Archive for September, 2005

I was tagged by Norman (no, sadly, not that type of tagged).

The Rules:

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same.

My fifth sentence of my 23rd post?

Duran Duran.

Rock on.

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The inspiration for this post can be found on Aric’s blog.

There are times in your life when your impression of someone completely changes. It may be something they say, they do, or just from your own experience.

It may take years for your impression of them to change, you know, suddenly you just realize one day “hey, they aren’t how I thought they were.” Or, it may be sudden and instant.

For me, when I was 14, my impression of my father changed instantaneously. A blink of the eye, so to speak.

I’m pretty sure it was a November day, because it was hunting season. I don’t hunt. Nor does my father. But the neighbor kids who lived across the street did, and they always cut through our yard to get to the woods beyond our house.

As always, before I get to the nugget, here’s some history…

First, my father. I am my father, there is no denying it. While I get my love for reading and being stubborn sonuvabitch from my mother’s genes, the rest of it is my dad. Laid back, good looking (damn skippy), easy going and patient. Loads of patience. It may not seem that way, but I am a very patient person. Just like the old man. But it is important not to confuse patience and easy going with weakness, as some do.

Now, the neighbor kids were two brothers who, for the most part, I used to get along with. But one day, they pretty much kicked my ass. I can’t remember the reason, and it may have been my mouth or it may not have. Either way, two against one is a shitty fight either way you look at it. So, as one could imagine, our family wasn’t on too good of terms with their family.

So, back to the grill, it was November, I was 14, I had loaded up my bike in the back of my dad’s truck because he was going to take me to a friends house and Ralph, the older of the brothers, was cutting across our property to hit the woods for some hunting. Gun in hand and dog at side.

My dad noticed him and said (more to himself), “That bastard. I’ve told them to stay off my property.”

“HEY!” My dad yelled to Ralph, “Wait a minute!”

Ralph looked at him, smirked, and kept walking.

My dad looked at me and said, “You wait right here,” and briskly walked over to Ralph, cutting him off.

It’s weird how your body works sometimes. I shouldn’t have heard what they were saying, as they were probably 30 feet away from me, but I did. I heard every word and nothing else, just their words. It was as if I were in a vacuum.

My dad was directly in front of Ralph and said, “I told you before to stay off my property. Now turn around and get the hell off it.”

Ralph, who was about 16, said, “This isn’t your property.”

“See that fence,” my dad said, pointing. “That’s my neighbor’s fence. His property starts on the other side of that fence. Everything on this side of the fence is mine. That’s how it works.” To say he said it in a condescending tone would be an understatement.

“Whatever,” Ralph said, and took a step.

My dad put his hand on Ralph’s shoulder. “No. Turn your ass around and get off my property.”

Ralph took a step back and looked at my father. Then he looked down at his dog and back at my father. He took another step back and pointed at my father. “GET HIM, GRIZ!”

The dog looked at Ralph, then at my father, back at Ralph. Then he wagged his tail.

My dad burst out laughing. “Smart dog.”

I was loving every minute of this. Then I wasn’t. One second it was funny, the next I saw something that scared me more than anything else in my life.

Ralph swung the gun he was carrying up to my dad’s chest.

“I’ll shoot you where you stand, you son of a bitch,” he said.

My dad didn’t even look at the gun. He kept his eyes on Ralph. Then he took his left arm and knocked the gun to the side.

“Get off my property.” He said. He didn’t yell it. He didn’t shout it. He just said it.

Ralph gave him one more glance and turned around and walked home.

At that moment…

At that instant my dad became Superman. There was no two ways about it. My dad was the fucking man.

My dad watched him walk off and came back to where I was standing by the truck.

“You ready?”

I just looked at him. “Uh huh.”

He looked down at me. “What’s wrong with you?”

Huh? What’s wrong with me? I just watched this guy stand down a fucking gun and he asks me what’s wrong with me. I didn’t have the words.

“Uh…

Nothing.”

“Well get in the truck and let’s go.” He said, slipping into the driver’s seat.

