Keeping up with another tradition from last year means I might as well celebrate the return of GIF of the Day with a young Michael Jordan dunk from his first NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest in 1985 (held at the long departed Market Square Arena in downtown Indianapolis.
Dunk in question:
Note the three Indiana Pacers ABA championship banners in the background. They’ve been replaced by these at the current Pacer home of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Now on to homework. Thanks to any and all who took the time to see MJ in flight.
Hopefully Ballard and new coach Frank Reich will actually win some games next year and not employ the likes of Scott Tolzienon the 2018 roster. One can dare to dream, after all.
As for other comings and goings…..
-per family request (and also per needing to sell a house) I took some time off from school for the fall semester. Worked out well. Instead of returning from work to write papers every week, yours truly actually started doing something I haven’t done for years: read for fun. (I also went to a NCAA Division III basketball game for alma mater number four Anderson University and saw them win. Total cost: $11. Will need to talk about more next time.) Thanks to the local library (after all, I’m still a cheapskate) I was able to finally check out some books that I had been wanting to read but never got around to because I was writing 10-17 page papers for the fun of using them to write even more 10-17 page papers. Since there’s a good chance we’ll have a new party ruling Congress by the time I post again, here’s a few of the books I’d recommend (along with captioned photos):
I first knew the Rolling Stones courtesy of their videos from their their 1981 Tattoo You album as the likes of MTV VJ’s Alan Hunter and Nina Blackwood would note that these middle aged dudes from England had been dominate in the rock and roll world since the early days of the British Invasion. While I got to see a lot of subsequent videos from both the Stones and lead singer Mick Jagger himself during the course of the decade and my years at the Sonland otherwise known as Noblesville High School (which reminds me of Chad Mitchell apparently plucking down $80 for a Stones Steel Wheels North American tour sweatshirt via their Indianapolis concert appearances during Sonland Junior Year and thus seeing Mitchell wear said sweatshirt with matching red doo-rag on queue once a week for the remainder of his Sonland days) I didn’t really know too much about Richards other than reading about his past drug issues. So one day I decided I might as well read about this individual who in recent years has played pirates in Johnny Depp movies while surprising many simply by still breathing. Turned out to be a pretty darn good book. Not many people can write about hanging out with the likes of Bob Dylan and John Lennon with the casualness of me writing about prom dates (which I hope to finally summarize once the decade ends) but Richards does it well and with a good bit of added comedy (for example he notes the antics of popular blog photo op man John Belushi by stating that Belushi “was an extreme experience even in my standards.” ) Simply put, Richards would certainly know. And to his credit he produces one of the best autobiographies I have ever read, period.
You’ll also get to see photos like this one:
So if I read about Richards, the late Ray Charles can see whose biography I’m going to write about next:
One major problem with this book: Spitz has a gimmick where he says (get ready for all caps for this) ME PICK SOMEONE NOT JAGGER-ME WRITE ABOUT SOMEONE WHOLE CHAPTER-NOW ME CLOSE CHAPTER ABOUT JAGGER. Perhaps Spitz was trying to be different, but to be blunt I don’t give two s–ts about what Truman Capote wrote about in the 1950’s (those are words I don’t plan on ever typing again) nor do I want to hear about the marriage issues between Carly Simon and James Taylor. However Spitz does just that with a flourish, and since it’s his book it’s up to you as the reader to decide whether you want to put up with it or not. Fortunately for me since the book was free for three weeks and since I once again admit that I have the social life of a small inland shrew… I put up with it since the book was a quick read (roughly 300 pages) and again you get to see photos like this:
I didn’t just read about the lives and legacies of The Glimmer Twins. Two other books of note:
Posnanski is one of my favorite sportswriters. For better or for worse (and as written previously on this blog it has often been for worse) I am a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan. There was a time-albeit in the midst of the Ford Administration- that the Reds were actually not inept; in fact during the mid-1970’s said Reds were the best team in baseball known as “The Big Red Machine” because good teams don’t give the equal of year-to-year contracts to bad managers who finish in last place every year (which the current Reds regime did last fall). Posnanski gets the job done like rapper extraordinaire Big Daddy Kane as he notes the pressures the pressures the Reds had of actually fulfilling their previously wasted potential by winning back to back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976after failing previously to capture baseball’s world championship in their 1970 and 1972 Series appearances. I also felt Posnanski was fair in his assessment of one of my all time sports heroes, one Peter Edward Rose. That doesn’t happen too often when it comes to media members, so yours truly gives props to Posnanski for not being biased while publicly babbling for the days of Nolan Ryan and multi-purpose stadiums to come back to a sport that is not the cathedral or religious like presence some sportswriters tend to treat it like.
When I was in elementary school the Indianapolis metro area did not have a clusterf–k of a pro football team to call its own until the Colts moved from Baltimore during the spring of my fifth grade year in 1984. Before being subjected to the likes of Mike Pagel and Jack Trudeau losing game after game in the pre-Manning era, I had the good fortune to enjoy fall Sunday afternoons as the times to watch Walter Payton and his Chicago Bears on television. Ironically the Bears were not good until said 1984 when they would reach the NFC title game (losing to San Francisco)…but we know what happened with 1985 as the Bears would win their only Super Bowl as Payton would retire in 1987 as the NFL’s then all-time leading rusher. Bottom line was as the Colts were as inept then as they are now, first Payton and then the Bears themselves made watching NFL football worthwhile when I was growing up. Payton was a big part of my childhood, and Pearlman notes the good and the bad via the physical price Payton paid for playing through injuries throughout his long and illustrious Hall of Fame career. I enjoyed the book and will remain a fan of both Payton and Pearlman’s writing. For a link to those who weren’t as thrilled with Pearlman’s work, see here.
Even got me to do something I have also long babbled about doing but never got around to: getting a Walter Payton jersey. So if you see someone at the Hamilton East Public Libary sporting one this summer while writing ten page school papers on one of the public computers, you’ve been forewarned.
