mascot was hilarious. Who the fuck is afraid of an Anteater?

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    2. "Who the fuck is afraid of an Anteater?"

      Ants?

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    3. Salvador Dali wrote that the anteater "reaches sizes bigger than the horse, possesses enormous ferocity, has exceptional muscle power, [and] is a terrifying animal" (Fanés, "Salvador Dali," 2007).

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  12. Always wanted you to post. Great stuff, Strel.

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  13. I'd always envisioned Strel as looking more like Putin, not Lenin.

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    Replies
    1. Oops. I just took a quick look. I don't know if I've ever seen a picture of Trotsky.

      It just proves that it's possible to learn something every day.

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