Mr. Obama: Playground Monitor

Mr. Obama! Mr. Obama! Robby punched me! And he says he’s going to beat me up after school!

Hello Donnie! So you’re saying we’ve only got until 3:00 to make you and Robby be friends?

 I don’t want to be friends with Robby!

 But friends don’t punch each other. You don’t want to be punched, do you?

Can’t you just make him not punch me?

No, that kid’s crazy! But he’s got some good ideas. If I stop him, he’ll probably just go nuts and punch everybody on the playground. You don’t want that do you?

I GUESS not.

Hey Johnnie! You’re friends with Robby, right?

I GUESS so.

Can you tell him not to hit Donnie after school today?

I can’t tell him THAT! Then he wouldn’t want to be friends with me!

All right, let’s talk to Robby. Hey Robby!

WHAT?!

You don’t want to hit Donnie here, do you?

I sure do!

Think maybe you’d like to be friends with him instead?

NO!

Well, what if, instead of beating Donnie up at 3:00, you guys trade punches? You hit him, and he hits you?

NO!

What if you get to hit him five times, and he only gets to hit you once?

NO!

Donnie, do you see how reasonable I’m being? This kid is really something.

Yeah that’s great, but he’s still gonna beat me up at 3:00.

Which is fast approaching. We’ve all got to do something. Hmm…Johnnie, you got anything?

What if at 3:00, Robby gets to punch Donnie in the face, and then, in return for not hitting him more, he gets to punch him again at 3:00 tomorrow?

No, I don’t want to be dealing with all this again tomorrow. How about, if they’re not friends in a week, then Robby can punch Donnie’s lights out.

Well, I guess I can TALK to him about it.

See what you can do. Well, that was messy, but at least we avoided a fight.

I’m still getting punched in the face.

Yes, but at least you don’t have to fight! That’s exhausting.

–Dan Kilian

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Sweet Boroughs

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