“Uh…

Okay.”

What can you say when you don’t have the words?

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Nickelback’s got a new CD coming out (yeah, yeah all their songs sound the same blahblahblahgetyblah).

Anyway, the’ve been playing Photograph on XM radio a lot and, like most Nickelback’s songs, I dig it.

There’s one line in it that cracks me up…

Kim’s the first girl I kissed
I was so nervous that I nearly missed

It cracks me up because it’s so true. For me, anyway.

That’s how I felt when I went in for my first kiss.

But her name wasn’t Kim.

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Again, if you are just tuning in, start here.

When the day finally ended, and I finally got home, I was pleasantly surprised to see my mom’s car in the driveway. Heads were going to roll.

I ran in the house, threw my bag on the table and charged upstairs to my mom’s room. Her bedroom door was open and I ran in.

She looked up from the bills she was writing out, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“I have to talk to you about something.” I said.

“What? Did you get in trouble in school?” She was already getting irritated. Good.

“Not really, but there was a problem.”

“What? What the hell happened?”

So I told her. I told her everything, even what could potentially get me in trouble. I told her about pushing David, I told her about me offering the cigarette, about yelling at Stup. Everything. I left nothing out that I could remember because I knew if I did, and she found out, there would be hell to pay and she would be the collector.

After I finished up, she was looking at me in what best could be described as stunned disbelief. She said, “Go downstairs and get me a pen, a notebook and the phonebook.”

I did.

When I handed her the items, she opened up the notebook, took the cap off the pen and said, “Tell me again.”

I did. And this time, she took notes.

After I went through the whole deal again (with her telling me to slow down at times), my mom asked me, “Do you know what time Mr. Stup leaves for the day?”

“I have no idea. I think he leaves at five, though.” I had no idea. I don’t even know why I said five. I probably said five because it was before five at the time, and I was just hoping he didn’t leave until five.

My mom opened up the phonebook, flipped through it, found the number of the school and wrote it down. I just stood there watching, not breathing a word. I was planning on staying for the show.

My mom reached for the phone and stopped. She looked up at me. “Leave. And shut the door.”

I turned around and walked out of the room, shutting the door behind me. I knew from my mother’s tone that she was in the zone. There was no way I was going to question anything she asked of me. There was also no way I was going to miss what she said.

I walked across the hallway to my room, opened the door, waited a beat, then shut it. I then crept back across the hallway, praying the floorboards wouldn’t creek. The didn’t.

I pressed my ear against my mother’s door. As I only heard the one side, it was all of my mother talking. But, then again, I don’t think Stup got too many words in…

“Is Mr. Stup still there?

Yes. I’ll hold…”

Yes. He was still there. I silently thanked God.

“Mr. Stup? Yes, my name is Nancy Redrum, I’m Stewie’s mother. He told me something today that, well, if I didn’t know my son, I would think he was lying…”

Mr. Stup must have started saying something at this point, but my mom cut him off.

“Wait. Wait a damn minute. I wasn’t finished. As I saying, if he wasn’t my son, I’d think he was lying. He told me that you accused him of ‘touching’ a mentally disabled kid on the bus. Is that true?”

Stup only had time for a yes.

“He also said that not only did you accuse him of this, but you did it with your door open. And you yelled at him, saying you knew he did it. Is this also true?”

Again, Stup got in his yes.

“So tell me, Mr. Stup, is it a policy of the school to take the word of a mentally retarded child over the word of an honor roll student? I need to know. Is that what the school’s policy is? To yell at a student with nothing but the word of a mentally disabled child? Is it? Is that your policy?”

I have no idea what Stup was saying to this, but whatever it was, it wasn’t for long.

“Let me tell you something. Because of your incompetence, the whole damn school knows what you accused my son of. Can you possibly fathom how embarassing that is? Can you fathom how unprofessional what you did was?”

Again, Stup spoke here, but he didn’t say much.

