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The Principal of Fighting

Theo Vitali was a wild man.  Greek and Italian, his passions ran nearly as high as his blood pressure.  He was a screamer, a thrower, a man so driven that, while he was the high school football coach in my hometown, we lost only two games in 6 years.  In the noisy and crowded locker room one afternoon, somebody asked me what I put on my hair.  I shouted back, “Vitalis!”

Vitali, back in his office and evidently unaware of the question and hearing only the answer, took it to mean that I had offered him personal insult.  He attacked, slamming me into a row of lockers and holding me there by the throat with his fist drawn back, his face flushed with rage, as he screamed and frothed for a while.

Even in those days long past, a teacher couldn’t just run around willy-nilly punching out students, so I was reasonably sure he was not going to actually hit me.  I was a bit concerned, however, he might tear out my throat with his teeth.  Gradually, and with some effort, he gained control, dragged me to the office, left me in the waiting area, screamed and frothed at the principal for a bit, and finally stalked off down the hall muttering to himself and occasionally punching a locker.  In a few moments, the principal called me in.

1 comment to The Principal of Fighting

  • Wilton Dearmond

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