50/20 Again, This Time With Beratement

I told you before about walking the 50 miles in 20 hours race, I actually ended up doing it three more times. The middle two are not terribly interesting just a lot of walking and a lot of pain. The fourth time I did it though there was some drama. The drama came almost entirely because this time through I brought my girlfriend. I told her it was a good experience and that she would do fine and it would be fun to do, because I am a liar. My dishonest methods for convincing her to come along aside she did really seem interested in trying a test of her endurance. We started out two blocks from my house early in the afternoon figuring to get a jump on it and it was pretty smooth sailing for about the first 10 miles. I find that in a pinch even those without much athleticism or training can do about 10 miles before they collapse. 10 to 25 miles starts to weed out all the people who were not really that interested or dedicated. On the route we were taking miles 10 to 25 went through a canyon across a highway and into the night and that is when we started to slow our pace and settle into the grind. By the time we got to the halfway mark all of our friends given up and gone home so it was just her and I in the dark cooling night. From the halfway mark of the 35 mile mark she started to get increasingly cranky about the physical pain. I'm the type of person who actually likes to hear someone else complain so that I can in turn be stoic and its kind of a power trip. It started to make her even more angry that I was acting like I felt nothing and I wouldn't complain. From 35 miles to 45 miles, which took us about three hours, she stopped and yelled at me a couple of times and even punched me a time or two to try to get me to complain which made it a lot funnier for me and the distraction was more than welcome. I think the race can be divided into three equal parts, the first 30 miles, the next 15 and the last 5. That last 5 miles when the sun is coming up and you have walked through the whole night and every part of your body is in immense pain and the only thing that can keep you going is the humor you find in your girlfriend's unadulterated rage. That last 5 miles took us about two hours and for virtually the whole time she was yelling at me, cursing at me telling me, telling me how much she hated me how stupid an idea this race was and I would just tell her that if it was too hard for her she could just quit. It was especially delicious because she was always going on about how much more pain and suffering women could endure than men. I was making very calm and understated observations about the intense pain that was racking my body and how the key for me was to let my body be subject to my will. When we turned the last corner and were only a half of a mile away from the finish line she broke down and was crying and leaning on me and telling me she was glad that we did this thing together. I was in no condition physically or mentally to be leaned upon in any sense but she wanted to walk in together hand in hand and I was too far down the rabbit hole to resist. Arm in arm we stumbled to the finish cried, hugged and got in the car to drive home. I was so tired that I drove off the road and into a field when the road unexpectedly teed. I backed out and got us home okay. I dropped my girlfriend off and then went to bed and didn't wake up for 18 hours.

The Taurus is the Most Expensive Car of All Time

There was a time as a young man that I suffered severely from migraine headaches. One of those times in the spring of my senior year when I driven up to the mall with my brother and good friend Cole to do some shopping. Because I had a headache I turned the controls of the 1978 Ford Fairmont sporty two-door model to my friend so I could relax in the passenger seat and wait for the neurological storm to pass. He was at the stick for about 20 seconds when he lurched forward and hit the most expensive car in the entire world, a Ford Taurus. We were going about 2 miles an hour when the car struck but when the guy jumped out of his car he acted like we'd assaulted him and his family personally. His wife and baby were in the car, he didn't check on them before he came out looked at the car. He said we ruined the bumper, which would cost two grand to fix, because the plastic shell had popped up in the center about 1 inch. My brother, ever the pragmatist, walked over and pressed little bubble of plastic down with his finger and it popped right back in place. You would think that would mollify the guy or that his wife was telling it was no big deal, or the fact that my friend and I were obviously terrified of the ramifications of wrecking a car on the freedom and finances of a 17-year-old. You might be wondering why was referring to the Ford Taurus the most expensive car possible, I mean it seems laughable, but that is what the guy kept saying. He was going on and on about how we really messed up and how we couldn't hit a more expensive car. When he was otherwise occupied my brother mentioned that we could have hit any number of more expensive cars by throwing a rock in virtually any direction. His wife had just about talked him into giving us a pass when a Dudley-Do-Right busybody from the local bike shop came running out with her portable phone saying that she saw the whole thing and she already called the cops. Okay thanks, idiot. Then we had to wait there for the cop to arrive, he had to survey the damage, get all of our insurance information, and hear both sides of the story. It took forever. My friend was explaining that he had gone from driving his truck which had differently shaped and sized peddles and that he'd slipped off of the brake and slow rolled into the dude that wouldn't let this thing go. After we got all sorted legal-wise, we hit the road and spent the rest the afternoon and most of next week making fun of the dude and his super-expensive car. I can't remember exactly what happened with the insurance on that thing but I want to remember I had to pay my dad back a deductible but it still wasn't very much. Cole was kicked off the substitute driving team, he'd had the car for less than a minute when he wrecked it with laser like precision into the biggest douche bag around. Maybe that wasn't his fault, but why risk it? I shudder to think if he would have hit a Corolla. 

Spring Break - Lots of Making of Outs

This spring break trip came just recently after my potential girlfriend became my actual girlfriend and just past the day she let herself into the carnal cabal of the kisser-faces. The upshot there was that she was possessed with the converts zeal and wanted to try out some making out when ever there was time. There is nothing more entertaining on the face of the earth for a large group of people on a trip together then to have to constantly wait for the PDA couple to be ready for group time. We were not making out in front of everybody but we were definitely taking more than our share of private walks, naps, and stolen moments. At first everyone was being pretty cool about it but by the third day the rest of the group was getting a little testy and they were starting to make comments that seemed to me like they were getting a bit irritated. The problem was that in the scales of fired up pubescent sexual frustration the opinions of a couple-of-eight dudes and chicks was easily over-weighed by the sweet kisses of a pretty girl. Eventually there was mutiny and the group broke up with the three unattached boys heading into town to find babes of their own. In theory that could have happened, but based on how unhappy their were at the end of the second and third days out woman hunting I had the strong intuition that they had not been as successful as they had hoped. The other girls and one other couple stuck it out with us and moved from Red Cliffs into the nearby town where my girlfriend's best friend's sister lived to take some real showers and to sleep on some couches and beds. We left her sister's house in the morning and drove back home the back way through a town called Virgin which compels all and sundry to stop at the city welcome sign for a picture. The trip back was quiet and everyone in my car but me fell asleep. If you cannot be at peace in a car full of good friends and memories then you may never be.

