Posting a day later than originally planned due to no computer being available at the library after I left work last evening…which probably is not a good way to start out typing during this milestone of sorts. While I’ve had some long pauses from blogging in the 22 1/2 months since I first started this cheap inexpensive blognevertheless it’s somewhat of an accomplishment that the fitzthoughtsblog is still around. So thanks to all who stumble upon this place in cyberspace and have actually read my semi-coherent rants in between writing school papers and trying to stay gainfully employed.
Some random thoughts and updates on post number 100 as we have an hour and a half of public computer usage to go……
-speaking of employment, still at the same place that I was when I made this early post.
-got an A on that term paper that I had previously mentioned a time or two. Good for me.
-during the last weekend of April I went to Spring Immersion (aka residency) for my school program. Due to little items like having multiple jobs in 2016 and 2017 (plus also 2018…though I scheduled time off in advance since I kind of needed to attend one if I ever want to complete the program) I had not been able to go to one until a few weeks ago- have to go to two more before going full throttle on the 8000 level courses and dissertation stuff. Main surprises were getting fed a few meals for free and actually meeting some of the classmates I have dealt with online for these past couple of years. Also had the fun task of doing homework at night during said Immersion/residency but was able to get that taken care of as well. Will be looking forward to the next one in late September.
-since I still haven’t finished the prom diary that I started last year, might as well note that last Friday was “promiversary” or whatever the f— one calls the anniversary of going to senior prom. The highlights: getting to leave work early at 5 pm and mowing the yard. Just call me Mr. Excitement. Followed that up on Saturday with a trip to Sheridan for Woody’s Pizza. Highly recommended to all.
-from now on it would be wise to use the mute button on if I watch a Cleveland Cavaliers game on ABC/ESPN TV being commentated on by Mike Breen. Last night was pretty bad for me to deal with…..as in Cris Collinsworth at this year’s Super Bowlbad. Breen has helped make it much easier for me to root for the Boston Celtics in this year’s NBA Eastern finals matchup between the Celts and Cavs. Also makes me miss the days of Marv Albert and Mike Fratello calling the NBA on NBC.
As for an armchair NBA title prediction: going with Golden State in the West, Boston in the East and Golden State winning in five. If someone told me 20 -hell, even 5-years ago that the Golden State Warriors were on the cusp of being in four straight NBA Finals, safe to say I would ask them how many brews they had thrown down that evening to throw out that kind of take. Alas it’s a different NBA these days. Glad for Warriors fans as they had been loyal through a lot of bad seasonsand player vs. coach related drama. Gives me some hope as an Indiana Pacers fan…..though admittedly not much unless said Pacers someday can also have three or four NBA All-Stars in the starting lineup.
-with basketball both in the air and on the air as Game 2 of the NBA West finals between said Golden State and Houston are coming up in an hour, going to end with a GIF from one of my all-time favorite NBA Finals: the 1991 series (held after my Sonland High graduation) where Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls beat Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers:
Resistance was futile back then when MJ was at this peak.
Thanks to all who may have read any of these past 100 posts; here’s to good health and another 100. May even finally finish this prom diary deal while I’m at it.
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.
Happy Mother’s Day from central Indiana. Good time to post for the first time since the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with a quick Fitzthoughts Five on what’s been going on as late (or in other words what excuses have kept me from posting besides no Indiana University coaching changes):
THOUGHT ONE–LIBRARY LIVING: Previous posts probably had a mention or two about dealing with my old pals at Comcast. Chalk on some computer problems and yours truly had the honor of hitting of the Hamilton East Public Library to write papers and do schoolwork that was not related to this blog. (Hard to write 15 page papers for PhD programs on Verizon Wireless LG cell phones.) While the cable is now cut off with a mysterious ending credit that has not appeared as of yet, the internet set up just now got settled to where I no longer go from work to said library in order to do 2-3 hours of homework each weeknight. Though if anyone ever asks, one can get 2 1/2 to 3 hours of free log-in time at said library’s computer lab depending on who’s trying to stay awake at their front desk. Hence sometimes I needed the library card (which of course had never been used because I usually go to said library as often as local Indiana sports teams win big games) and sometimes I didn’t. But it got the job done in order to transition to….
THOUGHT TWO-PAPER PROFICIENCY: …writing the before mentioned 15 page paper for this past PhD class at good ol’ Indiana Tech. In order to that I had to take off last Saturday from work so said paper could be thrown down. I was fortunate that it was a take home exam so I got to answer multiple questions on the rights and wrongs of whether I agreed with fictional case studies on Peru mining towns and if leadership model A was the baddest #!$^$ on the planet compared to leadership model 3. After cussing outloud for five straight minutes asking why in the $@$%! I was wasting a nice Saturday to type about said stuff as opposed to daydreaming about the summer before I went to college number one when I saw the tremendous trio of Noblesville HIgh School cheerleading stars Jenny Story, Jenny Flaugher and Keri Caswell in bikinis (details here) or anything else that did not want me to hurl the computer desktop out the window. Fortunately around 4 pm I said to $!$% with it and hunkered down to get the damn thing done before the midnight deadline. It was submitted at 9:30 pm, and I ended getting the grade needed to keep said A minus (I had a 92 when I needed a 93 for the all out A, but quite frankly I didn’t give two s—ts because the class was over). But if one wants to know how to NOT spend a nice Saturday evening, there you have it.