Good time to wrap it up. Happy 2018 to everyone as I also wrap up the Chuck Pagano era of Colts football by throwing out the obligatory Pagano clapping gif:
With my term paper for this current class due this coming weekend (I was at the library Sunday getting no less than 20 sources for it) and me having babbled enough about how I was going to eventually recap said prom for the past year’s worth of blog posts, it’s a good time to talk about what turned out to be a pretty important event in my life. While I had previously talked about on the @fitzthoughts Instagram account but not gone into too much detail on other than showing some photos and saying ‘we went there for dinner’ and ‘we went to downtown Indianapolis for prom’…..figured no time like now to recap said senior prom. After all one can only write so many PhD program papers.
And considering said prom night with said Prom Date almost didn’t happen in the first place, quite frankly I was lucky just to be able to have said prom to write about to begin with. So time to cut through the s–t and talk about the evening where I realized that even though I had made a lot of progress during 18 years of living in a city I detested at the time-the much referenced Sonland City of Noblesville, Indiana, home of the Sonland aka Noblesville High School – there was still a hell of a lot of work for me to do and places to see (and go to college at) before I finally found some true satisfaction and happiness in my life.
The turning point of doing so came that second weekend of May 1991 as my senior year at said Sonland High was drawing to a close and several weeks of ups and downs came to fruition with me ending up in some fancy downtown Indianapolis ballroom being told point blank that for all the personal growth I had previously recapped on this very blog-including dropping 60 pounds in two years and overcoming bullying and depression to occasionally hang out with good looking women and Homecoming Queens-nonetheless the trip wasn’t coming to an end for me….in fact thanks to said Prom Date it was about ready to being in earnest.
Never really got to truly thank said Prom Date for what she did, so consider this recap a way of doing so even if it’s a few years and five U.S. Presidents after the fact.
And now, #!%!$ finally, said recap:
As mentioned before in previous posts I was in true GTFO mode that senior year. While I had enjoyed a pretty good summer before my senior year, I found that I wasn’t having as good a time as I felt I should be having during the actual senior year itself, especially when dealing with the opposite sex. Bottom line was any confidence I gained from the previous year or so had gone down the proverbial sh-tter because my overall dating record for senior year was the equal of Ryan Grigson’s free agency signings when he was Indianapolis Colts general manager…..and since Grigson now works for the not ready for prime time Cleveland Browns, for a favorite reference the late Ray Charles can see how bad said record in fact was.
Among the lowlights before dealing with said Prom Date were:
-getting stood up for my own Homecoming Dance by one Aimee Allison which of course led to the comedy of going to 1st hour English Literature class that Monday and having Todd Burkhalter and the late Jared Blassius make sure to ask how said Homecoming went (the answer: I saved money and in a huge surprise never talked to Allison again, while in turn I apparently handled the trash talk well enough to write a paper for Burkhalter’s senior comp class during the midst of said 1st hour class because, well, it helped keep me awake).
-having a date set up with a girl in one of my second semester classes…only for her wanting me to meet at her workplace in order for her to publicly break said date. Since the workplace was none other than the Noblesville Burger King and this all took place while Barb Leeman from my yearbook class observed first hand while she waited to place her order, one can only imagine that I enjoyed being part of said experience. On the contrary, thanks to said incident quite frankly both options of the Peace Corps and the priesthood were looking better by the millisecond.
-and of course one time where I had a date ACTUALLY take place…..I roll out to the horse farm on State Road 19 between Noblesville and Cicero to pick up sophomore Jenny Padgett (who for irony’s sake was in the same Spanish class as the soon to be much mentioned Prom Date) for a Sunday movie matinee at Glendale featuring none other than future Family Guy star James Woods in the supposed comedy The Hard Way. Hard to forget a time where you like someone and when you’re driving them to said movie you get the honor of hearing the first words out of her mouth be “YOU KNOW WE’RE JUST GOING AS FRIENDS, RIGHT?”
My response: “I do now.”
Fortunately, again it was a matinee with dinner at the Allisonville Road Subway located in Fishers on the way home. So if you’re told that you’re only going as friends, best that your wallet doesn’t take too much of a hit.
…and thus my GTFO countdown was in full effect as there were no thoughts of future fraternity formals and sorority women but only thoughts of ’45 days to GTFO of Noblesville….44 days to….’ and so forth. College couldn’t be any worse than this. Nor could the Congo for that #!$% manner.
So of course in the midst of all this, none other than our previously mentioned pal Number 10-himself beginning his journey to manhood via a romance with the also previously referenced Tara Lynn Walczak (TLW for future references) set up in part by, yes, yours truly-one day in the midst of his insults and third-grade level humor announced that he was taking said TLW to prom (seniors could go with sophomores and vice versa as the Sonland’s junior class was traditionally the sponsoring group that had to organize the event in full)…and he decided in part that I needed to go as well. (As mentioned earlier, this was more than likely so someone could be there to make sure dude could get to the actual prom location since dude would have had trouble finding his own driveway without map and compass…as shown when he got lost going to Kings Island later on that prom weekend. In other words dude wasn’t hitting the Ivy League scholarship circuit.) Which meant that apparently the family of Number 10-our also previously mentioned pals Cliff and Mrs. Cliff-were in approval of me being guide dog/sidekick/Gilligan and figured that I needed to be involved even though as shown by the previous three bullet points I was not actually highlighting the date on said calendar (May 11, 1991 to be exact, showing that of course things changed)….and hence while it would be nice to go as a way to celebrate dropping weight/being a senior/winning the Gulf War and all that, I wasn’t exactly a fan of getting stood up for school functions. So of course you had this (paraphrasing) conversation take place:
“I’m taking Tara to prom.”
“Good for you, Number 10, good for you.”
“You’re going too.”
“Alright (smirk as I remember Aimee Allison and figure LIKE F— I AM)”
“..and we’re NOT taking your car (the before mentioned 1977 Buick Electra).”
