Some of you loved every minute of high school and I don’t begrudge you that. Really, I don’t. Not your high school sweetheart, not the Friday nights at the football game, not the keg parties, none of that stuff. I’m totally glad you had a great time. If I sound a little insincere, however, it’s because my high school years were about as miserable as the four years I spent in the California State Penitentiary. (Or at least what I imagine four years in jail would be like.)
Instead of sending me to the local public high school with my friends, my mother decided I would be better off at a private high school in our town. This school – my high school – was a tad unusual:
1. There was no football team.
2. There was no baseball team until I founded one my sophomore year.
3. There were only 135 kids in the ENTIRE school.
4. My class had just 35 students…only eight of which were girls. Making matters worse was the fact that two of them were so unattractive I only realized they were girls second semester.
5. The school was established by Mormons, so the majority of the students were Mormon. This meant that, combined with the dearth of female students, the chances of a guy losing his virginity were practically nil. And, as you can imagine, there were no keg parties.
6. The Mormon history of the school also meant that there wasn’t a caffeinated soda to be found on campus. This, as people who know me will attest to, did NOT make me happy.
7. Even though the school prided itself on offering a quality education, it was always afraid of having to close down because of its lack of students, so from time to time it would allow in kids who had been kicked out of other schools. As a result, mixed in with the lilywhite Mormon kids was a crew of psychotic punks you had to seriously watch out for.
8. And a bunch of other reasons…but you get the idea.
I felt like an outsider all four years. I was friendly with people when I was at school, but I rarely ever saw anyone from school off campus. I had few real “friends.” And while there were some nice kids there – one of whom even pledged that when the apocalypse comes I’ll be welcome to join his family in Missouri – there were plenty who treated me like shit. And some who made my life absolutely miserable.
I bring all this up because recently I got the chance to get a little vengeance on at least one of those a-holes. Before I explain how, however, I must give a little back story.
There was this one Mormon kid I went to school with – let’s call him Dick for soon to be obvious reasons – who I was less than fond of. He was totally unstable mentally, and had the annoying habit of, out of the blue, kicking guys in the balls incredibly hard apropos of nothing. No one ever called him on it though because he was six foot four, two hundred and fifty pounds, and freakishly strong.
One Friday night I was driving home up the dark, sparsely populated hills that lead to my parent’s home when a car pulled up alongside me going the wrong way. I looked over at the car and saw that the driver was wearing a ski mask. I gasped as the driver rolled down the window, raised a rifle, and pointed it at me.
I hit the gas and flew up the hill, swerving around sharp turns at eighty, ninety, a hundred miles per hours. I could have been killed. When I pulled into the driveway of my home I killed my lights and looked back down the road. The gunman, thankfully, was nowhere in sight.
I ran inside and told my parents, but they seemed dubious about my story.
“A guy in a ski mask pointed a gun at you?” my dad asked. “Really?”
“Yes!” I replied. “Just now!”
“Should we call the police?” my mother asked, atypically blasé. She then added, “Did this really happen?”
I rolled my eyes and said I was going to bed.
The next Monday I was telling some kids at school about what happened when Dick strutted up and said, “Say, Mike, did this gunman have on a ski-mask?” I furrowed my brow and said, “Yeah. How did you know?” He smiled and said, “’Cause it was me.” He then pulled the ski mask from his pocket and said, “You should have seen you face!” He soon strolled off, cackling like a madman.
In hindsight I should have done something. Tackled him, punched him, hit him over the head with a baseball bat, keyed his car….SOMETHING! But I did nothing because, well, as I mentioned early, he was gigantic with freakish strength and mental health issues.
For years I dreamt about getting revenge on Dick, and then yesterday I was on Facebook and, inexplicably, up popped a friend request from none other than Dick. I stared at it in shock a long beat, then, despite the fact I had never done so before, hit the “Ignore Request” button. His photo and request immediately disappeared.
I leaned back, put my hands behind my head, and felt a strange sense of satisfaction. It may not have been as sweet as, say, hitting him over the head with a bat, but you know what? It was something and I’ll take it. Thanks, Facebook!