Once More Into the Breach

 Okay, well I decided to put that little nerd dry humping interlude between my two debate stories so that we could have a little comic relief before I plowed into that greatest nerd pass time of all time – recounting their lame nerd activities and not knowing that no one else cares. That being said, here we go. After my first defeat I had a few minutes to familiarize myself with the judges gift case and throw out my useless 'evidence' cards and the weeks worth of work they represented. When I went into my next round I was armed and ready and waded into battle properly armed with someone else's words and reasoning. I won easily now that I knew how to play the game there were three more rounds all of which I won. By late afternoon I was hooked on debate and the thrill of victory and writing my own case. They were handing out trophies and I won first place at my very first debate tournament. That sounds really impressive unless I were to let you know that it was an amateur debate tournament and they gave first place trophies to exactly twenty five people but I feel like a detail like that would paint me in a less flattering light so I am going to keep that to my own self. After handing out the scads of trophies they started handing out awards based on the secondary metric of debate the speaker score. That category only had one one first place and I did not earn that. They handed out gavels for the top five speakers and I was fourth. It was the first time that I had won an award for something that was not science, or writing so I thought that these people must be rather good at detecting and rewarding intelligence and I decided to join their tribe.

These Trophies Aren’t Going To Dry Hump Themselves

 Until I was in debate I steered clear of the hall that had the drama, band, and choir rooms. The thing that non-nerds don't know is that a nerd is not a nerd is not a nerd. There are all kinds of flavors and colors in the nerd rainbow and they are at times symbiotic and at times a mutually distrustful band of misfits. The thing with being cool is that you are always cool in the same mundane way but when you are a social outcast you can be outcast for bad hygiene, off beat tastes, being poor or just being a weirdo. Of course being in band or drama almost always sets you apart from the jet set popular kids. There was a drama nerd clique that occupied the hall and hung in and around a large elevated trophy case that was almost right across from the drama classroom door and well off the beaten path. There were a few couples that took advantage of the elevated platform and relative obscurity of the trophy cases to participate in a little lunch break and any break making out. It was a brutal display of slobbery sexual frustration and simulated sex that made any trip down the hall uncomfortable for anyone who doesn't like to see drama nerds getting it on barely within the limits of public legality. The weirdest part to me was those who were not participating in the dry hump make out would be underneath the cases playing cards and reading and stuff right below the sexy time. Horrible. The teen years are so magical.  

That is Debateable

 Luckily for me there was a reason to come to school my junior year; debate. Our drama teacher restarted the long dead debate team that year and I was elated, you know, because I am a massive nerd? I had had always felt like my super powers were bull crapping and smartassery which are the twin daggers of ultimate victory for a debater. Clearly, based on that last metaphor, clear and concise imagery is not as vital to semi-amateur obfuscator. We received terribly outdated advice from our debate coach who was having us manufacture copious quantities of "evidence" which consisted of quotes from philosophers and other great thinkers. After we found a likely piece of drivel we were to write it on a 3x5 card with a header that we could read and retrieve easily in the heart of trivial verbal combat. I cannot remember any specific quotes but I do remember writing the heading, 'good and evil as emotive terms' - that's top shelf stuff, maybe private reserve. We didn't practice much in class and that was probably a good thing because our well indentioned coach was massively misguided as far as the current state of Lincoln Douglas debate was concerned. We went to our first tournament woefully under-prepared and no one but us had boxes of evidence, they just had prepared statements for the Pro and the against positions which had obviously been written by an adult in the know. I got creamed in my first round against a congested kid with adenoidal issues. I had had to speak first and I had never seen a debate round so I was just winging it, pathetically. After I plowed through my card driven speech which was evidently as painful for the judge as it was for me my opponent got up to ask me some questions with a condescending smirk in his voice. The first question he had was weather I had even ever done this before, I said no. He scored easy jerk points asking me questions about the "case(that is what they called their devil brief)" I so obviously didn't have. I wanted to smash him good but under the unified high school rules of debate smashing is strictly forbidden, had been for years. We muddled through his rebuttals and disemboweling of my argument from my accused evidence cards. We wrapped it up and he left confident in his victory. The judge, a girl a year out of high school, asked me to stay after for a second. She told me I lost and I told her I figured that much out but she said I was a much better speaker and debater then that kid and she hated his attitude so she gave me a perfect score on speaker points, a secondary tie breaking rating that follows the win loss decision. She took the next thirty minutes giving me a crash course in L-D debate and and more importantly explained the jargon and gave me a case to use for the rest of the tournament. She was a good girl to have hand me my first loss and she gave me her number and told me to call her if I needed more help. I didn't.

I Worm My Way Onto The TV

 Every morning in our school we had Chanel One – a half hour ad dressed up as news, and then live announcements from a student that came right over the same closed circuit TV. I wanted that job so bad. It appealed to my innate need to be the center of attention and I also liked the idea of a captive audience. The announcement person was always and senior and I was not a senior so I needed a plan. The plan I came up with was to just be there and be ready and when the opportunity came I would worm my way on as a special guest commentator. The kid in charge of the announcements was actually from my home town and was really not a huge fan of my work but he did have a desperate desire to be liked and I was friends with some people who he wanted to impress. If you were able to untangle that Gordian knot of High School Machiavellian hierarchies then you know that all I needed to do was to ride a little coat tail action onto the A.M. prime time. My in was a generally regarded as cool kid named Tim. Who despite having the massive handicap of being in the band which more often then not is social suicide at almost every school at every level was liked by many people, bordering on popular. Our niche was to review extra curricular activities. Our retrospectively shamefully corny shtick was to give a synopsis of the event and then rate it in 'Woo-Hoos' which would be given in synchrony and deadpan accompanied by a single finger extended overhead twirl. Everything got about 4 or 5 'Woo-Hoos'. We were on a couple of times a week which the kid in charge was not really happy with but we just wedged ourselves in and he really liked the technical aspect of the production so he was happy putting special effects and titles over the top of whatever was happening.   

