On the screen, Humphery Bogart looks at Claude Reins, the moment rippled with tension. Major Strasser has been shot, and the police are here to catch the criminal. Bogart did the shooting, and Reins knows it. But, instead:

Round up the usual suspects.

I love this ending, and so I’m not looking toward the back of the room when my girlfriend’s mom lifts up her shirt and flashes my girlfriend’s dad. My girlfriend wasn’t as diligent a Casablanca watcher as I was, though, and she saw everything.

She reels in disgust.

Eww! Why do you guys have to do that? I don’t flash Ben in front of you guys.

Her parents laugh. I shake my head. She blushes.


Life is Ouch

My girlfriend argues with and torments me in all the best possible ways. Healthy relationship, even if she does talk like Sarah Palin.

You should say that you never thought you could find a woman who could be so committed, and devoted, and get you the most awesome birthday gift ever and that you’ll love it and I think you’ll like it, but if you don’t, we can take it back and get a refund, and I’ll just give you the money and get you something else, but I think you’d like it, and you’d better like it because it cost me my first-born child.

But I don’t want you to say this at all. You could probably write it better than I could.

She read this, then she hit me. Then she hugged me, right in the place where my arm hurt the most from the hitting.

Today, I was a science teacher’s substitute in an inner-city high school, a school with a reputation as poor as it gets. His students were assigned a grueling amount of bookwork for 90-minute block periods at a time.

By all rights, this was set to be a stressful, almost unmanageable day. I had accepted the job above the elementary schools available only because I felt like having a free period. I just checked out an oral history of the zombie apocalypse, and I wanted to get some reading done.

Sure, they got antsy about halfway through — I let them off with a five-minute break of walking around. Sure, there were a few chatters — a stern look set those two straight.

It’s a testament to their leash’s normal tightness that while I had no free period today, I’ve known 201 pages of World War Z.

Substituting doesn’t have benefits, but it certainly has perks.

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