who the hell is “mame” anyway?

when I was in junior high, I took an ‘acting class’ with the music teacher, Mr. Graham, who was the only black teacher in my whole school. I had had him in fifth grade when I played the lead in the play but a lot had happened since then. rightly so, I chose not to live amongst the ‘drama weenies’. instead I tried to fit in with the cool kids and failed horribly at that. anyway, this class was basically split in half: one half was the drama weenies, the other half was the kids who wanted a blow off class. Mr. Graham was more than willing to oblige on both ends. At the beginning of each class, he would take the drama weenies and go to the auditorium to rehearse. At the end of the semester, we were going to put on a play for the whole school. The play was an “original creation” of his, I forget the name of it, but basically all the weenies got real parts and all us other kids were the chorus and only had to sing one song, “mame”. Well every class Mr. Graham would go off with the weenies and we would stay to “practice” our song. Our ONE SONG we had to sing. Well we spent that semester goofing off, sleeping, walking around the halls, having a grand olde tyme. But not rehearsing the song. Well the play was coming up and the weenies were ever so excited. I remember this fat chick named Josie had to sing that song “Conga” by the miami sound machine. Oh man, it was so gay. One of his other “original creations” was a spoof of snow white called “snowy white and the seven suds”. Anyway, Mr. Graham decides to check out our progress on the song. Keep in mind, this is like the day before, and so he lines us all up and we start to sing. We get the first line out ok “You coax the blues right out of the horn” then just trail off into mumbles like people do on tv. I think the second line was about ‘corn’. Well Mr. Graham loses it, cuz basically we had to do one thing all semester and we fucked that up. He starts screaming, goes totally ballistic. It was one of those situations where you’re like “If I laugh, he’s going to kill me” but it was so hard not to laugh. Well once he’s done, he goes and cancels the play and makes us apologize to the drama weenies and then the school as a whole. I mean, there was a few days left, we could have learned the words, but I guess he wanted to teach us a lesson. I think I got a B+ in that class.


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