Something I Forgot From Last Summer

I ran into an old friend last night at Costco who reminded me about a time that she and I and another friend blew up my dad's truck. Truth be told they actually didn't have that much to do with it except for being passengers. My friend Jordan, the girl I would meet much later at a local Costco, and I had driven up to Salt Lake go clothes shopping for school. That means this story would've taken place about eight months before spring break so some sorrys are in order, and now the story is too. Anyway, we had driven up there to the VF factory outlets which purport to have various outlet stores but I've never seen Lee jeans actually sold anywhere else. I think it's just a front. We shopped a little and we hung out a little and we were heading home in my dads newer truck when we were heading up the hill at the point of the mountain I put the truck in cruise control at about 70 mph (1.21 megajoules for the international audience). That was a pretty good idea, until the engine exploded. I don't mean exploded in the sense that a cooling hose came off and a bunch of steam came into the cabin and that made us all scared but there was no harm done. I mean exploded in the sense that a piston broke off from the crankshaft and came out of the top of the engine and almost out of the hood. The other half of the piston still attached to the crankshaft had somehow got flipped around inside the engine and jammed about 200 holes through the oil pan before it to came to a halt. Was it exciting? More like terrifying. All I could think was that I had to tell my dad that his truck exploded. Of course none of us had a cell phone at the time so we had to pull off to the side of the road and wait for some passersby to help. After a few well-meaning but useless Samaritans stopped a police officer came by and let us radio to dispatch who then called my dad and told him the bad news. My friends Jordan and Jessica got in a call to her sister and a little less than an hour later she come and picked them up and they abandoned me to my fate. I had to sit and wait on the side of the freeway for two or three hours while my dad organized a get the truck home party. His brother is into truck repair and had access to a towing thing to get it home. When he got there he said never seen anything like the engine coming out of the hood and the oil pan. The whole time we were loading up the truck to tow it home to see if there was anything we could do about getting it fixed my dad was running a constant nonstop stream of things he thought I did wrong to make the engine explode until my uncle finally stepped in and said that actually something like that was just bad luck and there was no way I could have prevented it or caused it. That shut my dad up for the afternoon but he forgot the next day, and week, and month and if it is mentioned still to this day he remembers that I was , to quote him, 'romping on that engine' to make it explode. The moral here of course is if you romp on engine your friends will abandon you and your dad will be mad at you for the rest of your life. 

Spring Break - Some Gay Guys Get Really Sunburned and Play a Guitar

Our next-door neighbors at our campsite where gay couple in their 50s from California. To that point in my life I've never met a homosexual couple and 'gay' was use only as a pejorative for something boring, uninteresting, lame or effeminate. They were there hiking, painting and camping in Red Cliffs pretty much like normal people as far as I could tell. Besides having shorter shorts than most guys and not wearing their shirts enough they seem like pretty okay dudes. One day when we were heading out hiking we passed them on the trail as they were setting up easels to paint a gnarled tree growing along the path. One of the guys, being quite furry and quite sunburned, had huge flakes of skin peeling off and sticking into his back hair in a horrifying image that haunts me to this day. My girlfriend and her friend stopped and talked with them for a little while and they offered to come by later to our campsite and play some guitar and sing some songs. My girlfriend enthusiastically took them up on that offer but I was little wary. What if they came over and did gay stuff? What would we do then? We would be left without recourse because we had invited them into our campsite and I was not sure if the same rules apply to homosexuals as do to vampires but I was pretty sure if you invite them in that's bad. We hiked for a couple of hours and came back by to see that they had done a pretty good job of doing a watercolor painting of a gnarled tree sitting in the path, the sort of thing that everyone knows is technically art but generally ends up a thrift store when the person who loves it dies. We got to camp, made a fire, made dinner and we talked and joked sitting around the dying fire our new friends made good on their offer and came by with a couple of guitars and an unrealistically cheerful attitude for people completely sober, so I assumed that they were not. I was right they pretty early on confess to having partaken of illegal mind altering herbs and alcoholic beverages. I was really nervous then. Gay, drunk and high? How could this possibly and well? Why am I writing so me rhetorical questions? The last one wasn't rhetorical, I was wondering if you had some insight. They asked what kind of music we liked, and my girlfriend told them all the girl singers she liked and we told them Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, and the Beatles. Somehow these guys knew all about those bands and how to play their songs. I guess people even way back in the 60's and 70's knew about the Beatles. They played their guitars, sang songs and invited us to sing along when we knew the words. I didn't know if this was how homosexuals normally acted, but this wasn't gay at all, it was actually pretty cool. We all got into it and had a pretty fun night, when they were too tired and ready to head off they played a two guitar, well harmonized version of 'The Boxer' by Simon and Garfunkel. It was amazing in the cool, quite, new moon night with the light of the fire makeing a warm circle around our impromptu concert and I snuggled in tight with my girlfriend while they sang. When they finished we applauded, they said goodbye and I never saw them again. It was the first time in my life that I can remember thinking that there might be more in heaven and earth than was drempt of in my philosophy.

Spring Break – McDonald's Wake Up Gambit

I'm really not much of a sleeper especially out camping. I'm one of those people who is a night person and morning person. The kind of person I am not is an afternoon person. Maybe that's my Hispanic heritage, that I don't technically have, that compels me to an afternoon siesta. No matter the cause, any time I was on campouts or sleepovers I was always the last one to go to sleep and the first one to wake up. Then I had to sit around and try to entertain myself for next four or five hours while everybody else sleeps in. After the drug stupor day the next morning I woke up at five o'clock knowing I had a long way to go until actual morning. I stealthily found my keys, got in my car and drove the 8 miles into town for breakfast at McDonald's. While I was there I got enough for everyone else and brought it back. This was partially altruistic and mostly excuse for me to wake everyone else up so that we could get going. Somehow though, after I woke them up I miscommunicated the fact that the food was for everybody so I was sitting at a table at the campground eating all by myself with three big bags of food and a whole bunch of guys there looking at me. I thought maybe they didn't want any and so we stood there in a McDonald's standoff until I asked they were sure they didn't want any at once the miscommunication was resolved and the food was devoured. The ruse had worked and I had everybody up and going rock climbing and like I've always said a McMuffin is a small price to pay for getting a jump on the day.

Spring Break My Friends Fight the Drugs

The next morning we went out hiking and two of the guys that were with us were getting a little restless because there were no girls there for them. On our way back from hiking up the river they were making plans to go into town and see if they could encounter some of those low self-esteem spring break girls of legend. The only problem there is a they hadn't brought a car so they were asking if they could use mine. I was super excited about that idea because they both had woken up saying they had a headache and the only painkiller that was available was some Tylenol PM, which if you're unfamiliar with that particular OTC drug contains a bit of a sedative. They had been fine for the hour or so we were hiking but when I started to come back they were looking pretty droopy. They were almost falling asleep walking as their heads would roll all the way down to their chests and then they would snap back up and look around kind of confused. When we got back down toward camp in the asked again if they could borrow my car and I told him that would be a firm no. They said they were just fine and they could fight through the effects of the nighttime Tylenol but I honestly wasn't entirely convinced. Definitely not convinced enough to loan the my car; my one possession on earth besides my clothes. They were also not welcome to borrow my clothes. I told them they should lay down and take a nap for a little while but they said it was too hot and they wanted to go find some girls. So we compromised, I agreed to drive them into town and drop them off while we went grocery shopping and we would pick them up a couple hours later when they found all the women they needed. We drove into town and dropped them off as planned but when we came back four hours later after some rock climbing and grocery shopping they were nowhere to be found. These were those pre-cellphone times when you got lost it could be a long-term to permanent thing. They didn't have a ride back to camp, back home or anywhere. We sat and waited for about 45 min. for them and it was starting to get late and I was starting to get pissed. I was driving around in a bit of the cranky snarl when we saw them the park leaned up against a tree, sleeping it off. I guess in the end the sedative won and I had been absolutely validated in my assessment about their driving abilities. We collected them up and put them in the car and drove back to camp. We woke them up enough to get them into their beds and they slept the rest the night as per their plan for wild debauchery. Those were actually the only drugs any of us took on spring break and it sucked. See kids? Drugs are bad. 

