Israel Guitterez

Israel Guitterez, not Chris or Lance.
Israel Guitterez, not Chris or Lance.

I work with this guy named Israel Guitterez who thinks he's hip and all that so I brought him down a peg by asking, "What are you anyway? A Hispanic Jew?" He immediately started screaming, "Bullying in the work place! Bullying in the work place" and I was summarily placed on administrative leave and ordered to attend both sensitivity training and anger management courses.

....................................

None of the above is true, but I wish it was. What is true is that my friend Chris - then the HS football coach of our horrible team on the reservation in western New Mexico - had to attend sensitivity training/ anger management after he confronted a wimpy gaggle of parents who couldn't even be bothered to boo lustily or loudly. They booed half-assed pretty much like they did everything else: half-assed. It was a strange sounding, ghostly muffled little "buuuuu." As if they lacked either the skills or balls to really boo. [Their tiny, emotionless booing sounded off-putting, I must say, and I had the epiphany "If you're going to boo, fucking boo like there's no tomorrow."] We'd lost the game something like 66-6 and the crowd was letting the head coach know, sort of, that they were displeased with his tactics and strategies.

Chris was a strange high school football coach in that all of them I had previously worked with were pro-date rape, ex-Marine types, who thought words like "faggot" weren't utterly ridiculous. They yelled stuff like, Hey faggot, is that what you call a tackle? That's what I call tickling my sister. They had crew cuts, were stupid, and liked to see boys' "assholes and elbows" and believed that "blood makes the grass grow." Not Chris. He was an artist, always painting in oils. He liked his cocktails and smoked more weed than Phish on tour. often pursuing both activities simultaneously. He listened to rock-jazz fusions and was a very philosophical, generous, Zen sort. He had graduated from Berkeley, for the love of God.

But when those natives started pansy booing his coaching, he went berserk. It reminded me of Ron Artest in the Palace of Auburn Hills after that asshole threw a beer on him. Chris' eyes rolled, he spoke in tongues, calling the tribal rabble a host of names that were unintelligible but clearly menacing. The tribe got busy shutting up. Then one of them whispered slowly, "You can't talk to us like that," in stilted English. This infuriated Chris and he responded:

"You mealy-mouthed little pricks. Fuck you. Your kids suck and you suck. Cowards."

Indeed, most of his team were cowards. They seldom showed up for practice - never on time - and often deferred or demured when their number was called for a play. "I don't want the ball; I'll get hit," they would say unsteadily, stating the obvious. Chris had played defensive end for the U. of California. A starter, Pac 12 and all that shit. Six guys on his college team went to the NFL, including Tony Gonzalez. The singer for Counting Crows used to hang out with them. It was quite a step down from that to coaching lazy pussies. Thus, his agitated state was understandable and he was not done yelling at the crowd. Not by a long shot.

"Go to hell, shitstains. When you learn how to actually boo, I might show you an ounce of respect. Till then, you get only my derision, assbags. Do you know what derision means? It means you're douches! I abhor you!" As Chris wailed on, showing off his education, he nearly frothed at the mouth. Some of the tribe thought that he was actually insane. I learned on the rez that there were no 'vision quest' moments - no moments of wisdom, symbolism, or depth. No one thought Chris had been bitten by a rattlesnake and venom, for example, was addling his judgment or anything like that. Lou Diamond Phillips wasn't in this crowd. Chris was just pissed and had become uncorked, unglued, even unhinged.

"Don't rile him up," a man muttered. "We'll just tell the school board on him Monday." And that's exactly what those greasy, gutless turds did. They got Chris in hot water and our principal - a completely spineless, two-faced prick - ordered Chris to attend the mandated anger management and harmony courses. I actually thought the principal acted within reason here. I was fairly sure Chris would be terminated for his antics but really enjoyed his company and didn't want him canned.

Chris wasn't having it though - the anger management courses. He told Rich Y - the principal - to go to the courses himself. Chris waxed indignant about the whole thing, hemmed and hawed, till finally seeing he'd better go on and get it over with. The anger management courses didn't really help him or "cure" him, of course. Like A Clockwork Orange, that stuff seldom works unless one is truly experiencing a vision quest. The football season mercifully ended a few Fridays later and Chris was able to calm down.

Epilogue: The assistant coach was named Lance and he lied that he'd served in Vietnam and wore a green floppy jungle fatigue hat all the time. The guy was way too young to have ever been in Vietnam. [He was maybe 42 in 2009 when all this occurred.] He gave off a really bad vibe, like a pedo or a chomo. Once I got to school extra early to Xerox some stuff on the iffy copier and Lance was the only other person in the building. He beckoned me over while he spoke in muted tones on his cell phone. I was exasperated and didn't want to go over by him but, breathing heavily and disgustedly, I did. When I got there and prepared to ask "What?" in a huffy way, he shushed me with the index finger to mouth gesture and said in a low voiced, rapid fire, creepy way into his phone: "Yes BooBoo. No BooBoo. Very soon, BooBoo." I told most of the staff about this unsettling experience and we held a pool on who Lance was actually talking to in that unctuous manner at 6 am on a Tuesday. I guessed that BooBoo was in fact a 12-year-old boy, Others believed he had no one on the line at all. But the answer was later revealed to be Bob, who was actually a fairly scary, 50ish woman, but yes, her name was Bob.




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