THOUGHT THREE-PISSPOOR PACER PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES: as is the case every spring since my days at said Noblesville High School (aka the Sonland) when the Indiana Pacers began to lose pro basketball playoff series with regularity, I scheduled my work and school time around watching their inevitable beatdown courtesy of ESPN’s favorite son LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. As they tend to do with the routineness of Hamilton County shucking out another piece of farmland for a subdivision, the Pacers ensured to take defeat from the jaws of victory on multiple occassions in order to get swept 4 games to zilch in losing the the defending NBA champs. Couldn’t even win a game. Of course I didn’t expect them to win the series-after all, this is an organization that keeps Donnie Walsh on the payroll to apparently fall asleep during home games because ownership considers him the modern day Einstein of NBA basketball thinking-so I looked at said beatings as a way to evaluate the team and see who I would personally prefer to be on the team’s roster in 2017-18 instead of picking up inflated paychecks to underachieve against the likes of Toronto, Boston and Milwaukee. Here’s what I found:
-the hardcore fans of the Pacers Digest message board lived up to standards as multiple individuals blamed Paul George for everything from the losing sweep to the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. (Ironically one of the posters kept calling said All-Star George a baby throughout the entire year, and unironically dude’s avatar includes Democratic Party approved tyke Stewie Griffin from Fox’s Family Guy so..GTFO on that). Dude averaged 28 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists a game in the series. You know who didn’t, Seth McFarlane fan? Your man Monta Ellis, that’s who. (Ellis is StewieFan’s favorite player. Shocking, I know.) Your son Ellis scored 22 POINTS THE ENTIRE SERIES. He was brought in to get the team 15 to 20 points PER GAME. Dude’s done as an NBA starter unless he goes to a bad Western Conference team and gets to jack 15 to 20 shots a game. Then again I’d have no issue with it as I’d prefer to not see Ellis play another game in a Pacer uniform again. He was that bad this year. Like the idiot I am, I watched enough games to know.
–Myles Turner has a long way to go before becoming the NBA All-Star the Pacers expect him to be. Turner was Tristan Thompson’s b—- the entire series. 12 points and 7 boards a game won’t cut it in big games. However there’s a half glass full/half glass empty dynamic involved. Half glass full is dude is only 21 and hasn’t reached full potential yet. Half glass empty is your NBA team is pretty s—-ty when your second best player is 21. Which means….
-….I hope to never see CJ Miles, Al Jefferson, or Lavoy Allen ever wear Indiana Pacers uniforms again. Miles put up 29 points combined in the four playoff losses; not surprisingly some Pacers Digest board members believe Miles is bound to be in the Hall of Fame someday, so they feel losing him from the roster would be a catastrophe. News flash: said Pacers Digest people make me feel like a nuclear physicist after reading garbage like that. (Miles is the icon in waiting that Larry Bird signed in 2014 during Bird’s offseason salary battle with Lance Stephenson; as Bird had to bring back Stephenson JUST TO MAKE THE F—-ING PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR as well as to avoid having a losing regular season record, I’d rather have Pamela Anderson’s CJ Parker from Baywatch out there on the court. Which of course led to me daydreaming about Pamela Anderson for a few moments. You’re not surprised, I know.). I’ve talked about Allen’s worthlessness before so nothing’s changed there. Jefferson? Couldn’t even get on the court during the playoff series. Hence Jefferson (the big $10 million per year addition to be the bench scorer the Pacers have been searching for since George HW Bush was in the White House) was, yes, more worthless than Allen. Enough said. Could have carted out any undrafted rookie to do what he did this year at 1/10th the cost. Then again, a Donnie Walsh team is not afraid to waste money no matter how many Indianapolis sportswriters are on the team’s payroll to tell you that the Pacers are the best franchise in professional sports……which again enforces said point about wasting said money.
TLDR: no Ellis and no Jefferson in Pacer uniforms will make me happy next year. No Allen should be a given. And the Pacers have posted records of 38-44 (no playoffs), 45-37 (losing 4 out of 7 games to Toronto in a playoff opening round) and 42-40 (losing 4 straight to Cleveland in another playoff opening round) since deciding said CJ Miles was a key member of a championship contender. CJ Miles would not be a key member of his nephew’s latest Playstation game, so….no. Miles IS good at losing NBA games, though, as he’s been doing it for 12 years now. I’d prefer the Pacers to not overpay this individual to make it a baker’s dozen. But these are the Pacers, so I’m ready for Miles to get re-signed to a $10 million annual deal and not blink twice. It’s what they do. Which means no money for….
-…Jeffrey DeMarcus Teague who supposedly will command a salary of $20 million in the open market next year. Dude actually is a competent NBA point guard on offense (top 10 in the NBA in assists, 15 points per game on the scoring front) while kind of worthless on defense (Cleveland part-time senior citizen Kyrie Irving dropped 25 points per game on Teague in the playoffs, including a 37 point effort in the second game that ensured the Pacers would get swept). Hence you could spend $20 million more usefully….like keeping Paul George in town so you could have a reason to watch the team to begin with. So Teague’s situation will be the toughest call the Pacers front office will have to make. As the front office will now be led by the man who once drafted Greg Oden over Kevin Durant and includes indiviuals who preferred George Hill over Kawhi Leonard, not real encouraging. Hence again I’m ready for that 5 year, $50 million CJ Miles contract to get inked because Pacers.
-lastly Thaddeus Charles Young is, well, Thaddeus Charles Young: an undersized power forward with an oversized contract who is underwhelming when asked to be a starter alongside a center (Turner) who prefers to shoot three pointers because Young also prefers to shoot three pointers and not really do too much to win games. Averages of 11 points and 6 rebounds a game are not iconic for an NBA starter who made $14 million this year and cost this franchise a first round pick who could have been just as productive while NOT making $14 million a year. His one good trait in my view: not being either Al Jefferson or Lavoy Allen. Yes, I’m grasping for straws on that one.
With Larry Bird deciding to take a lesser role (read: not be the main man in charge of personnel mdecision making while keeping his hopes alive of owning an NBA team by being involved with said Indiana NBA team to possibly own one day) while Kevin Pritchard (the man who picked Oden over Durant when he was the main front office dude with Portland) takes over the lead role, the Pacers front office at least acted like they are attempting to make changes to compete and not be a mediocre POS team like they’ve been the last three seasons. But if Ellis and Jefferson are still on the roster next year doing jack s–t, then I’m not going to expect too much out of Pritchard until both those dudes are long gone. Perhaps Turner will be the next great NBA legend. Perhaps this blog will be the inspiration for an Academy Award winning movie with New York Times approved actress Meryl Streep in the lead. Hence I’m not counting on an NBA championship parade in Indianapolis next summer. Nor should I, really. 40 years of losing countless NBA games that matter will do that.