Spring Break - A Nutless Car and Brushing Our Teeth

We left on our trip late in the afternoon and my poor wussy car was so very gutless that when we would come up to a big hill on the way down it couldn't, even in its lowest gear, get up the hill with five passengers and their gear. Two different times I would build up as much speed as I could on the run up to the hill and then about half way up all of my powers would be consumed and we would slow, sputter and stop. Then the three dudes in the back would have to get out and walk the two miles or so to the top of the hill where I could pick then up again and we could ride down hill and along the flat bits together. This transportation hiccup was making the get-out-and-walk-ers a bit testy and I was getting anxious after the second hill that I might have to ask them to walk again but thankfully there were just the two insurmountable mountains on the way down to our campsite. We got to our campsite at dusk and we just had time to set up our tents and build a fire before dark. I had never been on a big mixed gender camping trip before and I was not sure who was supposed to do what because I had always had some structure and direction in camping. What I did know was that I was going to sleep in the same tent with my girlfriend, hooray, and two other people, boo. When we had eaten and were ready for bed a bunch of us went at the same time to the water spigot to brush our teeth. When we got there and started brushing we all were brushing wondering how long we needed to go to not seem like we were the kind of person who would brush insufficiently. I was done in thirty seconds but I kept brushing, determined to go at least as long as my girlfriend and her best friend who was with us. It had turned into a dental hygiene cold war and we all had been brushing for something like 5 minutes when a girl finally broke and spat and rinsed. We all followed suit and she asked if we had all been waiting to see how long everyone else was brushing to not look like the dentally retarded outcast. It was one of those bizarre social situations one nearly never finds themselves in and the conventions are not well delineated and so things can get weird.

Spring Break – Ditching My Friend

For spring break my girlfriend and her best friend had planned a camping trip to southern Utah to a semi-secret little spot by the name of Red Cliffs. By semi-secret I mean there is a forty place national park camping ground with running water and toilets. Real undergroundstuff, like Cat Stevens. The problem was that there was room for 10 people in two cars and those spots were taken. The rub there was that my friend Cole was left out. Cole had a bizarre existence for a high schooler, he worked as a baker at a local shop and had to start work at godforsaken-o'clock in the anti-meridian. The upside of this was that he had to head home for bed at a very early time on nights before work and he was going to have to work during spring break. Meaning that he couldn't have come if he was invited which I was not at liberty to do any way because it was not my trip and there was no room. I choose not to discuss that fact with him and opted instead to try to avoid him for the week running up to spring break even though we had two classes together. I don't really know why I wanted to avoid the subject coming up but then again I am a big fan of ignoring things an hoping it goes away eventually. I could tell Cole was mad and that his feel-bads were hurt that he was getting ditched but I just passed him in the hall finding something else to look at or someone to talk with to pretend I couldn't see him and have to deal with it. Real stand up guy right?

All Alone At Wrestling Recognition Night

Even though I've been disqualified from extracurricular activities, including wrestling, I had been on the varsity team so they invited me to senior recognition nigh. It was an event held in the gym where we were all getting some made up award, even and especially if we weren't very good. The fact of the matter was that most of us weren't very good, we were terrible so there was no shortage of creativity in finding some exotic thing to praise and put on a plaque. I told my parents about this Wednesday night activity weeks in advance so they can come support me in my moment of wrestling glory. When the night came they had both forgotten, made other plans or something. Long story short - I go to wrestling recognition night alone with my girlfriend. After a speech from the coach about how great we were they called everybody up on the mat to receive their awards. They said the biggest contributor to a kid's success, the main thing, is always the sacrifice their parents have made. Then the coach went on to talk about the unsung glory of moms bringing kids to wrestling and washing their clothes and making sure they were taken care of and how that leads to their success. All the while I stood out there the only kid out of the 12 seniors without a parent. It was humiliating and embarrassing that I was the only guy that was stand out there alone because my parents were too busy to support me. I was obviously squirmy and self-conscious when we were to give the flowers that the coaches had supplied for us to our mom as a tribute of gratitude for all the hard work they put into our success. My friend Quin's mom was there and alone and rescued me by coming to stand me with her son and she got to roses out of it. They gave me an award for most improved wrestler. Which is an old chestnut of the backhanded compliment award. You did suck worse, but now you don't suck as much, hooray! I collected my little plaque and collected my girlfriend and I went home. I can't really remember what my parents were doing at night, I think it had to do with my dad working and my mom was at a church activity. Either way, we could definitely say that my success or failure in wrestling could not be chalked up to the unending devotion and dedication of my doting parents.  

I Am a Funeral Hypocrite

If you remember back, I told you about a kid who died the day of prom, a kid that I had no emotional attachment to but that I pretended to so that I didn't ruin the mood that I thought might get me kissing. You know? because I'm a heartless jerk. Well brace yourself it gets more jerk-like and more heartless if you continue to read, so if you had an unreasonably high expectation of my strong moral fiber look away now before it gets worse. I will let you know when you can look back and thus leave your high opinion of me unblemished. The funeral for this guy was the next Friday, the day after I got kissed actually, and I wanted to go because everyone who was anyone was going. They would cry and they would hug girls and they would get sweet kisses from their girlfriends. My friend Cole who is burdened with a sense of authenticity about his character was very skeptical about a bunch of posers going to pretend they were sad for a kid they didn't even like in real life. While I was talking to Cole I agreed with him and said there's no way I'd go. I didn't know him and I didn't care about him so why should I go it would be cheap, right? But then when my girlfriend said she was going I forgot all about my strong convictions and emotional authenticity and loaded up and went. My friend Cole was pretty disappointed. When I was there and listening to his family and friends talk about what a great guy he was and how it was so sad and all those things I felt nothing. My girlfriend was crying so I did the great old fake-out - looked sad and then put my hands on my face and rubbed my eyes a little so to look like I might've been crying. If this seems like an insanely shallow thing to do that is because it was. After the service for the kid that I didn't care about in any genuine sense, but saw as an opportunity for my personal gain I did get some nice hugs and some sad looks and that night, some more kisses. I have done lots of crappy and shallow things in my life but for some reason this disingenuous sorrow for the dead stuck in my mind is a particularly turd-ish thing to have done. Cole let me know it was a particularly turd-ish thing to do when I went back to school and saw him. That's what friends, good friends, are for. They will not lie and tell you everything is good when something is bad. If you have been looking away you can look back again, I'm done saying all the crappy things about my personality, until tomorrow.

A Kiss at Last

After my abortive attempt at making the kissing after prom I didn't know exactly where I stood with my would-be girlfriend but when I talked to her the next day she was as warm and friendly as ever maybe even more so. It was confusing, and not in a good way. She had told me that the reason she didn't want to kiss me a prom was that she had never kissed someone on the lips before and she was too nervous. I said that was okay, but I did not think it was okay. I was thinking how bad could it be? She did get significantly more cuddly and we spent a lot of nights from prom till the next Thursday cuddling and hanging out. The Thursday after prom I was at her house after her parents eight o'clock bedtime. We were downstairs watching TV of some sort and when that ended she turned off the TV and turned out the lights and sat next to me in the dark. She held my hand and then leaned in really close until her warm sweet breath was on me in the dark. Like the fortunate hiker who stumbles upon a deer in the meadow, I held completely still, barely breathing and trying to not spook her and ruin the magic. She started kissing my neck, then my ear, and when she had worked up the courage she kissed me full on the lips. I was torn on my opinion of our first kiss, it was not the most technically sound kiss I had ever encountered, but it was passionate and intense and she was beautiful and I was in love. We kissed a little more in the dark basement not quite under her sleeping parents but pretty close. I had kissed lots of girls before but I had never felt such a sense of accomplishment and exhilaration as I did walking the four blocks home that night. I mumbled elated congratulations to myself while I made goofy celebratory fist pumps and 'heck-yeah' faces as I bad-A strutted back to my house. It took a while to get to the kiss, and it was a little sloppy and moist when I did, but it was the best kiss I had ever earned. That night I was all redemption and forgotten failures. I had trouble falling asleep and I laid on my bed in my darkened and considered how great the world and everything in it was.