“…no s—t, Sherlock.”
With this legendary handling of vocabulary now immortalized forever, yours truly humored the gent whom I also nicknamed The Diabolical C Squared by making a list of potential dates for said occasion because of the I’M NOT RIDING WITH HER or I WON’T BE SEEN WITH HER or TARA NO LIKE HER criteria that were apparently part of this double date.
Yes, a list. Not for groceries or (for future college days) fraternity beverage purchases, but for said Prom Date that could be of approval for said Number 10, Number 10’s family, Number 10’s main squeeze and for all the f— I know Number 10’s baseball card collection.
If one figured it would lead to some comic phone calls and debates on who best fit the Number 10 criteria, one would be correct. And if one says out loud “Dude, you should have just told him to STFO and do your own #!$^! thing, Buick or no Buick’ then one would be damn right as well.
But at the time, comedy prevailed. Number 10’s main man Eddie Murphy and his talk show approving sidekick Arsenio Hall had nothing on those phone conversations, save for the hit movie thing and all. Said calls pretty much went like this:
“I get along with _________, Probably will ask her.’
‘NO YOU WON’T. SHE’S UGLY! SHE’S NOT RIDING IN MY CAR!’
(shakes head at five foot eight dude with big teeth and bowl hair cut, continues…)
“Well, I hang out with ________, in this class, she knows…’
‘NO YOU’RE NOT TAKING HER! SHE’S DISGUSTING!’
(sees comedy routine happening, serves up next line..)
‘Alright then, what about __________?
‘YOU’RE NOT TAKING HER! YOU’RE NOT TAKING HER! YOU’RE NOT TAKING ANY OF THEM! (wash, rinse, repeat)
(sees perfect setup for classic Fitzthoughtsblog approved line)
‘….then WHO IN THE F— AM I TAKING THEN?’
(imagines Number 10 having hamster spinning on wheel inside head while thinking)
‘.…I’ll think of something……see you tomorrow.’
And so….that tomorrow ( a mid-week spring Wednesday) said Number 10 told me after Spanish class he was calling me that night. Of course he was…as he usually called more often than not. But this time the conversation proved to be even more classic than before. After the FITZ/NUMBER 10/FITZ/NUMBER 10/FITZ/NUMBER 10 routine that began every conversation, our TLW approved individual finally gave some informative-yet surprising as in WTF-news.
‘I know someone who will go with you.”
(Remembers past list of women who not meet Number 10 seal of approval)
“You’re f—king sh-tting me right?’
“No dude-I know someone who wants to go to prom with you (paraphrasing dude)’
“And who the f— would that be?”
Now THIS was a surprise, as I indicated by my response of “You’re f—king kidding with me, right?’
This is where Number 10 actually got semi-serious for once in his life and in turn after realizing that this is actually a Hot Sonland Chick (TM) who was in our very Spanish class and quite frankly IMO very beautiful as well as ten times better looking and nicer than the others I had mentioned who had stood me up for Homecoming or advocated for frequenting Burger Kings and Subways…..this did get my attention. And after realizing that I now potentially could go to an actual prom with said beautiful girl, I also realized that this was still going off the word of a dude who at times seemed to be the type to prefer to sit on his TV set in order to watch his couch….and thus I wasn’t keeping my hopes up. So I simply said (paraphrasing) ‘Tell you what I’ll do then…..tomorrow at the end of class I’ll ask her if I can call her to talk.’
Since said Fox SAT RIGHT BEHIND ME AND BESIDE NUMBER 10 in said Spanish class, that wasn’t going to be too hard to do. And I figured ‘why the f— not?’ because at the time I previously had as many phone conversations with her as I did Grammy Award trophies. Plus again I wasn’t expecting much to happen as shown by what was previously written. I figured ‘this will humor Number 10…and that DC trip is coming up so we get this out of the way and move on with Plan GTFO.’
So the next day-a Thursday IIRC-towards the end of 5th hour Spanish, Number 10 gives the watchful eye as the following takes place:
ME-(Turning around): “Will you be home later tonight?”
FOX-(Awake and direct): “Yes.”
ME-“Is it alright if I call you later?”
FOX-(Still awake and apparently not repulsed)- “Yes.”
ME (with Number 10 rocking the head nod with chin on fist)- “I’ll call you at 8 then.”
For your background on said Fox……
…..While I knew who she was (a good looking sophomore Hot Sonland Chick(TM) who ran cross country and track) I figured that with the exception of MAYBE seeing me as senior dude who was friends with Number 10 in Spanish class or dude who kept stats at basketball games with Young Adams that said Fox really had no idea who in the blue hell I was at all. A large part of that IMO was that during the majority of her two years at said Sonland I would only see her walking down the halls with her on-again, off-again boyfriend in one Sonland football and track star Jeremy Ross. (At this timethey were off again; otherwise that picture that’s been the blog logo would never have taken place….though in fairness I’m lucky that picture gets taken to begin with.)I knew Ross going back to our days in seventh grade honors social studies and junior high football and always got along with dude; in fact dude was in my English classes junior year and usually he never brought up said Fox at all. The result was never having too many in-depth conversations with her and only noticing things like her colorful Eight Ball leather jacket that she usually sported which was something out of the wardrobe truck of the Young Adams approved (yes) Fox Network TV show In Living Color.
So while I had been fortunate enough to become acquainted with the likes of her popular cheerleader classmates Keri Caswell (if you figured she’d get mentioned after 2,000 words of writing, you know me all too well) and Jenny Story, on the contrary quite frankly I had no idea if Fox was too concerned about my existence…..much less concerned about willingly being seen in public with me. Meaning here is a pretty girl who is out of my league that I’m admittedly unsure about because I didn’t think she would give two s—ts about me. And even though was two grades younger than me at the time, yours truly was still nervous and not sure what to expect when I made the call that Thursday night.
