Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Big Courtyard

Welcome to The Big Yard muthafucka's!

Never has there been such a place. And never will there ever be... such a place again.
I can only hope that your own experience
in your school yards were as much fun
as mine were.

School yard hi-jinx is always the best!

Damn that dust!

The Big Courtyard

Just wanted to take a second out here to expand on the perils of the big courtyard as mentioned a couple stories back within
Public Enemy Number One.

Actually it was just called the big yard.

Anything and everything happened here, kinda like our backyard. Remember that wonderland?!

For in the big yard... one day you were a superstar kickball player carrying your team to the championship, and the next day, you were a tie-wearin’ fruitcake, skipping around some pole with colorful streamers. It was a very confusing time for all of us.

When we were in grammar school, sports were the only thing we really cared about.

First, there was kickball. This was so-so, only because we had to play with the girls, so we really didn’t play with that killer instinct.

We didn’t get serious until we started to play softball. Now that’s a game! We didn’t take any chances either. Listen to this scam we had goin’.

All the kids would line up in a row, and the teacher would count right down the line. “One…Two…Three” and so on. Even numbers made up one team, while the odd ones made up the other.

Well, before the count happened Joey (Clint Eastwood from my first fight. Remember that one-eyed fuck bit me and Joey decked'em!), and myself would walk down the line, and position all of our friends to be either
all even or all odd numbers.

So everyday when the teams were counted off, ours was made up entirely of friends, leaving the sad sack’s to the other team.

We kicked ass everyday.
It was fucking incredible.
It was like being on Murderer's Row,
the 1927 New York Yankees,
every fucking day!

But as with so many other great scams being run, this one was eventually snuffed out by the teacher. He just couldn’t understand how all the firepower kept ending up on the same side,
day after day.

So he would count off the teams, and then split up the power evenly between the squads. We were forever scamming!

But, the Big Yard didn’t always mean blood, sweat, and tears.

Sometimes it was used just to humiliate the shit out of us. And here’s an example
of what I’m talkin’ about.

Have you ever heard of this celebration
called the May Pole?
Well, if not,
just listen to this fuckin’ nightmare.

But wait, lemme back up here for a second. Before we get to the dreaded May Pole, and all its glory, we must first talk about yet another insane ritual that led up to the Pole,
and that would be, Assembly!

It was every Friday, man. Every muthafuckin' Friday we would have to attend Assembly.

The whole school would be jammed into this gigantic auditorium. (If there’s one person who could truly appreciate this story,
it’s gotta be my mother.)

3 Mondello boys and our incredible mom April 1968
Look at my hot mom...
and look at the 3 of us retards bustin' her chops... LoL
Michael sitting, me with my gigantic paper aeroplane and Joey
in that beautifully horrible shirt!
This was April 1968 at 336 Simonson Ave SINY

For every Friday not only did we have to go to assembly, but we also had to wear a white shirt, and give me the strength, a fucking tie as well.

If you’re looking to get on the fast track to an ulcer, try putting a tie on an eight-year-old. Try putting a tie on a fat, ticklish, don’t button the top button or I’ll throw up, eight-year-old!

I don’t know how my mother put up with it. Oh yes I do!

Are you finished throwing up yet?
Now get your ass to school!

Man, that woman didn't take any bullshit.
Ya gotta love her!!

I would go so far as to fake falling down the last couple of steps on our back porch
not to go to school.

Did you just hear what I said?

I used to fake near-death injuries to avoid this muthfucka! Dude, I was into Insurance Fraud even before it became mainstream!

Man, I was a desperate little a-hole, with no chance in hell of convincing my mom
I should miss Assembly.

But ma, I just fell down the stairs!

Are you Okay?

Aaaah... yeah???

Then brush yourself off
and get your ass to school!

Son-of-a-bitch, I couldn’t fool her for shit. So off to school I went. Barely breathing because of the top button and tie that were cutting off my circulation. But on my way to school nonetheless.

It was finally time for Assembly.
Fucking Assembly, man.

We were all herded into the auditorium like cattle. The first thing that happened before anything else would be for us to recite
our Pledge of Allegiance.

Totally meaningless to a group of grammar school kids who were already checking the clock, to see how long it was until lunch.

Allegiance to the flag my ass! My allegiance was to that Twinkie wedged between the olive loaf sandwich and the potato chips in my brown paper lunch sack with the big grease spot
on the side!

Assembly was usually potluck. You never knew what you were going to do until
you were already there suffering.

Sometimes it was a school play. Other times it was a movie. There were even times when we got to see slide shows documenting
a teacher’s vacation.

