Reaper's Door (RD): Welcome to our Reaper’s Door interview, Miss Havana. Would you like to say a few words of introduction before the serious questions begin?
Miss Havana (MH): Why thank you. It’s an honor for you to have me here, I’m sure. I see your topic for today is “Character Flaws”. As a substitute teacher at Readmond High near Chicago, I would like to begin by stating categorically I don’t have any. BTW, do I call you “Reaper” or “Door”?
RD: (Ignores inane question). No flaws? So you consider yourself naturally gifted?
MH: Oh, yes. I’m a natural blond.
RD: Can you tell us a little about the courses you teach?
MH: I think it’s vitally important to keep the students’ attention, so I ensure everything about me is fastidious. I keep my firm 34-26-36 figure fit and dress in immaculate form-fitting clothes. When I present my lessons, you can be sure every eye is on me, especially the boys. Oh, by the way, those numbers are from the bottom up.
RD: Er…ah…I hadn’t noticed. What subjects do you teach?
MH: Oh, I can handle anything, but they don’t let me teach boys PE.
RD: I can see the wisdom in that. Do you have any discipline problems with the students?
MH: When I first started, the students could be unruly at times, but I found a solution. Here, see. Once I began using this puppy, the problems ended.
RD: Uh, this is a blog, Miss Havana, no one can see your impressive paddle. Where on earth did you get that giant anyway?
MH: Oh, you do get personal, don’t you? Let’s just say the Phi Delta boys were more than happy to offer it to me after I tutored them one night.
RD: Oh, so you tutor at night? Aren’t the students tired then, and less receptive to learning?
MH: Oh, no. They were all quite perky.
RD: Let’s get to the meat of this interview. What can you tell me about character flaws?
MH: Well, I can tell you what I’ve observed. Character flaws are like hemorrhoids, you really can’t tell people have them until you get to know them better. I mean, have you ever met a stranger who introduced himself by telling you he had hemorrhoids right off? Character flaws are like that. People don’t tell you they have them, so you have to deduce them yourself.
RD: Can you provide a few examples of character flaws you’ve observed personally?
MH: But of course. Mr. Halstead sells drugs to other students, for example. I think that would be considered a character flaw by some. Not only that, but the bastard cheats his supplier. My ledger came up short several times in one month alone.
RD: Should we be using names? Aren’t things like that with minors confidential?
MH: Probably. Sorry.
RD: What else can you tell me, about flaws you’ve observed?
MH: I know from personal experience Senator Wansworth cheats on his wife. Even worse, he cheats on his mistress by failing to pay for services rendered. I mean, who would think it less expensive to hire a hit man than to pay a few dollars to a cash-strapped beautiful woman?
RD: Names, Miss Havana, are they really necessary?
MH: Oh, then I probably shouldn’t mention his bitch of a wife who’s trying to kill me on her own…er, trying to kill the Senator’s mistress on her own. She’s just a sore loser who hasn’t won the township beauty pageant since I came to town.
RD: Sounds like you might have a few enemies?
MH: Nothing I can’t handle, although Macky Lane scared me a little. You know him, don’t you? He runs the Slippery Silverfish bar and grill in Chicago. Do you have any idea how many people actually believe a silverfish is a fish?
RD: I suppose you are implying Macky Lane has flaws as well?
MH: Big time! I should have guessed when I used the ladies restroom in his facility. Did you know if you lift the fig leaf on the statue of David by the sinks, a red light comes on outside in the bar. I mean, one little peek and the whole world thinks you’re a pervert. Good grief! I also have it on good authority that the bastard hires Charles Darwin to silence people, but not the original. I’ll bet he has a big paddle like mine. That sucker works for me. One whack, and I don’t hear a peep out of anyone.
RD: You do know that silencing someone in mobster talk means to kill them, don’t you?
MH: Really? That could explain a few things.
RD: Actually, I wanted to ask you about your paddle. Aren’t there rules against using corporal punishment on students?
MH: Gee, I don’t know about that. I’m really, really close to most of the school board members, and they’ve never mentioned a thing. I’ll see Billy tonight. I’ll ask.
MH: You know, the head of the school board. Frankly, he’s pretty enthusiastic about the paddle himself. He loves the way it excites me -- makes me itchy.
MH: Very wise decision, but honestly, far too much has been made of that little incident with the quarterback two years back. I simply can't imagine what motivated him to touch me in that way. If Mr. Moxlie hadn't seen it, I probably wouldn't have cold cocked the poor kid. Guess he didn't know about my black belt.
RD: You remind me of a couple of teachers I had in High School, Miss Havana, have you ever been to Texas?
MH: Not yet, but Texas schools are something I should look into. I hear those southern boys do very well with their crayons, and I do like cowboys!
RD: Somehow I think after school would be more fun with you than being in class. Did you handle detention?
MH: Yes, to my delight, my paddle and I do detentions. Makes me shudder all over and wet in absolutely forbidden places...even led to "The Dance of Silence". Did you know an average student can make four laps around the front of the class holding his/her butt before gasping for a complete gulp of air? They never scream because they don't want their friends in the hall to know they're weak.
RD: You timed them, Miss Havana? What else have you discovered about students and their habits? Please share.
MH: Besides Mr. Halstead skimming his drug profits, I know for a fact the students call me "wish" behind my back. Pisses me off, but I understand. I enjoy looking at myself in the mirror too. Some also stutter when I call on them, apparently because their tongues are hard. I identified the one who ogled me through the hole in the toilet stall I was using when I stuck a pencil in his eye. I could go on, but perhaps I knew too much. I can tell you with deep satisfaction, as Lucifer's understudy, I got back at those who harmed me, especially the one who gave me cankles by slipping potassium chloride in my sleeping pills! My legs were a work of art before that bastard ruined them!
RD: Well, Miss Havana, I must certainly read about your adventures in The Substitute. I think your book will be most educational.
MH: Indeed so, and the lessons I offer as spirit simply drip with irony...and sometimes blood. After all, one must enjoy one's afterlife to the fullest.
RD: At risk of incriminating myself, I believe we should terminate this interview right here, Miss Havana. It was a pleasure having you.
MH: Likewise, I’m sure. BTW, and not to beat my own drum or anything, but you did realize my novel received a five star review at http://www.bookwenches.com/september10reviews.htm#636925762, did you not?