What ever happened to that guy?

23 10 2008

Good Thursday people.  I’m on a memory lane kick as of late, and I thought back to one of the most colorful characters of my childhood.  I kinda wonder what happened to him, and then again, I kinda don’t.  Let me explain:

When I was in 3rd grade, there was this Jewish boy in class with me (I’ll call him Jeff).  Jeff was short, had a pot belly, and a big butt that was high up in the air.  He kind of leaned forward when he walked, as if his pot belly was pulling him down.  He had bugged out eyes and big bugs bunny teeth.  That may or may not seem that funny, because all 8 year olds look funny. He would frequently wear these Osh Kosh B’gosh denim overalls, and whenever he did, we would tease him and call him Farmer John. We even had a song and a Farmer John dance to go with it. (8 year old kids are so silly).   He was a smart dude too, and we both were in the gifted program they had for public schools along with a handful of other kids.  What made Jeff different though is that he was really really emotionally disturbed. He was a perfectionist to the point of become visibly upset whenever he got something wrong.  He would bust out into tears and scream like a girl whenever someone would make fun of him too. 

Now we all know how cruel kids can be, and we were no exception.  Incidents would go something like this:  let’s say we were on our 11 time tables and when the teacher got to Roberta (my 3rd grade girlfriend), she said

“Roberta, what is 11 x 11?”

Roberta: “121”

Teacher: “Very Good.’

…and then the teacher would get to Jeff:

“Jeff, what is 11 x 12?”

Jeff: “133”

Teacher: “No Jeff, it’s 132.”

Now the class, being aware of Jeff’s proclivity for crying, and smelling blood,  would start in a low rumble that eventually turned into roar: “aaaaaaa Jeff. you got it wrong!….AAAAAAA JEFF!! AAAAAA JEFF!!”

Now this was too much for Jeff to handle. He would start crying and screaming, “AAAAAAAA!!! SHUT UP!! LEAVE ME ALONE! STOP MESSING WITH ME!! AAAAAAAAA!!” and then he would jump up out of his desk, and run out of the classroom, booty high up in the air and swinging his arms wildly.

By third grade, kids are discouraged from crying and when we see tears as eight year olds, we automatically relegate the cryer to baby status and quietly disapprove.  But when we saw Jeff cry, we would erupt in laughter to the point where the teacher couldn’t control us.  I know on a couple of occasions even the teacher laughed at one of Jeff’s tear-filled freak-outs. 

The most memorable Jeff episode came in P.E. one morning.  We had a real cool P.E. teacher too.  Her name was Ms. Mayo. She was real Bonequisha-like too, with dye in her hair and a whole bunch of bangle bracelets and a whole bunch of gold chains.  I think she even wore some fresh shell toe adidas.

So Ms. Mayo told us all to hold hands in a circle, and pull out to a nice wide circle so we could do our exercises.  We would do jumping jacks, arm rotations, and toe touches.  They were never really strenuous, and we were always just anxious to have a good game of kickball, dodgeball, or just running around like maniacs outside on the field. 

There was this boy in my class who was taller than everyone, including the teacher, and lanky.  He was one of the class clowns.  Anthony Boast was his name, and he would behave himself for the most part, but whenever there was an opportunity for a joke, he took it by the throat and wrestled it to the ground like the crocodile hunter. 

So midway through our morning exercises, Ms. Mayo, standing behind the circle, and as she walked behind Jeff, she squinted her eyes and craned her neck, as if to make sure she was seeing what she was seeing.

Ms. Mayo, looking at Jeff, perplexed, said “Jeff, what’s that on your shorts!?!”

Apparently Jeff, wearing his park ranger khaki shorts pulled up to his navel, knee high striped tube socks, and a striped izod shirt, had perspired on his rear, and the sweat formed a spot on the back of those shorts.

Anthony Boast shouts out really loud:

“UUUUUUH! JEFF PEED OUT HIS BOONKEY LIKE A GIRL!!!”

This was waaaaaaaaaay too much for us.  We were laughing so hard, we couldn’t even chant and chide “Aaaa Jeff!”  We were all rolling on the ground laughing at Jeff and his sweaty boonkey.   Even Ms. Mayo couldn’t control herself and she was laughing hard too.

As you can imagine, Jeff freaked out, started crying and screaming, and ran off behind the school.  Even though Ms. Mayo later found him to console him, Anthony found where he ran off to and continued to point and laugh.   

Now I was in the same class with Jeff for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.  He didn’t outgrow that crying freaking out thing then.  I didn’t go to middle school with him, but in ninth grade, guess who’s in my homeroom?  There were a few freak out episodes he had that year, but I had grown up and didn’t get as much pleasure out of tormenting this kid.  I also had started to peer into the future and became afraid.  I told some of my buddies, “Man, I’m not f*cking with Jeff no more, he could grow up to be a serial killer and kill us all!”

I didn’t see him for years and years after we graduated high school.  About three years ago though, I was walking through the mall back home, and off in the distance I see this big fat white dude wearing grey overalls, wild hair, a wild beard on his face, and crazy hair.  I squinted my eyes and though to myself “It can’t be….”   It was.   It was Jeff, and all I could think about was that he looked like the Unabomber with bugged out eyes:

the unabomber

the unabomber

I turned around and went the other direction.  I sure hope Jeff doesn’t get an itch to be a serial killer. 😦

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4 responses

23 10 2008
A

whenever there was an opportunity for a joke, he took it by the throat and wrestled it to the ground like the crocodile hunter.

^That’s a great line by the way.

I was thinking about a potential serial killer the whole time I was reading this. You never know what kids have the crazy potential to do a Columbine. SCAAAAA-RY!

23 10 2008
R-Luv

I went to school with a guy like that in elementary school. This guy used to get mad and cry, but also would use his head like a battering ram and try to ram people in the butt when they upset him.

It’s weird though because if we had grown up about about 10 years later, I truly believe that it could have turned into some columbine type environment. From day one, I left that guy alone. I remember some of his threats… “You’ll be sorry…” I haven’t seen this guy since high school graduation and thankful of it!

I also remember another former classmate from elementary school. She used to piss up herself. I could NEVER understand anyone who would sit in a desk and just pee on themselves. Last I heard, she was a local rapper. Go figure? “I come hard, can’t you see? Way back in the day, I used to sit and PEE!”

23 10 2008
Marketing Prophetess

When I first read this (especially R-Luv’s recollection of elementary school weirdos) I laughed and recounted the funny moments in my classes where the we did the same thing. But then I thought, I wonder what those kids go back and say to their parents when they ask “so how was school sweetie?” I wonder if they lie and say everything was great, or do they actually tell their parents about how they’re humiliated everyday with taunting and what not. Its sad, really, when you think about it. 😦

23 10 2008
dragonflysoul

yeah sorry to be the party pooper but i didn’t think this was funny either. i know kids are immature and need to learn about being sensitive to other people’s feelings, but i don’t find anything funny about incessant teasing and making fun of anyone. and though we’re talking about the foolish nature of children, it doesn’t have to be that way – kids can be taught to respect each other and not laugh at people. that kind of stuff can create scars that last well into adulthood.

when i was a little girl, i was kinda chubby and boys in my class used to tease me. i put on a brave front at school but would cry my eyes out at home. and i carried that hurt and mistrust of people around with me for years and had low self-esteem. thanks be to God i’ve healed (and slimmed) but i’ve never forgotten how that feels. i dare my kids to ever let me catch them taunting someone.

i’m not judging you, i just hope you understand that those things probably have had a lasting affect on that guy and that you’re sensitive to that.

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