I was substituting PE at a downtown LA middle school when I heard his voice. “What are you knuckle heads doing? Get in your lines.” It had the raspy strain one could only pick up from either singing in smoky bars for a heavy metal band or yelling at kids for a decade plus.
Out of the shadows limped a man whose back was slightly out of alignment with his legs. His name… Coach Glambino.
“Get out on the field. We’re doing some stretches. Get your glutenous maximus on the ground. You kids know what a glutenous maximus is?”
“It’s your booty. So you remember it by combining booty with my name Glambino. Gl and ooty. Glutenous maximus. What’s a glutenous maximus?”
Again no response.
“Alright, stretch out. Repeat after me or you’re running laps. One, two touch your shoe. Three, four stretch it more. Five, six strengthen kicks. Seven, eight keep your legs straight. Nine, ten do it again.
At some point Coach Glambino started coughing and had to stop. He then proceeded to blow a stream of snot from his nose. It squirted out like his sinuses were an aerosol can of silly string.
This gained a response, “Ewwwww.”
Coach Glambino wiped his hands on the grassy field. “Mind your own business. You guys are all running laps. Let’s go.”
Coach Glambino walked right up to me. “See that. Those stupid bitches in the office give me a hard time saying I’m not educating the kids enough. They don’t get to see that. That was knowledge I was sharing.” He then out of nowhere blew the shrillest, loudest whistle that shattered my eardrums. “No walking. Run!”
The kids kept walking. Coach Glambino unlatched the metal whistle from his key chain and handed it to me. I tried to refuse it, but Coach Glambino wasn’t having it. “You’re going to need it. If you see those kids walking blow it and yell at them. I’m going to go take a number two.”