Matt and I Debate and No One Cares

The story of my would-be girlfriend and I cools off for a couple of weeks, so to fill the time while we wait for more news on that front I will tell you about some other stuff that happened. When I went back to school after having been banned from everything I was still in the debate class I just couldn't participate in extracurricular activities. One day the debate coach from a neighboring school dropped in to see how we were doing things, as he wanted to learn how to win debate competitions like our coach had done. My coach offered to send me and my little brother over to his class at a high school in a town a few miles away to have a live Lincoln Douglas debate and to illustrate for the children what one might see in the heat of fake word fighting so they would not be scared. It was exciting because I had in my mind the idea that somebody actually cared about Lincoln Douglas debate. Here's a spoiler: high school children as a rule do not care that much about formal debate - except for dorks, geeks, and nerds, and who cares what those guys like, right? My coach told him that I had won lots of tournaments but that my style was a bit convoluted and esoteric. I was not really sure what esoteric meant but it sounded like a compliment to my not insubstantial powers of smart-being. My brother and I drove over to the neighboring high school and we set up a 35 min. or so debate. I cannot over emphasize how blindingly boring debate is anyone who is not a debater. A speech class usually has mostly people who are not that interested the class per se, they just heard it was an easy 'A' if you liked to talk. This class was no exception. There were about 40 kids who were there to listen to my brother and I debate the resolution that individual liberty was more important than societal good. Oh, now that's a juicy one. As I relate this story of how badly we bombed this gig I got a little debate twinge and wanted to start writing a quick couple of notes on the resolution, it is like nerd alcoholism you are never cured just in remission. By the end of my first speech, which was 7 min. long, we had lost the room. The teacher kept asking people to quiet down and quit talking but that wasn't doing too much to maintain order. My brother got up for cross-examination and people were openly talking to each other, then he gave his speech and I cross-examined him. I had to get up and give another speech and at this point anyone who's ever lost a room in any sort of public performance knows the agony of pressing through and finishing when you are being actively ignored. We did push on through and then the class was supposed to ask us questions, no one did. One girl said she didn't know why we were there. You and I both sister, you and I both. They voted on the winner and most likely because I had spoken last they said I won. This was not the most horrible thing that ever happened to me in my life but I had somehow gotten into some inexplicable macho posturing about being a good debater and this did put in perspective how exactly bad-A I was for being a debate super Amadeus. Not bad-A at all that's about how bad-A I was. 

Prom - I Go For Kissing

Now there, I've been caught lying and repented now I will go back to the story now. After we finished up at the courthouse, where the prom was being held, all done crying over dead peers and dancing a little we headed back to a friend's house; or more accurately a friend of a friend's house. At that time he had the fanciest house I had ever seen, by today's standards it's pretty average, anyway we were there under the pretense of watching a movie. When we got there my date and I changed back into more casual clothing and I sat close to her on the couch hoping we would get into some hand holding or something more. Other couples were engaging in various stages of cuddling and kissing and heading off to more private venues. I was starting to get pretty jealous when our host and his date, a very cute girl, headed back to his bedroom for some mutual respect. . .probably. After a couple of hours the movie wrapped up and we decided it was time to go home so I drove my date the whole doing that junior high kind of thing where I put my hand on the seat in between us hoping that she would meet me half way and hold it. I had been pretty exclusive with her, hanging out every night, doing stuff, and going on several dates, for about two months which to my young still forming mind seem like an eternity. I was more used to getting right down to business on day one, or date two, or in extreme situations date three. She had been a harder nut to crack. We pulled up in my little white truck in front of her house and I turned off the engine. I unbuckled my seat belt and turned towards her and asked if she wanted me to walk her to the door she said 'no', pretty firmly. I talked to her for bit about what we did and what other people did and if she had a good time and what she thought about the dead kid. She had her hand on the door handle and was looking towards her door which is a universal symbol for dates being over so I told her that I had a really good time put my arm close to where I could gather her in around her waist and tried to close the distance for little smoochy smooch. My vinyl seats made her next move preternaturally quick as she spun on her butt and rotated her knee up and into my chest to block me from the impending kiss. She said, 'No.' In the firm manner one uses to address a dog that is about to poop where he mustn't. It was absolutely humiliating and much beyond salvageable. She said that she was sorry but that she didn't want to kiss me. She opened the door and closed the distance to her house rather quickly. I stayed there in the dark car for a moment, confused and facing a kiss-less existential crisis. I decided that if I was going to have a pity party I should do it on the way home. The problem was I only lived a few blocks away and that didn't give much time for an angsty self-pitying rage cry at my failure, at the idea that kids could die, and at the confusion I felt about the girl who as far as I could tell I was in love with. I tried pulling it together before I went in – I cursed myself, and my abortive attempt at kissing, and the fates, and the gods and the universe. I pounded the steering wheel, dried my tears, and went in to tell my mom what a great night I had. When she asked why I'd been crying I told her that a boy I knew from school had died that night. I wasn't really crying about him but the idea of youth snuffed out and love unrequited but it seemed like too much to say and I was tired.

Prom - Cole Caught Me Lying

My good friend and faithful blog follower Cole noticed that I was lying about what I did at prom. He reminded me that my trip to the zoo was at another date and at prom he went on the daytime date with me before we went out to dinner where I started telling the truth again. What we really did was more disastrous than not finding the zoo. Along with Cole and our dates we went out with my little brother his friend's and dates. What we decided to do was a classic of buying ourselves a gift that we knew we would enjoy. We went to an indoor paintball arena. This was a poor idea because we drastically misjudged our dates pain tolerance and interest in simulating war. Very early on most of the girls had enough and were sitting around pissed off and fidgeting in the staging area while the remaining hardcore chicks and the guys played on to use up our already paid for paint balls. Most of us had welts and bruises from where we had been hit but for the boys it made little difference because at the dance that night we would be wearing wrist and ankle length clothing. The girls would be much more exposed and they were really getting pretty mad about what would show that night when they were dressed up as fancy as they had in their whole lives. One girl, I want to remember it was my little brothers date but I may need to be fact checked on that as well, had been shot under the mask and she had a bloody bruised vicious looking welt right up on her face. I had remembered that my date was mad about something before dinner and this was what it was not that not finding the zoo thing. Not finding the zoo did happen exactly like I said but it was another night. 

