Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Twelve Days of Festivus: Day Eleven


Day Eleven: Grade Ten and Eleven
Grade ten and eleven were a blur for me. As a result, I'm often uncertain as to what things happened when. Since there's twelve days in The Twelve Days of Festivus and thirteen grades (if you include kindergarten), I figured it a good idea to talk about random crap that happened to me in grades ten and eleven together. 

The White Shoes

In grade ten, Doc Martin shoes were the big fashion deal. Every guy wore a pair. Every guy except me. One day after school, my mum decided to take me for some new shoes. We shopped and shopped and shopped and I found a pair I liked. The next day I wore them to school, and a friend noticed that my Docs had buckles instead of laces. While in hindsight it really didn't matter, to me at the time it was a big deal. Within minutes, my friends were calling me "buckle boy," and it bothered me. I went home at lunch and put the shoes back into the box. I asked my mum if we could return them for a different pair but she said they couldn't be returned and she would not buy me a second pair. What was I going to do? I couldn't wear the buckles!
Digging through the closet, I found a pair of running shoes that were originally purchased as gym shoes but I ended up not needing. They weren't Docs, but they would be better than buckles!
I slapped on the runners and headed back to school. I noticed, upon arrival at the school, that everyone was staring. I looked down and noticed that in the artificial fluorescent lights of the school, my shoes were almost glowing. They were so bright! Blindingly bright, one might even describe. In science class, everyone seemed to be staring at my shoes. Even Mr. Liebel made a comment about how they were so brightly coloured. I was so embarrassed.
After school, as I was walking home, some dude named Jamie came up and mentioned that my shoes were funny, but that all white shoes were bright at first. I guess I felt better to know that once they dirtied, they wouldn't be so awful. Jamie and I walked together until I reached my house. Jamie made some sort of jab at me about my shoes, which seemed to contradict everything he'd said before. Since I didn't like to lose, I retorted with a comment about his pink button-up shirt. I said that it was "gay in the happy way," but he knew what I was getting at.
Jamie was a big guy and a good two years older than me. I should have thought before I opened my mouth. He took a swipe at me to try and grab me and I bolted! With Jamie hot on my heels, I ran up onto my balcony and whipped open the patio door. I pushed the door shut again but Jamie got his fingers in and started to pull the door open. What the hell? Was he going to enter my home uninvited to kick my ass? We struggled with the door for several moments until Jamie just let go of the door. Since I had been pushing the door shut with all my might, when he let go the door slammed shut. Right on my thumb. Ouch.
Jamie immediately noticed the blood gushing from my wound, and he ran like hell. My mum came downstairs to see what all the bother was about. I told her what happened and she looked outside to see Jamie running down the alley. Did she get mad? No. Did she attempt to get him? No. Did she say "poor poor pitiful you" to me? No. My mum looked at me and said "any boy who can wear a pink shirt is brave and comfortable with himself." She then walked away.
??????? WHAT THE HELL, MUM? I tended to my own wound and grumbled down to my bedroom. Oh well, at least the drops of blood on my shoes might have helped to dull the brightness down.

It was around grade ten that I first received my own video game system; a Sega Genesis. Damn I loved that thing. I must have played Sonic the Hedgehog for easily half the week that followed Christmas. I just couldn't get enough. It wasn't the first time I ever used a video game system; I used Jeremy for his Nintendo many times and my dad rented me a Nintendo to play once or twice. But you wouldn't have known considering just how much I played video games when I got my Genesis. 
Down the street from my house, there was a mom & pop video game store called Game Dudes. That place had become my home away from home even before I got a Genesis. Game Dudes had what was cleverly called a "game room" in the back half of the store. In this room, there were several televisions hooked up to several video game systems (Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis). Customers paid a fee and got to play any game that was currently not rented for increments of thirty minutes. I used the game room frequently before I got my Sega. After I got the Sega, I became a regular renter of games from Game Dudes. 
Perhaps the most memorable video game I ever rented was called Landstalker. Landstalker was a quest game after the heart of Legend of Zelda. I don't recall the plot of the game whatsoever. What I do recall, however, was the fact that it was a frustrating effing game! Landstalker was a 16-bit game in 2D, but using isometric design (I believe it was isometric...correct me if I'm wrong) to "fake" 3D. While it did make for a prettier game, it made some parts of the adventure incredibly annoying. There were many points where you had to get your character to jump from platform to platform. But the platforms were at weird angles and when you jumped toward the platform, you would often miss the mark because of the confusing design. If you could overlook the isometric nightmare, there were also some traditionally difficult parts to the game. 
These issues, paired with my impatience, created a perfect storm. I had a love-hate relationship with that game, and anyone within earshot knew about it. Whenever my parents weren't home and I played Landstalker, when I died, I would SCREAM at the television. I would scream and curse and fuss and carry on. I would throw my controller violently down to the ground and onto the nearest chair. Oh the controllers I busted from doing that. My sister often complained that she could hear me spazzing at my game from all the way upstairs in her bedroom. My friend Curt ended up leaving my house multiple times because I was flipping out and being taking it out on him. Basically, I was this guy!
Ah, I loved that game. I think I might play it tonight. Be sure to keep away from the downtown area...just to be safe!

