Sunday, January 11, 2009

For me, Junior high school was a living hell the likes of which only those who have survived trench warfare could possibly comprehend. At least that's how I imagine it, since I've never fought in a trench. But I have seen a picture of a soldier frozen in abject fear with wet pants, and I totally relate to it.

Above:  Pretty much exactly what junior high was like.

I went to a school called Farrer Middle School. It was built in medieval times, though throughout the centuries it had been converted, renovated, and patched together to comply with new building codes. It even had such modern amenities as plumbing and electricity. And in a move that could only be described as "twisting the knife" by the handicapped, they converted the stairs in the building into absurdly steep, alpine-grade wheelchair ramps. A healthy biped could barely climb them without an icepick and a pair of crampons. The thought of a wheelchair-bound tweenager trying to actually use those ramps makes me laugh out loud even today. (Yes, I'm a jerkface.) 

The big improvement made during my tenure there was the addition of an ultra-modern cafetorium.  Supposedly it was a cross between cafeteria and an auditorium, but I think they also had a crematorium in there for good measure.

The worst thing about junior high though, was the F-Dudes and F-Chicks. In case you aren't familiar with the term, I give you the following, from Urban Dictionary:
"'F-Dude: a guy who drives a truck, has a mullet, has a 'no fear' sticker, and feels strongly about whether he drives a ford or a chevy. oh...and they sure say "F**K", and "DUDE" alot...thus the name, "F-Dude"
"Did you see Tammy? Like, I can't believe she is dating that F-Dude!""

I don't entirely agree with that definition, but it's a decent place to start. In Junior High, F-Dudes, and their female counterparts, F-Chicks were the kids from the other side of the tracks. Instead of listening to mainstream pop music, they listened to bands with names like Slayer, Cinderella, and Megadeath. They wore the torn black concert t-shirts to prove it. The F-Chicks had ratted hair, the F-Dudes had mullets and rat-tails. You could expect to be challenged to wrestle or fight one of them at any given moment, and you walked the halls in fear of being ambushed by them.  They were from a different socioeconomic demographic, and to me, a north Provo-ite, they may as well have been from a different planet.    

The F-Chicks wore such tight jeans that I once was plagued by a pubescent NRB after seeing a chubby one with a camel toe. (Something I'm not proud to admit.) Nevertheless, I never would have associated with any of them had it not been for the cafetorium. For some reason, the psychotic Principal decided that no students would be allowed inside any part of the building during the lunch hour, with the exception of the Cafetorium. So after lunch students would line up at the doorway from the Cafetorium to the main building, waiting to go back to their lockers, the restrooms, etc. There were these two F-Chicks, the chubby one and her friend Tina, who would always manage to block the hallway when the doors were opened. I don't think it was so much a feat of strength as it was due to the other students unwillingness to touch them for fear that whatever diseases they had might be catching.

One day I must have really needed to pee or something and in frustration I yelled "push those sluts!" from the back of the crowd. Tina and Chubby immediately turned around and came after me. Chubby started repeatedly kicking me in the shins, and as I impotently tried to defend myself it dawned on me that Tina was fondling my junk. No joke. Talk about a mixed message.

There was one F-Dude named Earl Roberts who committed suicide by shotgun.  As the news spread around the school, an announcement was made that any students who were in need of some grief counseling could be excused from class to speak with someone.  I remember that some friends of mine and I decided to go just to get out of class.  We were callous little bastards, what can I say?

I would excuse myself based on my young age at the time, but it turns out I'm still a callous bastard.  A couple of weeks ago a bunch of my wife's friends from Provo High had a get-together at an Indian restaraunt.  I didn't go to Provo High, so I was worried I wouldn't have anything to talk about.  Then the subject of F-dudes came up.  I was excited to reminisce about the poor kids from way-back-when.  I said something like, "Oh man, I remember this one kid named Keith Maynard!  What a tool!  He was the quintessential F-Dude!"  I chuckled heartily over my Malai Kofta until someone said, "Wasn't Keith Maynard the guy who shot himself our senior year?"

All this has gotten me to thinking.  I guess F-Dudes weren't so different after all.  They were just like the rest of us.  Maybe they had hard lives by circumstance and not by choice as I had always assumed.  

So to all F-dudes I say that I am sincerely sorry for judging you.  (But Tina and Chubby, no touching.)

P.S.  My wife feels strongly that I should delete the part about getting a boner because of the camel toe altogether.  I compromised and used the term NRB instead of what I had originally written.  During our discussion about it though, she came up with a real gem.  She said, "I don't like when you talk about vaginas.  You have a problem.  You're like an atheist who talks about God."  


AzĂșcar said...

I learned a LOT of stuff I probably shouldn't have during my years at that place. Scary stuff.

Kaerlig said...

You may recall that I also said I was embarrassed to know you.

The Calders said...

I think everyone goes to the same Jr. High. Jr. High is like the is the worst two years.

While I would usually been offended by your remarks:), you saying them makes them all ok.

I don't know why really.


Cowboy Curtis said...

oh man, that was a brilliant post.

John Roylance said...

Viva la F Dudes

Katie said...

That's hilarious. I love posts like this on a dragging night shift.

Melissa said...

You have serious issues.

I love it!

The Drizzled Apple said...

Dave, you never fail to make me smile when I read about your confessions!ha ha! And to Kaerlig..... your comments are classic and so...well- you... witty and right on haha.

Carlita said...

this is fantastic and disturbing, and hilarious all at once. this is Carla and Matt - with the scooters. we are going to be posting about your shop {and you} occasionally, so here is the link and the photos i took yesterday. Let me know if you'd like anything changed. Thanks!

rusted sun said...

I have to admit I had to google NRB...thanks for the education. You have expanded my vocab. You are a great story teller.

Thanks for sharing.

Nigel said...

Great post.I really don't know how I survived junior high...

A friend of mine (who got bullied a lot) said he could predict the severity of a beating based on the black t-shirt worn by the attacker.

A Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt would be a moderate beat-down. Iron Maiden meant a serious beating, with Slayer resulting in likely hospitalization.

On the other hand, "conflict resolution" for a kid in a Grateful Dead shirt usually meant smoking a bowl. Kids in Cure and/or Smith's shirts were more likely to hit on you than hit you.