“You want ah help you sandpaper this frame?” Binky asked and picked up one of the half finished cages.
“Not for money though,” Dagwood said.
“I ain’t doing it for free and you making all that money,” Binky said and put down the cage.
“I ain’t go make money if I paying you to do what I can do myself,” Dagwood said.
“Which school you going when school open?” I asked Dagwood to turn the conversation away from the impending labor dispute.
“Same school ah went last year, BHS,” he said.
“That hoity toity school?” complained Whitie and sucked his teeth noisily.
“Is the best high-school,” said Frankie, adjusting his glasses again.
“Overwinning better than BHS,” claimed Rudy.
“How you know that and you going BEI?” said Dagwood.
“Everybody know that,” said Rudy.
“More people going Overwinning but that don’t mean it better,” said Frankie.
“Which school you going?” Dagwood asked Ali.
“Queens college,” Ali said in a low voice.
“You going QC?” marveled Frankie.
“I thought QC was the top school in Georgetown,” said Binky.
“It is,” Ali confirmed without enthusiasm.
“You ain’t look too happy about going there,” I said.
“I mightn’t go there anymore,” said Ali.
“Why, are they kicking you out?” Yankee said with enthusiasm. “What did you do?”
“They ain’t kick the boy out,” said Binky. “You think he’s like you?”
“Oh yea? You get kick out of school up in the states?” asked Dagwood.
“Yea, two times,” Yankee stated proudly.
“What you do so?” I asked.
“One time I beat up a girl for calling me Yankee,” he said.
“What she was to call you?” I asked.
“My name is Yancy, not Yankee,” he pointed out.
“But we does call you ‘Yankee’ so why you don’t beat we up?” asked Ali.
“I didn’t like her,” he said with a smile.
“And they kick you out for that?” I asked.
“No, because I kicked and bit the teacher the next day,” he said proudly.
“You what?” I said at the same time with Ali and Rudy.
“She was getting on my nerves with all her questions,” Yankee said easily.
“And was a lady teacher too!” Binky exclaimed in disbelief.
“So when you go back which school you going?” I asked.
“Must be the penitentiary,” said Frankie.
“Wha’ kinda school is that?” I asked.
“That is prison boy,” said Ali.
“They does send children to prison over there?” asked Binky.
“You mad?” said Yankee. “If the teacher did only touch me she would’ve gone to prison.” We looked at him in awe.
“They does send teachers to prison for that?” Whitie asked.
“Yup,” Yankee confirmed. “It’s called assault and battery and endangering the welfare of the child.”
“En-whating the what?” asked Binky.
“They does send you to jail for that,” Yankee confirmed.
“So if you kick a teacher they just kick you out of school? No licks or nothing?” I asked in disbelief.
“You’re a child so they can’t touch you,” Yankee confirmed.
“Boy, I wish down here was like that,” commented Rudy. “It have a couple teachers I want kick and bite.”
“So what’s stopping you?” Yankee asked. “The most they can do is kick you out.”
“What?” some of us exclaimed.
“You mad?” Rudy said. “They would cut your tail for that.”
“Twice a day, every day for a month,” Dagwood mused as he took up his plane and worked on another piece of white wood.
“Plus, you get another set of cut-ass when you go home,” Ali said.
“You all got it good over there,” Rudy commented.