A Coach By Any Other Middle Name

 There is a certain camaraderie that develops among men and boys as they spend endless hours together yoked in the common work of drafting. Even the weird, the stinky, and the tattle-tale kids are part of the in-class brotherhood that lends itself to a little more familiarity with our drafting coach then he showed towards the lowly first-year paper drafters. One day when we had our noses safely clear of even the smell of the grindstone we got to talking about middle names and we discovered that several of the boys actually went by their middle names or had funny ones . The question naturally arose about Coach’s middle name and he told us to guess and if any of us could guess it we would get some sort of prize which I cannot remember. We all gave it several shots and left school that day defeated in the quest. I came up with a devious plan over night and the next day in class I got out my drivers license and asked the other guys if they were all facing front in their drivers license. They all checked and said that they were. I asked if theirs all said 'MINOR' on the picture and to a man that was the case. With the ground work in place I asked Coach that if on an adult drivers license they had to face to the left so it was easy to identify minors from adults. Forgetting his wager about his middle name he told me his was a photo of him facing front and pulled it out to show me. I looked carefully and said, Thank-you Wesley, that is a good picture of you.” He realized his blunder and laughed and grabbed my arm to give it a good-natured punch and then told the other guys that I had won the challenge and paid whatever it was I earned. I was so proud of my trickery that I felt like the Great Brain and Encyclopedia Brown all mushed up together in to one awesome guy. No one else I talked to cared one bit about my triumph and I started to loose some of the enthusiasm I had for my remarkable wit. Not much but some.  

Scorched Earth Swears

Hours and hours of fun. Just add naughty words.

After reading that last post my good friend Cole, who was in the class with me, reminded me of another funny story from advanced drafting classes. There was a game, Scorched Earth, that was passed around on floppy disks that a guy with a little knowledge of how the computer's operating system worked could install on any of the school's computers and play during work time. Scorched earth was a tank battle physics simulation that pitted two or more tanks against each other in various bleak landscapes. Each tank had a turn to attack dialing in the angle and power estimated to put your bomb on your enemy. If you missed the land all around your bomb strike would vaporize and dramatically change the landscape. Every time a tank shot it would let out a text based battle cry like “No Surrender!” or “Sic Simper Tyranus” you know, the classics? One day when we were not drawing random projects on the Laser Cad drafting program I tracked down the text file that had the battle cry data base and a few of us spent an hour or so replacing all of the inoffensive battle cries with vulgar and crude ones that would appeal to the tastes of sixteen-year-old boys. A 'Bombs Away!' was replaced with a 'Take it All!', an innocuous 'For Glory!' would now be the much more offensive 'Show Me Your *&%@'. There were lots more and some with the king boss swear word that probably were not on the borderline. It was all intended as some good harmless lowbrow fun until one day we were turned in by one of our fellow students and when we came to class the drafting coach was pretty upset about our shenanigans and threatened to throw us out of the class unless we deleted the game and the bad swears. I think we did because we were not thrown out.  

Making It Funny To Log In

 With my rudimentary hacking abilities on the DOS computers I got on the teachers computer while he was out of the room and changed the directory structure to make it hard to log in. I put a series of six folders inside each other with a funny question that had to be answered to get to the next directory and the program he used to draft houses as his side business was at the bottom of the the folder password maze. To make sure it stayed a joke and did not cripple his ability mo make money on the side while he should have been working I included the answer as part of the prompt. I cannot remember all of the password questions but I do remember that I asked who was the teachers hero, answer: me. I had some Monty Python inspired jokes about rabbits but I don't really remember what they were exactly. Every time the computers were turned on he had to go through this little ritual which would have been a one shot joke but as was my custom I missed a couple of days of school after I put the joke in place. Two days later when I came back to school the drafting coach was waiting for me outside my locker looking pretty mad. I had in all honesty forgotten about the joke and was wondering what his problem was. He grabbed me hard by the shoulder and took marched me around the corner and down the hall to the drafting room while cursing me for messing with his computers. That is when I remembered. I asked him why he didn't have someone fix it for him and he said no one he asked knew how and that he had to enter my stupid passwords four times now. I got on the computer and created a new directory outside of the joke directory and had it copied out in a few second at which point Coach relaxed and started joking about how he had promised to kill me and had asked all of my friends where I was and he had even called my house the first night but that was a mistake because no one ever answered the phone at my house. Coached liked me pretty well so once I had fixed up his computer all was forgiven. When I was finishing and talking with him the other guys started coming in looking like they were expecting my evisceration. After we got started a couple of guys came over to ask me what happened and I told them that he just asked me to fix it and I did. They told me that the day I was gone he was cursing my name and threatening to kick me out of the class and to have me suspended from school and other horrible stuff. Somehow knowing that even though it was over now I was scared ex post facto and laid particularly low for that day and the next.  

Coaching With the Drafting Team

 After that first year on the paper drafting tables if you wanted to continue drafting you had to be accepted into the drafting program. It sounds prestigious but there was a practical upshot of there being only about 12 computers that were available for all of the advanced drafting classes. The teacher liked my work and my best friend and I were accepted in to the drafting 2 classes along with a few other kids from our hometown. After the core assignments were done, which didn't take long, it was complete and unfettered freedom to do what ever we wanted drafting related. I was drawing all sorts of personal fantasy projects like climbing carabiners, mountain bikes and funny stuff. Many of our other teachers were also coaches and likes to be called coach instead of mister and because the drafting teacher was so far from sporty as to be absurd I started calling him coach. It caught on with the other advanced drafting students and we all started calling him coach. He would protest saying he was not the coach of anything and I would tell him he was coach of the drafting team and that I was ready to be first string if he would just put me in during crunch time he would see I was ready. For a little while he complained about being called coach and then embraced it from the advanced drafting kids but one time I heard a beginning drafting student call him coach and he got chucked out of class. Most advanced drafting students had quite a few classes with coach and we would spend most of the day drawing or goofing of on the computers or just hanging out chatting about one thing or another while the first years were under strict rules and coach ran his side business out of the back. 

I Like to Do Little Drawings

 I have mentioned in long previous stories that I really liked my drafting class from junior high and I kept on drawing as I come to high school. The drafting teacher was an eccentric fellow that was strict as could be on the first year students he would spend the first week or two of drafting class, which was still done on paper with pencils, teaching us what to do and how he wanted our assignments turned in. He had been using the previous teachers curriculum for so long that he knew what every drawing should look like and so all he had to check for was what he called burnishing. Burnishing is when you push the line hard into the vellum producing a nice crisp line that you can feel on the back of the sheet. He told us what pencils to use for which lines I found that if I used one size down that I could get a better score with less effort and that is what I was into. I loved the problem solving and critical thinking needed to draft so I would never miss class and I would sit for the entire period drawing as quickly as I could in complete silence. Anyone who knew me or saw me in my other classes probably would not have believed my single minded focus. A couple of times a class I would take a finished drawing to the teacher who was in the back drafting houses in a little side business he was running to be checked. He would look at it and find something wrong in the finish but not the rendering and give me a nine out of ten most times. My best friend was in the class as well and he obsessed about getting a perfect score and taking his time. I would just burn through and then finish the curriculum a week or two early giving me time to do extra credit which earned 2-3 points each and were more challenging so I liked them better anyway. The instructor wanted more than anything to be left alone and when someone disturbed his peace and quite with goofing off, he was brutal in a very nerdy way. He had a few weird things that he would say as insults that almost no one understood because the pun in the insult relied on very dated slang. He would tell kids who were messing around that he was going to pt a rubber band around their heads and snap it a few times to make them 'smart'. Using the double meaning of smart that no one had heard since the 50's. Gee, mister that sure does smart. After a few insults like that and some nerd-rage yelling he would escalate the conflict and physically remove the kids from the room screaming about how they should not let the door hit them in the butt on the way out. That only had to happen once or twice but it was always entertaining to those not under indictment.  