Prom – A Kid Dies and Ruins the Mood

>By the time we got to the prom and went down for our little walk on the promenade, got the pictures taken and started dancing my date had calmed down from the slight of me wanting her to eat dinner. Nobody was really doing because it is hard to do and still look amazing in really nice clothes. Also you can dance only minimally in really nice clothes especially because they are rentals and I at least was nearly frightened senseless at the thought of losing my deposit. We did dance a little and stood around talking people passing time when somebody announced over the PA system that a kid our age had died. He was not really a friend of anyone in the group but we did all know him. He was a nice but effeminate guy that I had teased a bit about being gay and I think most guys had joked about him being gay. Unless he was running deep cover he actually wasn't gay and had been out snowmobiling with his date before prom. While they were riding they had gone off into a ravine or off a cliff or something and he broke his neck and died instantly his date was in bad shape too but she was from another town and no one knew her. I was not actually that torn up about this dying business, I had not known the kid really well, I had one class with him as a sophomore and I had been in on a large group date with him in the party. I was sad in a general sense of 'that's too bad somebody my age died' but I honestly wasn't personally affected. All the girls at the prom started crying though, wailing and needing hugs. This would normally please me as it would seem like a way to get some physical contact with girls but these were decidedly unsexy hugs, slobbering and goobery from crying. I was afraid, in my spectacularly self-centered way, that I was losing my chance here for a little making out. That was the truth, a kid he just died - snuffed out in the prime of youth and I only considered whether that would affect my chances at getting a little kiss action. Surprisingly that's not the least and disingenuous thing I ever did concerning this kid actually; but that is a story I will have to get to. The mood of the prom had come down quite a bit and we left early to change back into regular clothes and hang out at a friend's house and while my date would try to watch a movie and I would try and score some sweet lovin'.

Prom – Tastes Fishy

For the dinner date portion of our evening we went to the nicest restaurant that was available within 20 miles and was also in our price range. It was a swank little steakhouse by the name of Carvers it has since gone out of business in that location largely because of their high prices and shady business practices which I will enumerate straight away. I opened the menu and steadied myself as I started noticing the prices and got a little panicked because I didn't know that appetizers cost $10 and that dinners cost $30. I sat back and nodded approvingly while trying to find the least expensive thing for myself and endure the brunt of my dates order. I was hoping against hoping that I had enough brought enough cash to cover the meal. she started up by ordering a stuffed portobello mushroom appetizer of which she took one bite of and decided it tasted like human fleash, gagged a little, hurried for a cleansing sip of soda and pushed aside. Well there was a quick $10 experiment that I'll never get back. When we're going over the entrée menu she asked if the swordfish was very fishy, because she hated fish and the waiter assured her the swordfish was not a very fishy fish and she would probably like it. I thought for $24 she better like it. Anyway, it may come to little surprise to those of you who were able to guess from the 'fish' half of the name swordfish that it, brace yourself, tasted like fish. This also got a single nibble, a gag and a quick trip to the sanctifying flavor of Pepsi cola. I was getting pretty irritated about laying out $40 now for her meal which she done nothing with but taste, gag and drink a soda. I ate mine all the way down to the glazing, and then ate hers all the way down to the ground including the human flesh flavored portobello appetizer. No wonder they went out of business selling swordfish that, of all things, tasted exactly like fish.We headed out to go to the dance and as we left the restaurant which just cost me $90 for the two of us to not eat dinner she informed me that she was starving to death needed to stop at Wendy's to get kids meal. She got a chicken nugget kids meal and some ketchup the put on the chicken nuggets and said that was the best thing in the world. I pointed out there was a way we could have gotten them and saved $90. Or, with a little bit of deduction, realized that the swordfish would taste like fish. This made her very defensive and she was in a huff for about an hour as we drove to the site of the prom. I guess the important part was the experience and what price can you put on the experience of turning your nose up and fate gagging at dinner?

Prom - The Zoo is Hard to Find

My plan for prom was to go out to someplace far away in the big city to impress my date with my awesome knowledge of the landscape and my world wise savoir-faire in providing exotic romantic experiences. To that end I planed to go to visit the zoo. Hey, kids love the zoo and in the eyes of the law we were still technically kids. The zoo closest to where we lived was sort of like a prison for animals. If you like seeing big cats pacing in a cell made of cement blocks, sad and doing the cat equivalent of dragging a cup against the bars then you were in for a treat - a real treat. I looked up the directions of how to get there but in the dark ages of middle 90's the GPS was not readily available, the cell phone was for yuppies in movies and the internet was basically useless. I wrote down the directions which, like all directions, assumed that I would stay on the path set out and not make wrong turns rendering them useless. The morning of prom I went and picked up my date, drove up to the big city, got off the right exit, got off the second right exit and then proceeded to miss the zoo completely. I then tried again and then I tried again and my date was getting pretty evidently cranky with me for not knowing my way and I was trying to pretend like I was almost there and this little snafu would be shortly remedied. I stopped and asked directions and the guy at the gas station gave me directions which I tried following and still couldn't find it. I stopped another place for directions and the guy didn't speak English and I got the wrong directions as well either by misunderstanding or simply because that guy hated teenagers looking for the zoo. By the time I had not found the zoo this time we'd been driving for about 2 1/2 hours not gettign there and the vibe was not the charming hand-holdy pre-kissing one I had hoped to cultivate. I know it's pretty impressive to a date when you get lost and this was no exception. I eventually conceded that we didn't have much time left in order to make it back get changed and meet our group for dinner, so we we stopped at a Subway restaurant, ate lunch and drove home in a bit of a crank. Pretty slick.

Prom – I Make My Move Early

I thought that the prom, with its literary and cinematographic reputation for being the time of great sexual transition in a young man's life would be a great time to get my first kiss from my girlfriend. To that end I made some rather extensive plans to ask her out, and thus stake my claim, well before the time generally considered reasonable. Generally, 2 to 3 weeks before a dance was sufficient time to ensure that you would have a date that wasn't barrel scrapings. Not that everything you find when you are scraping the barrel is necessarily barrel scrapings per se it is just there is a good chance that is what you find when you wait till all of the good dibs have been dibed. Even with two weeks maybe you didn't get the particular date you wanted first go, but then you still had some built-in buffer before you may be on the verge of beginning to have to scrape barrel where you would find whomever of God's precious daughters that were left over. The logic is sound. To avoid any confusion about who was who's date I made my move about eight weeks early. I got my little arts and crafts project together, which was the modus operandi for inviting people to a dance with you at my high school. I think it had something to do with putting secret message in an Oreo and putting lots of decoy Oreos into a jar, or that could of been the way that she answered me with a similarly mandated arts and crafts project. Either way she said yes and she told me a couple times running up to the big day that other people had asked her if she had been asked already, boys and girls included, and they were all very surprised that she been snatched up so much in advance. I was not ashamed that I was the earliest of iron striking birds and no-looky leapers, I got what I came for and I made sure of that. I went to work making plans with other friends about the required day-time activity and how we would not be meeting up with them until dinner. I was planning a romantic date for two and glommers on need not apply. This, combined with my woeful lack of direction in big cities turned out to be a bit of a mistake by which I mean it was a major cluster mess.


