“Doggone, you wabbit…waaaahaaaah!” Elmer Fudd was one of my first impressions. I wasn’t great at it but I wasn’t bad. I was just remembering that one of the first big laughs I got from classmates was when I recounted a chat with a 7th-grade substitute teacher, whose name was Mr. Hilse. He was Swedish- or German-looking…slim, fair-haired, medium height. He was kind of a dweeby type. Had a reedy, crackly voice and a very slight speech impediment — he had trouble with the letter “r.” Anyway the kids in Hilse’s class were all walking down the stairs one day and I decided to hop down. Hilse: “Walk like a human being and not like a rabbit.” Later that day I entertained my pallies by doing Hilse as Fudd: “…and not like a wabbit.” This was one of the most glorious moments that happened to me in seventh-grade, as I was pretty bad at paying attention or getting decent grades, and I was a complete failure with girls. I had begun to find my voice. Diminish authority figures with derision, jokes…anything that made them seem small or petty.