Friday Firesmith – Anne Sinclair

“One fine young Lady’s horse refused the fence to clear. . .” from the song, Hunting Girl, by Jethro Tull. Songs from the Wood, 1976.

At sixteen I could walk into any liquor store in Early County and buy as much of anything I wanted. Legally? No, but at the same time I was a very good and very dependable customer. One day I walked in and bought two pints of eighty proof vodka, and slipped one into each of my boots.

I wore cowboy boots, the slip on kind, for that reason. We were going on a three day high school field trip and that would cover one day’s worth of drinking for me. This was going to be interesting by anyone’s measure. This was a field trip, not only out of town, but in a hotel, with about thirty students, some of whom had never stepped foot out of Blakely. I was loaded for bear; I had vodka and pot.

Our teacher, Anne Sinclair, was from Montgomery Alabama, our destination, and she was going to give us a tour of the waste treatment plant her father had designed. Sinclair had taken a job teaching biology in Early County and thought of its population as dull witted hick folk, unworthy of her efforts, yet she would deign, she would stoop to reach out, and possibly but not likely, bring light into the darkness, and maybe salvage one or two who might be intelligent enough to understand her.
Her first serious mistake was when she was trying to describe evolution to teenagers who didn’t have the educational background to understand that evolution is a bundle of knowledge, not a single idea. My best friend, Curt, who was as laid back and anyone alive, and mellow to the point of distraction, told her that his mama has told him evolution wasn’t true. Sinclair said, and I remember it perfectly, “Anyone who believes that is stupid.” The room fell into a hush and Curt replied, “Bitch, if you ever call my mama stupid again I’ll slap you.”

Sinclair fled the room, and eventually, the principal came to fetch Curt, and class was cancelled. All in all, I agreed with what Sinclair had said, one hundred percent, but damn, chick, that delivery was more than a little off target. She made an enemy of Curt, and from that point forward, there would be no peace. I was the self appointed Angel of Revenge, and this time, unlike so many other of my missions, I had more than enough back up from students who knew Curt’s mom, and in her name we preyed.

The school bus we were in got pulled over after we had been on the interstate for a while. The bus driver wasn’t speeding much, and the bus was clearly from a school, so… what the hell? The trooper said that some students in the back were holding up a sign that read, “Honk if you got some last night!” That explained why so many cars were laying on their horns when they passed.

Anne Sinclair was NOT amused. The trooper, clearly, was having marital issues.

Meanwhile, at the threat of the trip being cancelled, Sinclair noticed that there was a group of students singing a very bawdy Jethro Tull song. There was no internet, no way she could have discovered just how kinky the song might have been, but the lyrics had been changed.

“One fine young lady’s horse refused the Anne Sinclair,” was what we were singing now, albeit it unintelligibly.

But the mood of the trip was set. Even the kids not interested in avenging the slight were into the fight, and singing the song.
This, I told Curt, would be a trip to remember.

End part one.

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

7 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – Anne Sinclair”

  1. Had a home room teacher right out of college in a brand new high school. Miss Cooper was an attractive blond about 6 ft 2, and being overly stern to cover her nervousness on her first teaching job.
    At the time the kids vernacular included to “fry” someone, meaning to piss them off. Also at the time Gary Powers and the U-2 spy plane was in the news.

    One morning a paper airplane lands on Miss Cooper’s desk and the expression on her face looked like a very short burning fuse. But when she grabbed it and read the writing on the wing, “Cooper Fry Plane”, she cracked up, just convulsed with laughter.
    From then on Miss Cooper had no trouble from us, she was OK!

  2. So, your class “fried” a woman whose motives were COMPLETELY imagined by you in the worst possible light, how? By proving you were precisely the “dull witted hick folk” you think she thought you were — and admiring the smartass who swore at a teacher and threatened to beat her up because she was honest, if blunt, about people who ignore facts and embrace ignorance — the same kind of people who, BTW, today swallowed (and continue to swallow) Trump’s lies because they don’t respect the reality of facts vs. utter bullshit. The kind of people who, in fact, are responsible for the bigoted, racist, misogynistic xenophobic, science-denying POS currently squatting in the Oval Office. I guess your teacher was right. Sadly, we all know you can’t fix stupid.

    • Yes, Lynda, sad to say that when I was sixteen years old I had a lot of growing up to do. I wish had had handled my misspent youth in a more professional manner, but having started drinking when I was fourteen kept me from realizing a lot of things until much later on. Oddly, you carry a pretty good point by your observation that uneducated children grow up, mostly, to be undereducated adults. Your biggest problem here, however, is not what you have to say, but, just like Anne Sinclair, you deliberately choose to deliver it as a sanctimonious and overbearing Anne Sinclair clone.

      I can see why this might upset you, considering all things. I’m pretty sure the horse doesn’t like you either.

  3. Mike, I chose to deliver the message in a far kinder way than the teenager you admired. Did I say “Bitch, if you say things like that again, I’ll punch you? (or “shoot you”, which is the most heard threat from the right. I didn’t swear and I didn’t threaten violence. Stop and think about that.

    You are more upset that I spoke the truth — that people who deny facts are willfully ignorant, in other words stupid. Being uneducated is no sin, but a refusal to learn is. Yes, I’m furious that stupid, gullible people whose love of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia exponentially exceeds their love of truth or what is best for our nation.

    What would YOU call people who have embraced a man who has told well over 10,000 verified public lies? What would YOU call people who bellow “Lock her up” and “Send her back”? What would YOU call people who admire a man who kowtows to and ass-kisses a brutal dictator (indeed ALL the brutal dictators in the world, but none of our democratic allies) and openly admits he’d take additional assistance from hostile foreign countries to get in office? What would YOU call people who disbelieve dozens of women when they say he sexually molested and/or raped them when Trump himself bragged that he does exactly that. What would you call people who embrace a man who openly lusts after his own daughter, who mulled publicly about his other daughter’s future breasts when she was an infant, lamenting that he didn’t think they’d be very good? What would YOU call people who admire a man who was indicted for the brutal rape of a 13 year old?

    If people are able to accept and embrace a man who represents all of those horrific things but are such precious fainting blossoms, or, yes “snowflakes” that they can’t accept being called stupid, then I think I understand all their anger and violence toward others. I think they’re afraid that the descriptor is right.

    • Upset? Please. I’ve had to pull an alligator out of my fence twice this month because it keeps getting stuck while trying to get into the backyard, where my dogs are. You’re trying, I think, to assign 2019 values to something that happened in 1977. You’re trying to tell me things I did as a young teenager is why things are so terrible now. That’s not upsetting. It’s mildly amusing, and it’s way off center, but as far as getting a rise out of me, no. It is however, adding to the hit count for the page, so Jon is making money off of it, so it’s not entirely useless.


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