The only time I enjoyed this was when Miss S. was presenting her slides. She was my favorite teacher of all time. I wanted to have sex with her, and I didn’t even know what the fuck sex was at that point! As you guys are already aware of that pathedic point... LoL

But I do remember fantasizing that once the lights went out, I could stretch my arm
like green rubber Gumby.

Weave it between the rows, and make my hand go up her dress. Now, what I was going to do once I reached the promised land was of course a total mystery to me.

But I remember that like it was yesterday man, like it was fuckin’ yesterday! I loved her. She had that Honor Blackman/Marilyn Monroe-ish vibe to her. Well that’s how I felt about her anyways.

Well, eventually, they got around to talking about that fucking May Pole thing. And after taking several days to explain the upcoming outdoor events during Assembly, it was finally time to start going out into the big yard to begin practicing for this nightmare called,
the May Pole.

It was truly a young man’s downfall.

Even worse than wearing
that damn suffocating tie!

Once outside, they began pairing off us students in a boy-girl fashion. This person was to be your partner throughout the whole ordeal. 

They would then bring out these ten-foot high poles which were steadied by a heavy metal base. Attached to the poles were many decorated colorful streamers about 20 feet in length
give or take.

PS22 school May Pole dance Staten Island, New York June 1968
There it is... the fucking May Pole.
Looks like the girls are working this one.
PS22 June 1968

There were ten to twelve of us assigned to a pole, with each person holding his or her own individual streamer. Then some ridiculous music began playing, and everyone would
skip around this pole.

Wait, stop! You heard right, I said skip!

You muthafucka you!

We went from kicking ass on the 1927 Yankees to skipping around like fruit-loops
in the blink of an eye.

Dont’cha just wanna cry for me... LoL

Well while skipping around that fucking pole we would weave in and out of each other. This would create a ponytail like effect,
as the streamers would intersect
down the length of the pole.

PS22 May Pole dance June 1968
Oh... how... fucking... pretty... LoLoLoL
Fuckin' shoot me now muthafucka's... shoot me now!

Oh……… how pretty, how muthafuckin’ pretty. Please shoot me! If you loved me, you'd shoot me in the head this second!

We were forced into both this and then some kind of square dancing bullshit with our partners after the pole dancing was complete.

Tommy Mondello at age 7 square dance PS22 June 1968

Tommy Mondello & partner Rosanne square dance PS22 June 1968
Just look at the nightmare... LoL
This was the square dancing portion of the living hell!
Look at how cute my babygirl Asian partner is...
her name is Rosanne and she lived down the
block from me. I don't know why I didn't marry her!
It's right about at this point where my cock was separated from my body!
Look... my zipper is still open in fact! LoLoLoL
Just view that look on my face... pure dread dude.
Pure dread!

Look, now this wouldn’t have been so bad if we had just banged it out during Assembly time, and then went straight to lunch.
Ya do what ya gotta do right?!

But oh no, that would have been too simple.

The school put aside an entire morning, and invited everyone’s parents to come witness
the castration of their son’s.

C'mon dude, I can’t even write my name in the snow anymore! I'm now a dickless, fat, lying gambler who couldn't fight to save his life.

And to make matters worse, when it was all over, the parents all applauded. APPLAUDED!

Hey, fuck the applause. Can everyone please get on their hands and knees, and help me locate
my penis! Thank you!

It just sucked so badly! And to add to the agony, was that damn top button on my stupid white assembly shirt. It was so tight that I began turning blue with death
as it cut my circulation off.

Dude, that fucking tie was like a hangman’s noose around my chubby neck. Lemme tell ya, man, I’ve seen better days!

Well those better days really did outnumber the shitty ones when it came to time spent in the big yard though. Like when we would play Mini Dust.

(Children are just flat out cruel muthafucka’s. Listen to this moronic activity we came up with.)

Mini dust was this incredibly stupid game that we invented. It was played at the far end of the yard where, for some reason, there was always an accumulation of dry, dusty dirt
in one certain corner.

The word Mini came from this real tall girl who was in the Special Ed class. You know, she wasn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. 

And everyone in the school was afraid of her. We used to call her Mini because she was, well, really tall. I know, we were fuckin’ idiots. You don’t hav’ta tell me dude, I was there.

And I can tell ya that there was absolutely zero logic behind our madness. Zero!

The object of the game was simple. Elevate yourself on the fence and hold on for dear life.

Could be one inch off the ground or several feet up, it didn’t matter. Just as long as you weren’t touching the ground. That’s it. Hold on to that 12 ft high chain link fence until your fingers bled red while we tried our best to knock each other off.

Thus landing into the Mini Dust.

And if that happened, it meant that you had to be Mini’s boyfriend. How stupid were we?