On our drive up to the town where the test was being held our crazy friend Ray sang that Denny's jingle that goes, '$1.99? are you out of your mind?” theme song for the grand slam breakfast probably around two or three hundred times. It was pretty awesome the first 10 times and then started to pass over into a tedious mantra that hung heavy on un-slept nerves. We got to Denny's with the rest the rejects and social misfits that show up at four o'clock in the morning and ordered ourselves a round of grand slam breakfasts which I believe I paid for because I was the only one who had any money. When we finished up our delicious, nutritious and fortifying brain food - hotcakes, two eggs and two strips of bacon. We showed up at the college where the test was being held to get signed in. At this point I was running on adrenaline and a high amount of vibration was coming from my ears, or maybe my brain or the little bit of gushy stuff between the ears and the brain. Sorry to get you side tracked on a bunch of medical mambo-jumbo but for those in the know that kind of stuff is interesting. I got my test books and my room assignment and waited to see what was on an ACT test it turned out it was a lost knowledge party of things I had did knew.. . ago, except for a concept called radians which I guess we had not had time to cover in geometry class. I felt pretty strong going into the reading section when the proctor wrote the wrong time on the board so when I looked up from reading the first of five sections it appeared that I only had 20 of the remaining 60 minutes. I was confused at how I took so much time reading one section of two pages and answering the questions. I panicked and I started reading at a reckless pace to get the other four down in the next 20 min. If you had done as well on the math part as me you know that is roughly 5 minutes apiece, carry the radians by the square root of the derivative. I got all done and everybody was looking around when the proctor glanced up to see why everybody was restless when we had an hour left to go. He looked at the board and realized he'd put the wrong finishing time apologized and corrected it. I was in a tough spot because now I still didn't have enough time to reread and do them right so I settled for an in depth review. I felt like I had done pretty good for not sleeping all night watching the stupid Dazed and Confused and eating Denny's for breakfast and also being cheated out of a reasonable pacing time on the reading section. I got a 32 out of up possible 36, well above the mean, or the median, or the radians and I am still not sure what those words mean.

ACT Prep

The ACT is a testing right of passage for all those graduating seniors who want to go on to college and even for those who don't want to go to college but who have parents who want them to go to college. I did want to go to college and I needed an academic scholarship as well as other scholarships so that I could go to school for free. In light of that urgent need I did absolutely nothing to prepare myself to take the test. The Friday night before the Saturday test I went out with a couple of my friends, stayed up all night, met some girls, tried score some weed and ate at Denny's. That had not been the plan at the start of the night. There were four of us who had to take a test the next day so we decided to all sleep over a one guy's house and then next morning we get up and go to the test together and make sure nobody missed their ride. What actually happened was that we loaded up and went the next town over to “drag main”. That is a game where a bunch of hillbillies go on Friday and Saturday nights who had nothing to do basically drive up and down the street trying to find girls. These mythical girls who for some reason want to be picked up off Main Street and then go 'hook up' were hard to find. This plan worked almost exactly never. It was on the night when it was a terrible time to try that it did. After an hour or so of fruitless driving and flirting we came alongside a group of girls who asked us if we had cigarettes, we did not have cigarettes but they said we looked cute so they asked us to follow them. Where they wanted us to follow them was over to police officers house whose son sold marijuana. There plan was for us to buy them some weed but we declined the offer and just followed them back to their house and Springville. It was a ratty little place and when we walked in one of the girls mom's asked if we had any G-D weed. We had not so they didn't even bother to ask our names and we were treated as ambivalently as is humanly possible. We were naive and thought that there was still maybe a chance to get some making out this evening and so we stayed and watched that golden oldie of stoner cinematography the godawful Dazed and Confused. For the record, that is the stupidest movie in the history of stupid movies and only potheads enjoy it. They could actually use quotes from that and Fast Times at Ridgemont High as a quick screen drug test. That and face tattoos. We finish up the movie at about two o'clock in the morning and started to realize we were not going to score any sweet kissing action this night. That is when we start thinking that if we drove back home, and then get to bed it will be three or four in the morning not leaving much time before we had to wake up two hours later to be the testing site at seven o'clock. The only practical option at this point was to stay up all night, eat dinner/breakfast at Denny's and then go to the test. See? Completely logical. 

I Run Over a Hillbilly Sports Car

In the winter time when there were over night snowstorms the kids would arrive at school before the snowplows could clear the lines and the parking would be a little catch-as-catch can. The lines would be chaotic and winding like a parking microcosm of the Lord of the Flies. One morning in a soup of fog and drizzle I was driving our huge truck, a full sized truck with a king cab and full bed to school. The experience is probably most similar to piloting one of those great big barges down the Mississippi and into a small estuary to deliver a payload of one slightly tardy young man to school. I was actually quite a bit late to school and so there was already a sizable a huge tangle of cars this way and that parked at odd angles. The massive truck with sight obscuring height and topper had the side windows fog a little bit. 
My weapon, with great truck comes great responsibility and I failed.
I went to the front of the parking lot and turned a little more sharply than I should have and I felt the truck lift high in the air and then come right back crunching down slamming pretty hard. I stopped dismounted and ran away to see what I had done. I had driven over the hood of a Pontiac Fiero. 
Why was it shaped that way if it didn't want it?
The weight of the truck had pressed the radiator, battery, headlights and the rest of the front-end bits flat smashed to the ground. I was not a huge car repair guy but what little I knew on an instinctual level was that those particular pieces should have been more up and in and less leaky and the who drippy mess looked like a lot of trouble for me. I stood around looking for someone to tell me what to do in the windy cold feeling a lot panicked. It was in the middle of the first class of the day so I was standing and waiting in an abandoned parking lot which I realized and parked the truck and went inside to find someone who would probably yell at me for being an idiot. I put my stuff in my locker and then I went to find the police officer who taught a class on law enforcement at our school, she might know what to do I thought. She was mildly attractive and several of the local hillbillys thought she was pretty hot stuff but I didn't share that affliction. When I told her that I kinda ran somebody's car over in the parking lot, she got really stern with me and started in on one of those cop lectures that ignore the common sense element of a situation. She said that she was going to give me a ticket for abandoning the scene of an accident. I told her nobody was out there so I thought the best plan was to come inside to tell her. Even so she persisted in telling me that I was not ever supposed to leave the scene of an accident. Even though I think I definitely had the right of the argument I stopped right then and kept my mouth shut because she was a cop. Well, she were cop uniform anyway. They inquired over the PA system who's car was a flattened Fiero that was parked in the south parking lot. I happened to belong to the mother of one of my friends from elementary school. She was currently the janitor at the school and probably couldn't afford to have her car run over early in the morning at her job which probably paid right around minimum wage. I felt terrible but she was really sweet about it and said it was no big deal and the insurance would work everything out. She was definitely a lot more accommodating and conciliatory than the power tripping cop. We went out together to survey the mess I had made and she saw where I had driven right over the top of the car. In my defense the Fiero is a car shaped like a ramp and it was parked at an odd angle outside of the lines and I was in a truck designed in the ram-it-home school of getting things done. At least we found out once and for all a definitive answer to that great old chestnut of freshmen philosophers, 'What would happen if an irresistible force driven by and idiot came up against a low slung ramp shaped object?' Answer: It cost me $400 dollars out-of-pocket and a stern lecture about remaining at the scene of a crime. My dad was almost bizarrely reasonable about the whole thing so maybe that was the oddest thing.   