Turned out to be memorable with an admittedly unexpected ending.
I called Sarah and was able to make small talk for a half hour or so on topics ranging from her friends (Danielle King) to mutual acquaintances present (Number 10) to mutual acquaintances past (Ross; if she didn’t know that I knew him well before, she did afterwards as I recapped early touchdowns on his junior high football days and growth spurt that led to a successful Sonland athletic career. ) For a compliment past, present and future Sarah’s voice reminded yours truly of perennial Fitzthoughtsblog favorite and 90210 starlet Jennie Garth; that helped make the conversation enjoyable but also still made me nervous. And after said half hour I figured it was time to get rejected based on all the past s–t from previously….so I manned up to hear the word ‘no’ or another version of the ‘go f— yourself’ that one Catherine Purdy had previously done when calling her for Number 10 (as per previous posts).
That led me to saying something to the tune of ‘well, you probably know why I called, so I’ll ask; prom’s coming up soon….would you go to prom with me?’
Her reply: “I’d love to.”
After the initial shock set in and I realized SHE SAID YES I of course used the word ‘awesome’ a few dozen times and was elated to say the least. I didn’t expect her to say those words then and am STILL surprised to this day. Wasn’t every day that a former five foot four, 200 pound plus object of ridicule could end up with not only a prom date but in my opinion THE Prom Date. Still gives me goosebumps.
When I was done talking to Sarah I sat there with a huge a— grin on my face for a few minutes before keeping the promise and calling Number 10. Since Number 10 approved of said Fox (who was also in his Earth Science class and apparently got to hear Number 10’s outlook on life for two straight hours per school day) that meant that I was apparently double dating with him and for one moment his insults towards me took a backseat to WE’RE EATING AT FRENCH QUARTER and WE’RE GETTING MICHAEL JORDAN TUXES BECAUSE BARRY JACKSON’S GETTING ONE in the conversation. (You also know now how dining and wardrobe were selected for the evening. Dude was rocking the event planner gimmick for the event without question.) Young Adams and the few other individuals who did ask me if I was going to prom were IIRC impressed as well since 1) Fox was gorgeous and 2) see number 1 since she supposedly was going with ME to this.
And that’s where the supposedly comes in….combined with stuff of months previous (Allison standing me up for Homecoming) and present (the much mentioned previous amount of cheap shots taken by Number 10 at me, my family, Young Adams and all facets of my life that did not have anything to do with this prom planning). Add to that Walczak’s mixed communication with said Number 10 (IIRC she wanted me to go with someone else on the Friday after the Thursday night I had asked Sarah on the phone) and I had a situation where I personally resolved myself to this mindset based on the previous year’s amount of Sonland related drama and b—s—: don’t be surprised if something comes up i.e. Homecoming and this doesn’t happen. In other words I ended up with two main goals: have a memorable photo taken at your house before prom while not having an incident with an increasingly arrogant, condescending and all around c–k of a so-called friend such as Number 10.
Yeah, after typing that last sentence a double date situation with dude doesn’t look too enticing when said dude openly makes fun of you, your friends, your home and your family. And his man Cliff was sure as f— no James Eckhouse giving guidance to the youth of West Beverly. Especially as he talked down to me and made me wonder if this prom would actually happen since I didn’t fully trust too much at the time. Call me cynical but based on what I have wrote already (again see Allison, Aimee) at the time I also considered myself a realist. As a result I did not make it the norm to talk too much about said prom (though in fairness when your class votes you Most Likely To Stay Single it means they figured I wouldn’t be talking about prom much to begin with). So here’s a quick rundown of what happened before said prom in dealing with said Prom Date in waiting:
-I wrote Sarah a couple of notes during school hours to say I was excited to go to prom with a non-inflatable female. She actually wrote back to acknowledge said acknowledgements. As exciting as it sounds.
-I talked to Sarah a handful of times on the phone. One of early said times was when I found that there would be no part of the traditional ‘go to Kings Island day after prom with Prom Date’ festivities with her because she had already made plans with her gal pal and Lady Miller golfer Michelle Baker (who was not going to said prom) for the trip to the suburban Cincinnati home of a fake Eiffel Tower, roller coasters and people donning life size costumes of Hanna Barbara characters. (You’ll find out eventually how that day went with a comedy story to go along with it.) I didn’t press the issue because quite frankly I didn’t think the prom was a guarantee to begin with (remember-I had no f—-ing confidence in this point) and simply said “I’m just happy to go to prom in the first place” even though I wasn’t so sure it was going to happen. Again, no confidence.
-I also remember getting to ask her what her dress would look like so I could figure out what to do on buying her flowers and/or a corsage for prom. Of course I smoothly brought it up by saying “I have no idea what the f— to do since I’ve never done this before” and got her to describe her dress (this came after the obligatory I GOT MY DRESS conversation that increased my odds of thinking I was going to this from 10-1 to 5-2-again, no confidence.) She described it pretty much as the photo shows. The mere thought of a strapless dress was enough to keep me in happy spirits while I figured I was getting red and white flowers of some sort…which I would in the form of the wrist crosage shown on above photo.
-before spring break and prom took place, I went to our nation’s capital for a week with said Sonland school DC Club and sponsor extraordinaire Big Jim Sparks. To show how much Number 10 paid attention when not insulting me or talking about the greatness of the Walczak family, it took him a few days to figure out I was not in said Spanish class to insult, so he of course called the house to hear “he’s in Washington D.C., Number 10″ and then the hamster wheel in his head eventually figured out that’s why I had been going to DC Club meetings and doing fundraisers (ours included of all things a plant sale-hey, it worked) for the last six months. No insults for a week was nice. The comedy of seeing dudes attempt to get high in their hotel rooms by smelling Scotch Guard was nicer. Always approved of good comedy as good friend and fellow graduate Brian Allen both talked about said situation with me realizing I needed to watch my back on said situation due to Number 10’s b—s—t.
