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Wednesday, 09 July
Great Moments In Not Learning, Pt. II

I had such a blast writing about these the other day, and I thought of other lovely misadventures, so what the hell.

. . .

Sixth Grade. Again, Mr. Bald's class. I've been a dedicated bookworm all my life, so then as now, I didn't go practically anywhere without a book in my hand. I had, over the past couple days, been stifling laughter over my book with limited success; it was really cracking my shit up, and it apparently caught the notice of J. (NOT the really popular J. from the previous entry, but shyly pretty J., who would later become MY FIRST GIRLFRIEND for about five days). J. came over and asked me what was so funny. I told her about my book, and about how dang funny it was, so she asked me if she could borrow it for a little while, as she was done with her homework. Why not? A girl would owe me a favor. Nothing to lose here.

She took it and sat down, and I shot her a few warm looks as she read, but she didn't look up; she was kind of engrossed. Cool! I went back to my own business. Then, about fifteen minutes later, I caught a glimpse of her: to my mounting horror, she was getting up, book in hand, and walking up to Mr. Bald. Showing him the book. Pointing to a page. Asking something. And then pointing at me when Mr. Bald had obviously asked where she'd gotten it. It was then that I thought I was really fucked.

The book, you see, was Catcher in the Rye, and the particular term that had baffled J. was "whore." Now, those of you who are doubting our level of naivete at the time, or my overblown fear of getting busted over it would do to remember that this was over twenty years ago in Deepest Idaho. This was, to a lot of people, just fucking smut, and we farm kids knew fuckall about sex (see next entry). So I was feeling pretty cooked when Mr. Bald confiscated the book and told me that I could see him after class. Some other kids shot me quizzical looks, like perhaps I had smuggled a copy of Juggs into school.

But I had misjudged Mr. Bald. After class, he returned my book and said, "I'm really very glad you're reading this, but I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't bring it to school, okay? It just might be . . . disruptive." I said okay, and he said, "Anything else?"

Well . . . I was marginally more sophisticated than J. I knew what a whore was. But . . . I held up the book. "Well, can you tell me what a 'scag' is?" Mr. Bald pursed his lips. "Ask your dad."

. . .

Seventh Grade. As most of you probably realize (at least the Americans), most seventh graders exist for one purpose only: to be picked on by eighth graders. This Is The Law. Anyway, in seventh grade, in classic boy fashion, I picked up some piece of garbage off the sidewalk, because it looked interesting. It wasn't, but that never stops little boys. What it was was a little clicker-counter device that incremented up one digit with every click; this one had the capacity to go all the way up to 99999 before rolling back over to 00000. Figuring I had nothing better to do for the rest of my life, I decided to carry it around, clicking it constantly in my free time, just so I could see the INCREDIBLY SPECTACULAR MOMENT when it rolled over. So I did.

In addition to being a nearly farcical irritant to those around me, it had another downside: it got noticed. This is never good news for seventh graders. Soon enough, some eighth grade guys noticed me doing this all the time. "Hey Kurruk!" they'd menace me, "What the hellya doing with that? Is that your jack-off counter? That how many times you jack off?" I muttered into my shoes and walked away. I had no idea what they were talking about.

So I asked someone, namely my best friend B., who was no more worldly than I was, but B. had an impressive mullet, so I figured he'd be worth a shot. And he was!

"Hey, B., what's 'jacking off'?"

Look of incredulity. "You don't know what jacking off is?"

Shameful admission of spazosity: "No."

B. laughed at my horrifying ignorance. "It means fucking! Jacking off is fucking somebody!"

I found this information very interesting. And the next day, sure enough, it had become a routine catcall: "Hey, Kurruk, still jacking off, man? That your jack-off machine?" But this time, I knew what the game was! I raised my chin defiantly and brandished my clicker like a talisman.

"Yeah! This is my JACK-OFF machine! I've jacked off over FIVE THOUSAND TIMES!"

They stared silently at me for a moment, and I felt the flush of victory, briefly, before it was rapidly crushed as they all burst out into wild, hysterical laughter, pointing at me, laughing so hard they bent over double, and I realized that something had gone horribly wrong.

The jack-off jokes lasted a really, really long time, well after I learned the actual act it defined, which at least proved to be somewhat mollifying.

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


So what's yer clicker up to these days, big fella? I imagine you've rolled it over a couple times by now, what with all that "mollifying".

Comment number: 003254   Posted by: TheBrad on July 9, 2003 09:13 PM from IP:

And you were worried about being caught with Catcher in the Rye? Wow! I got in trouble one time for having a comic book at school because the female X-Men had scanty costumes! It was taken away, and they sent a note home to my mom saying that I had brought inappropriate reading materials (insinuating pornography) to school.

Comment number: 003255   Posted by: KOTWF on July 10, 2003 06:15 AM from IP:

I only got in trouble in sixth grade for drawing violent stick figure cartoons* and using the hex paper from a dungeons and dragons kit to draw a map. That teacher had us cut out pictures for collages out of her old Cosmos IIRC.

I think I drew a picture of a penis peeing in 1st or 2nd grade and the teacher actually told my parents. Talk about embarrassing!

* Today I might have been expelled for such an offense. YIKES!**

** YIKES! was the name of the violent comic. :)

Comment number: 003256   Posted by: Dave Adams on July 10, 2003 08:46 AM from IP:

Oh, man. That reminds me way too much of my chemistry class frog dissection, where, teamed with three boys, I innocently uttered a line so horrible sexually suggestive I wasn't looked at the same way for about a year. Even now, I can't repeat it.

Comment number: 003257   Posted by: Bet on July 10, 2003 11:28 AM from IP:

You can't leave that frog reference just dangling like that.

Oh and you mean "jacking off" _doesn't_mean_ fucking? What have I been doing all these years?!

Comment number: 003258   Posted by: ColdForged on July 10, 2003 12:44 PM from IP:

Yeah...the frog thing must be told!!

Comment number: 003259   Posted by: April on July 10, 2003 01:25 PM from IP:

That is soooo classic!! See what the kids of today are missing??

Comment number: 003260   Posted by: Stacey on July 10, 2003 01:34 PM from IP:

That is absolutely classic!

I was an awful bookworm/geek myself. My high school was a campus design with a whole bunch of buildings connected by sidewalks. Some of the sidewalks had roofs held up by metal posts. I used to read books while I walked between classes for god's sake. And of course, one time I walked directly into a pole while I was reading ~clang!~ Man, that hurt.

Comment number: 003261   Posted by: kath on July 10, 2003 02:41 PM from IP:

Come on Bet. Make with the frog reference....

Comment number: 003262   Posted by: Krizzer on July 11, 2003 11:13 AM from IP:

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