I Accidentally Ambush Poop in the Fake Governor's Mansion

One of the perks of having been associated with student government for so long was that I got to make some pretty influential friends. When the student body president and I had gone to Freedom Academy we met the governor's son. He was pretty cool guy so that winter when he invited us over to his house for a party at the governor's mansion we headed right up. It wasn't the real governor's mansion because the real governor's mansion burned down sometime earlier that year and they were building them a new one. So the first family of Utah was slumming it in a normal huge house instead. At the party we played basketball in the backyard, hung out downstairs talking and being cool. I was there with my girlfriend, one of my best friends, the student body president, and some really rich kids. Down where we were from a rich kid would be considered middle class everywhere else. At this party we were hanging out with kids whose families had hundreds of millions of dollars. They were still pretty cool which was in stark contrast to everything I had been taught in underdog-beating-rich-kids-movies. My girlfriend was hitting it off pretty well with that a girl from Park City whose dad was in the oil business. I saw my opportunity to sneak off and address the urgent call of nature I was battling at the moment. I wandered away and I found the most secluded bathroom in the basement of the governor's mansion. I checked both ways in the abandoned hall and then I walked in. I turned on the fan, turned on the faucet and even opened a window to ensure that I was pooping in absolute stealth mode. When I wrapped up my business and readied for a clean escape I lowered the lid went to flush when I noticed a quite big sign that been obscured by the raised lid: 'This toilet is out of order - please do not use.' Whoops. I was in a panic. I got some more toilet paper and tried to camouflage the payload and then I washed my hands, turn off the light and fan. I slowly opened the door and poked my head out to make sure the hall was abandoned and then sneaked out - super stealth mode. I had left them an ample souvenir and did not want to be associated with that particular crime. I snuck down the hall and then went upstairs before I came back downstairs as to cover my tracks and double back to throw any trackers off the scent not unlike a crafty raccoon. When I was going up the stairs I passed the governor and his wife who just returned from a night out. They stopped and introduced themselves to me and shook my hand. It felt awkward to be glad handing the political royalty of Utah on a stairwell literally seconds after I had desecrated their malfunctioning downstairs restroom but politicians politic and I would sooner stop a bird from singing then to deny a man in the charisma business the chance to press the flesh. I got upstairs and milled around for long enough to throw everybody off and then came back downstairs. We spent the rest the night chatting and hanging out and playing games. Sometime around one o'clock in the morning somebody went back into that downstairs bathroom and saw what I had done and then complained loudly about what they had found in the broken toilet. I acted shocked that anybody would be that rude and I never confessed to anybody until much later when I could share this funny story about the time that I had left in ambush poop at the ersatz governor's house. All things considered that is a pretty awesome thing to have done in my life.  

Less Incentive Than Ever

Now that I'd been kicked off anything I ever loved I had less incentive than ever to come to school. From that time on I found out what I needed to do to graduate, which is very little at that point, and then I did that and not a weasel’s twitch more. I did have one little hitch with the physical education department because I I had neglected that area of my education in favor of math and science classes. I was not and I am not sorry.  Besides that I spent all of my time slacking off, driving up the Canyon going rock climbing, hanging out at someone's house or just not going to school. I would come to school on the days that we had tests and pass the test.  I would do the minimum homework when it was necessary and I wrote all of my reports and papers the day they were assigned so they were done and ready.  At that point I had not decided which college I should attend until I noticed that my girlfriend was carrying around a lot information from Dixie college. I was thinking that if I was going to keep dating her and not have to start over with a different girlfriend or have her go off and play kissy face with some strange man then I better go there too. I got some application papers for Dixie and I applied for a leadership scholarship because as far as they knew I was on student Council. I was interviewed and re-interviewed and they decided I should be an official representative of Dixie college.  I got an academic scholarship as well because they saw that I had such a good GPA excluding the one 'F' that they didn't know about because I had submitted the grades up to that point. This meant that I would be going to college for free except for my housing and food. I was set for the fall with my housing reservation and deposit paid an my scholarships in place. I really only had to graduate, which was a requirement for each and every one of my plans, and I would be set.

Getting Caught - Who is the Maestro

The next Monday at school when a usurper was doing the announcements and was reading the list of regional debate winners that my teacher had written he read off the nickname my coach had not been able to leave off the list for the pride of winning regional.  The code-name only stymied the kid for a moment as he tried to remember where he had heard that nick name before. It was me a nickname I got from my best friend that he gotten from his best friend's dad 'The Maestro'. I liked the pretentious sound of it, and I like so many want to write my own reviews and build my own myth so I had written on several of my things. This kid had somehow remembered that and sat for a second on air and contemplated who 'The Maestro' was. He remembered and said he was certain that it was Nate that was the Maestro and that I had won first place at debate regional. Watching this slow train wreck develop on live TV was when I realized that would not be going to the state debate tournament. In less than a minute my debate teacher had traveled the distance from the point furthest from, which was where his classroom was to the point furthest to, which was of the classroom I was in currently. He looked in the door and motioned me out into the hall. I said I knew he would be in big trouble if they knew I went with his blessing and we agreed that the rouge and deceitful student was the best way to play this for both of our sake's  This ad hoc strategy meeting took less than twenty seconds and he hustled out the back glass double doors of the annex building where I seemed fated to receive all of my bad news that year. I was sad that I was not going to go to state debate but I thought it was fair for me to take the blame because the blame was mine and he had already gone way too far out for my benefit anyway. Ten seconds after he had cleared the doors and even before I was back in class the vice principal was coming through the opposite set of double doors towards me asking what exactly in the blue hell I had been up to going to regional debate when I knew I was ineligible for all extra curricular activity. I told him that I signed up for it before I ineligible so I thought I was still allowed to go. Pro-tip: This was a lie. I did know that I wasn't supposed to go but I wasn't sorry. I told him that I didn't ride the bus and that I had lied to by debate coach telling him I had been cleared to compete. Thankfully that got my coach off the hook and I  was disciplined no more than I already had been. What I was sorry about is that it wouldn't get to go compete and win state debate, but then again I think we are all comfortable with the probability that it was going to win anyway so that should be enough right? That is not enough.

Debate Regional

Unlike many of my other  teachers, my debate coach was not willing to let a little bit of administrative ineligibility prevent me from winning him glory.  To this end he decided not to check to see if I was eligible to compete in the region debate. I wasn't, in point of fact, eligible and we both knew it but we both wanted to win region debate and up until that point in my senior year I had not lost a single round of Lincoln Douglas debate. In the weeks leading up to in the day of regional debate I kept everything pretty hush-hush, I didn't sign up officially - he signed me up on the back end as late entrant so my name wouldn't appear on the list the administrators would check. I drove my own car and when I was there I stayed a bit apart so as to minimize my exposure to blabbery. The debating however, was loud and proud and it went really well.  I uncorked debate hell and mopped the floor the bodies the vanquished, this is a debate style rhetorical flourish in the witch I inexplicably describe the results of word fighting in martial terms to sound more interesting to the non-debater.  When all was done and all was  said I had won all six of my regional debate rounds placed first in region and qualified myself for the state tournament should be happening in two weeks. It was pretty awesome and everybody on the team was congratulating me and expressing their excitement and confidence in my easy road to the state championship. I had forgotten for a bit that I was a fugitive from justice and I celebrated with my debate friends. It was my last good day in high school debate as my ineligibility soon caught up with me but it was not a bad way to go out unvanquished, celebrated and loved.

No More Announcements

One of the most painful things about being kicked out of all my extracurricular activities but is no longer welcome to do the morning announcements. I liked the attention I got from doing the announcements, I thought that I was a pretty funny guy and that people enjoyed my off beat and quirky brand of hijinks. I even had brainwashed myself into thinking that I was somewhat of a school touchstone and treasure. I think what hurt the most was finding out that nobody even noticed that I was not on anymore. I would mention that I had been kicked off and they would suddenly realize that I had been on the announcements. I had been off among and nobody had even cared . It popped my little fantasy that I had in my mind of the pivotal nature of ,my role in the school's daily routine and it turned out everyone just tuned me out and waited for it to be over. I regretted all of the effort, planning and anxiety about doing well and being funny that went into producing good show and felt a little hollow. I was hoping for popular revolt and the students to demand that I be reinstated - what I got was crickets. Not exactly be crumbled feet of Ozymandias it for a 17-year-old it was close enough. At that rate I might find out that my angsty teen poetry was banal and not interesting to anybody who didn't have some interest in not insulting me personally.