Frau Doesn't Care About My Brain Damage

 When I beat the bell into class I had remembered to bring the tickets and program from the redemption play that I had actually attended even if I could not remember it. I gave her the material and she told me she would talk to me about the play after class. Whoops, that might be the flaw in my plan, I could not answer any but the most basic questions about the production. I knew it was at the community college and that it had a sign in the hall in front of the theater and there was a narrator. Beyond that I was a little more than fuzzy. I tried to head out quickly like I had forgotten to stop and talk to the Frau she caught me and had me come into her office to discuss my extra credit. She asked me to thumbnail the play and the characters, normally something I could have done with even a perfunctory viewing but I had no idea. I started telling her about my traumatic brain injury and my long night and my trip to the ER and she was unmoved. She lectured me on integrity and the need for me to follow through on my commitments. I explained to her again I was not lying I had gone to the play but I had suffered a concussion. She said that she couldn't give me credit for going if I couldn't remember it but that she did reserve the right to change someone's grade if she thought that they deserved a better because of extenuating circumstances. She didn't explain her criteria for what she thought a deserving person should have demonstrated but I must have. When I got my final grades for the semester I had and A and my citizenship grade was back from a extracurricular killing 'U' (for unsatisfactory) to an 'S'. I didn't see much of her after I left her class but I heard she got very sick and had to stop teaching. It is too bad because she was from the old school where brutality was acceptable in critiques and forgiveness was a rare treat.  

The New Deal In Our Town and Brain Damage

 When she cracked the Frau made a deal with me that included a play being put on by the local community college. We had been reading 'Our Town' in class and she told me that if I would go to the play and take note and tell her about it she would excuse all of my absences and tardies and give me a passing grade. More than fair I thought and I called a girl to see if she would join me on a homework date. I don't remember who I called because a short time after I called the girl I was rock climbing on my climbing tree and fell flat off to my back and hit my head quite hard on the ground. I was really loopy and singing and dancing even more than normal which had my mom a little concerned but I told her I was fine and at five I loaded up into my truck and went to pick up my date Miss Nameless. I was in a fog driving to twenty miles to the community college and parking. I remember walking around the school for a bit looking for a place to watch a Thornton Wilder play, that much was still stuck to the working part of my brain. Our tardiness worked to my advantage as they had stopped charging for entrance and my date and I got a program and went and watched the play. Or I should say I may have watched the play because after the 'sit on the front of the stage and explain stuff guy' started his bit the next thing I remember was getting a drink at Juice and Java and then it goes blank for another good stretch. I remember telling the girl I was fine and sitting in the truck in the dark for a little bit. I don't remember much else except for somehow I knew the girl had a tattoo around her navel, so take that for what it is worth. I came home about 2 a.m. and my mom was furious but I couldn't remember driving home. She saw that my eyes looked a little off and she asked me some questions and I was evidently a lotta goofy so she took me into the E.R. for some attention. I don't remember the E.R. but I do remember waking up almost late for the Frau's English class the next day and that would have been counter productive to miss that so I rushed out the door and just made it to school in time to collect my extra credit and not dig my hole any deeper.  

The Frau Already Has a Deal

 I started missing English class a lot more than I should have and I was getting into some deep water as far as my academic and citizenship grade was concerned. I started to get into that late semester desperation where I started considering my mistakes and was trying some deathbed make up extra credit deal. I asked the Frau if I could make a deal with her about the missed assignments and attendance. She didn't tell me yes or no but at the end of class she gave me a note that explained her feeling on the subject. I tried to scan it but it was hard to read so I will re-type it here:
The school already has a 'deal' to work off attendance problems! Check with the office! For each week of perfect attendance the office (Mr. Wilson) eliminates one ineligibility. Let's see- while I've been teaching (on + off) with pneumonia, you slept in because you were tired! Did I tell you about my GIFTED son the seminary pres., golf medalist, highest (37) ACT's and SAT's to graduate from P.H.S. Who NEVER missed school? Sincerely Frau
P.S. I'm crabby because I care about you & responsibility. But I'm too sick to buy “I slept in”
Mr. Wilson is a great diplomat, + I respect his judgment.
Following the note was a few whited out lines and a side note that explained why the post script was above the body. It read: See! I'm too ill to Know which side is up!
What I noticed right away was that she had exaggerated her sons accomplishments because a 36 was the best score possible not the 37 she claimed. She also lost some of her credibility when I told her that Mr. Wilson had offered a alternate deal if she would agree. Her previous claims of respect seamed to have been forgotten and she said she didn't care what he said that in her class she was in charge. I worked out with my other teachers away to stay eligible for my only reason for coming to school – debate. The Frau held out for a bit and then gave me a deal which I screwed up.  

I Did Not Read 'Alas Babylon'

This is the same cover that stared at me trying to shame me into reading. Never!

Our required reading for that first half of the semester was an awful book, 'Alas Babylon'. Well, I guess it could be a awful the first couple of pages never grabbed my attention so I lost interest and I am not really sure what it is about. I did know that it was about nuclear war and we were still in the afterglow of the end of the cold war so it still seemed relevant. Besides the writing the main thrust of English class was reading and talking about and taking tests on that book and I refused to read it. I could not work up the willpower to just get in there and read what I didn't want to. So everyday I sat and listened carefully to the smart kids make comments and the teacher make comments and would remember every detail so when the quiz or test would come I would have enough ammunition to take that next hill. I was aided in the fact that the teacher was one of those who was terrible at writing tests and would often give away answers in previous and following questions, so I always did okay. I was reading lots of other books of my choosing so it was not like I was becoming illiterate but I just carried that book back and for to school hoping that one day the inspiration would strike to read it. Right before midterm we had an essay and a test on the book. The essay I pieced together from what I had heard other people say about the book, because five hundred words is not that hard even for a non-participant. The test was just a rewrite of all of the quizzes we had taken to that point and once I know an answer it is very rare that I forget it. I got an 'A' on the essay and one on the test so I was feeling pretty good about that. The teacher was impressed with my performance and liked me anyway so she asked me to tell those in the class who had chosen not to read the book what they had missed out on. I thought because the test and essay grades were in the bag that I was in the clear so I came clean and told the class that the first ten pages were tedious. I let them know that I had not read the book and that I just wrote the essay and passed the test based on in-class discussion and that it wasn't that hard. That little confession was not exactly what the Frau had in mind and liking me or not she had publicly prided herself on not being fooled by what she called B.S. Essays and she had bragged that if we faked it she could tell and we would get a terrible grade. She was so outraged by my confession that she started yelling at me and telling the class that what I did was the same as cheating and that I would be getting a zero on the essay and on the test. I asked her in what sense was it cheating and she said that I had lied about reading the book and I reminded her that I had never claimed to read the book. She said that using information that I had not learned from reading was cheating. I pointed out that group discussions in class were encouraging everyone to cheat then and she told me we were done talking about it. I was livid and didn't come back to her class for a week so I had some time to cool off and not get into more trouble. When I did come back our relationship had definitely taken on a chill and there was no more special treatment.