“Oh don’t give me that bullshit. There’s always one who will believe anything. So, right now, there is at least one student in that school who thinks my son touched that boy because of you. Because of you. What in the hell were you thinking yelling at him with the door open? Were you thinking at all? Apparently you weren’t.

“And you still haven’t told me why you just accused my son of touching that boy without even asking him first. You still haven’t explained that one. My son has never been in trouble in your school, and you just took the word of that boy without even checking your facts.”

Stup must have said something about my mouth at this point.

“Oh, is that what you are saying? You are saying because he has a smart mouth he is a molester? He doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt? Especially in a case like this? What the hell is wrong with you? Are you retarded? It’s fine if you are, I just need to know if that’s why you are biased.”

Stup told her he wasn’t retarded.

“Well that’s good to know because I was beginning to wonder…” She started to say something else, but I think her sixth sense kicked in.

“Hold on,” she said. It wasn’t a request, it wasn’t a demand, it was just how it was. Stup was to hold on.

I didn’t even hear her get off the bed and come to the door, I just remember almost falling when she opened the door up on me.

She didn’t say a word, she just glared at me.

I went downstairs, went outside and rode my bike around for awhile.

When I got home, my mom was just putting dinner on the table. My dad and my sister were already sitting down.

“What’s up, Chester?” My sister said.

“Kelli!” My parents yelled in unison. She shutup, but I could tell that wasn’t it from her.

My mom looked at me and said, “Tomorrow Mr. Stup wants to see you before you go to homeroom. Don’t be an ass.”

“Thanks, mom.” I said.

“No, no problem. I enjoyed it.” And I knew she did.

The next day at school I headed straight to the office when I arrived and asked to speak to Mr. Stup.

“He’s waiting for you, just head on back.”

I went back to his office and saw him filling out some papers.

“Come on in, Stewie!” He said. He was smiling the fakest smile I have ever seen in my life.

“Look, about yesterday,” he continued. “I apologize. I was way out of line. I have no excuse for acting the way I did and I just want to let you know I’m sorry and it won’t happen again.”

He was still smiling as he said that, but I could tell it was absolutely killing him. The smile didn’t reach his eyes. The only thing I saw in his eyes was anger and embarrassment.

My smile, however, was genuine. Not only did it reach my eyes, I’m willing to bet it reached my eyebrows and forehead, too.

“Sounds good,” I said. I wasn’t going to push it. I got him good. Well, my mom did, but she did because of me, so that rocked.

He put his hand out to me. “Still friends?”

I looked at his hand.

“Uh, no. I’ve never liked you Mr. Stup. I was never your friend. But we can put yesterday behind us.”

I think I danced dangerously close to what my mom was talking about when she said “don’t be an ass,” but the way I look at it is I wasn’t going to shake some asshole’s hand just because they throw it out to me.

He pulled his hand back and his smile disappeared.

“You can go to homeroom, now.”

“Thanks,” I said, smiling again, “you have a great day.”

I know I did.

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Obligatory start here and work your way forward. I shall warn you ahead of time, this is not the end of the story, there’s one more part.

Let me tell you something: From the moment I made it back to class to fourth period, it sucked. It sucked in class with everyone looking at me and smiling, but it sucked more in the halls with people coming up to me and busting my balls. But the worst part is, judging from some of the looks I got, some people actually believed that I touched the kid. These, of course, were people who had no idea who I was, but fuck me, I didn’t need this shit. So I was running from class to class just to avoid the hallways, but part of my fourth period was lunch, and I was not looking forward to that. (In our school, fourth period was an extended period and they had lunches mixed in. I would go to class for 20 minutes, go to lunch for a 1/2 hour or whatever, then go back to the same class for another 25).

On the bright side, I did run into Stewie in the hallway and he assured me that he didn’t breath a word about what happened to anyone. I believed him. He was as embarrassed about the whole thing as I was. He had also told me that it was definitely David who said I touched him, and no one else, because Mr. Gibson never brought up any witnesses. All he had asked Stewie was where was he sitting on the bus the day before and if he saw anything. I guess they had pulled us both because we were both named Stewie. It wasn’t rocket science.