Good luck, Mr. Pritchard. If you read this you know my expectations are low, but you also know that my stupid a– will watch your team next year anyway. Win win for all involved.
Oh yeah, other points….
THOUGHT FOUR: WEEKEND WALKING– growing up in Noblesville (aka Sonland City) meant riding your bike around streets with potholes and having limited options of things to do. You had a skating rink (now torn down), a Pizza Hut (now relocated), a McDonald’s (now remodeled) and emphasis on going to high school football and basketball games (the latter in which would lead me to being your dude who sat with two clipboards keeping stats for the school teams as mentioned verbatum during senior year…which at least kept me out of having to work weekends at Shoe Carnival, so there’s that). I never figured that the adult version of me would see Noblesville not have pothole plagued streets, much less look respectable to walk around in. However tax money aplenty and modernization have led to the city actually being a place that I can handle; it also has led to a place that I don’t mind walking around in for some sort of exercise or just to stay calm during weekends where one needs a break from routines like writing 15 page papers that make you want to throw furniture or throw down a fifth of the nearest available beverage.
Hence at least once a weekend I try to go for a 30 minute walk around the area. I’ve had back to back Sundays where I got to stroll through downtown into Forest Park (which was once a place with a couple bad shelters, a baseball field, a pool and a broken down minature golf course) and enjoyed the peace and quiet. I also had no problem dining downtown at the local Subway or even going by foot to McDonald’s. It leads to memories good (like the time I won the North Elementary “Hoop Shoot” basketball contest for my grade by hitting the most layup baskets in 30 seconds, which incidentally was the most I ever got to shoot in elementary school but that’s another story) and not so good (getting hit by a car one time while riding said bike). It also leads to a kind of important memory, which will be….
THOUGHT FIVE: THE PROM DATE. I’ve only babbled about this every single time I’ve posted since starting this blog last year, but I’ve talked about wanting to recap the prom because 1) it was what inspired me to start the @fitzthoughts account on Instagram while 2) then helping me to start said fitzthoughtsblog as well as 3) being influencial in what I knew I had to do to fully improve myself with my time at the Sonland ending and my time at college number one (Transylvania University of Lexington, Kentucky, aka Transy to alums and Lexington 40508 to me) beginning. Last week (May 11, to be exact) was the anniversary of said prom. Whether eating at a Ruby Tuesday’s in Anderson and seeing Anderson area youth decked out at said restaurant for their proms (which was a few years ago) or dealing with job training stuff (which was this year) I always seem to remember that particular date. While said Prom Date in question-one Sarah Jane Fox-probably has little concern on whether I am breathing, paying taxes or losing fantasy football playoff games on an annual basis, nonetheless it was kind of important. Considering I was a 5 foot 4, 200 pound freshman and felt like I had an uphill battle just to try to look like anything resembling a normal dude in high school (see here for examples) just going to the damn prom was a big deal to begin with, and to go with a beautiful girl made it even better. As if the avatar photo for the blog and (as of this typing) the Instagram account isn’t subtle enough, right?
Like I said, it was pretty important. Now it’s time for me to get off my a– and write a litte about why it was important. Or as the case tends to me, a lot.
Time to write that post then. After all, beats homework. (Plus next assignment’s not due Wednesday. Management of time in full effect.)
Thanks to any and all who read this and again Happy Mother’s Day.
Sunday morning in Central Indiana. Took me eight months-and a week off between PhD classes-to get to where I could finally conclude my blog entries about my senior year at Sonland 46060 (aka Noblesville High School). After taking two weeks off when I concluded Part 5 (see the 2-25-17 post with a picture of a Number 10 approved comic genius the late Leslie Neilsen here):
…it’s time to wrap this up because I have lots of stuff I still need to write about like good learning experiences (see the oft-mentioned future posts on The Prom Date) and better experiences (not going to undergraduate school in the state of Indiana during a time where I equated Indiana with Alcatraz). So here we go.
Quick recap from where I left off in Part 5 as well as other previous info….
Good parts of senior year: not working a dead-end job (had already done it for the summer), getting better grades, being in student government despite having little more than a fancy job title and the ability to drool over Meredith Prystas so I could stay awake in student government meetings, being on the GTFO countdown to get out of Noblesville (aka Sonland City) with graduation in late May, and most importantly having lost 60 pounds in two years to be down to 140 after tipping the scales at 200 early in my high school career. (With the exceptions of not being a felon, getting my MBA from college number four in 2015 and fraternity related info to be shared on future posts, the latter is probably my biggest accomplishment. Without doing that this post doesn’t get written because quite frankly I probably wouldn’t be alive to do it.). Oh, and in the fall semester it was great to see The Homecoming Queen in senior comp class every morning in third hour. That inspired me to stay awake and get an ‘A’ in there.
Bad parts of senior year: getting stood up for Homecoming (which was the beginning step to me saying ‘well, I think it’s best that I don’t go to college in this state unless I’m considering the priesthood’) and IMO not having the courage to go from wearing Coke bottle glasses to contacts full time. (Thanks to some hard hitting advice from The Prom Date, I took care of that come college time. Wise decision.) Being ignored in the fall by 80-90 percent of my senior classmates in periods one through three didn’t matter as much in part because 1) most of them were asleep at one time or another in said classes 2) if they were girls from my class year then they could have given two s–ts less if I had lost weight or if I had appeared in an episode of Soul Train while 3) in fairness I didn’t make too much effort to talk to people because I just wanted to GTFO of the Sonland. If the future Mrs. Marc Maloy had not not talked to me for the previous six years of junior Sonland and senior Sonland (grades 6-11), then another year wasn’t going to be too shocking. So occasionally I would get some DER DID YA USE BE FAT stares or questions and that was it.