The Frau Kills Her Dog

 When I went back to school as a Junior I was in an English class taught by a German lady who made us call her Frau instead of Mrs.. She was stick and hilariously so in that German way they have. She had a zero tolerance policy on goofing off and smartassery from everyone but me. If I made a joke she would laugh and encourage me and then a kid in the back of the room would crack wise and she would tell him to get out and go to detention. She would talk to me specifically about something that interested her while the rest of the class just had to wait in silence while we had a little chat. Whenever we wrote essays or stories she would have me read mine or use mine as example of how writing should be done. I had teachers who liked me before but no one who was so blatantly playing favorites. She was a little on the crazy side and one day she brought in a poster she had made honoring her late dog whom I seem to remember was named Whopper or something close to that. She had a collage of photos and memorabilia which she brought up to the front of the class to share with us. It looked like something a 12-year-old might have put together so it was a little awkward that this middle aged lady was so dedicated in such a strange way to her ex-pet. She told us about how much she loved Whopper and all the good time they had together until when he was quite old she took him to the vet and was told he had a terminal illness which was going to take his life in just a few days. I stead of having him euthanized at the vet she felt like it was her duty as her owner to go and put him down. She took her pistol and her beloved pet and took him out to the woods to kill him mercifully. She told us that she dug a little hole and put him in it and then she was going to give him the single bullet coup de grace. The flaw in her slaw was that she lost nerve at the last minute and looked away instead of aiming and she just wounded her dying companion. She felt terrible so instead of shooting him to death she tried to comfort him. It was such a bizarre story that we were not sure what the appropriate response was supposed to be so we just looked awkwardly between each other as she poured out her soul about her botched attempt a pet-ricide. She was quite emotional as she told us about finally putting Whopper back in the hole and aiming a second shot and killing him and then burring him. When she was done we were all completely silent and trying not to make eye contact with her or with each other. She took her poster and hung it up on some chalkboard poster clips at the front of the room and then told us to read to ourselves for the rest of the class period and then she went into her office and closed the door. When she was out of ear and eye shot we all started looking around at each other non-verbally asking what the hell just happened. The bell rang and we left and hopefully the Crazy Frau was able to find some closure or catharsis or whatever she was looking for from her English class group therapy monologue.  

I am a Basketball God to These Smokers

One time when my sister was on weekend leave from Job Corps where she was learning to be a painter she brought home her boyfriend, who looked like a tweaker version of Jesus, and another friend who had dabbled a bit too deeply in mind altering chemicals and had become what they call in the business 'permafried'. His name was Rope or Cord or some other name that pretty much fates a young man to a life of heavy drug use in one of those rare cases where a person's name can tell you right away that they received the short end of the entire nature and nurture debate. All weekend he sat in a chair by the front door until he had allowed his body sufficient time to detoxify a sufficient amount of nicotine so he would need to go for a quick re-up. On Saturday my sister asked if I would take her and her two buddies over to Payson to hang out with their friends and I did. I took them to the park where a lot of dudes with either Megadeath tee shirts or skins were playing basketball. Well I say playing basketball but they were mostly trying to play basketball in between smoke breaks. I had played Jr. Jazz, church and city basketball for years and was in great shape so when they asked if I wanted in on a five on five game I agreed feeling like I would absolutely annihilate this group of pre-emphysemic metal-heads. I was entirely correct in that assessment. I had few skills they did not have like the ability to run, jump and dribble with both hands. Every fast break, no matter where I started on the court, I could outrun everyone down to the other basket and score or defend with ease. Every couple of plays they would ask to stop for a minute and have a smoke break. I felt like superman against these guys who were mostly older and taller than me. They were physically outclassed not by a outstanding talent, as we can surmise from my repeated failures at trying to make the high school basketball team, but by a properly functioning pair of lungs. In the land of the smokers even a one-lunged man is king. Even through they we desperately handicapped they still had a very highly developed sense of competition and kept trying their damnedest to hang in the game but it just got worse and worse as they ran up and down the court. They started telling my sister that I was the best basketball player they had ever seen and true to type, I disregarded the source and took great pride in that compliment. I don't know what it says about my athletic career that the most dominate performance of my life game against some scrawny smoking stoners. But in the land of the underachievers even a stoner beater is king.

My Sister Gets Soft Time

 My sister moved between two friends in our neighborhood houses and then after she dropped out and started working full time she moved in with a friend from the next town over and I saw a lot less of her. We would only see each other every couple of weeks and it was usually when she needed a ride somewhere or some help of some other sort. There was some drama with her employer and with my dad the details of which I was not made privy too but which end up with her having to go to a work camp called Job Corps to learn a trade and also to learn how to smoke. After a few months up at the camp which was about an hour North of where we lived she was allowed to come home on weekend leave. A bus would bring her down halfway and then we would pick her up for a couple of days at home which was odd because she had not been in the house for more than a year and she was still openly antagonistic towards my parents who were helping her out ona weekend pass. She was not allowed to drive or have a car so if she needed a ride she would ask me or my mom to take her friends and her to go play or party. They were pretty strictly monitored in the program and were generally drug tested after a weekend pass and if you were dirty they would lock you down for a long time with absolutely no freedom so generally the party was limited to some nice fast metabolizing booze, beer and cigarettes. I was not into the party scene but I did still love my sister and wanted her to like me so I would usually drive her and her friends when I could and then just hang out and decline offers of alcohol and cigarettes. It was pretty boring as is usually the case for the sober one at the party enduring the wit of those who develop alcoholically driven senses of humor and introspective philosophies. I guess I stuck it out because I still had hopes deep in my heart that unconditionally loving my sister would aid in her rehabilitation and maybe even her reconciliation. I think in retrospect I may have just been facilitating her. She never came home to stay and when she had her freedom back we saw her even less.  

