3rd Grade. There was one black kid in our school, his name was Sampson and he was the biggest ass I have ever met. He was short, but intimidating-- so intimidating that he could do whatever he wanted whenever. I never talked to him or really knew him but one day he came up to me and held out his hand to shake mine. So, I go to shake his hand and he grabs mine and proceeds to punch me in the face.
Back in the day playgrounds used to have jungle gyms constructed out of thin but solid metal rods. It was recess and we were all out playing. I was on the swings nearby so I saw this happen first hand. Sampson was on the top of the jungle gym along with some other girl. Sampson turned around or did something and brushed against the girl. The girl was obviously scared to be up that high so she quickly blurted "Dont push me!". Sampson looked at her and in one move kicked her feet of the bar she was standing on. She tried to catch herself but she failed-- her body hitting bars as she went down. A few bars from the bottom of her fall her mouth got caught on one of the bars. The sound of her teeth being shattered out of her mouth and her jaw splitting was something I won't forget. At the bottom of the gym she tried to scream with blood pouring out of her mouth and teeth fragments kind falling down her shirt.
Some other kid saw this and told Sampson he was an asshole and that he was going to kick his ass. Sampson got off the gym and punched the kid. The next afternoon Sampson's older brother showed up and pushed the kid in front of a car after school-- we didn't see that kid for a week.
Sampson continued to go to all the schools I went to. Fast forward to high school. One day he stopped showing up for class. Eventually I found out the following had happened. Sampson went to the local liquor store and was trying to steal when the asian shop keeper caught him. Sampson called the shopkeeper a 'fucking chink fuck motherfucker' as he bolted out. The shopkeeper's sons were in hot pursuit-- all 4 of them. Sampson was running, hopping fences and dodging through traffic but the shopkeeper's sons were still right behind him. Sampson hopped a fence-- but it wasnt a fence. It was a guard rail. He fell 45 feet into an empty riverbed covered in boulders.
When I was in second grade, this Chinese kid tranferred to our school. He could barely speak English and was put in a special class, so we only saw him during lunch and outside during recess. He was a huge behemoth of a kid - no so much fat as he was large. He was a good foot taller than everyone else and he was built like a tank.
One day, for some reason I still cannot remember, my friend Brian and I decided to pick on him. We approached him during recess one winter's day and told him he smelled like noodles. The kids around us all errupted in laughted. We were really proud of ourselves, but that wouldn't last long.
This kid lost all expression in his face. He glared at us for a moment and then began to come after us. Picture a Chinese Jason Vorhees. Huge, slow and untiring. He wouldn't go faster than a quick stride, but he didn't stop. Brian and I ran from him, laughing at first, thinking he was trying to scare us. The laughter faded when the recess bell ran and he was still coming. We ran in circles around the playground and surrounding fields, up and under obstacles of every kind, but still he came. He caught up with Brian at one point and clamped down on his neck with a vice-like grip. The only reason he let go was because I pounded on his kidneys until he saw me as enough of an annoyance to swat at me. Brian escaped, and again we fled.
Finally, after about a half an hour of this, our teacher comes outside to find out what happened to us, where she sees us still running from this kid. We were too scared to go inside because most of the doors were locked at that time of the day, and we couldn't afford to choose the wrong door lest he corner us against the wall. Come to find out this kid had severe mental disabilities, and he could have done us real harm. Whenever we saw him after that, he acted as if nothing had happened.
There was a mildly retarded kid, named Tony Jerky, who went to my elementary school. We'd always ask him if he had a nintendo, and he would say " MY MOM HAS A NINTENDO" and then we'd ask him why he couldn't play it and he would say "IT'S IN MY GRANDPA'S CLOSET" in a very deep voice. Asking him never really got old.
f I were ever to have a weird story, it would be about Doug. Doug was that one strange kid, the one who would be in the special ed class one year, but not the next one - then on again for three, and off again for two. Then half and half. It's as if they just werent sure if he was retarted or not. His head was almost always shaved or butched, and he had the creepiest laugh ever. He was also irrationaly obsessed with making farting noises.In the middle of a test, assembly, lesson or school play, he'd stick his hands on his mouth and make farting noises. Mouth farts, armpit farts, hand farts, you name it Doug was a master.The kid drove me nuts.
