Several weeks ago in a post on my high school physics class I mentioned my teacher Mr. Taylor; an interesting guy Mr. Taylor.
His full name was Noel Taylor. Behind his back we called him Leon Rolyat. Weren’t we clever?
Mark Taylor, Mr. Taylor’s son was in my class…smart MF’er. He got no special attention from Mr. Taylor.
I think Mr. Taylor was once a very good baseball player, and might have been the school coach at one time. As I recall Mark was also a pretty good ball player.
Anyway, the Mr. Taylor I knew had issues speaking, never mind playing baseball. I think he had at sometime suffered a mild stroke. He sounded like a phone call with a bad connection. If I make fun of his speech, keep in mind we all loved this guy. He was strict, he never laughed, he was all business, but he had a twinkle in his eye that let you know he was a good dude.
I was not a good student, certainly not in any science related study, but I was a pretty good wise ass. Mr. Taylor had the perfect demeanor for my wise-assiness.
On our very first class, Mr. T explained the difference between a ruler and a meter stick.
“Ow listen up oo guys. This is a etterick. It is not an ard ick, it is a eterick. It is ot a uler, it is a etterick. So ets call it orectly o k.”
It was not long after that speech that I had a need for a meter stick.
“Excuse me Mr. Taylor, can I borrow one of those big rulers?”
“Agy, oo umb b’ unny. It’s not a uler, it’s a etterick!”
Another time Mr. Taylor was giving a lecture on the battery.
“N eeon ow wot is a attery?”
Realizing that Mr. Taylor was a baseball fan, I decided to give him a wise guy answer using the baseball term for a battery, which refers to the pitcher and the catcher. In my haste to get this bad joke out I responded,
“It’s the kitcher and the petcher…the petcher and the kitcher…oh hell I screwed that one up.”
Mr. Taylor did not miss a beat,
“Actually Mr. Agy, umb b’unny that he is ot the ight nswer.”
He then went on to explain how a battery pitches and catches electrons or some such stuff.
Mr. Taylor did not write much better on the chalk board than he was able to speak.
As he mumbled he wrote and there with a constant clack clack and flying chalk dust as he rambled on,
“all oo ave to oo is easure the istance eetween the ulcrum and ee nybathm to et the ite ansr.”
“Bird” who sat behind me, I don’t remember his real name but he was tall with a big Adam’s apple and resembled a cartoon buzzard, tapped me on the shoulder and asked,
“What is he writing?”
“What, you can’t read that, it is as clear as a bell…it says, ‘all oo ave to oo is easure the istance eetween the ulcrum and ee nybathm to et the ite ansr.’”
“Agy, oo umb b’unny, ots so ogon unny?”
I hated Physics, but I liked Mr. Taylor a lot!