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Once – I remember – two students got into a fight and were swinging wildly at each other, when Mr. John Holbrook just happened to walk on the scene. He warned the teenagers to stop fighting. Once. They were too hot under the collar to hear him or mind his warning. Then Mr. Holbrook stepped forward and grabbed each one of them by the belt and lifted them in the air. Their legs were dangling comically as he scowled at them. He knocked them against one another and let them drop to the ground, all fight out of them.
“How’s life treating you, Johnny boy?” I greet him.
“Some fucking Mexican stole my bike!” he growls, his red face getting redder as he speaks.
“How do you know it was a Mexican?” I ask him, only half amused.
“Who do you think it was, bright guy? One of those rowdy Swedes? A thieving Dane?”
“You’ve got a point there,” I say and move on.