School Memories, what are they good for? There is an irony that while people like you and I, who visit sites like this about our past, can reminisce about pop culture, cartoons, breakfast cereal and video games, the most personal memories--the most meaningful memories--are tough to share.


Rescue breakfast from what? Nutrition and fresh air?


After all, you weren't there that time at that place, when the guy with the hair and that guy with the funny eyebrows got in a fight, but man the milk shot out of my nose like Gummi Beary Juice shoots out of Dukey's (Duke Sigmund Igthorn's) mouth when Gruffi Gummi kicks him right in his "gummi bears".





SO then, how to regurgitate tales that are fascinating to me, but context-less and therefore meaningless to you? I'll have to be FUNNY. Not funny like Balki Bartokomous from Perfect Strangers (Buttock Pinches? I'll give you Buttock Pinches! Oh wait, no. I won't. Gross.), funny like the Nude Bomb from "The Nude Bomb" with Maxwell Smart.


Really? Meat for clothing?


Oh, and it'll need lots of pictures, because half of us can't read and, no offense, I'm the only one who realizes a period is not just a bodily function and a semi-colon isn't a colon after surgery.

Why Mrs. Gilmore's name will never be forgotten


This is NOT Mrs. Gilmore!


My most memorable teacher from those early school years is Mrs. Gilmore and I will never forget her. Here's why: one day, in the third grade, I was waiting in line behind a kid at the "water cooler" of the classroom, the Pencil Sharpener. He's sharpening his #2 and all of a sudden he stops and is just standing there. I'm thinking, "What is wrong with this kid? My pencil is dull and I'm in a hurry--my tables aren't going to times themselves!" I'm about to say something when he turns to the front of the class and moans, "Mrs. Gilmore..." and hurls his lunch all over the floor. I probably laughed, because I'm a jerk. But be I jerk or jerk-wad, I shall never forget Mrs. Gilmore's sweet, sweet name.



Mr. Fagan (who put the "fag" in Fagan?)

Fourth grade History Teacher, Mr. Fagan. That poor man. You know how you see those "teachers" on TV shows who are *really* out of their league...and you're thinking the show is so dumb because no teacher could be that bad, could have that little control over his classroom. Oh no, my friends. They can be that bad and worse. I actually felt bad for him, because I might have been a jerk but I was actually a good kid who didn't get in trouble. The other kids though, they would throw all his erasers on top of the P.A. speaker, way too high to reach, and he couldn't write on the board because he couldn't get them down. They'd steal all his chalk. They - and I swear I am not making this up (sorry Dave Barry) - they locked him in his supply closet. He was the only teacher I'd ever seen lose their temper and yell at students. One day, he cried.


Everyone loves these fucking turtles


I remember he assigned us to write a report and I never did it. Instead I would draw cartoons and pass them around the room. The one I remember best was of an indian and a colonist and the colonist says, "Give me wampum." The indian replies, "OK. Just don't hurt me." Let's just say the artwork would be at home in a Peanuts comic, and, since it stank, the comic should be about Pigpen, stink lines and all.


"Give me wampum!"
"Okay, just don't hurt me."


I got a "B" in his class anyway and, being a jerk (that will be a theme in many of these memories), I even rubbed his nose in it by reminding him on report card day that I'd never written the report. He replied, "Then it just didn't count against you."

Even at the tender age of 9 (8? 10?) I knew that was a cop-out. I just wasn't the worst of his "students" and I'm sure he didn't want anyone to look too closely at his "Teaching Style". I'm a teacher now, and if I ever feel like I've turned into that guy I'll staple my nutsack to Santa's Thanksgiving's Day Parade Float with a nail gun while singing the theme song to "Different Strokes" (in a very high key, I imagine).

The Day the Jerk Stood Still


Not just a jerk - The Jerk!


Sometimes in life, as you live a moment you realize it is important beyond the scope of the here and now (or the there and then). For me it was after we moved to Massapequa, NY in 1983 and I started at a new school, Ames Jr. High School. I had a great teacher, Ms. Macnamara, who rewarded us for being good with minutes and when the class had saved up enough minutes, like 30 or so, she'd take us outside for extra recess, which was awesome and even awesomer when it snowed.

