Crimes and Missed-Demeanor
By Patty Clark
My maturity level ultimately depends on who I’m with.
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I recently gathered with fellow writers and their significant others who sat around recalling stories from high school some fifty years ago.
They say what you are, is whom you hang around with. I didn’t know I was hanging around such delinquent legends whose ignoble acts were geared to fascinate the festal audience. The men divulged their past crimes and misdemeanors, like cherry bombing mailboxes and plate glass windows. We women had a hard time wrapping our heads around these testosterone induced conquests.
One wife chimed in, “We didn’t do anything like that! The girls were interested in more important things, like boys. We stood around school saying, that guy just looked at me! I wonder what he’s thinking? The boys stood around saying, let’s blow up the lockers next!”
I was just saying how I didn’t have any pyromaniac friends.
I was among other ladies whose single interests in school were eyeing bad boys who didn’t bother to return the attention, which left very little to our fertile female imaginations. Then we went off to play with normal people. Or cry. I can’t recall.
High school is really a place where the innocent and aspiring go to sow wild oats. I was writhingly unaware that I’ve been associating amongst a bunch of hoodlums with police records. I was also writhingly unaware that my pimples would not cease after high school, which also ended up scarring me for life.
Of course my significant other had to relay his erstwhile antics as well. He was only listed on the schools most wanted list an undeterminable amount of times.
He talked about the infructuous elements of executing creative artistry by hanging a Styrofoam constructed and very large and erect phallic symbol from the ceiling directly over his classmates, not to mention his oblivious teacher. My loverboy should have gotten an observance award for the most watched composition. It had a penile circumference that would have made King Kong puny in comparison.
The crime was pardoned, only by other giggling cohorts who were squirming with excitement and at the same time, probably wondered what primate offered up this rather monumental amputation.
My beau was removed from the port of sin by punishing school officials, which he couldn’t understand. It was right around the time that the US Civil Rights Act was passed ending discrimination in public places.
It was also the same time Andy Warhol was exhibiting his pop art imagery of Campbell’s soup cans. Everyone was remarking, “We’ll never look at soup cans the same way again.” I’m sure there was growing consensus about my boyfriend’s crafty artwork that lured people into paraphrasing that statement.
Anyone who went to high school will understand that hanging this type of trajectory from the classroom ceiling does cut a decent amount of geometry time.
With all the capers I witnessed, no wonder I never learned Cartesian coordinates, or anything else for that matter. His caper probably concluded with a vigilant prophylactic inspection.
There were boys in my high school that lapsed into temporary crime comas, where they too thoughtlessly cultivated ruthless paranoia throughout the legal system.
Every day I’d go home and my mother would ask me, “What did you learn in school today?” I’d have to tell her that the principal passed out about ten more detention slips and the plotting dyspeptic donkeys were sequestered in the torture chamber. Breakfast clubbers know exactly what I’m talking about. There was always the detention cancellation switch when some stooge wanted to hit the emergency alarm button.
Pranks and Pranksters
Such actions sometimes resulted in suspension, which was hard on us gals when we didn’t have those cute rebels around to gawk at. Once there was a rumor circling that the next afternoon’s prank would involve rats. I called off sick the following day.
School staffers gave another collective groan the day Bobby, aka Bugsy Segal, one of the most infamous and feared gangsters of his day, decided to spoof one of the girls in our science class on her birthday by doing the old exploding cake trick.
Imagine a fictitious cake assembled with a blown up balloon, Cool Whip for frosting, and dotted with candles doused with chemicals that can cause a nuclear reaction, ready to blow into the victims face. Though I didn’t watch mister charismatic set it up, I did watch it mess up fellow student Laurie’s flawlessly applied Maybelline.
Another trickster gave her a Coke, which was really more of a soy sauce surprise in a can.
This particular student was always tardy to class since she was the victim on several occasions of mind games and other misdemeanors that required her to go home to dry her eyes and change her clothes. Hers were never considered happy birthdays. I told her that hopefully soon the government will start deporting all the mentally ill.
Another time, one funnyman splattered red paint in one of the bathroom stalls and stuck Kotex pads to the cubicle walls, giving victims the honor of seeing something a little off color.
Doctors hoped he would get beaten up. Lawyers hoped he would get in trouble. The teachers hoped he was born with some sort of major brain malfunction. And I’m sure his parents hoped that he would just run away. He had a lot of growing up to do. I realized that the day he talked me into putting Sominex into one bully’s milk carton. It’s hard battling Satan, yet I couldn’t willingly partake in the more appalling misdemeanors.
In Good Company
With seniority comes a lot of silly shenanigans. I suppose I could go barricade the Starbucks bathroom door with their lounge chairs, put petroleum jelly on the escalator handrails at Nordstrom, or let crickets loose inside Costco.
The supposedly sophisticated woman that I am is likely to act a little more mildly, like imitating today’s twenty year olds by following barelegged girls around while singing, We Wear Short Shorts. It would never occur to them that it used to be a Nair commercial.
My maturity level ultimately depends on who I’m with.