While all that stuff set the tone for me to count down the days towards getting out of Noblesville, the West Beverly like drama of dealing with Number 10 that spring ensured that I was going to shed no tears on leaving the Hoosier State to pursue my dreams. (Mainly because thanks in part to said drama of dealing with Number 10 I figured that I did not want to throw my life down the drain while getting into some Peyton Place level b—s–t. Plus in fairness I actually wanted to go to a college where I wouldn’t place 5 to 4 odds into running into a conceited girl from the Sonland every day of the week, so things worked out pretty well. Laziness permitting…more on that stuff in future posts). And that is where Part 6 comes in-time to now cut through said s–t and recap my last semester of high school in showing how a friendship went to, well, complete s–t in a few weeks time while I found there would be much better days ahead in what would be an unlikely place for most Sonlanders to concern themselves about since it wasn’t located in a Rust Belt factory town or near Monroe Reservoir– the Bluegrass region of Lexington, Kentucky.
Now time for me to also cut said s–t and talk about said Sonland senior spring after posting the sophomore Sonland photo of Number 10 since he has helped inspire these lengthy last two posts:
(-Will get classes out of way first before Number 10 related stuff….I had Econ with wrestling coach and Purdue alum Mr. Brian Powers first hour…pre-calc with Mr. Jim May second hour…..psychology and sociology with junior varsity hoops coach and therefore main coach for Number 10 Mr. Gary Christlieb in third and fourth hours….Spanish with Mrs. Janet Balsley and the non-comedy of Number 10 in fifth hour…and lastly yearbook with Mr. Butch Robbins in sixth hour. All one needs to know is that Econ set the tone for the day because I would get to class at 7:43 or 7:44 am just before the 7:45 am bell and all these people in there looked like they ready to be extras in The Walking Dead. With the exception of ‘Earthman’ Steve Ruda asking me on Senior Skip Day-yeah, you’re not shocked I went but hold on for The Prom Date posts for that story-if I had in fact gone to prom, I really don’t remember anyone talking to me in that class for the whole 4 1/2 months. So I went in there, got an ‘A’ and therefore was not among the rumored one out of three Sonland seniors who had to take the course over again in order to graduate. Better yet, I also remember Powers-my former seventh grade football coach- asking if I went to prom because I showed up for said Senior Skip Day, so that meant two people talked to me in that class that year. Two more than expected, but in fairness I have a feeling most of these sons and daughters of Sonland USA were in similar GTFO mode so they weren’t too concerned with socializing with me. So be it.
Oh…Keely Clegg-good friend of the Homecoming Queen and Hot Sonland Chick-was in my psych class, so that made staying awake in psych all the more worthwhile. Unlike my first college psych class that I would take the following year, I got an ‘A’ in there as well. Safe to say I got much worse than an ‘A’ in said college intro psych class. Also a good time to post a photo of Keely because, well, why the f— not?
So…those were my senior spring classes. Pure excitement. Now for the drama.)
…as last mentioned in Part 5 I had the ‘honor’ of going on the first date/social function between Number 10 and Tara Lynn Walczak (hence referenced as TLW for the rest of said post) after being said go between on setting said WTF event up. It was right before Christmas…..and Christmas included Number 10 calling my household to note he got a new ride for the holidays (which I already knew about from Cliff and Mrs. Cliff and kept as a secret) while I in turn noted I did not. (I got a new pair of Adidas shoes instead.) And apparently Number 10 and TLW were not repulsed from each other. In fact far from it. So my 1991 began with wrapping up finals by mid-January…keeping stats with Young Adams and Air Bowman for the Sonland basketball teams…..seeing said Number 10 be the top player on a JV team that would end up with a 17-3 season record while not seeing the floor for said varsity since he was behind local media favorite and point guard Brady ‘Boo’ Harvey (the on-again off-again beau of previously mentioned Meredith Prystas who was also previously referenced in a comedy story where me and Young Adams drove his inebriated self to a late-night visit when said couple was apparently on the off-again stage), local legend Gary Duvall II, current Notre Dame cross country coach Matt Sparks (son of Big Jim Sparks) and one of Duvall’s main men Young Ryan White in the Noblesville Millers guard rotation. In other words despite being the JV team’s leading scorer and the only sophomore on the varsity, Number 10 (who by wearing Harvey’s number 22 when playing JV would get compared more often than not to the future DePauw University letter winner) was going to have to wait his turn in rivaling Catherine Purdy’s main son Scott Shepherd of Carmel as being a Hamilton County sophomore basketball star. So it was a common routine to see Number 10 averaging double digits in a Sonland JV victory before jogging to the locker room during the fourth quarter so dude could change from Number 22 to Number 10 for riding the pine on varsity. As the Tony Etchison led varsity Millers would compile a 16-8 record in winning their third consecutive sectional championship, safe to say Number 10 was going to have to either see the bubonic plague or wait for the 1991-92 season to be a varsity contributor. (For those who care, dude would be a starter that next year…team failed to win sectional….and dude was out of the program and apparently transferred to another school. So no Nike contract for dude. )
It was also a common routine to see the individual that Number 10 was compared to most in the program-the before referenced Harvey-look me up after games to argue about how many assists he had been credited for or other assorted mumbo jumbo. After one said argument I simply wondered if the increasing visible bad traits and ego of that Harvey (who one time took out whatever frustration he had in the pecking order of Sonland stardom behind Etchison by drawing a dirty comic showing his displeasure in being counted on as the county’s leading assist man while Etchison would average 20 points per game in becoming Noblesville High School’s all-time leading scorer before future Indiana University star and Mr. Basketball Tom Coverdale broke his record a few years later) would end up becoming a common trait of Number 10. Since Number 10 had already begun to answer that question by making fun of my family, friends not named Number 10 (particularly Young Adams) and home….well actually that question had already been answered. While it was a common routine for me to make excuses for that s–t early in 1991, as referenced shortly the excuses wore as thin as my then after weight loss 30 inch waist jeans. Dude was on the way to becoming a full-fledged (rhymes with sock).
