Boston Public
Chapter Eighteen

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Finkel on his students: "I think Marla's done something with them."

To the strains of a very appropriate song about moving your sexy body, a scantily clad woman moves her sexy body. She's wearing as little clothing as she can get away with on prime-time network television, but too much clothing to convince me that she's a stripper. If this were Europe, she'd be topless. I hate America. A nation of puritanical hypocrites. (Uh-oh, using the phrase "I hate America" has now flagged this recap for research at the FBI domestic terrorism unit. So has the phrase "domestic terrorism." I can just see it, Feds poring over my whole oeuvre: "Coach Lamprey the Plot Parasite is obviously a code-name for a high level operative in this so-called 'Mighty Big TV' cult-like criminal cell." Wait, who's that at my door?) Anyhow, various sexy bodies dance around poles, and Harry Senate sits, eyes downcast, not looking at the dancers. He has a pointless exchange with the guy next to him, whom he insults, I guess to establish that Harry is just so much better than the people who "really" come to these places. His moral superiority is evinced by the fact that the guy next to him is wearing a fake-hair-crooked-teeth-and-sunglasses disguise. No, really, he is; I'm not kidding. I don't know what that part of the scene is about. Anyhow, the current act ends, and the next dancer comes out, and it's Dana "Slow-lita" Poole, who, not so slow at all now, makes short work of her halter top and fringed hip-covering-thing and is down to a G-string by the time she notices Harry sitting right there. She dances well, by the way. I never thought she was that pretty, but she looks good here. I am inspired to write a novel about her, and it will begin thusly: "Slow-lita. Light of my life, fire of my loins, my sin, my soul. The tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps, down the palette, to tap at three on the teeth. Slow. Li. Ta." Aaaanyway, unfortunately for Dana, she's bending over and looking back between her own legs when she spots Harry, upside-down, shaking his head in condescending admonishment at, I suppose, her ass. She stands up, a little stunned, and then runs off the stage. Wow. I guess she's not so Slow-lita after all, but we'll reserve judgement on a new nickname until we determine why she's stripping. Okay, so I've already picked a new nickname for her, but it won't make sense until later on, so just wait, okay, it's coming. Harry leaves, his work done: he got her to stop stripping for the day, and got a look at her rack.

Marla's classroom. Marla is cleaning off her blackboard, much like a high school dropout janitor might have to due to his lack of education and skills, when someone comes in. "My name's Calvin Scott. My son Michael is in your class." Marla says, "Oh, yes, he's a nice boy," and I get the impression she means it, and isn't pretending to know him like Steven might. "He came home early today. He said he was sick, but I could tell he wasn't really sick. I just brought him back. He was upset about something." Marla asks, "Do you know about what?" She obviously has not been paying attention to the camera movements so far, because you don't have to be Cassandra to see where this is going. "I'm a janitor, Ms. Hendricks," says Calvin Scott. "Not that it probably matters, but, I did finish high school. I even went to college some." Then he just nods, with combination of pride and hurt, as Marla sputters her way to a wholly insufficient apology. "I own my home," he goes on. "I pay the mortgage, which I make." More sputtering. They, Calvin grows to twice his height, morphs his hands into beast-claws, and bellows, "I…AM…JANI-TOR! DEFENDER OF THE CUSTODIAL ARTS! SCOURGE OF CLASSIST PIGS! FORGED IN HIGH SCHOOL, AND WITH SOME COLLEGE EVEN!" Then he severs Marla's head and cinches it into a Hefty bag. No, actually, Mr. Scott just walks out, his point more than made. Zing.

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Boston Public

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