Sarah never got a postcard or anything else from that DC trip in part because this I never thought about sending her something until typing this very sentence. I’ll assume she figured out I was gone for the week since she sat in front of me….and if not I’ll assume she had the same optometrist as our main men Mr. Charles and Stevie Wonder. In any event, I was out of the Sonland for a week so that was enough for me.
-Spring Break happened in the first week of April. I made my first of many college choices (after all, I’m currently at college number six) by deciding to go to Transylvania University after an overnight recruiting visit where I met my future roommate and frat brother Tall Cool One Emberton (he also did his overnight visit at the same time) and the then current fraternity sweetheart and then junior member of Chi Omega sorority Laura Jo Simms. (I didn’t realize this at the time, but that was my first example of getting rushed for a fraternity as I went to an econ class, did not fall asleep (I had plenty of practice that semester in dealing with 1st hour Sonland Econ under former junior high football coach Mr. Brian Powers) , and next thing I know this woman over the age of 21 is talking to me and asking a bunch of questions and I’m going HOLY S— THIS WOMAN IS TALKING TO ME! and thinking ‘well, this day’s better than 12 years in Noblesville already so F— EVERYWHERE ELSE I’M GOING HERE.) Also helped that with scholarship money that it would be cheaper there than the likes of Indiana-Bloomington and Ball State...and as one knows from these blog posts I’m not afraid to be cheap so good for me there. Plus with what I reference later on it guaranteed that when I had a chance to back out of going to TU in May, I said THE F— NO BECAUSE TIME TO GTFO.
(So if one wonders why me of all people decided I wanted to rush a fraternity in college after having the social life of a small inland shrew for most of my existence, there it is. Beat standing in line for an hour to get a beer in Muncie.)
-As mentioned previously I then returned to have me and Young Adams get insulted by Number 10 on my birthday weekend. As mentioned earlier I let said Number 10 know what I thought of said insults which led to TLW calling me to make nice. And because I trusted Number 10 as far as I could dead lift a dead rhinoceros, I figured that I might as well see if this Prom Date was actually going to happen since I wasn’t actually talking to too many people…..
-…so that week I made the decision that if my luck was going to continue to be s—-y that I would know that I didn’t want it to be due to me not communicating or showing up at Prom Date House that Saturday with no Prom Date in the vicinity. Hence that week I simply asked Sarah if it was alright if I could stop by her house to meet the parents and give them the itinerary of WTF was going to happen that weekend. As goofy as it may sound between the Number 10 related drama and my not wanting to get stood up I said f— it and figured why the f— not? Hence more unintentional comedy as on the afternoon of Sunday April 21 yours truly sailed the 1977 Buick over to her house and was greeted by her father to then shoot the proverbial s–t and say “uh, I’m coming over in a couple weeks to take your daughter to prom so I wanted to introduce myself and (paraphrasing) let you know what the ##!#$ is going on.’
Dude seemed to approve, or at least dude seemed to humor me in acting like he approved. Plus dude probably saw a 6 foot 140 pound gent with Coke bottle glasses driving a 1977 Buick and thought to himself ‘well, I don’t have much to worry about.’
In the midst of said itinerary (where my highlight was-and this cracks me up typing this-cutting the promo of “Your daughter is meeting Baker at 6 am for Kings Island..I’m also picking up three other people at 6 am for Kings Island…so your daughter’s going to be back at a reasonable time.” Hence Mr. Fox probably figured yours truly wasn’t going to be lining up any kegs for the evening….or for that matter any Scotch Guard. He seemed to approve. I approved of his approval to approve. And in the midst of this conversation out walked Sarah wearing just a t-shirt and sweatpants…….where for the first time I realized she was actually a lot shorter than I thought (maybe 5’4” or 5’5” without heels). Probably came from underestimating her height after seeing her walk down the halls every day with the then 6’5” Ross. Or more than likely it came from the fact that I was a complete dumbass.
With said Prom Night schedule dictated to said Mr. Fox, history then took place because not only had Sarah not ran away or kicked me in the genitals or thrown her track cleats at me but for the first and only time I got asked to go to her room (which was on the first floor of said house…in fact IIRC the window view looked right onto the street) with her asking “Do you want to see my dress?”
Damn straight I did.
So I got to see what she had bought earlier in the month…..and when I got to see The Prom Dress -a strapless outfit including a white top with black polka dots, red rose on the area of the you know what and black skirt- of course I stuttered a few times and said something to the tune of ‘well I now know what to do on the flowers’ while realizing that I may actually not get stood up for this deal at all. After all SHE BOUGHT A DRESS (with black opera gloves to go with it). With most of the fashion trends picking either long gowns or those pastel colored deals that were straight out of what one would see at somewhere like the Merry Go Round store in Castleton Square Mall (home of the $35 IOU brand sweatshirts that yours truly used to pimp) safe to say I approved of the apparel. And I also figured ‘well, if I show up on May 11 and she’s not there, there should be one hell of a story as to why she’s not.’
Oh, and she was shorter than I thought.
(That led to this memorable quote from Sarah -paraphrasing-from the last phone conversation I had with her before prom: “No one’s ever wanted to meet my parents before.” That’s because no one you ever dated had a senior year dating history that rivaled the Republican party’s presidential election record against Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930’s and 40’s. Of course I didn’t say that in response…I just mumbled ‘well, I wanted to meet them’ or some other dumbf—k answer because again NO CONFIDENCE.)