There was also another common routine developing. That was the budding romance between Number 10 and TLW….and yours truly being asked to either be sidekick or mediator of sorts when there was drama between said two.
Off the court yours truly ended up getting some phone calls from TLW if there were arguments/lack of commitment/lack of intelligent comments made by Number 10 that an eight year old with a Ritalin addiction would not make to a girl two years his elder who ‘liked’ him. Early on in January and February this meant on some weeknights and most weekends I would be expected to roam over to TLW’s home to sit/watch TV and play Screech to Number 10’s Zach Morris and TLW’s Kelly Kapowski. Which gives me a good time to take a break to post this picture:
While I eventually would get bored of this and the increasing insults of Number 10 (stay tuned for what happens) early on it meant either renting movies that surprisingly were not The Naked Gun or Coming to America (because eventually a high school senior woman mature enough to rock most college campuses won’t put up with that s–t from dude two years younger than her if dude wants to do more than squat on the couch) or hitting Castleton to go the mall and see new releases. In turn I ended up seeing a lot of Dan Aykroyd movies….or at least two which were two more than I wanted to at the time since his box office appeal rivaled Indiana Pacers playoff success back in the early 90’s. Two of said movies are pictured below to illustrate said point:
For your side note, the second movie was the film debut of one Tupac Shukar who at the time was a background dancer for then hip hop icons Digital Underground. They appeared in the movie, and our man 2Pac rocked the Yankees swag while appearing with his man Shock G:
That’s the highlight of the second movie unless you can stand two hours of bad cinema to watch 10-15 minutes of early 90’s Demi Moore. Just take my word for it.
So if I remember these as HIGHLIGHTS of hanging out with the now Dynamic Duo in the making, you can tell that I was generally bored enough to take up needlepoint or asking myself WTF IS WRONG WITH THIS as I would put up with bad Number 10 comedy and worse Number 10 insults about me and Young Adams (Young Adams didn’t have to be there for the insults to take place, so Number 10’s Humanitarian of the Year status continued to be certified). While Young Adams may not have endeared himself to the matter when on a rare occasion he was hanging out over there once and mentioned that he shared a fondness for the music of the Grease soundtrack with TLW, nonetheless this trend of Number 10’s ego increasing (which got bigger as he found he’d be the only sophomore to play on the varsity baseball team) did not help matters. Nor did the one time that Number 10 decided he and TLW were going to grace their presence by deciding they were going to visit my house one night. I had no problem with it. Neither did the family. Yet the Number 10/TLW combo apparently did as they went straight to my room, did not acknowledge my family, listened to an LL Cool J tape while Number 10 tried to show his pimp game sitting on my bed with TLW, and then rolled out without acknowledging said family. Considering dude insulted my family, house, friends, ride, upbringing, etc……let’s just say that did not help matters. It was more than a common routine; it was a regular everyday occurrence.
As for on the court….during the varsity games of calendar year 1991 Young Adams and I would be in the press box keeping stats and notice another common trend: TLW (who had to sit on the bench as a manager) and Number 10 (sitting there warming the bench) would either try to not sit by each other and if they didn’t succeed then Number 10 would outright ignore/twitch/act uncomfortable in an OOH DER SHE GOT UM COOTIES line of approach. Because we would often hear about non-commitment or other drama from both the male and female voices of the Number 10/TLW combo, Young Adams correctly noted that both needed to s–t or get off the pot. As a dude who talked to both on the phone or wrote notes or mediated on said deal (one time Number 10 quoted me in writing TLW saying the two of them needed to spend more ‘quality’ time with each other; I know because I read the damn note word for word) then I seconded that emotion like Motown men Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. So after a couple of months of this (coincidentally around the time hoops season ended with the sectional win and subsequent regional loss in March), eventually Number 10 and TLW settled down..and you can fill in the blanks on what happened next. (To recall a quote I would later use when discussing adult life with lifelong crush Keri Caswell before Caswell would eventually have kid number two with dude she was on-again off-again with, “You’re not going to play Yahtzee.”) Good for Number 10 not having to deal with the birds and the bees; bad for anyone dealing with dude’s ego as he then became a full-fledged (rhymes with sock).
While I had no issue spending less time with Number 10 (I wasn’t planning on dealing with dude except for Spanish class since he went straight from warming the varsity hoops bench to warming the varsity baseball bench) I did have an issue with his insults. He became a (rhymes with dock) to anyone and everyone with the exception of some that he played baseball with. If dude called he would discuss the greatness of TLW and his baseball cohorts (ME GO PLAY CARDS with a “Good for you, Number 10, good for you” was common) before insulting my family and Young Adams and anyone who dared not play baseball or be named Walczak or look like a postal worker from a Boston based sitcom starring Ted Danson. While I in turn found other things to do on weekends that I was not being insulted by Number 10 (usually consisting of me, Young Adams, his man MC Burkett, Burkett’s comrade DJ Layton and the soon-to-be good friend That Son Shields hitting the movies or the mall) I also found that the less I talked to Number 10, the better. (Usually from my perspective TLW didn’t exactly try to put a stop to any of Number 10’s insults, plus she enjoyed making fun of Young Adams. Hence IMO I knew I had two people to go if I wanted someone to pull the plug on me when it was time to take me off life suppott.) And I also found his communication skills were lacking; when I was off for an entire week of school on a long planned (like several months because I did fundraisers in my spare time) school trip to our nation’s capital with Big Jim Sparks and the DC Club, IIRC Number 10 called the house to wonder what had happened since I had not missed ANY school before that time. Quite frankly (TM) it turned out to be a pretty good week because, well, there was no Number 10 related b—s— or drama to deal with. During said DC trip good friend and fellow class of ’91 man Brian Allen noted the change in my demeanor during said trip while also acknowledging the same about the Dynamic Duo’s attitudes. As Allen was a friend of mine when I was both 200 pounds as well as 140 pounds, I knew dude was shooting straight. Allen also joined me in calling Big Jim “Jim” during said trip; during a semester when I rarely smiled I smiled often. Coincidence, I think not.
