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Monday, January 14, 2002

My Old PE Uniform
And Bill's Lead Chewing Gum

When I was at my parent's place over Christmas my wife asked me to look through my old clothes to see if there were anything she could wear besides the dressy clothes she'd brought. Sure enough, I found a bunch of stuff from high school--when I weighed about 120 pounds.

I found some jeans and sweat shirts she could wear just fine. I also found my old PE uniform. I went to public school in Eastern Kentucky where we had sex-segregated PE classes, and you HAD to wear the school-sanctioned athletic uniform, which consisted of a white, Red Devil tee shirt and maroon polyester shorts.

I sucked at every sport except track. I have no meat on my body whatsoever back then...which gave me a distinct advantage in running. Less body to keep moving.

Anyway, we had too "dress out" in our uniforms in school lockerroom, which was sort of a concrete bunker with metal lockers. It smelled like lockerrooms do, which is to be expected, but it also had a collection of stalagtite boogers hanging from the ceilings. The guys would work up some mucous and spit it straight up. It would catch, stretch down and eventually dry to a hard, crispy state.

I was always concerned one of these boogers would fall on me. None did, that I know of.

There was a lot of weird shit in the lockerrooms, too. They seemed to serve as storage--especially during the summers when the regular classrooms had to be cleaned out to wax the floors.

One day this kid named Bill found a lead curtain weight on the floor. He brushed it off and started chewing it to demonstrate that he was so strong, he could bend metal with his teeth. We warned him that lead was dangerous, but he called us a bunch of jigaboos and said we'd been over at his house last night attempting to egage him in homosexual sex.

Bill was what we called "a little touched." Not quite "special," but not unspecial, either.

Bill was also in my civics class that year. As part of our lesson on the court system, we had to conduct a mock trial. We elected a judge (which was Bill), a bailiff (which was me), a jury and so on.

Bill would come into the room. I'd say, "All rise for the Honorable Judge Smith," and everyone would rise. Bill looked bewildered, and the teacher told him to sit at the desk in the front of the room.

I swore in witnesses using a copy of Reader's Digest as the Bible.

Whoa, all this from finding my old uniform. Go Red Devils! (Strange mascot for a school that had school prayer every morning over the P.A. system.)

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