SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Elections Are Important

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Elections Are Important

 Many many years ago when I was in first grade at the Concord Road School in Ardsley there was a student government. All grades, K-5 were represented. This first grader, Muttley Schwartz was the president of the student council and he was practically unbeatable. There were five classrooms in each grade for a total of 30. Each class elected their own safety monitor but the "best buddies" board of the student council selected cronies to be classroom leaders. They oversaw the safety monitors, but they owed their positions to the student council and Muttley Schwartz. Muttley's faction was known as the Dick Dasterdly faction.

Not many of the students cared much for Muttley. Yeah, once in a while he fought for us. Got five minutes added to recess. Made sure that kindergarten had nap time every day, and talked tough but never really followed through. His one big accomplishment came when I was in second grade and he got us chocolate milk to be served in the cafeteria. I remember the press conference Muttley had with the school newspaper. He talked a big game. How tough negotiations were with the principal. That he was "there for us." Blah, blah blah. 

It was also that year that he faced his first real test as a leader. Two factions; the Underdog faction and the Minute Mouse faction decided to run against Muttley and the Dick Dasterdly faction. It was tough. They didn't expect to win but were looking for seats on the "best buddies" board. Nobody really expected They just wanted to get some seats on the "best buddies" board. 

And guess what? The Minute Mouse faction got four seats on the board. Now, there were 50 seats but this was a big victory. Some great kids were on that board. Sadly, those kids had to deal with the controlling nature of the Minute Mouse faction de facto boss The Frog.

The Underdog faction was led at the time by Simon Bar Sinister. Yes, that Simon Bar Sinister. Hey, they thought he was a mensch, but they learned the hard way.

But between this election and the next safety monitor elections things began to change. Yes, the Minute Mouse faction started to win some safety monitor elections. But they were mostly in small classes with few students. There soon was some unhappiness going on and soon there was a purge. It also didn't help that in the elections when I was in grade, Dick Dasterdly didn't really put much of an effort in the election except for some memes. 

Meanwhile, the Underdog faction was rolling up its sleeves and listening to the students of the Concord Road School. It turned no one away. It became a version of the Island of Misfit Toys. Simon Bar Sinister was no longer there and a collective release of sphincters made everyone feel relieved. But they plugged away. They too won some safety monitor positions. In big classrooms, with influential students who lived in the rich part of Ardsley as well as in Hartsdale. They also had a new leader; Sweet Polly Purebred. 

Which brings me to the elections when I was in fourth grade. All three factions squared off again. But this time something big happened. Yes, the Snidely Whiplash faction won big. Minute Mouse faction was expecting to at least come in second place. It was not to be. 

Underdog came in second place with Minute Mouse coming in a distant third. People were surprised. I was. Minstrels will be writing songs about the Underdog faction and Sweet Polly Purebred for years to come. 

But then there were the elections the years I was in fifth grade. The Minute Mouse and Underdog factions decided to combine forces to defeat Muttley and Dick Dasterdly.

But there are problems. For some reason, the Minute Mouse faction and the Frog believe that they get to call the shots. That they can dictate who gets to play and be friends with this combined force. That Sweet Polly Purebred and her Bullwinkle faction don't deserve much of a say. They act as if the Bullwinkle faction should feel honored just to be allowed to run with them. 

I remember thinking in fifth grade, "What the fuck?" How the fuck can a third place finisher--third place by quite a bit-- dictate terms to a second place finisher? How fucked up is that? 

If anyone or anybody should be calling the shots, it should be the Underdog faction and Sweet Polly Purebred. At the very least they have no scores to settle with other students. 

I remember that year as an important election. That there was a chance to take down Muttley and Dick Dasterdly. One faction thought of themselves, the other of the students. I don't remember who won that year or anything else about the election. I remember the Minute Mouse faction trying to bogart everything. But I do know what I felt was right. That coming in second place that year in the Concord Road School student council elections gives you gravitas and the right to be treated with respect. And to run the show.



David Suker said...

I have no idea what you're talking about. I think I need a cheat sheet!

Jay Werner said...


Pete Zucker said...


Nice little shout out to the Concord Road School, eh?