Once I returned from said DC trip, I generally found that TLW (who again was in my 4th hour sociology class) usually did not talk to me unless there was an issue with Number 10…and that was fine with me as she sat on the other side of the room and I remembered that I hadn’t talked to her for six years prior so life would continue on. I also found that I was more than likely going to tell Number 10 to STFU or ignore him altogether when he decided to do his daily insulting of my family/other friends/life/existence. (This led to one time as previously noted when Pat Kastner looked at him and said ‘Why in the f— should he talk to you? All you do is make fun of him.’ Number 10 responded with an insult that he probably couldn’t have spelled, but I’ll assume that by then TLW was assisting with the homework as the requests to write comps were fewer and far between towards the end of that school year.) And in turn I counted down towards spring break (in which I visited two schools-St. Joseph’s College in Rensselear and Transylvania University in Lexington, KY-and one can already figure from before which one I picked) …my 18th birthday…and finally graduating in May while then being able to GTFO of the Sonland once and for all.
So of course it would be on my birthday weekend when I finally said ‘enough’ and stood up to said Number 10 and his b—s–t. I also basically set the tone towards ending a friendship in main part (says I, at least) due to no longer putting up with verbal abuse and put downs because there was not a BMW in my parents’ driveway nor was I having relations with a girl two years my elder. (And considering what you’ve read about me assisting in setting dude up in getting his initial action, remember that I’ve been hearing this #!$%% for quite a long while.
April 1991. My birthday was on a Sunday. My trend of the last few weeks had been hearing Number 10 (often behind my back) insulting my family’s house by calling it a shoebox. (Remember I wrote earlier that I got into fights over the size of my house back then. In an era with one out of six hungry and poverty not exactly uncommon in North America, keep in mind that is stupid s–t to say now just as it was then.) Acting like he was doing me a favor, Number 10 requested that I go out to TLW’s house to get my birthday ‘gift’ from them before they were going to do whatever they were going to that evening (which was stay at TLW’s and assumingly not play Yahtzee, Monopoly or any games made by Parker Brothers). Perhaps sensing that there was going to be an incident or to get out of the house (or more likely both), Young Adams sailed with me in the 1977 Buick to the Sherwood Schwartz inspired bungalow that the media calls West Harbour in Sonland City. It’s around 5 or 6 pm, still daylight. Me and Young Adams meet the Dynamic Duo in TLW’s front yard. Number 10 has a look on his face like he just found that he could eat a jar of marbles and not go to the hospital. TLW is TLW. For my 18th birthday I get a card that has a shoebox reference on it. Number 10 openly makes fun of me. TLW is TLW. After wondering how I could ever call this person a friend at one time or another in my life, I simply wait a minute, look at Young Adams and say “Let’s go Adams.” (Young Adams had already been insulted by these people to begin with as at the time, well, I’ll be nice and stop this sentence.) Young Adams sees I am unhappy. I simply do not say much. After all I am more than unhappy; I am !$$%^! pissed off.
Now if Aaron Spelling was at the controls we’d have a teen pregnancy or me looking for a few needles after ending up on a bender with Steve Sanders and Dylan McKay in West Hollywood. Instead we simply go to Young Adams’ house (we were going to hit the mall/hit the movies/go to Pizza Hut/cruise) and Young Adams and I speak. He does most of the speaking. I am still pissed beyond words. It is now nightfall. I decide to be simple and to the point as, well, I was having enough of being treated like s–t.
All we did was simply sail back out to said TLW location, with me leaving the car running and Young Adams asking what I was going to do. Said I: “Watch.” I simply took said gag gift/insult card, walked up to the new ride of Number 10, may or may not have spit/ripped said card up, yelled out a similar statement to what Catherine Purdy had told me to do over the phone back in the fall (read: go f— yourself) and then sailed off with Young Adams. IIRC the Dynamic Duo watched yet did nothing. I in turn did not cut a promo like a coked up Macho Man Randy Savage circa 1987; instead I decided that was the last time I was going to talk or deal with Number 10 or TLW (TLW claimed they spent an hour trying to figure out what card to buy me, so at the time I no longer wanted to deal with her either). Young Adams was impressed that I had gone back out there to begin with; he was more impressed that I basically decided to give back said card/gift because it was the equal of NOT HAVING THIS S— BRO SO F— OFF. That’s when I DID cut my promo and simply said “I don’t give a flying f— if I EVER talk to them again. F— this s—.’
So me and Young Adams, yes, cruised, went to the mall, and ended up at Pizza Hut that night. I officially turned 18 by sailing said Buick in the streets of Sonland City. Since it wasn’t going to be with a paid hooker from Vegas, so be it.
The next day-my birthday-was a Sunday. If you’ve read this you’re not surprised that I was having nothing to do with Number 10, TLW or anyone related to them. You’re also not surprised that my father took me and Young Adams to an Indiana Pacers game that afternoon. Nor are you surprised that I’m going to paste the link to said game here:
The Pacers won that day to keep their playoff hopes alive as they would soon get do the job to Boston in the first round of said NBA playoffs. Young Adams being Young Adams, we of course ran down to the concourse by the court and walked past none other than future Hall of Famer and 1990s icon Dennis Rodman in the Market Square Arena tunnel by the locker room. I’ll look to post that ticket stub when my well past 18th birthday comes in later weeks. In the meantime, no Number 10, no issues.
