Do you ever pick up the newspaper, see a headline about a burning building, and somehow you know it is the house in which you were born? Maybe you are an arsonist or maybe you are a narcissist. In my case, I happened to catch a headline today that read “Jersey City school infested with bedbugs”, and I could see my old elementary school before me, P.S. 23. It is the oldest public school in the city, built in 1919, with the ornamental facade and murky corners to prove it. There was a cuban store on the corner where we bought gum and sandwiches, and a paved playground just right for scrapping and skinning knees. So I click the link and indeed, it was my old school on Romaine Ave. and also George Wendt does not approve. WTF?
I looked up the story in the Jersey Journal. Old P.S. 23 is infested, and George Wendt is the concerned parent, angry that the school is not going to close and exterminate, but is attempting to quarantine the floors where the bedbugs were found until school lets out. This does seem a ridiculous plan, considering that bedbugs are not exactly stationary objects and exhibit an attraction to their food source. Have legs will travel, people!
I have gone all sentimental, thinking of the old school. But this is turned to dismay by thinking of the place having bedbugs. At least it is a comfort to know that even semi-famous people have to send their kids to dingy old vermin choked schools in Jersey City, as my parents did. I can tell those kids, the future is BRIGHT.