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‘Hmmm: Where IS that lizard?’

It’s Friday. That means a memoir-in-progress flashback to the big hair and big dreams of the 1980s.

 

March 9, 1982: “Anthropology essay due. Don’t think Ms. Maserang-Hodge-McCoy will be humored by, ‘Why My Ethnocentricity Is Best.’ ”

On further review: My college anthropology teacher really did have a double-hyphenated last name. It had something to do with her white-hot hatred of men. As I recall — and I might be making this part up — each of her last names was based on her maiden name, her mother’s maiden name, and her grandmother’s maiden name.

And also, she did not “get” my essay. I got an “F.” I made a “D” in the class — the lowest grade I ever got in my life, except for that “I-minus” (equivalent of D-minus) in seventh grade math, but I have blotted most of that nightmarish seventh grade year in Jefferson City from my mind. The only thing that period of my life gave me were stories to tell someday to therapists and psychologists. 

I’m not kidding.

– From the pages of My Senior Drear, the day-by-day, hour-by-hour log of each day of my four years of tormenting classmates, teachers and administrators at Belle High School …

Monday, March 9, 1981 – Before school: picked up Kelly; mailed my financial aid form. … Second hour (astronomy): Saw a film about Alaska. What a bore. What the heck does that have to do with astronomy? … Had baseball practice after school …

Quick step back to the 70s, from my freshman year … Thursday, March 9, 1978 — Mostly boring and hot. First hour band: Played “Battle Hymn of the Republic” ALL HOUR! The brass section sucked today. Alto saxes? We rocked, of course, as usual. … Second hour: showed my pet lizard around the room. Got in trouble for showing my pet lizard … Fifth hour: PE. My lizard is missing. Check the cafeteria …

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The fine art of being annoying

Memoir-in-Progress …

How did I survive high school?

That’s not a rhetorical question. I mean really?

Exhibit “A” from “My Senior Drear,” a daily journal of my high school career at Belle (Maries County R-2) High School. To wit: “Jan. 16, 1980. A day of monumental significance in the history of Belle High. Dewayne and I officially formed the Independent Student Council.” I was a junior; Dewayne Butler was a sophomore. We delivered a draft of our “charter” to our principal, Mr. Evans.

One of our first initiatives, outlined in rather mind-numbing detail, was that the school cafeteria “cease and desist preparing, cooking, heating, re-heating, re-heating more, sneezing into and dropping onto the floor, then re-heating thrice more and serving swill.” We also insisted that the school administration lighten up on a recent crackdown on public displays of affection, as one of the main tenets of the I.S.C. was, “Make love, not war (against students).”

I developed an incredible knack for annoying people at a very early age. I have documentation (penned by me, of course) to prove it. But annoying Mr. Evans was sport if only because he engaged us in silly quests for things like the I.S.C., “parking lot barbecue day” (another great idea that never happened) and “Random Student/Staff Execution Day.” Thirty-plus years ago you could get away with such things.

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