-and of course in the midst of this as documented earlier I would have an altercation with Number 10 where I punched him in the face in front of TLW and then meet up with his parentals Cliff and Mrs. Cliff (with Number 10 hiding in the background) where I told them that Number 10 could in so many words go f— himself for being a c-ck to my friends, family and most importantly myself. (Which led to Cliff asking ‘What about prom?’ and me of course going ‘What about it?’ because it was just too good a response to pass up.) In turn three things came out of said Cliff Summit: the gentleman’s agreement where I promised to go on said double date with Number 10 as driver extraordinaire to dinner and downtown while I would not f— anyone’s prom up; me never respecting Number 10 again and knowing I needed to watch my back that next weekend; and lastly the realization that believe it or not this thing may actually happen next weekend after all. Add to that a little bit of self-respect for standing up to Number 10’s b—s— in front of him and his entire family (I included TLW as family as IIRC she was looked at by the Cliffs as the modern day Michelle Obama of the time) and yours truly felt ‘well, this prom thing may actually take place after all.’ Which led me to give Young Adams the comical recap of dealing with The Family Cliff while seeing Number 10 stand behind his mother and act victim…..and like I said before, I WAS DOUBLE DATING WITH THIS DUDE TO PROM.
Bad Lifetime movie in the making. All I needed was Lori Loughlin playing TLW (as in Full House version Loughlin of course-she was a personal favorite then and now as you’re not shocked I’d mention it if you’ve ever read anything else on this blog) and I was set. At the very worst I may complete my senior year by getting the finger on not one but two school dances; at the very least I would be dealing with watching what Number 10 might try to pull.
But as I gave the recap to Young Adams and then cruised over with him later that evening to visit That Son Shields, the realization was beginning to sink in that in one week I might be going to prom with a Hot Sonland Chick (TM). Add to that I had found that Shields had gotten the go-ahead and the cash for the following weekend so I would be driving the then sophomore Shields and his then girlfriend fellow sophomore Meghan Wheat to Kings Island the next day (again stay tuned next post who goes with us) and I figured that I might actually be ending my senior year on a positive note after all-Number 10 related drama or not.
-The result was a lot of anxiousness that week of prom because the closer Saturday May 11 got the more I realized that again this might happen. Generally what I remember that week is a few people asked if I would be going, me saying yes, and after they were shocked that a man who was more Don Knotts than Don Johnson was going to this deal they then asked who I was going with and then usually voiced their approval. Some even noted they would try to find me at said deal and I said ‘you’ll see me sitting at a table since my dancing s—s.’ (I’d be prophetic on that). This also led to none other than Young Ross seeing me in the hall between classes and asking if I was in fact going to this shindig with his on again and now firmly off again ex-girlfriend. I in turn told him that was affirmative and asked back if there were any issues on said ex-girlfriend going with said man who drove a 1977 Buick big enough to float without issues on Morse Reservoir. Since he did not throw me out off the ledge or down a flight of stairs, the assumption was there was no issues. Good to know.
Oh, and one day TLW came up to me after 4th hour sociology and asked me (with a look that rivaled the one that her mother once gave me when I went to the bank one summer Saturday in undergrad to open up an account and said mother did not recognize me without said Coke bottle spectacles) if I was excited for prom. Because said facial expression of TLW always cracked me up and because I thought of hopefully happening Prom Date wearing said Prom Dress, I said I was. Because it was better than the one time she stomped up to me after class and threw a handwritten note at me telling me to go f— myself in the midst of said drama of standing up to Number 10’s insults, it reminded me just now that if I had in fact did go f— myself as many people have asked me to over the years I would actually be rivaling Hugh Hefner instead of reading his periodicals. (Hey, I read them for the articles…..occasionally.)
As for Sarah, she was not officially The Prom Date yet; with Number 10 only making small talk to me that last week (he never insulted me again-to my face, that is) Spanish class was generally stress free compared to the past because apparently most of the class did not figure I was supposed to go to prom or better yet that Sarah was supposed to go with me. With Sarah generally making as much noise as a brick wall in said class, my main memory is hearing the class bell ring at 1:51 pm that Friday and then turning around to tell her “See you tomorrow” before rolling out of said Spanish class to final hour of yearbook for my daily updates from Nancy Boosel about how her multiple boyfriends were doing. (Give her credit for entertainment value as she was also happy I was going to said prom and noted she would see me there….with which boyfriend though IIRC was still up for debate. Impressive nonetheless.) By then I figured if something was going to happen such as a mysterious injury at her morning track meet that required her to get treatment from witch doctors in Zaire- and thus have me actually living that Simpsons episode shown earlier on -yes-Fox TV earlier that very year where Homer goes to the prom by himself-then that was how things were going to be.
Not surprisingly that Friday night before prom was me and Young Adams sailing to Glendale to pick up the tux and then doing the usual cruise/mall/Pizza Hut combo. (The tux was as mentioned earlier one from the Michael Jordan formal collection…way I see it I could have done worse and since it wasn’t powder blue it was a win win for all.) Young Adams was more enthusiastic about my upcoming evening than I was, but in fairness Young Adams had grown up with me (as also mentioned before he grew up three houses down from me..and coincidentally was also a North Elementary alum with a then brunette version of younger Sarah) and seen me drop the 60 pounds while saying ‘no mas’ to the arrogance of Number 10 that had come from Number 10’s role as 12th man on the Sonland hoops squad and 1st man apparently younger than TLW to date said TLW. For all I knew Sarah was out that night partying with the Wayans Brothers; for all I hoped was that she would be ready to go and rock the Prom Dress that following night. No Hollywood antics for me as me and Young Adams closed down Pizza Hut and then were out till 2 am sailing in said Buick as my now being 18 meant that Adams had a “cousin” that guaranteed him being able to ditch curfew-and later on talk himself out of a traffic ticket when he was pulled over that summer driving said Buick-more often than not. (And I just chuckled at the thought of calling dude Cousin Adams.)
Fitting that was how what would become The Prom Night would begin.