My Sister Shaves Her Head and Drops Out

 After my sister moved back into the neighborhood she started to develop a much more eccentric personal style. While she was up in Montana with her boy friend and his friends they all decided to shave their heads and my sister got in on that action. She shaved her head to the skull in a move that for most girls would make them stand out in a crowd and she was no exception. The moment she arrived back at school after her summer sabbatical she was the most interesting thing in our school. Everyone knew about her shaving her head and asked me about it all day long for the first day or two. In our culture it seems that only cancer and fighting aliens are appropriate reasons for a woman to not have hair so a voluntarily shorn woman short circuited the collective brains of the school. One day when she called me in the morning to get a ride to school I dropped by to pick her up and in addition to her shaved head she had added a pair of bright orange pants to the attention grabbing ensemble that had become her style. I remember walking into school with her quite late and being all alone in the hall way that was brightly lit compared to the gathering gloom outside. She told me that after basketball tryouts if she didn't make the team she was going to drop out of school. She had played for two years on the school team and it was the one anchor she had left into the button down small town life. I got a sick feeling in my stomach when she said that because I knew that besides running away the worst thing a kid could do for their quality of life was to drop out. Well, I guess that or get pregnant which was an option for her as well I guess. I sincerely was hoping and praying that she would make the team and the regimentation would help her straiten up and fly right and my hope of hopes was that she would reconcile with my parents and maybe even move back in. I wished he luck and didn't see her again for a week or so when she told me that she had to move out of the first neighbors house and into another's. She told me that she hadn't made the team and that she was dropping out and going to work at a local fast food restaurant full time. We hung out a little bit on and off but mostly off and I would only see her every couple of weeks or months until things got really bad for her and she had to move away to a work camp.  

My Sister R-U-N-N-O-F-T

 I wrote about the day my sister and I raced up to see her boyfriend off on his trip to Montana for the summer. After a couple of weeks of furtive phone calls and malformed youthful plans she packed her bags, bought a bus ticket and ran away from home to live with her boyfriend and his intrepid band of itinerant teenaged firefighters. My parents called his parents to try and find her and they spilled the beans. My mom was planning on heading up to Montana and force my sister to come home but after a few intense phone calls wherein my sister made quite clear she would not willingly return home and runaway again if she was forced to. She got a job up there waiting tables and was enjoying her broke bohemian freedom. At the end of the summer my sister's boyfriend and his friends were going to mountain bike home from Montana and she didn't have a bike so when they headed off she had to ride the bus back home but she didn't want to live with my mom and dad any more so she convinced a neighbor to let her stay with them for a little while. So at the start of school my sister lived through the block from me and sometimes we rode to school together.  

I Go Back to School to Learn a Lesson

 If there is a sweet spot in life it has to right at the intersection of freedom and resources and for me being sixteen and a junior was exactly where I needed to be. I had sufficient money from working with my dad and I had a vehicle. Gas was about as cheap as free and responsibilities were few. College plans could wait a year and all I needed was to focus like a laser beam on getting chicks. I took that job seriously now that I could drive I could go out every night because my parents had a mostly lassie fair method of parenting that only clamped down if my dad was under stress at work for some reason and then the parenting would get all righteous for a day or two and then snap back under the weight of the mental load to its natural state of minimal effort. If I paid lip service to whatever and flew under the radar I was basically unrestrained and uninhibited. Unfortunately I was no good on my own recognizance and was constantly coming late to school or just going to school to find a girl or in a pinch, a dude, who would be willing to slack off and go climbing or to the movies or to go hang out at someones house for no reason except to not be at school. I had the benefit of being really smart and already knowing everything that I needed to pass all of my classes easily except for those joke classes that require attendance to pass. That is why I opted out of P.E. Which almost cost me my graduation. Otherwise I was doing fine with A's in all but one class and the liberty to come and go as I pleased. The problem was that they had rather good accounting about who was and who was not at school and my excessive absenteeism was getting me in deep trouble that I was not aware of until the first midterm. I got my midterm reports and I had a 'U' or Unsatisfactory citizenship grade in all eight of my classes. I wouldn't have cared except I would be banned from sport events, dances, and all extra curricular activities and I loved debate and dancing so I had to straiten up and fly right. They had a program for working off 'U' grades which took about an hour a piece or else your parents could call up and pay a fine for your 'U' to go away. My parents were not going to be doing that so I had to work them off with some detention. I showed up at three the first day and stayed till five which was counted as four hours because teachers are generally not so wedded to the rule as law so much as the rule of their free time. I finished up with another of those two for ones the next day and learned a valuable lesson. I could do whatever I wanted for three months and pay my debt in four hours of reading at a desk. See? School does teach kids important life lessons.

I Watch Football Practiced

 This is a little out of order but I was reminded that when I was starting high school some of my friends were getting into football and I wanted in on a sport that had a basically unlimited roster. I asked and then begged my dad to play and he flatly refused. He told me that I needed to focus on school, which must have been a joke because he cared nothing about my education. He had not asked about grades, homework or any of my extra curricular activities ever, which is a long time when compared to his sudden interest in my academics when he thought it could countermand my desire to participate in sports. I showed him all of my grades for the previous year and that they were all A's excepting a single 'B' outlier. He had, of course, not really been concerned with my grades so he said the real reason I was not going to be allowed to play sports was that I would burden my mother in having to drive me back and forth to practice and games. I resolved that concern by letting him know there was a carpool for the kids from our town and my mom would only drive once a week. He was getting tired of having his excuses negated so he finally just told me that football, which he had played, was a stupid game for stupid people and I was not going to play. I was mad but somehow still under the sway of his will and respected his wishes not to play. I did go out to practice a couple of times because many of my friends were playing and I had nothing to do so I would watch practice while the coaches would ask what I was doing and if I wanted to play. I had to tell them that I was not allowed and I would just hang out observing the horrors of wind sprints. My dad's firm stance on his children was relaxed from an ultimatum to acquiescence for my younger brother and it further morphed into full blown fanaticism for my youngest brother. All this from a guy who didn't want me burdening the family with sport.  