Apparently Number 10 tried to call later that evening. I let the family know there would be no calls from Number 10. I had told Young Adams that I was not planning on speaking to him again. And for the next few days I kept that promise.
The next day-Monday-school was back in session in the Sonland. While it’s been established most of my senior peers that were in my classes didn’t really give a s–t if I breathed or not and therefore I didn’t talk to most of them…….I was more surly and quiet than usual. With the exception of Nancy Boosel in yearbook and the before mentioned Pat Kastner in Spanish (more on that in a moment) I don’t remember speaking to anyone for 2-3 days….and that included TLW as I simply would not look at her or speak to her in 4th hour sociology. Since my birthday had been the day before , of course my Spanish class sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me in Spanish…and Number 10 kept yelling and trying to talk to me while I had none of it and only talked to Kastner. Same went for Tuesday. On Wednesday someone asked me in said sociology class if I was okay as I had basically scowled for three straight days. I noted there were some issues with ‘friends’. Not like I’m King S–t or anything but I then looked across the room at TLW to cap off my answer and said (you knew this was coming) “With friends like that, then who the f— needs enemies?” The message had been given.
I continued to not talk to said couple on Thursday. I know that for a fact because at the end of the school day I walked right by said couple-who were holding hands during a stroll in the orange carpeted foreign language hallways-and simply ignored them without acknowledging them. I wanted no part of them. Period. And college was looking more appealing by the minute. Then again so was giving myself a lobotomy then dealing with them.
I had kept my word to Young Adams for the majority of a school week. I was planning to make that a full school week until a phone call that evening.
The call was from TLW.
No introduction as to her credit she went straight to her questioning. “Are you mad at me?” she asked in a Bette Davis approved voice. (Best comparison I can make as it sure as #!$% didn’t sound like, well, Kelly Kapowski.)
My reply: “Not necessarily you. However your boyfriend isn’t on my Christmas card list.” (Ironic since the card deal was what p–sed me off the most.)
I let TLW know that I could care less if Number 10 got lost in the jungles of Uganda and basically her getting said card with him made me associate her with said Number 10. I again was told that the duo spent over an hour trying to find a card for me. (That obviously went well. A flaming bag of cat s–t would have been better.) I also agreed to a truce of sorts (get ready because this will be a trend): I was to meet TLW at none other than Pizza Hut on Saturday afternoon to discuss said situation. All I needed was for Pizza Hut to be renamed the Peach Pit and we would have had our next 90210 episode in the wings. Out of curiousity, comedy or both I agreed to said meeting. Better her than Number 10. At least TLW would have been able to find the place without needing a map and compass.
Incidentally, that next day-Friday-at school-I finally acknowledge Number 10 at the end of said Spanish class after he yelled my name a few dozen times. I simply said “this has not been a good week.” Not much more was said.
So…Saturday. Around noon or so, yours truly sails the 1977 Buick to Pizza Hut. I’m rocking the Nike windbreaker that I posted before (the one I wore to the Young MC concert that I went to with the Homecoming Queen.) Words and advice from said HQ were in the back of my mind as I roamed onto Westfield Road. As a result I was prepared for our next Aaron Spelling approved scene to roll, only without cameras.
I walk in to a sparsely crowded Hut and see TLW sitting by herself. The persona, tone and facial expressions used were, well, like Bette Davis in that Hotel show from the early 80s…….
Long story short-I pull up a chair, sit it in backwards and listen to TLW speak 90 percent of the time. Main things I get from the meeting-besides TLW reminding me of a 77 year old actress-is that I am to play nice with her main squeeze Number 10….and that it apparently was still okay for her to rip on Young Adams as she had a few choice words about him. Considering that 1) Young Adams was my friend since growing up three houses down from each other iwhile 2) unlike TLW and Number 10, yours truly and Young Adams grew up in said Sonland City, were from families long based from Sonland City and therefore 3) really didn’t need to be dictated about social standing SINCE THIS WAS F—ING NOBLESVILLE INDIANA IN 1991….that was probably not the wisest thing to do. So I left said Hut simply saying to myself “This happened” while awaiting the next round of insults or chicanery. Hence I would not be surprised if I was going to get a cameo by Brenda or BrandonWalsh before the month was over….though as soon to be shown, Kelly Taylor would have been the personal preferred choice.
Better yet, since said Taylor made me think about The Prom Date, here’s said photo for thought:
Needless to say, you would have had a better chance of President Trump complimenting the work of The New York Timesthan expecting Number 10 to learn his lesson about being a c–k and making fun of his friends. So a few days later in what would be my third to last appearance out at Number 10’s home of Cliff and Mrs. Cliff, Number 10-in full front of TLW-of course not only insulted my family and Young Adams but also my toughness. We ended up for some reason wrestling each other….and while I was surely not 1989 Mike Tyson I responded to Number 10’s b—s–t by punching him in the face. Number 10 was shocked, backed off and looked at me in the YOU NO SUPPOSED DO THAT ME NUMBER 10 WITH SENIOR GIRLFRIEND expression. TLW had a blank facial expression with an open mouth that resembled what Mrs. Cliff and the younger brother of Number 10 would sport on occasion (which made sense as she was now spending more time out there…including IIRC some overnights as Number 10 had switched weekend visitors. In fairness, better he make advances on her if he needed someone to play doctor with.) I simply smiled as the message again had been given. Coincidence or not, Number 10 tried no more physical s–t nor said much more to me on a face to face basis. (He’d do a good job in saying stuff behind my back, but we’re not surprised about that. After all, no one’s perfect. Better yet, read on to what happens next.)
