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The Best Suitcase, and how I Lost Mine

I used to have a bit of an obsession with Zero Halliburton luggage. Look familiar? That's because bad guys in all the movies use the briefcases to hold their money and bombs. Over the years I kept buying these things, and usually traveled with a huge 26" suitcase as well as a matching computer case.

I still really like my Zero Halliburton suitcases, but they're somewhat unweildy. Two day trips don't require a hectare of packing real estate.

Plus, there was the allure of the carry-on only passenger. I never really understood how it worked before. How do people carry everything in such small suitcases? Is it really that much more convenient? What's so bad about checking bags? I was curious.

My Dad Scares Me and That's a Good Thing

On The Constance Chronicles

I don't feel like hitting your child is necessary. In fact, positive reinforcements and any type of incentive program is an effective way to modify negative behaviors. Do you know what a 6 year-old will do for a fucking sticker? Anything you want. Do you know what a 16 year-old will do for a fucking sticker? Nothing, they don't give a shit about stickers.

The main component missing from parents these days is the skill of instilling fear into their children. Spankings served this purpose. My first real spanking was when I was in the first grade. It was when I was introduced to an actual grading system in school. My father told me not to miss more than two on any assignment. My teacher had passed back the graded work from the week and I quickly made two piles. Pile one would be the assignments I showed my parents and Pile 2 would be the assignments I would get rid of, never to be seen again. I walked home which gave me a lot of space to be creative about how I discarded my school work. I was in the first grade but I wasn't dumb enough to throw my shit away in the classroom. Teachers are trained snitches. Walking home I threw my failed papers and projects into public trashcans. I walked through the park and stuffed the holes of trees with half-assed class work. I did this every week for almost a month.

So on that last Friday I was walking home ready to dispose of my shame when my mother decided to show up and botch my weekly ritual. What the hell mom, are you trying to get me fucking killed? As she waited at the end of the street for me, I needed to think quick. I had the papers rolled up in my hand already so I decided to ditch the roll into a bush along the sidewalk. Then I would follow the quick bush drop with a light jog soon turning that into a full on sprint. I did this and my mom yelled, "You dropped paper!" First graders suck at trickery. I was dumb and uncoordinated. My mom asked to see the papers, saw they were all failed grades (some were not, but I had missed more than two questions). My father came home from work and I was ordered to gather as much of the trashed school work as I could find. I walked around the park, picking up wet crumpled paper from tree holes and dirty trashcans. That night, my dad beat my ass. Twenty licks with the red leather belt changed my life. It's not to say I stopped being mischievous but I sure as hell was better about not getting caught or rocking anyone's boat. As a teacher, that's really all I'm asking. Work smarter to not get caught. Don't make it so obvious that you don't give a shit.

There was one morning when my dad and I were testing our might, playing Mortal Kombat on the Sega Genesis. He kept taunting me, laughing, and making fun as he kicked my virtual ass. I did what any kid would do and I told him to shut up. I didn’t get a look at his face but I did feel the slap across my legs and his voice saying, “Run.” I had no idea what was happening but I ran. I ran up the stairs towards my bedroom but as I reached for the door, my dad grabbed the back of my shirt and threw me across the bed. I bounced off the bed onto the floor, my dad standing over me while I tried to catch my breath. He put his finger in my face and said, “You’re more scared than hurt. Stop crying.” Christ, he was right. Your father calmly telling you to run FROM HIM could make you shit your pants.

As I got older my dad got more creative. Like the time I answered the question “Who were the first settlers in North America?” with “Vikings.” My dad asked me why I had gotten that question incorrect on my social studies test. I told him the test was too difficult. At that point he felt compelled to teach me the definition of the word difficult. For the lesson I was told to hold a phone book over my head for one hour. After the hour was over he asked me again, “Why did you get that question wrong” to which I answered through teary eyes and jelly arms, “I didn’t study.” "You will think before you tell me something is too difficult."

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