The afternoon of Saturday, May 11 was like most in the Sonland City of the early 1990’s- a pretty quiet one. Not much excitement that Saturday since I already had the tux and wasn’t going to drop $100 on new kicks at the Castleton Finish Line store after having dropped $68 or so for a tux rental (which was a nice $50 or more then what I would be paying later on at college with the Transylvania student discount set up at the formal place the fraternity always went to on Richmond Road by Applebee’s in Lexington. Yes, I was pretty f—-ing cheap then, but then in response….college). Basically the day was sleeping in till noon or so (a prerequisite for the next four years at TU after regularly staying up till 4 or 5 in the morning most Friday nights), washing the docked up ’77 Buick for whatever f—ing reason since admittedly it was a ’77 Buick, watching a Celtics-Pistons NBA playoff game on TV, and going to the now defunct Repp Flowers to pick up the order for The Prom Corsage (at halftime of said Celtics-Pistons). The corsage is actually the biggest memory I have of what happened before prom because I was wearing my $15 blue Nike t-shirt with my black Nike Force basketball shorts to said Repp (call me detail) and I sailed the Buick out there to find that I was the only dude in the place…and actually the only customer. Meaning there wasn’t much issue in saying “I’m the dude who called in the white corsage with small red roses on it” and them figuring it out. I still wasn’t sure if there was actually going to be a real live Prom Date to wear said corsage, but I figured I would find out soon enough.
Sarah had a track meet, our pal Number 10 was sitting the pine as the lone sophomore Sonlander on the school baseball team, and as I would also soon find out TLW had a special guest assistant to get her ready for said shindig. That’s all I knew at the time as I pimped the black Stacy Adams dress shoes to go along with black bow tie and a red rose in the lapel that came along with said corsage gimmick. Because Number 10 did not want to have anything to do with my family (calling it as it is, ladies and gents) nor go near my household (again, great dude) the plan was for me to go pick up Sarah, me to then drive Sarah over to Number 10’s after I got said photos taken with Sarah (more on that momentarily), then go out to get TLW before dinner at Fifth Quarter and doing whatever one did at said prom at the downtown Indiana Ballroom. Having decided to not try contacts out full time, I carted out the trade mark Coke bottle glasses except for photos when taking them off (also more on that next post). And the two goals of “have date show up” and “have no altercation where you lose your temper with Number 10 for past and present b—s—t” remained set in stone. Not exactly what 99 plus percent of theoretically red blooded American teenage males have as their goals for said prom, but I was being realistic. Plus as far as I was concerned this weekend of prom and Kings Island was as much of a reward for dropping those much mentioned 60 pounds as I was going to get so I might as well go over to Prom Date House and see if said Prom Date was actually there while dressed like a waiter at the Ritz Charles.
The 77 Buick was then sailed down Tenth Street/Allisonville Road to said Prom Date residence. (No exact time on departure-I just remember it was daylight. That way I’d have a better view if the door was slammed in my face.) There weren’t any theatrics in rolling to the front door because walking out of a ’77 Buick with whitewall tires while sporting a tux covered that front. As her parents answered the door I basically only hoped that there would be a Prom Date to go with me to said prom and for me to not get kicked in the b—s (not necessarily in that order.) Lucked out because after just a few minutes of waiting in the living room (which led me to wonder if that was how she’d escape through the window) a door opens and low and behold a VERY HOT CHICK in a strapless dress, black heels, black opera gloves and primped up blonde hair walks out. As one would expect, I basically did the ‘Beavis and Butthead’ eyes and (as mentioned before in the Instagram account) did my best Jon Cryer imitation from that “Two and A Half Men” episode where Brooke Shields guest stars as the new neighbor, gets introduced by our main man Charlie Sheen to Cryer’s Alan Harper and Alan then proceeds to babble the word WELCOME for three straight minutes. Only mine was a version of YOU LOOK GREAT while trying not to drool or take a No. 1 (not to be confused with No. 2, er, Number 10) in the rented tux.
If I got to chose two highlights for the evening, that was one of them because, well, Sarah looked great. Better yet SHE WAS GORGEOUS.
Also if one makes the comment ‘You have no f—ing idea what she said to you when you picked her up, do you?” then one would be right.
I did remember to put the corsage on and didn’t hurt myself in the process, and since it had one of those wrap bands on their that wasn’t too much of a disaster because she wore it for any/all pictures that were she willingly took with me (emphasis of course on willingly because hey, I’m realistic: at the time her going to this with me was a WTF moment in full effect).
I also now realized that for now at least I actually was now officially with The Prom Date. Good for me. Actually as referenced enough there at first and the boat, er car, great for me.
After said showing of flower power (including me approving of what I called the Triple R for the red rose on her rack via said Prom Dress) and feeling like I did in fact have the modern day Sonland version of Jennie Garth as my date for the next few hours, or minutes, or before she decided to pull a Jenny Padgett. So we sailed off to my house for the other highlight of the evening: getting pictures taken at my house (courtesy of my late mother-RIP) including the one that has been the blog logo for the past year as well as one of my all time favorite photos. (The all time favorite one is on the @fitzthoughts page with #thankyousarahjane as one of the hashtags because of course it is.) I wrote before on the Instagram account that going with a beautiful girl to prom made all the work in dropping weight and all the hell and heartaches I went through dealing with being overweight and and bullied worth it.
That’s actually a good place to stop.
(Hence this becomes Part 1 and Part 2 is coming up next post. Shows my time management skills need improving since I wrote this over three evenings between said paper.)
Safe to say if I wrote 7,500 words for this post that I’ll have some good comedy to write about for the next one as I need to detail what turned out to be some good advice from a very good-or hint hint GREAT-looking source.
Thanks again to any and all in cyberspace reading this as I plan on following up with Part 2 sooner than later (as in not waiting a year to do it). But while I’m at it no time like the present to make sure to do this because again being out with a beautiful girl on prom night made going from 5’4 200 plus to 6’0 140 all worth it…..
Thank you Sarah Jane.
Fitzthoughtsblog at fitzthoughtsblog.wordpress.com
-got a letter the other day saying someone was interested in buying my property in McCordsville. Didn’t know I had property there, so you learn something new every day.