When I started in her class everyone was excited to meet the new kid (it was mid-year), and dying to know if I played Dodge-Ball. Well, technically, I did, but if you watched me play you'd call it "peg-ball" or "suck-ball" or even "face-ball" instead. Their hopes that I would boost their team led to a brief flicker of popularity I would never again attain. After the first session of sucking like the three-way love child of Paris Hilton, that crazy sand-sucking transformer from "Transformers 2 - Rape of the Ticket-Holder" and a black hole, I found myself ignored and despised. That is, until ONE FATEFUL DAY.


"Bombardment!"


Andrew and his twin, not-Andrew, were also jerks, in that they were liked by others and mean or indifferent towards me. On The Day the Jerk Stood Still, Andrew said something to the teacher and I, for what seems like the first time, gave a sarcastic answer. EVERYBODY LAUGHED and I felt the powerful jolt of, if not popularity then at least of someone else dancing naked in the spotlight of childhood mockery. And it was a heady brew indeed. TO THIS DAY, I am constantly cracking wise to everyone's chagrin. Hey screw you, reader. I already told you I'm a jerk!



"Everyone look ... a great big phoney lives here!"


The Great Big Phoney

In 1987 we moved to Florida, where I was lucky enough to get a chance to start over with a clean slate. Nobody would know I was a jerk here, until about five minutes after I started talking. We lived on the Loxahatchee River until we ran out of money, and I broke my foot jumping down to the dock. I have a long history of jumping down way too far, including almost the entire flight of steps down into the basement of our first house. What the hell was I thinking? So, broken foot equals lots of pain and then crutches. Yay. Just what I wanted...a giant sign that says "PICK ON ME! HERE IS BOTH THE OBVIOUS THING TO PICK ON ME ABOUT AND, AT THE SAME FREAKING TIME A HANDICAP TO MAKE SURE I CAN'T FIGHT BACK!"



Everyone loves megaman....these oughtta get me a few more thumbs up


One day I heard that some guy wanted to beat me up after school. I'm like, "Who the hell is he?" Seriously, I can understand why someone who knows me would want to beat me up, but what the hell is it with kids I don't even know wanting to pummel me into a puddle of cranberry juice with crutches on? Anyway, you never saw a kid go so fast on crutches! I was like lead runner in the Cripple-Derby.


Taking the lead in the NAS-TARD Cripple 500!


On a different day, still be-crutched, I almost missed the bus leaving school. When it flashed through my brain how long I'd be stuck (at least two hours) I realized there was no way that school bus was getting off school property without my crippled ass parked on it. I picked up my crutches and sprinted like burrito-eating tourists towards the only clean toilet in town. DId I make it in time or did the bus leave me panting in a cloud of smog and pain for nothing?

I made it! But my victory didn't last long as all the kids on the bus now started calling me a Phoney since I could run I must not need the crutches. Now, what dumb-ass reason could there possibly be to want to use crutches so much that you fake an injury? I said I'm a jerk, not an idiot.

Revenge - a dish best served HOT, actually.

In High School (South Fork High School, Stuart, FL), lunch pretty much sucked. The food was OK I guess but my first year I had no friends in my lunch period (not that I had dozens anyway) and I hadn't yet made friends with the computer teacher so I couldn't just hang out in her room and play & make computer games. That left me stuck, alone, in the cafeteria, with way too many kids. Most of them left me alone. There was one girl who actually came and sat next to me when I was alone and tried to talk to me, but I was so nervous I think, and I am not exaggerating, I would have been happier if she'd just insulted me and walked away! And then there were the Moochers.

The Moochers were sort of bullies in the same way that if you, as a small child, were forced to eat lunch in a homeless shelter where a handful of hobos twice your size would ask you--almost every single day--for money or food. They were intimidating but never actually violent, but man were they freaking annoying always begging for scraps in a demanding, Bernie Goetz sort of way. And they loved chicken wings. So did I. It was like I was wearing Mooch-Bait!


In the 80's Bernie put a hurting on some bullies


Now I LOVE spicy food, especially Buffalo Wings, which is my best story and coming up next. So one day I get the wings for lunch and as I am putting a few drops of tobasco on them, I had an idea. An evil, jerky, awesome idea. I DROWNED one wing in hot sauce like Gargamel drowning Handy Smurf before cooking him. I took my seat, started to eat, and it wasn't long before King of the Beggars came a-mooching. "Sure," I replied. "Here, take a wing." I watched with glee as he took a bite, then another (first bites are never spicy) and then drank his (ugh) entire milk carton, announcing, "Man, that's spicy!" He ate the rest, then had to leave to find the nearest water fountain. I can only hope that it was equally painful upon egress, by which I mean it burned his ass! Muwahahahaha.

