In kindergarten, Hunter was the goofy-looking kid who chased the girls around and tried to kiss them. He and I didn't particularly like each other, and he got crazy pissed when I mispronounced his last name (Reiber became "RIGH-BUR"), so guess what I did every time I spoke to him. We got into a lot of shouting matches that usually ended up with him trying to hit me. On the last day of the year, I had my older brother write a really mean note to him using bad words such as "butt" and "darn" and I think all three of us were suspended for the first two days of the next year. Looking back, the kid really wasn't crazy, but he seemed like it at the time.
Then there was the kid who smelled terrible and touched himself in class and the girl who screamed when I told her she looked like a piece of paper. Yeah, that school was fun.
The last really crazy kid I can remember was a bit of a nut with ADD who strangled me because I made us lose a game of team hide-and-go-seek.
When I was in about 2nd grade or so, I honestly don't remember when exactly, my mom made me this kickass outfit with flower printed fabric and a nice hot pink "Barbie" ironed onto the skirt. For some reason, wearing that outfit made me feel powerful, and I would often pose myself on windy days, imagining that my hair and skirt were flapping in the wind just like in superhero cartoons.
One day, after hearing of the secret weapon which targeted a male’s deepest weakness, I decided to try out my super-human powers. I found a target; a boy one year older than me, who was hanging out in the field playing "let's pretend to shoot at and blow up things, just like the Power Rangers" with his friends. I leapt into action, running so fast I was almost flying, a blur to the human eye, and closed in on my prey. At first he gave me a look of mild amusement, then confusion. And then, as I drew closer and my lips puckered into a suction cup of death, his confusion changed to a look of pure terror.
He scrambled in the opposite direction, desperate to escape the fatal curse that hunted him, but he was no match for my Barbie outfit. I easily caught up with him, grabbing his arm, and he knew it was over. He was going to suffer a fate so cruel, so twisted, and there was nothing he could do about it.
I pulled the arm up while simultaneously bending my head down, lips fully lathered up and in full-pucker position. He screamed as the cootie-filled saliva touched his skin, and twisted away in a mad frenzy of adrenaline. But it didn't matter; the deed was already done. I had kissed my first victim, the first of many to come, and had earned myself a name which would send a shiver down every little boy’s spine...
Beriah could produce the most foul-smelling farts anyone had ever smelt. He would foul up the entire elementary school cafeteria. He'd do it on command, too. I hazily recall him being suspended for farting.
Once I got in trouble for calling him a mop-head because his hair looked like a mop. Also, he lived in a trailer.
Joey was retarded and would bring soup in his Ninja Turtle thermos every day. At recess, he would run around trying to kiss everyone.
Pat would steal student's writing utensils compulsively. At any given time, he'd have 20 or more pens and pencils in his pockets. He was also kind of retarded, and I felt bad for him.
The craziest kid I ever knew tried to stab a teacher with safety sissors and jumped out of a second story window when it stabbing attempt failed. Totally out of nowhere. I think I was in the second grade.
This is more of a story of vindication.
I went to a Catholic school. When you have the same 20 kids in the same class for 9 years, the result is that they all end up hating one another, or at least this is what happened with my class. The divide was especially sharp between girls and boys. While kids in other classes "dated" and snuck kisses behind the jungle gym (Oh wait, Catholic school, all we had was a parking lot ), we were still faking fart noises as the fat girl sat down, pushing each other in the mud, and regularly teasing other kids to tears well into our early teens. I know that kids can be cruel, and I'm definitely against all this play nice no dodgeball bullshit, but I really believe that, for whatever reason, (probably my school's emphasis on MUST WIN CYC SPORTS) my class was much worse than most.
On our field day, the 8th grade class (my elementary school was K-8) went to the park. The boys were playing roller hockey as the girl sat around and made clover necklaces or whatever, when little Kyle asked little Elizabeth if she would go and fill up the water jug. Little Elizabeth agreed and grabbed me and a few other girls. We skuttled off to the park's public restroom and she proceeded to fill the jug with water from the toilet. We ran back giggling and gave it to the boys, who drank thirstily.
Now rather than kicking back and enjoying our sweet revenge for 9 years of vicious mockery, after they drank it, some little twat shrieked out "YOU JUST DRANK POO WATER!" and that was the end of field day. As I understand it, three kids went to the emergency room for explosive diarrhea and one kid had to get hepatitis tested. No serious damage was caused, but you know, better safe than sorry, etc. Elizabeth got suspended from school for three days and had to miss the bible study party. The rest of us got off scot-free.
I'm not sorry for not fessing up, or for making the boys drink shit-water. Fat lot of good that Catholic education did me.
I was always one of those weird kids. A lot of the time, anyway. I just wanted attention.
One day it was winter and I decided that I really didn't want to go back inside. (This was Grade 4.) So I sat in the snow until the teacher realized that I wasn't back in class yet. She eventually came outside looking for me and found me sitting in the snow.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"I can't move my legs, I'm paralyzed," I said in a casual tone. She went back inside and got a bunch of teachers to move me in on a stretcher. I was taken into the health room. My mom was there in about ten minutes because they called her at work. Once she got there I said that I was over my paralysis and I was able to walk again.
Oh my elementary days.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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