Doug was also a big advocate of schoolyard masturbation. He was caught masturbating by other students on no less than three occasions as I understand it - mostly in the locker room, or the batroom IN the locker room.
Doug makes me glad that the showers were taken out of our middle school locker room the year before I came to the school.
There was this one girl who would switch crushes in an out weekly. I know that sounds tame but you have got to hear the consequences of her having a crush on you. When she had chosen a new crush, everyone knew. She would take a pillow to school adn she would use it to chase her new crush every day of the week at recess. She would hit anyone in her way with the pillow and she would show her crush her love by beating him with it when she caught him. She would then kiss him on the cheek. If she was in the same class as her crush, everytime he walked in she would get up to go hit him with her pillow and say, "I love you!" I know this because I was the object of her affection for a week, and it was horrible. After the week was over, though, her obsession would be complete. This was a bittersweet ending as everyone knew the next Monday would be someone new. It was a gamble going to school every new week as the new crush may just have been you.
We had a kid in our class named Matt. He was in a way like a psychopathic heavily christian Raymond Babbitt from Rainman. He wore sweatpants to school every day and had a funk that couldn't be matched even by the mouthwash drinking Janitor. Matt had a college aged girl named Norah who was his "Helper" who would help him with his work and make sure he didn't flip out and strange someone. He once told Norah that he crucified rats in his backyard. Needless to say she didn't come to help him anymore, the next day he was sitting in class saying "Norah, no Norah, Norah, no Norah". The teacher put her hand on his shoulder and asked what was wrong he looked down at his pants and yelled "DAMN PANTS" and ran out covering his crotch.
I wonder where Matt is today.
n the second grade, a unique individual came to my school. He was gangly, pasty, and didn't seem quite right in the head. His parents were odd as well. His father made stringed instruments, like violins, for a living, and his mother played in the symphony. She also looked very much like an ugly german man. Weird family.
This kid, we'll call him Sam, was a crier. He forgot his homework? Tears. Got called a name? Snot bubbles ahoy. Got poked in the back of the head lightly? A flood of mythic proportions. We would place bets at how little we could do to him to make him cry. He cried so often that our teachers began to ignore it.
On top of being a crier, Sam was creepy. Not like severed animal heads or anything, but he would do things that no person should do in elementary school. For instance, while the other kids were swinging on the swing set, he would run up to the support bars and hump them. He would go all out, like it was prom night and his date was nice and drunk. While he did this, he would shout "I'm getting my jollies!" over and over as he violated that swing set. Every child on those swings would fly off of them, praying that the "jollies" didn't get on them. He did this for four years.
By the sixth grade, we were very tired of him and his damnable jollies. We had class meetings every Friday with our teacher, discussing what went on that week, and rewarding the kids who did a good job. Every week Sam would complain that no one was being nice to him, often while crying. Every week, the entire class, even the nice kid that never talks and never does anything mean would rip into him for being a creepy, sobbing bastard. He never learned.
Into middle school, somehow he straightened up. I think it was after his first cry attempt when the teacher told him to shove it. He became relatively normal, but very introverted. And he drooled some, but that eventually went away. I saw less and less of him over the years, until the end of highschool, where I could go weeks without ever seeing him in passing.
Then one day the school newspaper came out. I was reading through it, skipping the junk I usually skip. I finished the paper, and noticed there was still 10 minutes left in class, so I opened it back up to read the "Letters to the Editor" page. In it, Sam had written a letter. In this letter, Sam came out to the school. I'm not sure if my shock was that he was gay, or shock that he actually admitted it. Most of my class had always known something wasn't right with that boy, and we finally knew what. It really did explain why he wanted his jollies from the biggest, longest, and hardest thing on the playground.
That'll do it for this week's Goldmine. We'll see you next week, when we'll be featuring Photoshopped pictures of Abe Vigoda doing household chores. Huzzah!
Maria Mitchell is shown holding a telescope to each eye, using them to ogle passing hunks on the street below. OOOGA! Her tongue rolls out like a firehose, her eyes comically bulging through the ends of the telescopes.
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