FITZWIRE — Gov. Doug Ducey knew there would be a blowback to his education budget cuts but no one expected this response.
Yesterday in Phoenix, thousands of juvenile delinquents, punks, college dropouts, truants and school vandals from across Arizona marched in front of the Capitol in support of the governor’s dramatic budget cuts to higher education.
Phoenix police were unable to estimate the size of the crowd because most on the department were educated in Arizona and as the chief said, “counting real high is not our thing. I’d say there’s a bunch here. Bunch and a half.”
Arriving in hijacked school buses, on stolen bicycles and “borrowed” skateboards they came, carrying misspelled placards on their shoulders. They came singing their anthem, “We don’t need no education” and chanting “Tear down Arizona, tear down U of A! We love Doug!”
We spoke to a 19-year-old juvenile with a record of arson and vandalism. We are not identifying him because he threatened to beat us, “while my homies film your butt-kicking for YouTube.”
The serial loiterer and chronic class-ditcher-turned-activist explained his motivation. “When I heard just how dramatic the cuts to education were, I was like, yo, my man! I felt totally compelled to come down here and show my support for the governor’s courage. Gov. Ducey has accomplished what thousands of vandals and arsonists like myself have only dreamed of doing to our school campuses, man. In the dark. With a wrecking ball the size of Jupiter.”
He fired up a cigarette, spat on the ground and smiled. “And some gasoline. Just for fun. I like the fact they’re going after our stupid universities and our lame community colleges. Man, I hate those (expletive deleted). Who needs them. You got some weed?”
One dropout, a part-time carnival worker, praised Ducey’s attempt at running a classic shell game. “His 5 percent reduction in non-classroom spending scam fell through. I thought that was pure genius. Now he’s trying to steal education’s money from the state land trust to cover his giveaway to big business! Lot of tricks up that cat’s sleeve! Watch his hands! The dude’s awesome.”
The leader of the group, public education critic, truant and video game authority F. Bueller, spoke outside the Capitol to the gathered throng. “Hello, slackers!”
The boisterous crowd of Ducey supporters cheered at the sight of their leader who asked them, “What do we want?” The crowd answered, “We don’t want no education! We don’t want no education!” Others chanted, “We’re Arizona! We’re number 50!”
Bueller took control of the crowd. “Who likes to get drunk like me and spray their stupid classrooms with graffiti?”
The crowd roared. Someone set off a firecracker. Behind the speaker an effigy of an adjunct professor was burning along with smoldering mounds of long-ignored homework assignments.
Bueller grinned. “Who’d like to go to their college right now and smash their stupid computers and desks with a sledgehammer? Who’d like to smash every window!?”
Bueller roared, “That’s nothing compared to what this awesome governor is doing to our universities and our junior colleges! He’s our man! Doug! Doug! Doug!”
The crowd went wild, punching the air with clenched fists. Republican party recruiters circulated through the crowds, headhunting for future leaders.
“We, the students, are slaves, man, and Ducey? He’s our Lincoln! He’s totally freeing us from bondage, dude.”
After the rally, I asked Bueller about his future plans for himself.
“I don’t know, man. I was thinking of doing something that didn’t require a stupid diploma. I know a lot of our lawmakers aren’t exactly rocket scientists so maybe I could be a legislator.* Or a prison guard. Or better yet, a prisoner. A lot of my friends are going into that line of work. I hear the governor is building nice ones for us. Got a buck I can borrow?”
In a related story it appears that Goggle’s new self-driving automobiles will not work in Arizona. Owners are complaining that the smart cars keep plotting the fastest route out of the state and flooring it to Minnesota.
*A recent scientific study from the “Journal of Science that Even We Don’t Understand” claims to identify the salient traits found in Arizona lawmakers. Prof. Sigmund Dopplewitz studied the population for six weeks and came up with astonishing findings.
“Ever wonder what happened to the weird outcasts and scary knuckle draggers in school who were bullies? You remember the types. The big, dumb and ignorant poor thickheaded dopes who blew off schoolwork because it was too hard and blamed the school and hated every last one of their teachers? The ones who were impervious to reason or facts? You elected them to the Legislature and gave them the keys to the education budget. You might as well have handed a chicken and an ax to Colonel Sanders.”