Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My first day of school, EVER, or how I learned to take the hard knocks & make sure the show goes on

I'll preface this entry by saying, what happened here is the epitome of my life, for better or worse!

The first day of school is scary for anyone, especially the first day of Kindergarten.  I mean, that's where it ALL starts, you're not quite 6-years-old, and you have NO IDEA what to expect!  I mean, all you know, in your little kid's mind, is that it's FUCKING SCARY! 

Anyway, I went to school that early-September day, very timidly (especially for me), and I rolled with it. I did what the teacher said, made a couple of friends, took some bullshit from wise-asses, and basically minded my own business and had a good time.  (I also wondered what the hell was up with the Principal, who was a nun who looked like Ernest Borgnine with a habit, but I digress).

At the very end of the day, around 2:00 or so, we had Gym Class in the field in the back of the school.  We played some game called "Cowboys and Indians", which involved those who were designated as Cowboys to capture the Indians and make them one of their own....or the other way around.  Anyway, it involved a lot of running around and catching people and that sort of thing.

I don't know how it happened, but I remember some girl running toward me, and I did the best I could to get the hell away from her, but....however it happened, we ran smack-dab into each other, and we knocked heads, and fell to the ground, and started crying like any kid would.  At least that's how the story goes.  I was helped up & my tears were wiped when the teacher and his assistant noticed that I had a bruise underneath my eye and on my cheek.  The girl who plowed into me had a similar problem, although, if I remember correctly, not quite as COLORFUL as mine (of course).  He said something like, "Oh....Great!"  I'm sure that the prospect of sending not one, but TWO kids home from their first day of fucking KINDERGARTEN wasn't exactly how he wished to end his day, hahahaha.

So, anyway, I went home with what was turning into quite the deep black and blue shiner to contrast with my baby-blue right eye.  My Mom, ever the good sport, didn't raise too much of a fuss (she'd had seven boys before me, you know), was sympathetic enough, but, clearly, I was ok.  I sat down in front of the tv to watch Woody fucking Woodpecker and eat some Jello or some shit, when my Mom, with a very concerned look, poked her head in from the kitchen, saying something like, "You have to be the RING BEARER in your brother, DAVE's WEDDING with that shiner of yours!" The only thing I could muster up to say was, "UH OH!!!!"

But....what the hell were we to do?  Postpone the wedding because the groom's peckerheaded baby brother, who's supposed to carry the damn wedding rings in a pillow down the aisle, got a black eye on his first day of school?!!  Was some other kid going to be the ring bearer in the wedding?  Hell no!  My brother, Dave, and his bride-to-be, Heidi, had honored me by asking me to be in their wedding, and there was no way I wasn't going to do it! 

So, the wedding day came.  I was suited up in a little tuxedo that was a little bit big for me, and the bridesmaids were CRAZY about me, in my little tux with the darkest shiner in Minnesota History.  I was, believe it or not, really quite shy, as I didn't become girl-crazy until the 2nd or 3rd Grade, hahahahaha.  There was a flower girl in the wedding too, who was about my age, but I don't remember getting along with her as well.  I do remember walking down the aisle with her, carrying a little pillow with the wedding rings, while she took flower petals out of a basket and tossed them on the ground.  I remember thinking, "WHY is she DOING that?!  She's making a MESS!  Someone's gonna yell at her to PICK THAT UP!"  No one did, hahahaha.

I learned a lot from that experience at that tender young age.  From then on, it was always about getting up, dusting off, turning chicken shit into chicken salad, and making it happen.  And we did!  I think that it gave me my "SHOW MUST GO ON" attitude that I've always had about everything I do.  I think it taught me not to be a wuss about things, to take shit as it comes and deal with the hard knocks, come what may.  Why let something relatively minor tarnish the big picture?  Screw that.  Nothing is impossible, really.  There are just different kinds of things that are POSSIBLE that will blow your mind!  Furthermore, taking a hard knock or 12 along the way makes for a great story later on.

Post Script: About six months later, during Gym Class again, I got yet another black eye.  This time, it was because the jerkoff next to me kept raising the plastic fucking hockey stick too high while we were playing floor hockey, and hit me in the eye.  I kept telling him to stop raising his stick so high, but he wouldn't listen.  He didn't even get into trouble!   So, here we go again!  

For some reason, I'd be willing to bet my life is a lot more fun than his is.......

The Old New Me Taken on the Chin by Slim Dunlap @ ARTISTdirect.com

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