Revenge on Reynolds
If you recall King Tit and the Eraser That Saved My Ass, you know that I received the strap in grade three. I had drawn a collection of naked stick people in my notebooks earlier in the year and was forced to erase every single one of them from every single notebook. It sucked, but I guess it was important I do that to learn a lesson that it's wrong to be curious about human sexuality...
Anyway, later that year, before class with Mr. Simmons was set to begin, several of us were playing tag in the classroom. Electric tag to be specific. Electric tag different from regular tag in that when you tagged a person, you had to make a pulse motion with your hand (like squeezing something) to simulate electricity going into the tagged person. While we were playing, I was tagged from behind and accidentally fell down. People were rushing all about me and I wasn't really paying attention. I threw up my hand to tag the first body that went by. Whoops. I tagged some girl who wasn't even playing the game AND I had groped her junk. I know it sounds like I'm making excuses and I actually did intend to touch her inappropriately, but hand to gawd it was an accident. She was appropriately upset and told me that she was telling on me.
Mr. Simmons entered the room a moment later and began the class. I was terrified that she would tell him. Every minute felt like hours. About half way through the class, Mr. Simmons gave us a test. While I was still writing the test, the girl I sexually assaulted took her test to the front. She then began to whisper something to Simmons and I knew I was pooched.
At the end of the class, Mr. Simmons asked me to stay behind. I did and he asked me what happened. I told Mr. Simmons the truth and he said that he had no choice but to report it to the office. I left the room very scared.
At the end of the week, I was called down to the office. The acting principal while Mr. Turner was away was in his office and asked me to come in. Mr. Reynolds was his name. A thin, balding little twat with glasses, who looked a lot like David Hyde Pierce. He briefly explained that what I had done was wrong and that because I had already been in trouble about something similar, my punishment would have to be the strap.
I remember him taking my hand and folding my thumb into my palm.
"Leave your thumb tucked in. It will hurt less," he instructed. He then began to lash my hand with the leather strap. Three times, and for each lash he said why I had received the particular strike. One for the stick characters, one for the groping, and one so I remember why it's important that I not do either again. Yeah, it seemed somewhat sadistic to me back then and still does now.
I didn't learn a lesson. I just learned to hate Mr. Reynolds. And man could I hold a grudge!
Fast forward to grade eleven. Mr. Reynolds was now assistant principal at my high school. I recognized him in a heartbeat. I told my friends about him and what he'd done and the consensus was that Mr. Reynolds was a douche. Though to be fair, Reynolds had already been firmly established as a douche by the students at the school.
A few days later, I noticed Reynolds pulling into the parking lot in the morning before school. I waited for him to enter the school and then I carefully approached his car. There were cars on either side of his which provided a little cover. Using my house key, I carefully removed the caps from the stems on his tires and proceeded to let the air out of each tire. After a few minutes, I had successfully deflated all four of his tires. I snuck away unnoticed. I didn't return to the scene of the crime at lunch or after school to watch Mr. Reynolds' reaction to finding that his tires were flat as it was too risky. But I like to imagine that he saw the flat tires and in a fit of rage he gave himself the strap three times. Ah, a boy can dream.

There you are. Random shit from grade ten and eleven. I won't lie that these stories lack the same oomph of my usual tales, but high school was pretty boring in regard to weird stuff happening to me. But each of these stories provides a valuable lesson. Don't wear white shoes when you care what people think, don't give a kid with A.D.D. video games, and don't piss me off or I'll deflate your tires! See? When you come to my blog, you not only get entertaining also get important life lessons.

See you tomorrow for the last entry; Day Twelve!

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