I Finally Get My Comeuppance

Last story, then I'll let you get back to your Internet Porn. As I mentioned above, I love Buffalo Wings, and for a LONG time, every time I went to a restaurant, I had to have them as hot as they made them. I never found a wing too hot, and I loved the mild pain, too. But then we went to Wing Jammers in Stuart, FL.


Tasty!


It was a weekday evening and we'd just finished shopping at Wal-Mart, when it was new and the closest one was a half-hour drive out of town instead of shoved up your ass like today. In the same plaza...Wing Jammers. Sit with the family, order hot wings....they've got Sissy, Normal, "Hot", and "Suicide". Aha! I gotta have the Suicide. But when I order my wings, the waitress, being a good girl, asks, "Are you sure you want suicide? They're really hot. Maybe you should get the 'Hot'."

Remember - jerk!

"No - I said 'Suicide'!" I snapped in what I years later realized was a stupid, stupid maneuver, the equivalent to expecting a bite from a genetically engineered spider to give you super powers. I mean, seriously, is the beef cattle industry creating an army of Mutant Butchers who fight crime by squirting milk from their teats at criminals, utilizing their incredible faltulence powered by four stomaches and the ability to turn into hamburgers?


Imaginary!


So, the waitress, being smarter than your average Retro-Junk.com reader, picks up on my 13 year-old jerkiness and gives me a biiiiiig smile as she goes off to trade an angry handy-j to the cook for a batch of deadly wings so disgustingly spicy that even Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld wouldn't let you serve them to randomly abducted brown people....I mean, "terrorists".

Well, the first bite is never spicy. It was delicious! The rest of that first wing went down easy. By the end of the second wing, my giant soda lay empty and--again, I swear I am not making this up--I was seriously considering using my celery sticks to paint the blue cheese dressing around my mouth and lips because they hurt so much. As if on cue...



"How're those wings?" asks the evil bitch-waitress from hell. You see, she had cleverly put me in a position of either admitting I was wrong (good luck on that one) or inflicting great harm upon my own body to save my shallow, shallow, pride.

"They're perfect!" I replied, picking up and biting into wing number three out of ten. I...I ate them all. It was the worst wing-eating job anyone has ever done. I may have only taken one actual bite out of the last wing before I quit....I mean, declared victory by finishing all ten wings. My stomach was bursting with soda-it actually hurt because I'd drunk so much. I really did paint the blue cheese onto my face because the area around my mouth was on fucking fire. I felt generally ill. I could barely look the waitress in the eye, and as soon as we were back in the car I started tearing through packages looking for something to ease the pain.



I felt like an evil Nazi stealing holy relics WHILE eating Suicide Wings


I found lemon wafer cookies, and that actually helped a little as I sat crouched in the back seat, fighting back tears and eating lemon wafer cookies from Wal-Mart. I realized that I'd eaten the hottest wings I could ever imagine, and that I didn't have anything to prove anymore. I could order just "hot" or even "medium" if I felt like it. Maybe those sauces had a better flavor? To this day I still love the hot sauce, but will try to size up the place by asking how hot the hot really is. Sometimes I'll get hot but with a side of their paint-peeling sauce to try. Thats the kind of freedom I bought for myself with my literal pain, sweat and tears. Once in a while I'll get really hot again, but I have since learned that when eating really hot wings you have to wash your hands BEFORE peeing, and then after again, or you'll feel a fire down below!



But that's another story....

So....I really hope you liked my "article". If it stinks, is it a Farticle? Seriously, I need the thumbs up. I'm jonesing for your thumbs-up like Snuffalufagus for a Big-Bird wing fried up with hot sauce.

Oh! And seriously, I really am a teacher. And, being dumb and all, I made a bet with my class and since they won I had to make this ridiculous song and dance video dressed in a Star Trek uniform and post it on YouTube. You should check it out, but not while driving or standing up to pee (even after washing hands first).

Star Trek High School Musical Mashup



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ4JaR3Rukw

One last thing....I have other great articles! Check them out...its FREE! Then give me your THUMBS UP!

Murder Most Foul...Foiled?
http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/1787/

64k of Childhood Memories
http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/1764/

Great Animated Fantasies
http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/1744/

Choose Your Own Adventure,Pt 1
http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/4073/

Choose Your Own Adventure, Pt2
http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/4099/

Top 10 80s Fantasy Films
http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/3979/

The Cat's Out of the Cradle
http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/1901/

The Hobbit Reloaded
http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/4180/