Anyway, I was hoping that this shit would be settled before lunch, but you know how that goes.

So lunch comes around and, of course, my friends bust my balls with shit like wondering whether or not they could set next to a molester and all. The then came to a consensus that since they weren’t retarded, they were safe, but the first sign of wandering hands, they were outta there.

And it was also nice that people stopped by the table to show their support by making fun of me. That’s always good. Yeah, it’s pretty funny now, and there is no doubt I would have done the same, but man, it was pretty fucking humiliating at the time.

About midway through lunch, I get called to the office. Over the loudspeaker. Laughter and taunts ensued as I got up and walked out of the lunch room, so I could walk the ten feet to the office. I mean, was it too much to fucking ask that they sent someone for me? It wasn’t like they didn’t have my schedule.

I went to the office and I was told by one of the student aids to have a seat, Stup would be with me.

Soon enough, Stup pokes his head out of the office. “You can come back now, Stewie.”

I went back to his office and stepped inside.

“Shut the door, please.” He said.

Oh, it was a little to fucking late for that, I wanted to tell him. What’s that saying about the horse and the barn door? But I bit my tongue. No need to make things worse.

“Well, David has admitted to lying and he told us everything that happened. Lucky for you, his story matches yours.” He started.

“Lucky how? I told you from the beginning I didn’t touch him. You were the one that believed him. The whole school knows that I was accused of touching a retarded kid. How am I lucky?” I replied. For the first time my emotions changed. I was no longer scared. I was fucking furious. Fur. i. ous. And this cocksucker was telling me I was lucky.

“We’ll get to that. We still have to deal with the cigarettes.” He said.

“What? What’s there to deal with?”

“Did you offer David one?” He asked.

“What?” For God’s sake, this guy was unbelievable.

“Did. You. Offer. David. A. Cigarette?” Each word was enunciated with the tapping of his pen.

“What? Yeah. I guess. He wouldn’t leave me alone, he kept going on about me having cigarettes, so I offered him one, just to shut him up. I wasn’t going to let him take it though.”

“So you offered a mentally disabled kid a cigarette?”

“Well, yeah, but no. I mean, I wasn’t actually going to give it to him.”

“You sure about that? I don’t know if I believe you” He said, leaning into me.

“About as sure as knowing I didn’t touch him. And you didn’t believe that. I don’t care what you believe.”

He lost and he knew it. He lost the moment David admitted that he was lying. I don’t know what he was trying to do now, but whatever it was, he was done.

“Well, let me tell you why you are lucky. You could be in a lot of trouble for admitting to smoking at the bus stop. You’re lucky because we decided not to call your parents about this incident.” He leaned back in his chair.

I couldn’t help it. I started to laugh. Hard. It came out. I could not believe this guy.

“This is no laughing matter, Stewie. You could be suspended, or expelled! What’s so funny?”

“You decided not to call my parents over this ‘incident’? And I’m lucky for that? Let me tell you something, Mr. Stup, I can assure you that my parents will be calling you.” I said.

“We’ll see.” He said.

“Yeah,” I said, standing up, “we will.”

I left. And I felt good. I stood up to him in the end. I kept waiting for him to call me back in his office, but it never happened. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous when I left without him dismissing me. Because I was. But I couldn’t take being in the same room with him anymore and he and I both knew I had the upper hand.

School was school for the rest of the day. I don’t remember how bad it was because all I can remember is how badly I wanted to get home to tell my mom everything that happened.

See, my mother has always been a bitch. A self-admitted bitch at that. The woman has never put up with any bullshit for as long as I remember and I’ve seen her make people cry. And part of me believes she enjoyed it. I love her for that.

The thing is, when my mom has all of the facts, and it’s something she believes in, she will not let up. She’s a pitbull going after an open thigh. She’ll latch in and won’t let up until there is blood. I knew it. My sister knew it. My friends knew it. The people who crossed her knew it.

And Mr. Stup was soon going to find out.

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