Let's Get Off Mothers

 I have mentioned before that my smart mouth got me into trouble more than lots. Lots more than lots. I am a joke first and consequence later kind of guy and if it is funny I have to say it and sometimes more than once if it gets a laugh. It is well known even in not joking circles that a persons mother is off limits as a topic but I didn't really adhere to joking orthodoxy. I was a hip young iconoclast with a devil may care attitude and some jokes to make and laughs to get, also – I was a dick. There was one kid who was extra hairy,extra gangly and extra annoying that overreacted all the time in a way I found amusing so that just fueled that fire. I had a friend who would tell a story about this kids mom when they were playing baseball that was as funny as it was horrifying so even though it was not my story, I broke the second of the joke ten commandments and stole his material. The essential part of the story was that during a baseball game the hairy tall kid's mom would get so excited cheering that she would run up to the back stop fence and put her hands through the mesh over her head and start yelling encouragement. The funny part, which I stole whole cloth from my friends story, was that she had extra hairy extra sweaty armpits. In my reenactment I would lumber up to an imaginary fence and throw my arms up and shake it. I would then describe the horrors of seeing what looked like a pair of drowned squirrels drip drying from under her arms. I would often take a few real steps back cowering from the imaginary hirsute woman covering my eyes and pleading with my audience to kill it with fire. Now for some unfathomable reason when they news of my reenactment of my purloined material reached my acquaintance he somehow took offense and wanted to fight me. As it happened, I had fought him a couple of times before in backyard tussles and was not that worried. He made the mistake of every armature fighter and prophet and put an exact time and date on his threats. He told many people that he was going to beat me up after the football game that weekend. One of his friends told me that and I asked him to ask if it was going to be regular human rules or if we were going to battle it out monkey style. His friend was obviously excited to go pour some gas on the fire and said he would ask. I don't know where we ever landed on primate continuum for rules of combat because he never sent back a reply. It was just as well because that Friday night after the football game he was fired up for some fighting he just couldn't seem to make his way to an appropriate place for a fight and he eventually headed out of the school grounds entirely and down to the local grocery store when my friends and I went to find him. He didn't confront me inside or outside of the store but he did give me some rather withering poopy looks. After he decided to discress himself to valor because I wasn't worth it the whole thing fizzled out. I kept using the story though for at least a year or two and it generally played very well until it was retired because I discovered it was not very funny.  

Pond Time is Not Funny

 After my poster debacle I was hanging around with my jerk friends by a small pond that was on the north-west corner of the park. I at the time had assumed I was just out with a regular set of friends and didn't even think that they might be of the massive butt-hole variety. I was chatting up some ladies that were there by the pond and one of my less debonaire friends was shy and jealous and decided to shut up my girl talking with hard hit. His malformed instinct was to accost me physically because besides being shy he was decidedly on the dim side. So there I was, all oblivious to the machinations of his cromagnan mind and mid witticism – Blamo! He tackled me full force into the pond and I was engulfed in stinky pond water before I even knew what had happened. I tried a couple of times to right myself on the slippery ground which made the scene even more entertaining for my jack-knob friend. I asked him why exactly in the hell he had just done that, trying my very best to keep the pre-cry wavers out of my voice. I was mad that I was wet and in a pond of course but I was really embarrassed to have been abused in front of some girls. He was bully laughing in that forced and mightily irritating way they must have in a bully handbook somewhere based on it cross cultural ubiquity. He told me it was to teach me a lesson for always talking to girls. I didn't really understand what that meant but I called him all sort of swear laden names to try and regain some of my dignity. I was soaked through in my peacocking clothes which diminishes their effectivity somewhat in the eyes of women who like there men dry and clean and not smelling like fetid stinky swamp water. I was furious and soggy and trapped because I had actually gotten a ride to the fair with one of my joker friends and I was forced to drip dry until they decided it was time to go. It was hours later when all but my crotch,which is always the last place to dry out in these situations, had dried and my ride decided it was time to saddle up and roll out. The kid who had pushed me in asked if I was still mad in a tone that indicated he wasn't sorry and I told him that I was indeed pissed off. He told me to let it go because it was just a joke. I told him to get bent. We rode home in near silence and I never went out anywhere with that friend again. I have since run into him and we are friendly enough but I think if I were to see him standing by a pond I may still have twinge of retribution in my heart.   

Marky-Mark is Not a Sexy Woman

Every year the end of the summer was marked by two city celebrations. Santaquin had theirs right before school started and Payson had one right after. This gave the perfect opportunity to see who was cute from last year and to do a little pseudo-nightlife carousing. They were both really low rent local affairs that consisted of the regular carnival trash booths and concessions. It was always too hot and to seedy for me to be having much fun except for the potential for seeing scantily clad young ladies in their full late summer tans and their late summer minimal clothes. I remember always wanting to have some of the stuff on offer at the fair, mostly the food, and never wanting it enough to spend my own money on. The caramel apples always looked good but I have found that the logistics of a carmel apple out weigh the pleasure for me and I am frustrated by the caramel to apple ratio at almost every point in the consumption of the sugary messy thing. The other thing that always caught my eye was the poster dart throw booth. You bought three darts for a dollar and if you hit a poster with all three you got that poster. At that age two posters appealed to me, sexy bikini lady posters and expensive car posters. I didn't actually like expensive cars per se but I did know that I was supposed to and that had some sway on my still forming brain. I actually laid my money down one time at the poster booth and got my darts with the full intention of winning a picture of a pretty lady in a yellow bikini that was cut in that way to high on the hip, actually to the waist, 80's style which was already dated but a lady with nearly no clothes and some pretty fluffy hair could get my engine revving. In fairness so could just about anything.
Worth a dollar.
 I don't know what I was planning on doing with my prize should I win it because it was not an item that would be welcome at my house let alone on my wall. I am not a good thrower so when I threw my dart the 15 feet to the poster I missed terribly and instead of the pretty lady's near naked body I hit Marky-Mark's near naked body and the Carnie started teasing me about my sexual preference and my interest in a sexy man.
Oh, man, are you fricking serious with this crap?
 That pissed me off so I threw harder and hit a just-hang-in-there cat poster and then my third didn't even stick. 
This is worse than anything in the world but a poster of Marky-Mark. 
To entertain himself at my expense the Carnie announced loudly that I had won the poster of my dreams and he popped a Marky-Mark poster open and un-scrolled it to show everyone in earshot before handing it to me. In retrospect I wish I would have done something awesome and sassy like ripping it in half or throwing it away but I was so embarrassed that I just took the re-scrolled poster and walked away with shame. I don't remember what ever happened to it,hopefully Marky-Mark's sexy poster went to a good home, because it did cost me a buck and not a small amount of dignity.

