Hello, Coach’s office.
Yes, this is Coach Harper.
I’m fine, Mrs. Johnson, thanks for asking. How are you doing?
Good, good, Happy New Year to you, too!
Why, yes, Billy is one of my students. He’s a good kid.
Roger…? Which one?
Oh, the Big One?
Well, yes, that would be Roger Fernbeck.
Yes, ma’am, Roger is in the same class as Billy.
Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh.
You want me to do something about Roger?
Well, what exactly?
Has he been picking on Billy?
Because if he has – and that would be completely unlike Roger – I’ll be happy to sit him down and talk…
Well, yes, Mrs. Johnson, Roger does have that effect on people.
He’s a very unusual young man.
Which is to say he’s a very large young man.
Mrs. Johnson, Roger makes most NFL linebackers look like 8th graders.
For example, I used to play ball. I’m 6’2” tall and weigh 275 pounds.
Roger is almost as tall as I am and he’s a lot bigger.
How much bigger?
At least a hundred pounds bigger.
Yes, you heard right.
And, yes, Billy is correct in saying that in Roger’s case it’s all muscle. When he’s old enough to compete, he’ll be a sensation.
So if Roger isn’t picking on Billy, what is the concern?
He won’t, huh?
Well, I have to say all of his classmates are intimidated by Roger’s size, Mrs. Johnson.
Most of them wind up taking a shower with him anyway.
Mrs. Johnson, Billy is on the short side and a little, well, weedy but he’s certainly not the smallest guy in the class. Five-four and 110 pounds isn’t out of the ordinary.
And he’s two months older than Roger, for that matter.
Uh, well, yes, Mrs. Johnson, it is the case that Roger is big all over.
Yes, I know quite well what the “adult entertainment business” is about and, yes, I have indeed heard of John Holmes!
Would John Holmes be jealous of Roger?!!
Well, I’m gonna level with you, Mrs. Johnson. There’s not a man on God’s green Earth who wouldn’t be jealous of Roger, John Holmes included.
So it’s really totally up to Billy.
It’s worth reminding him that there’s always going to be someone who is taller, bigger, better built, and, well, y’know, than he is.
And there’s always going to be someone who is smaller than he is.
Same goes for everyone else.
Well, no, not Roger, apparently, but ya never know.
Billy can man up and take a shower like the rest of the boys.
Or he can go home stinky.
Because, no, we are not going to make private showers available for students who are intimidated by Roger.
And, no, we’re not going to make the coaches’ shower available to Roger.
Among other things, he wouldn’t fit!
Is that all, Mrs. Johnson?
I believe the Fernbecks live on 17th Street.
Yes, they’re the only Fernbecks in the telephone book. I’m sure Mrs. Fernbeck would be delighted to discuss this situation with you.
Thank you for calling, Mrs. Johnson.
We at Workman Junior High always want to hear from our parents.
Don’t forget the spaghetti supper fund-raiser next Tuesday, okay?