Just imagine standing on one end of the yard, and looking down across to the other end, watching fifteen kids grasping onto the fence like their lives depended on it! Just crazy! Where’s that camera?
I wish I had that photo!

The rules were simple. In fact, they were exactly the same as the ones from Hockeyball, and that would be that there were no rules at all.

Anything went, from punching, pushing, and kicking, to ranking out mothers. You would do or say anything not to end up in the Mini Dust.

Damn that dust!

You had to see the shape we were in by the end of the period. All of us would be torn up,
scraped and bloodied.

But every blow to the face was worth it if it kept you out of the dust. Hit that dust???


If you were one of the losers to fall into the dust the guys would rag on you
the whole rest of the day.

So when’s your date with Mini?

Tommy and Mini sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G”.

Oh man, it was horrible torture and yes,
I had the misfortune of dating Miss Mini
on several occasions.

Damn that dust!

My little fat fingers just couldn’t grasp the fence as easily as those skinny little bastards could.

Now when I say dating, that doesn’t mean that we actually went out on a date with Mini. That was just the most horrible thing that we could think of as punishment for falling into the dust.

After all, the game was named after her. How fucking horrible were we?!

And no, Mini hadn’t a fuckin' clue that we were using her as the booby prize either. For if she had found that out, she would’ve kicked all of our stupid asses I’m sure.

But once again, like anything else in life that you enjoy doing, it always ended too soon.

Before we knew it yard time was over, and yes, I would live to avoid the dust yet another day!

At this point when yard time was over, everyone had to line up in size order behind his or her class number. These could be found painted
right onto the yard pavement.

Then we would begin the long march back to class and continue on with the rest

of the day’s curriculum.

But before all of this happened, the period would have to come to an end first.

Someone in the principal’s office rang this disturbing buzzer to get everyone’s attention. Man, did it ever!

It sounded like a jailbreak or something. You were supposed to stand still in your tracks
and not make a sound.

C’mon now, our attention span was that of a gnat, maybe! We couldn’t be still for five seconds, let alone five minutes or so. Especially after being all pumped up
from avoiding the Mini Dust.

I think the principal knew this
and was just fuckin’ with us.

The buzzer would ring; hundreds of kids would stop dead in their tracks and nothing would happen for several minutes. Too funny.

The principal overlooked the entire scene from his perched office window which first overlooked "the small yard, leading into the "big yard". The school aids would then walk around the yard looking for any movement at all.

Joey Mondello in the big yard PS22 June 1968
The principle's office was straight back in the shadows
over that big kids left shoulder.
That was his perch, as he pointed out the kids who were moving... LoL... fucking too horrifying to even think about it!
Just under his window was the "small yard" which lead into the big yard.
AND... just to prove that even the coolest people in your life
weren't immune to such nonsense as this big yard bullshit...
guess who that skinny kid is just to the left of the big kid...
go ahead and guess.
That's right... it's my older brother Joey fucking square dancing with that chick
clapping hands together... lolololololol
Oh the horror... LoLoL

And forget it if there was any. It was like a fuckin' concentration camp!

You guys tell me, does this sound like a challenge or what?

After about ten seconds of just standing there after the first buzzer sounded, feeling like a prisoner of war, you would begin to see small movements.

It was the students’ way of rebelling and saying,Fuck off baby! Catch me if you can!

It was so funny watching kids baby-stepping, trying to get to their class number
without being spotted by the Gestapo.

Then the silence was broken by this tremendously loud voice
emanating from the P.A. system.


Mr. Principal would stand at the office window looking down upon the yard searching for any movement at all. If there was any, he would direct the aids to run over
and pick that kid out of the crowd.

Then they would drag his or her ass up to the office to get balled out for being
an eight-year old.

It was just so great.
Until they caught you, of course.
Then it sucked.

But being the nimble young man that I was, (smile) I never had the misfortune of being dragged to the office by the shirt collar.
For this offense, anyway!

    Then when the Gestapo felt that they had enough victims for the day, a second loud buzzing would be our signal to line up at our class numbers. The whole thing
was just so hilarious.

So that’s the deal with the Big Yard. I remember having a lot of fun in that stupid yard. Even Assembly wasn’t really that bad.

But still, to this day, I can’t get that friggin’ top button fastened without gagging like a fat ten-year old! Some things never change.
Joey, Tommy & Michael Mondello lookin' too good May 1968
Just had to add this pic... ya gotta love it!
Joey back left, me back right and Michael in the front.
We look like the "mini Soprano's" for goodness sake... LoL
Michael looks like a real mini adult... LoL
I'm so thick that I can't get my fuckin' arms all the way to my sides...
And Joey's head shadow on the house looks like a fuckin' alien... LoLoL
How fuckin' cool do we look!!