During this time, my family lived in the slums of Des Moines, Iowa. Every morning, I would wake up, look at the strikers in front of the Firestone tire factory, look at the strippers leaving their shift at Big Earl's Playhouse, and then watch 3 hours of Darkwing Duck. That was, unless I was being babysat by our elderly next door neighbor, because they only let me watch 3 hours of Rocky and Bullwinkle. I think Darkwing might have given her nightmares.
|Yea, my imagination is capable of this. What of it?!|
Before I started Kindergarten, I went with my parents to meet my new teacher. She was a sweet middle aged woman whose name I can't remember. This is because within the time I met her and my first day of school, a television fell on her head and she fell into a coma. This is not even a slight exaggeration. So my first day, and every day for the rest of the year, we had a long-term substitute, Mrs. Logan, who was fresh out of college.
Within my first 3 months of kindergarten, I had a girlfriend named Jerica. I don't remember much about her, besides the fact that she enjoyed overalls, thought paper tasted like spaghetti, and said she loved me right away. So take THAT every future relationship I've ever had.
One day, I decided during nap time to do the ultimate rebellion, and I hatched my plan with Jerica. When we lined up outside the classroom for recess, we would get in the back of the line, and walk out to recess down the THIRD GRADE HALLWAY. Completely unsupervised! We would be kindergarten royalty among those tall geniuses in third grade.
So we set the plan into action and simply turned and walked the opposite direction when the line started moving. Mrs. Logan noticed nothing, as she often did after a quick contact fixing. We had started our journey to the 3rd grade hallway.
|This is what feeling "on top of the world" looks like.|
She seemed more concerned that we even thought of breaking such rules than she was that we were unsupervised and prancing down an older kid hallway. Luckily, she let us off the hook. She walked us to the kindergarten recess door and released us into the wild, giving us a warning that if she catches us again, we will be sent to the principal.
Well, no guidance counselor of mine is going to dictate the terms of my life! The next day, I asked Jerica if she wanted to once again taste the glory of 3rd grade. Her denial was swift and firm, and it was at that point I realized our young romance might not be forever.
I once again got to the back of the line, and walked in the opposite direction. I knew what it was like to suddenly be in the 3rd grade, and I'd be damned if I was going to look back.
|I learned determination at a young age.|
What I had underestimated was how suspicious the guidance counselor was. Apparently, someone had tattooed "rebel" across my forehead, but it's in a special "Only guidance counselors can read" ink.
|Can't read it? You aren't much of a guidance counselor. Can read it? Maybe consider the lucrative career in counseling of guidance.|
So now, you're probably thinking, "so what, Rob. I impregnated a dolphin with tiger semen, and gave it an abortion, throwing the fetus at the head cheerleader during the Homecoming football game. And that was just my first kindergarten offense." Well, sorry Reader, my life is not as cool and extreme as yours. But I did get in trouble again in kindergarten, just one more time. And the principal DID call my mom. And it ended in my first ever puberty talk. At 5 years old.
Jerica and I were in the same daycare class thing. It was called PAL, but I can't remember for the life of me what that stood for. Parents Arriving Late? But whatever it stood for, it was for the kids whose parents couldn't pick them up right away. Also in PAL was my first ever school bully. He used to follow me to the urinal in the bathroom and make fun of whatever underwear I was wearing. He made fun of me a lot actually, and I don't remember the majority of the reasons. But I learned that OshKosh B'Gosh underwear was NOT the cool brand.
One day, Jerica decided it was time to take our relationship to the next level. She asked if I wanted to kiss. Being one to never back down from a challenge, I readily agreed. We waited until after school during PAL. We held hands and walked behind the big tree in our schoolyard. There, we talked about what paper tastes like for the first time of many, and then Jerica turned to me.
Yea, the underwear bully spied my first kiss ever. He quickly ran to the PAL teacher and told her all the dirty deets. Except for Jerica's paper-mouth. That I kept a secret until now. Seriously, she ate a lot of paper, guys. It was weird, even for kindergartners.
The PAL teacher quickly marched over to us and asked what had happened. Jerica started crying, so I had to explain that I was a hormone-ridden 3rd grader trapped in a kindergartner's body. And I got sent to the principal.
The principal was reasonably distressed that I was back in her office for doing things well beyond my age group. She called my mom.
My mom wasn't upset. She was concerned. She sat me in the kitchen and explained A LOT about the sexual process, and asked me lots of questions. Why did I do it? Do I derive pleasure from mouth kissing so soon in life? Is that any way to treat a lady? When it was all over, my mom said that Jerica was maybe a little too forward. Which I think we can all agree she meant:
I'm inclined to believe her.