A Warning about Improper COW Care

You can't escape COW justice

Pity the fool who thinks he can hide.

As you know, non-functioning English COW laptops  are a chronic problem at NCHS. A recent discovery of Dante’s original manuscript for The Inferno reveals that this problem has existed since the time of the Avignon Papacy, and more importantly, that a system of justice sans mercy has condemned perpetrators of COW abuse to a rather unpleasant circle of Hell. What follows is translated from the original Italian from Canto VIII, part 2. Scholars are still considering whether or not “LeBron” is an appropriate translation of a character that Dante called “Virgil,” or something like that.

“A place for everything, and everything in its place,
my mother used to say,” continued LeBron.
“But, master, this mess is a place, seems

more the mantra of the young women and men
I know.” We had descended into what seemed
a closet, perhaps a room, where Chaos made his reign.

My expression, nose wrinkled and brow furrowed,
invited clarification from the chiseled athlete whose talents
had been brought to South Beach. “You are confused

by the disorder, and rightfully so. Under that pile of dance
clothes, behind that pile of wet towels strewn pell-mell,
higgledy-piggledy, wherever it appears that Laziness punts

her backpacks as she enters the room, I think you’ll
find some surprises.” I: “O sage with the court vision
of a basketball savant, you know but don’t reveal

to me all I must discover myself. I have children,
so I know it is impossible to put things away though
the proper receptacle or the slot that One

assigns to each thing – simply, where the thing should go –
is no more than  a few inches or feet away. But
I am paralyzed by my fear. You see, I have two

ankles, and both have endured the torn ligament,
the black and blue scars of a slight misstep
on the court, the harrowing screams of acute torment

serving as an echoing, cringe-inducing recap
of injury. While it is not your pity that I now ask,
please guide me through, provide me a map

of the minds of these transgressors, and a path
through the topography they have wrought
in this once betiled place.” He: “In the pact

we have made, I promised to make all clear, that
you shall be left wanting for no insight
into our journey. Therefore, I speak. But

know this: whatever you learn, whatever you might
think you know about the malady that we here
experience, you will yet be powerless to bring about

any change, in either here your home, there
your school. Just as the blind archer with the numb
fingers tries to pull an arrow from his quiver

and in his ignorant grasp finds three, but not one
whose smooth feathers he might ensconce
in the string of his bow, and has no plan

for picking up the fumble-fingered remnants
laying about him, which might resemble
a certain Sesame Street after all the crumbs

of a chocolate chip cookie or of a handful
of Vanilla wafers have been, how shall I say,
‘eaten,’ by a Cookie Monster, who is incapable

of swallowing (for he has no throat), or of aim,
for that matter, as his oafish puppet hands often
miss his mouth, or in the same convoluted way

that this simile has, tortuously, gone around the bend
of sense-making, those whose wrongs have doomed
them to this spot make a trip with no destination.

Wait! Are you even listening?” At his rebuke, I nodded,
but at once I understood why I was where I was.
Here were the boys and girls who had not followed

instructions for proper return of COW laptops. The voices
they heard, the ones informing them of proper computer
orientation, of proper log off and shut down procedures,

were to them the same heard by Linus, Lucy and Schroeder
on the Charlie Brown cartoons – Wah wah, they droned,
wah wahwah wah. There was Dylan, guilty of never

placing the laptop in a way that showed
its number, but so that the plug faced the next student
looking to match laptop with slot; he spun, round and round,

saying now “Where do I go?” then, “Where have I been?”
and yet, whirling at this easy pace, a smile on his face,
he seemed almost ignorant of his oblivion.

Another, however, looked with both sorrow and malice
at my guide and me. LeBron, returning scowl with scowl,
scolded the boy: “Freshman stealer of keys, for you this

punishment is fitting!” – for on him was piled bath towel
upon bath towel, still wet and heavy with the stink
of overuse, redolent with the training room smell

of Ben-Gay and sweat. “By removing 9s and Js, you think
you’re funny, but the simple truth is that other users
must do serious work. You, you’re nothing but a punk.”

I was shocked, but pleased, to see my guide batter
this boy with his rage, and I delighted to see him
bathed in another snowstorm of debris from Diane’s lair.

We turned our backs on him, and headed for the door.

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