I was a class-clown in middle school. For example, I wore zip-ties and vests (that were too small for me) and grew my hair out way past the dress code's limits. I thought I was pretty freaking cool. This personality of mine carried well into high school, where I then became jaded by the world's darkness and decided to become mysterious and introverted. (Not to be too dramatic or anything.)
Middle school carries a plethora of golden story-telling opportunities for me.
I remember this one time…
I was in 8th grade. At the time of this story, I was in Bridget Puckett’s English class. She was probably in her late 20's. Red hair. Angelic face. We all thought she was quite the attractive one. I mean...really, she makes the pickup line, "Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?", less cheesy and more realistic, because I probably would have asked her that, being legitimately curious whether or not she fell from Heaven.
I was in her class with my good friends, Austin Manuel and Bob Hooper and John DeWitt and Tony Beuerlein. We always sat next to each other.
Our class was seriously envied by guys in other classes. Everyone wanted to be in the same English class that all the "clever" class-clowns were in. Every time we would take bathroom breaks, we would pass by Mrs. Dincauze's class and we would make eye contact with my friend, Tarek Merritt. He would then ask Mrs Dincauze if he could use the restroom. We would then all go into the bathroom and have a huge mosh pit, people taking turns to jump off of the counters (where normal people would wash their hands) into the arms of fellow class-mates.
One day in Mrs. Puckett's class, we are reading some ancient Greek Mythology. We are doing the whole ‘popcorn reading’ thing where people take turns reading paragraphs from the book. This is paraphrased, but I’m reading something like, “Leopold squanders the Trojans with his warriors who surpass all enchantment, but his predecessor, Homer, too did this.”
When I read “too did”, I just started smirking and completely stopped reading the next sentence. No one else was laughing or knew what was going on at all. I looked over at John DeWitt and he then knew what I thought was funny. Then it was like dominoes among my fellow class-clown friends…Austin and Bob then started laughing. And then my friend, Tony, starts laughing. But of course, all the girls in the class have already matured and can’t dumb themselves down to the poo-poo/pee-pee minds of us boys.
Mrs. Puckett then puts her hands (always gently and never raises her voice…what an angel) down on my desk, and asks me, “Will, why are you smirking. Can you not finish reading your paragraph?”
I then look at her with puppy eyes (always calming the teacher down and making them feel sympathetic for me), “Mrs. Puckett, I’m sorry, it’s just that ‘too did’ sounds an awful lot like ‘tooted’”.
Mrs. Puckett just stares at me for a few seconds and says, “Unreal. Continue reading please.”
But to this day, I think she laughed a little to herself on the inside.