Party in the Basement of a Dental Clinic

 When we wrapped up the skating portion of our night the girls told us about a party that was going on in a town halfway home that we should go check out. We decided to go and I drove us where the girl indicated which was to a medical office complex with the lights all off. It was starting to seem like this might be a more murdery kind of party then I typically liked to go to. We could hear some music and so we followed it down to a back entrance to the basement which surprisingly opened onto a pretty lively party given the denuded state of the parking lot. Well, there were some shenanigans going on that were a little advanced for my little crew of Santaquin goodboys. There were a couple of boys and girls engaged in a little coitus almostus in one of the rooms close to the door. A little further on was a room very well stocked with beer, wine coolers and intoxicating spirits of all sorts which it was clear were free for the taking. Some kids were laying on the floor in the end rooms in some sort of stupor and I started to understand why my tragically lame idea of a fun date might not have exactly excited these ladies who so clearly ran in more worldly circles. At some point of us awkwardly milling around trying not to engage in any of the proffered indulgences the girl that had skated with me and that had kind of singled me out told me that this party was being held in her dad's dental office basement but that she was not really into the party scene and just let the kids who wanted to get it started without her so that she could go on the date with us. She said that she had more fun skating anyway. That seemed really odd to me that a dentist would trust his daughter and quite a few of her friends to have a party in his place of business or at least under it. We sat around for a little bit longer when my lady friend asked I wanted to dance with her. I said sure even though I didn’t really understand what she had in mind because there was nothing in the room we were siting in but one chair and the carpet we were sitting on. She jumped up and got a boombox brought it in and popped in a tape, turned off the lights so that it was very dark except what little light was coming around the corner. We slow-circle-hug danced really close for a song or two and I started thinking that this was the point where it had to progress or get cut off because I was getting bored. She evidently had more of a taste for circle hugging and we kept on keeping on well passed where it was interesting to me. I finally had to make some excuse to keep my sanity and give it a little rest. When I had escaped for a minute I pretended to go to the bathroom but that can only last a few seconds without the implication of a shameful bowel movement so I had to head back to my own personal slow dance hell. I declined her offer to restart our dancing and offered a nice propped against the wall cuddle instead because she seemed hesitant to segue into some real making out. We sat in the dark for a bit before one of my friends came in and said that he had to go. She gave me a rather chaste goodbye kiss and we headed home a little more tired and a little more happy then when we had left. I never saw that girl again.  

Skating Through Life to The Spirit in Skies

 There were a couple of girls that we got hooked up with through that Hispanic kid but I cannot remember the details. What I do remember is setting up a group date for everyone which was focused around roller skating at the local relic of a rink. Roller blade were the thing by then and the were more EXTREME! Then the traditional wussy four wheeled model of lameness. The rink is suited for children and the elderly to go in circles but to make it him and relevant to the teen crowd they included black lights and a fog machine and some sweet tunes. The effect was underwhelming unless you engaged in it too enthusiasticly and manufactured the fun from the rough raw materials. The problem we had was that these were cool girls who liked cool things and I was not cool and despite my best efforts at plugging into the 16 year-old mid nineties zeitgeist I was still doing lame things like trying to have goofy fun while engaging a little ironically enjoyed skating. They went and poopy-pantsed the venue and the skating on four wheel skates, like poor people would, and the fog and the everything about it. At first I was self conscious and trying to make them happy and then I just got angry and I decided that, screw them. I was twelve bucks into this debacle and I was going to milk every last dime our of our wooden oval and the oft replayed 'Spirit in the Sky'. With operation Moneysworth in full effect I started having some fun and it must have shamed at least one of the girls in to playing along because she came out and joined me for a couples skate. And if holding hands while waywardly skating in circles with a girl you just met doesn't float your boat then you have tired of life my friend.  

Step Sisters and Other Leads

 I didn't and still don't have many friends, I think it is because I am a jerk. I did have a couple of different groups of friends that I would switch between depending on who was offended by something I did or said so I could keep the good times rolling. One group of friends was a Hispanic kid that I had been good friends with in elementary school but had grown apart from when he got into football and other sports and my dad wouldn't let me play so we started running in different crowds but still were on good terms. His mom was white and had six kids of her own before she had adopted my friend and his three siblings from an orphanage in Mexico so he had a huge family before his mom remarried a guy who had lots of kids already too and then there was some other adoptions and the number of kids got to be 21 if I remember right. By the time we were in high school most of them had moved out and there were just the four youngest at home and the two new stepsisters who were, well at least half of them, really cute. I kind of developed a crush on the cute one that was our age and thought the feeling might be mutual because I was a bit of an idiot. She was just flirting in a light and easy way and I was tryign to seal the deal. I started finding more reasons to hang out at my sometime estranged friend'd house and invite myself along to evenings out with his new stepsister. I should have detected that she was not as in to me as I was in to her because she kept teasing me whenever I would try and tell her a cool story. When I was done with the story which had been three minutes long or so she would say, 'I'm sorry what was that I didn't hear you could you tell me again.' Then I would tell her again and she would say she didn't hear again until she finally was laughing way to hard and let me off the hook by telling me she had just been making fun of me but I never caught on. Ha ha, yeah. We started hanging out with some other kids and one night while we were playing pool she was getting awfully hands on with another boy which was starting to make me nervous. She was asking for help to line up a shot and grabbing his butt while he was trying to play and I was too oblivious to just chalk up the loss and walk away. Then I heard they had been making out and I was starting to think that I might have needed to make my move just a little sooner. Like an idiot I told someone that I didn't like that kid because he stole my girlfriend. Which implied that my friend's step-sister had at one point been my girlfriend which was not strictly or even loosely the case. That blabber mouth told lots of people what I had said and It got back to my fake girlfriend and her real boyfriend and, well honestly, it was not my proudest moment being teased about how she couldn't remember being my girlfriend and that I must have dreamed it. So what if I did? So flipping what? I was too embarrassed to go back over to my friends house for a bit until the parents marriage didn't work out and the girls moved on to live somewhere else with their dad or mom . Somewhere that my stupid lamely false claims of being romantically wronged could no longer harm me.   

Its Fun to Stay at the YMCA

 I like to go and do stuff but what I like to go and do the most is something ridiculous so when my friend told me that The Village People, the real Village People, were coming in concert it was just a matter of time and place because we were already there. The shindig was at a little low-rent night club that had changed names several times over the years but was still the same crappy warehouse conversion with bad sound. We were thinking that while the band itself was often associated with the homosexual counter culture we for some unfathomable reason thought that it would be mainly hot girls. You know? Because we were idiots. When the night came we rolled up on the club and instantly thought we may have made a big mistake. The leather-daddy to hot chick ratio was not good, not good at all. Not ten seconds inside the joint and my tall blonde friend was the toast of the party, which we thought was hilarious. I offered to run and grab him some scissors so he could convert his regular pants to a pair of sexy chaps and he was not amused. We worked over to a side of the club that was actually pretty well populated with some college girls who were, unfortunately, not trying to molest us twinks. There was an opening band with disco in the name and they sucked but that is why they were opening for the Village People. When the actual Village People came out the warehouse got all hyped but it turned out that they have lots of songs that none of us who were trying to do a little kitschy slumming had no idea about. They had 'YMCA' and 'In The Navy' and others we vaguely knew and some of the cute girls were dancing in sexy disco ways around us and they formed a reasonable protection from the predatory old men. After their set they just turned on the lights and came and sat on the front of the stage and talked with whoever wanted to stay. My tall blonde friend was still really popular in the middle aged cruising crowd and we had no trouble getting right up to the stage and getting a autograph. I still have a signed picture of Glen Hughes, the biker. We declined many offers to 'go party' and headed home unmolested but also unmolested so a win/loose situation.  