-as mentioned previously this week was the one year anniversary at the current workplace. To celebrate I have three Diet Mountain Dews to drink tomorrow before they clear the fridge out and I lose said Diet Mountain Dews. One can only drink so many Big K products, so I am splurging more on soft drinks instead of waiting for the 59 cent Big K two liter sales. Not great progress compared to a year ago, but progress nonetheless.
(On the other hand, Newton was the sole reason I made the league title game in 2015 and won $100 with second place, so as of now I’ll say I broke even on the last couple of seasons. And remind me not to draft a defensive unit in the seventh round…never works.)
Either way I will be on the lookout for more Irving related drama as a nation turns to ESPN’s favorite son LeBron James to see where he ends up going to at the end of next pro hoops season. As long as he’s not in the same division-better yet, the same conference-as said Pacers then no complaints from this gent.
-Lastly finishing up with two takes: first a GIF of the Day because I might as well throw out a Demi Moore GIF one from the 80’s to get it out of the system….
……and lastly it’s about time for me to put up or shut up and talk about a certain date before graduation that was kind of important back in the day before heading off to college number one. Time to finally write about it after talking about how it almost didn’t happen in the first place and hinting about it one too many times. (See current blog post photo for a hint.)
Best wishes to all and thanks to anyone out in Internet land who read this on the Fitzthoughtsblog as we near the end of summer 2017.
Sunday evening in central Indiana and another paper due in six days. Basically the summer months have usually gone like this: get up at 6 am….work 10 to 10 1/2 hour day on weekday and 4 to 5 hours Saturday morning…return for dinner and walk dog….do homework….and then debate whether I should hit the hay or write on the blog. Sleep usually wins 99 out of 100 times. So might as well throw out some random babble on a rare blog post as I obviously remember just how much junior high me enjoyed looking at Demi Moore then as adult me does today:
So yeah, that opening game’s kind of important. On the plus side it will be nice to see NFL games again, Pagano or no Pagano. Not like I’m not going to watch based on my shoddy track record, so there’s that.
-I missed watching a rare Cincinnati Reds win today as they beat the Miami Marlins. Now they’re only 16 games under .500 as opposed to 17. Meanwhile the team spends $19 million in salary this year on Queen City media favorite Homer Bailey to “pitch” in the team’s starting rotation. Bailey’s 2017 record as of this typing? Two wins, four losses, and an ERA of 8.56. Meanwhile an individual under the handle mikemo14 called out the Reds for their horrible business sense on the Reds Zone message board. All you have to do is go to the sixth post of this thread with Reds apologist supreme Raisor to know that wouldn’t go well. Raisor has a right to his opinion; I have a right to not want to see s—-y baseball on an annual basis from my favorite major league baseball team. For now I agree to disagree with middle-aged Raisor because if he approves of his team losing roughly 58 percent of their games the last four years then that’s his choice. Not sure what dude would do if his man Bryan Price actually gets relieved from his managerial duties. Actually best I don’t speculate on that one, come to think of it.
-Apparently this ex-Washington Wizard will be in the Indiana Pacers starting lineup this year as well as this ex-Sacramento King who was once a Pacer a few seasons ago. Not sure if either can get the team will help the team win more than 32 games next season, but not my team nor my money to spend. Meanwhile our pals at Pacers Digest seem to approve of Victor Oladipo in what should not be too much a surprise. Again, low expectations for these dudes as I predict a record next year of 32-50 but won’t be shocked to see 30-52.
-Went to two Indianapolis Indians games this summer. The Triple A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates won one and lost the another by jobbing 1-0 in giving up the only run in the top of the 9th. As that loss was on a Monday night and I had to be at work at 7 the next morning, no complaint about the game going by quick nor with the Indians doing their Dollar Menu gimmick for concessions. Nice to do something other than homework on a Monday night for once, so that’s a good thing. Not so good: the team’s 2017 ticket prices. However a lawn seat ticket is less than attending an evening iMax movie (or at least it’s lower than the last time I went when it was $13.50). In any event I like to go to at least one game a year so mark that off the list of ways to avoid doing homework.
-You’re not surprised I stopped to get a free haircut in the midst of writing this. Can’t pass up free stuff these days.
-On the shoe front, increased walking led me to finally have to throw my 1987 Nike Air Trainer 1’s into second status as both shoes now have holes in the sole. As I am too cheap right now to go buy new shoes, I broke out a pair of old school Nike Air Max 90’s that I had worn like three times in ten years. They’re still holding up. Photo example of said shoes:
Good to use thus far. Will probably need to break out the wallet for a new pair soon….or at least do some scanning on eBay.
-One other note from said Indians games: the Saturday night one saw our section win coupons for free Grand Slam Breakfasts from Denny’s. They gave a ton of coupons-like a dozen or so. So I went with the family to a Denny’s off of the interstate in scenic Lebanon yesterday after work. Total fare for three before adding tip: NINE BUCKS. I’ll take it. While that may make my weekend a sad one if that was the highlight (save for writing this blog post), my wallet is thankful nonetheless.
Family has more coupons to use by a deadline date in mid-October. Expecting a couple more Saturday meals at said Denny’s in future weeks. One other positive: they now pull the same gimmick that Burger King and Wendy’s do in serving more than just six flavors of soda. So I got three Vanilla Cokes for my $2.39. Yeah, doesn’t take much for me to get hyped these days.
-This post was not the first time that I have referenced a John Cusack movie. For a Cusack movie with an Indianapolis Indians connection and your “might as well throw this s–t in at 9:30 pm” tidbit of the night, the 1988 Cusack film Eight Men Out was filmed at the old home of said Indians Bush Stadium back during my youth. If one figures that film would be part of my VHS collection, one figures correctly.
-Might as well end this post with a Demi Moore GIF because, well, Demi Moore:
No, THANK YOU, Demi.
Happy summer to any and all who read this as work coming up at 7 am followed by two more papers in the next 20 days. Wish me luck.