HOW THE WOLVES REMINDED ME OF MY CONTRIBUTION TO AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY (rev.) My Voyage on a Stream of Consciousness

GARDNER SPEAKS

wolf pack

I’m watching a documentary about wolves.

The narrator calls one of the wolf packs The Jets,

which of course makes me think about West Side Story,

where a gang called the Jets sing:

When you’re a Jet,

You’re a Jet all the way . . .

From your first cigaret

To your last dyin’ day

jets

This makes me remember being on Long Island

and sitting through my niece’s Sunday-school play,

a parody of the TV show Welcome Back, Kotter.

In this version, a Hebrew-school class

stood in for the sitcom’s high-school class of Sweathogs.

sweathogs

The concept might have had promise,

but Mr. Kotter had become Mr. Kosher

and the children sang:

           When you’re a Jew,

           You’re a Jew all the way

           From the day of your bris

           To your bar mitzvah day . . .

(I’m not making this up; if you don’t know…

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