We Mellow Down and I Drive Us Home

 The cold and the breeze caught up with my friend and our wild woman comrade and they put on some clothes and came to join me around what was now a really good fire. Evidently the cold and the booze were wearing her down and she was starting to take it down from eleven to the high eights which made me a little less nervous about her drawing attention to us and our contraband. We sat and talked while the canyon slowly faded to blue and then black. I had built the fire up against a overhanging cliff and by keeping it fueled it heated up the rock and sent nice mellow heat and shadows down on us while we discussed music and clothes, friends and lovers. Even though the day had been sweltering the evening was starting to chill off and the cool air was starting to be a real steady breeze that even a magnificent fire was not keeping at bay. It was also full dark by now and we hadn't brought any light. This was bad because we still had to mange to cross the river and the steep far bank in the near total dark. I helped my nearly asleep wild woman to the bank and across the fallen log we had to use for a bridge and my friend made his own way back to the car. We all piled into the front and I drove us all home. My friend lived across town which in our town meant about two miles so I dropped him off first. I drove to my house and pulled up in front of the huge climbing willow and sat in the dark car for a second deciding if I wanted to take my passenger up on her explicit, explicit offer. I declined because - I don't really know why and told her goodnight and she, hopefully more sober now, drove off. I went in and no one asked where I had been. I was just glad I had made it through the night un-busted for a number of youthful indiscretions that I thought would end my life. The next day my friend would not believe that I had turned her down and maybe still doesn't believe me. I'll ask him someday.    

I Cannot Enjoy Basically Skinny Dipping in Freezing Water

 When we got a ways up the canyon I was finally able to find a good spot to stop away from the other campers and family get-togethers and turned this wild woman loose into nature. I told my friend we needed to get the booze out of the first place that we would have to open in the even to getting pulled over, the glove box; and put it in the second place they would look, the trunk. We did that while our long lost friend was gallivanting and prancing while singing quite loudly. When we had made the switch we took her down to a little place across the river where we liked to camp and hang out because it was relatively secluded from the rest of the basically vertical canyon. While we were crossing the river she said that she wanted to go skinny dipping which actually seemed like a reasonable plan given her excitable state and the current sweltering heat. What she didn't know was that the water was extremely cold snow runoff and was super wicked painfully frigid. She was determined to get in so she ignored my warnings and headed on down the hill taking off her shirt on the way. She was now half naked having left her bra in the car and she started working on her socks and shoes. Any reasonable young man of my age would have been thanking the hormone gods at this point but all I could think about was that the stream was about 30' from the road and it was a little obscured by the brush but anyone coming up or down the road would only have to venture a peak and we would be busted. At this point of being in a fleeting youthful moment of seeing a half naked and headed nakeder young lady I was anxious about how I would explain to how it came to be that I was up the canyon with a drunk naked girl with booze in the car. I didn't think they would buy the whole 'I had know idea what I was getting into story' even though it was actually the truth. My friend was not helping either he had started to disrobe and was quickly down to his unders and she had thankfully stopped there as well. They were both trying the water while I tired to weigh my options they were giggling, splashing and exclaiming in what I considered a very over the radar fashion for only being a few feet from the only road up and down the canyon which had a couple of cars already drive by while we had been down in the stream. I compromised by taking off my shoes and shirt but leaving on my shorts to meet them half way and still look like the least culpable one when we were found out. My friend and this girl were cavorting and she seemed to be completely unashamed which was a massive departure for me from the girls that I usually had to work up to a little making out. I honestly didn't know what a aspiring cool guy like me was supposed to do. What I did do was complain about how cold it was and that I wanted to put my clothes back on to try and set the precedent. It didn't work quickly enough for my taste so I put my shirt and shoes back on and went up the away from the road bank and told the shameless ones that I was going to start a fire so we could get warm. And that is what I did.

This Girl Can Drive and Drink

   One afternoon a friend and I were out climbing on the rock climbing tree and just having a couple lazy goes at it to stave off boredom when an old girl friend who had moved to a different town pulled up in the driveway unannounced. The occasion was that she was bored and she had recently received her driver's license and so she decided to come see if I was around and wanted to go for a ride. I did, but so did my friend even after I hinted quite forcefully that his company would not be required for the next portion of the evening. He persisted in not hint taking and went ahead and tagged along. We drove for a little bit and then she told us she had a surprise in the glove box. We were all sat abreast on the bench front seat and my tall friend was passenger most so he opened the box and out fell a couple of Zima and another half-dozen stayed in the bottom heavy and full. 
I am not going to jail for some clear malt beverage.
She asked if we wanted some and then indicated that she had already had a few and they were good. Great, now I realize I am in a car with an intoxicated driver and at least one open container. Even if I never touched a drop it was going to look very bad if we got pulled over. I was raised pretty conservatively and was forbidden drink but beyond that I had no interest in what smelled like rotten grain to drink. I was at heart a pragmatist and was not thinking of the moral implications of my dilemma so much as what exactly I was going to say to my parents if we got pulled over and caught. I suggested we go somewhere to get out of the car, like up the canyon. She agreed but said she didn't know the way so I offered to drive. We were down to just the open container which I offered to throw out and did without asking. Now just drive smooth and everything was going to be okay. This girl was a little more rambunctious then I had remembered and I was starting to think she might be in another class of naughtiness than we were. Judging from the looks on my friend's face he was feeling the same way. She started turning up the radio and dance in as proactively as it is possible to dance on a bench seat between two passengers. She was writhing and undulating bumping into me while I was trying to drive carefully enough to avoid official intervention. I told her to be a little more careful as we drove up the canyon's winding turns. She feigned a huff and pouted for about thirty seconds and then asked if we wanted her to take off her clothes. Well, the answer to that was yes I wanted her to but once again I felt as having a naked girl dancing in the front seat of the car would draw attention to us and the fact that we had a drunk girl and booze in our car. I told her it was probably best if she kept her clothes on until we stopped so she settled on pulling her bra off while keeping her shirt on, a trick I had never seen before. By this point I was thinking I had made a terrible mistake getting into the car with this girl because she seemed hell bent on getting into some serious trouble and I preferred to live on the edges of trouble where you could feel the thrill and not have to do the time. I was starting to be grateful that my friend was not good at taking hints and he was along for this ride.