Rick Krizman

First Day of School

Our own Rick Krizman was there on Betsy DeVos’s first day as Secretary of Education and captured her unique approach to rallying the troops around her. Transcription below, until Rick was kicked out. 


Where are the pencils? Somebody give me a goddamn pencil. You. Yes you, slumped down in your desk like you didn’t do your homework. Do you work here? Do you work for me? Hand me your pocket protector. Pen. Pen. Pen. Yellow highlighter. Pink sharpie? Such a snowflake. You’re no help, get out of my face.

Hello, Francine? Francine? Does this button even work? I swear, a billion dollars and I can’t even get a fucking pencil; but trust me, when I do, I’m going to stab it into the eyes of all you sad losers who think money can’t buy power. You’d know that if you were educated. If you went to a voucher school where you actually learn shit that matters, like your presidents, your state capitals, Jesus, dinosaurs, instead of eating the three-Rs garbage served up by those pinko union knowledge-monkeys masquerading as teachers.

But I won’t have to deal with any of you, because as soon as I get a pencil, you are all CROSSED OFF THE LIST! All you pencil-necked administrators will have your heads sharpened into tiny points. When somebody calls roll and says your name, you will not be “here.” When you say “pencil me in,” I assure you we will not. You’ll never be the sharpest pencil in the pencil case, because I bought all the pencil cases and am taking out all the pencils. That will not be a pencil in your pocket and you will not be glad to see me. You’re going to have to settle for hair on your chest, because no way will you be able to put lead in your pencil.

I promise you, things are going to change around here; and if you want a pencil you’re going to have to go by yourself down a scary, dark alley and give all your hard-earned cash to a pencil pusher who will take your money and then punch you like a Nazi and run away with all the pencils.

In short, I swear on the grave of Lothar von Faber that there will be no wood-encased extrusions of graphite appearing in your future. Not now. Not ever. No DeVos #2 will ever scrawl your horrifyingly ignorant chicken scratch across a Big Chief tablet, and to make sure I’m taking those too.

Now, will somebody get me a FUCKING PENCIL!





Rick Krizman

Rick Krizman writes music, songs, and stories, and holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University. His fiction has appeared in The Wising Up Press, Sediment, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Star 82 Review. He is the father of two grown daughters and lives with his wife and animals in Santa Monica, California.

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