My Friends Vote and I Am Off

My failing grade meant that I was automatically disqualified for wrestling and I couldn’t even go back to practice. Debate was another issue which I'll cover later.  Student government had an interesting conundrum because the instructor was really into us making the decisions so he could have more free time.  I went in and told him that I wasn't eligible and the instructor said that somebody had been kicked out of student council about six years ago when a girl was  kicked off for getting pregnant.  I wasn't really that pregnant so I didn't really need to be kicked off in his opinion but I should be suspended until I resolved my grades and truancy. He left it to my contemporaries in the executive student council to decide if I should be banished or probated. They wanted to have the meeting where they decided on my fate to be  in a private area of the school but the only place available to us was a  eight by eight janitors closet which was also full of vacuums and mops. When you make do, you make do. We went inside and closed closet doors the six of us intimately close discussed the two options. I fully expected that my two good friends on the counsel would vote for me to be suspended and my two less than good friends would vote against me and it would be up to who I considered my best friend on the counsel to break the tie. I did have the feeling that with his very dedicated sense of law and order and the rule of law he was probably going to vote against me. We finished up our discussion of the options and went around the over close room and my two friends voted for me as I thought they would. The other two voted against suspension. Then it was the student body president's turn he was obviously pained as he told me that he thought that I had known what the requirements for my job were and I had not done those things so he had to vote for me to be kicked off the counsel entirely. I had thought that was how it would go but I still broke down crying piteously for myself and my situation and the small amount of blame I could put on the English teacher. They all gave me hugs and told me they were sorry and then left me in there to finish my crying and to wallow in my self-pity for a little while. When I had finished up with having a sad and made my little mumbling curses and some angry outbursts befitting a teenage angst party, I dried my eyes the best I could. I opened the door to make sure the coast was clear and headed out of the annex building where we had out meeting. I ran straight out to the parking lot to my car and I drove home because if nothing else I am the sort of person who when confronted with problems in my life runs away far away, as fast as I can

My Slacking Catches Up

I may have mentioned that I was an irresponsible slacker who cut class and didn't repent. If for some reason I omitted these facts then that is another thing I screwed up. I had known the whole time that wrestling, debate and my seat on student council were at stake but I felt like I could just slack off and then at the last possible moment swing in and repair the damage in a flurry of charm and hard work like I had done hundreds of times before in my educational career. It would be touch and go but I would make it work. This time though I had burned the bridge past the tipping point and I was unable to rebuild. The first day back from the holiday break I ran into my wrestling coach who asked if I would be at practice after school. I told him I would be, he said he hadn't been sure because he just picked up a list of ineligible students and I was on it. My stomach twiddled and rippled as my body went cold and my mind raced. He told me he hoped that I could work it out because I had shown so much promise and had improved so much in such a little time that he hoped I would be ready to participate in the regional tournament in a couple of weeks. I told him I would get it straitened out and I went to my locker and then right back to the office to see what the story was. I knew that I had received several 'U' for unsatisfactory grades in citizenship based on my roughly 50% attendance in school. Those were no big deal I could work them off in detention or by paying a fine. What I hadn't counted on was that I was on the ineligible list because I had failed a class. I wasn't aware that I had failed AP English because I had turned in every essay on time and then the essays as a packet at the end of the semester. The grade should have been a 'B' or so. I went to talk to my AP English teacher who didn't like me much because we had argued about her qualifications to render judgment about what symbolism in stories represented. I went to her class that was about to start and I asked why she had failed me and she said it was because I had not turned in my essays at the end of term. I absolutely had. What was worse was that she had individually graded each essay and then required the whole portfolio to be submitted at once at midterm and then at the end of the semester to receive our final grades. I pointed out that I had turned it in and she said she hadn’t seen it. I reminded her of all of the individual essays of mine she had graded and she said that without the portfolio she couldn't remember and she had given me a 0 and now it was too late to find it and turn it in because the semester was over. I knew she had the authority to change the grade because the vice-principle had just told me that was the only way I could be reinstated to all of my extra curricular activities. She told me I had to leave because class was starting and she needed to teach. I ran back to my ocker and looked through my stuff and found the essays in the portfolio and felt relived that it had her mark on every essay and on the outside of the folder so I would just show her that and she would fix it up. I went into her class as she was heading out for lunch and showed her the folder with the finished and graded assignments that would save my bacon and she said that I should have turned it in on time that now it was too late and unfair to give me a passing grade for late work. I lost my cool and yelled at her that it was not late work that she must have made a mistake that she had written scores on every on time essay in the bunch and that I had received the portfolio back from her. She said she never received it and walked out. I sat down in her classroom and cried because she could save me, and justly so the work was there and graded by her, but she wanted to watch me burn. I cried at all my lost opportunities and I cried because if I would have come to class and towed the line and followed up she would have been left without recourse and I would have passed and would still do morning announcements, and wrestled, and debated, and counseled the students. I wallowed there in self pity and blind teenage angst hating that woman more than I had ever hated anyone.   I waited for a lull in hallway traffic and because her classroom was right near an outside entrance I made my way undetected out the doors and around the corner and snuck to my car without anyone mentioning my tear stained and puffy face.

New Years Party is Short a Girl or All

On New Years Eve one of my penumbric friends who was often doing the same stuff as me, but never just me and him, was having a party. We got along okay it just was never a thought to hang out without someone else brokering the deal. Anyway the plan was to have a no-parent wild-man party with lots of non-alcoholic beverages and lots of ladies. The root beer and cream soda was not hard to come by because they sell that to just anyone. We bought a case of IBC root brew and a case of IBC cream soda.
We party soft core.
 Then I started throwing the invite the girls net pretty wide. I hit up some ladies in the hall, called old girlfriends, told people to tell people and thought that ought to do it guest wise. That night we got the brews on ice had a couple to make sure they were not poison and then sat back and waited for
the magic to happen. We were sitting pretty far back when someone besides the group of six boys who started there showed up. It was an ex-girlfriend of mine with one of her friends and the wrong idea about why I had invited her. The girls came in and looked around at the lack of anything that would indicate a party and then sat uncomfortably on the couch nursing a root beer while my one rude and awkward friend made fun of them. My ex came over to me and asked if we could talk in private I obliged and when we were alone she asked why I had invited her to this party. I told her that I was inviting lots of people. She asked if that was it and that there was no other reason. I realized that her implication was that she thought I might want to get back together, I told her it was just a friendly thing and she got a little pissed and said that they needed to get to another party. They were there about 20 minutes in total and when they left we sat in the front room acting like we were sitting around for no reason in particular and willing some hot babes to stop by. They opted for not coming and at eleven we got the picture and went downstairs to watch some naughty movies with more naked bosom than plot. We watched 'Body of Evidence' starring Madonna and her unclothed body.
How can a movie with Madonna not be classy?
It was painfully boring and I was so disappointed that no one but a mixed up ex would accept my invite. I kissed no one and went home early. So, I still don't know how 'Body of Evidence' ends.