Needless to say, things got worse. Quite frankly I was ready for confrontation and I was ready to verbally go off on people if I heard rumors or insults about me (see my original August 2016 post about dealing with The Eight Sons on this). This in turn led to a confrontation with me and Cliff over the s–t Number 10 was pulling and my refusal to put up with said s–t. …and in turn led to another Saturday summit (see the trend?) that took place on May 4, 1991….which I remembered because it was a Saturday that was not only my father’s 50th birthday but was a week before meeting up with, yes, The Prom Date. (For your added 90210 style comedy, I was supposed to be DOUBLE DATING with Number 10 and TLW to this prom. Keep that in mind with all you may have read, because obviously I had a feeling this prom thing was not going to happen as planned and therefore safe to say I was ready for other plans come prom time…..like no prom at all. More info to come in future posts as that played into how everything went during prom weekend.) While there were issues with other individuals that were my friends whom Number 10 had regularly insulted because apparently there just wasn’t enough oxygen getting to the brain for him to comprehend that he wasn’t exactly making friends with his behavior, our man Cliff decided to ring me at home that morning to invite me out to the Cliff Compound. I may never be confused with Clint Eastwood but I had no trouble accepting the invite because I also didn’t expect to speak to anyone related to Number 10, Cliff, TLW or TLW’s Buffalo Bills after this. I no longer gave two s—s about anything and was tired of anything that had to do with the Sonland….and as far as I was concerned The Man Called Cliff had drawn the lines in the sand.
There as Number 10 and TLW…..and there was everyone else who was to bow down to them. Since Cliff IMO apparently viewed TLW as the wife-in-training of Number 10 (including overnight stays to do more than play Nintendo), then TLW was the Daughter of the Industry and the new icon in making. They were above me and Young Adams. ‘No they’re not you mailman looking m—-f—–‘ I thought to myself as I remember this same family had insulted mine for way too long. Hence I was prepared for anything.
To be quick and quit the babble…
……I sail the Buick out there. I am p–sed because I am ready for anything since I trusted Number 10 as far as my then 140 pound scrawny a– could throw an elephant. Of course TLW answers the door. Of course I simply said “WHERE’S CLIFF?” as I was directed to the family room. Cliff called me by my first name. No Number 10. No Mrs. Cliff. TLW-who did not say another word to me-stayed in the background. Cliff and I have a frosty discussion with the same references that I am now a piece of s–t for standing up to Number 10. I simply said (paraphrasing) ‘your son is not my friend, I’m tired of him insulting my family and my friends, and if you want I’ll plan on never speaking to you, your son or your family again.’ I also noted that my issues were with his son, who was nowhere to be found. (You’ll find out where he was shortly.)
For comedy, Cliff asked “What about prom?” My answer: “What about it?” (This made me laugh because both then and now it was one of my best lines.) After Cliff offered that poor white trash like myself should not be going to prom in a 1977 Buick (more on that when discussing The Prom Date in full) I simply responded that I’d rather take a #$!$$! Greyhound bus then be in the same car with his boy Number 10. The main points: I was tired of being treated like s–t, did not want to deal with the Golden Couple and when it came to not setting foot in the Cliff Compound or dealing with said Golden Couple I had deadpanned (paraphrasing) “That can be arranged.”
As me and Cliff were in the midst of our verbal jousting, all of a sudden Mrs. Cliff shows up in the area…and walking a few paces behind her with his head staring down at the floor with puppy dog eyes looking like someone had just told him that TLW had given him a permanent case of the clap (or that Santa Claus did not exist as it was a similar look) was the Son of Sons, the World’s Greatest Athlete, He Who Did No Wrong…yep, good ol’ Number 10.
Number 10 never spoke. I also never had any respect for Number 10 after that moment.
As Mrs. Cliff did the usual HE JUST JOSHIN’ HE NO MEAN TO CALL YOU WHITE TRASH YOUNG ADAMS IS BAD BAD BAD spiel, I simply wondered why in the blue hell I had decided to drive out to this place on Labor Day weekend to assist this so-called piece of humanity with his homework and told Mrs. Cliff that I disagreed and would prefer to hear it from Number 10 himself. Since dude never spoke, I never heard it from him. After hearing more insults about Young Adams, I also for once in my life made damn sure to utter “Adams isn’t here to defend himself.” (Then again, my take is that wasn’t in the game plan.) But Number 10’s imitation of the penguin that used to appear on those old Bugs Bunny cartoons and cry with tears turning into ice cubes was enough to show me that as far as I was concerned, I had won by standing up to him and not backing down from a one on four situation. It also ensured me in knowing what I call the RULE OF THE SONLAND: it’s okay for a bully to insult or bully someone, but it’s NOT okay for that someone to stand up for themselves and return the favor. I already knew it when dealing with The Eight Sons as I lost my weight and gained some self-respect; now that self-respect was back after dealing with Number 10. I may not have gone through the proper storybook measures to do it, but I did it.
And yes, here’s a photo of said penguin:
I also now had all the incentive I needed to succeed outside of the Sonland. Just writing these last 7,000 words proves that in my view I was able to do that. It also proves that I could be the instigator of a good filibuster on the Senate floor down the road..or that I’m just pretty damn long winded.
For your comedy of wrapping this up…..the Cliff Summit ended with two things happening (the first being a prelude to what I’d be dealing with at Transylvania four years later come graduation time):
-the first was in essence a gentleman’s agreement between myself and Cliff (remember, Number 10 never spoke as he hid…er, stood behind his mother) in which I was not going to f— Number 10’s prom up. Apparently I was still going to be double dating at this prom with him, TLW and The Prom Date. Then again, perhaps it was best so someone could give Number 10 directions as he once got lost driving around I-465 looking for downtown one Sunday when I rode with him and his future varsity backcourt mate Brad Coverdale. Since Number 10 quit insulting me to my face after that (actually, he didn’t speak to me much besides small talk in that Spanish class) that was probably the main reason I was needed for the evening anyway. And since dude got lost on the way to Kings Island prom weekend, I think that kind of confirmed it.
-the other was an order or declaration of sorts from Cliff that I remember to this day: “Stay away from Adams. He’s nothing but trouble.” I told Cliff (paraphrasing) that I’d give it the consideration it deserved. And since Young Adams already knew about the Cliff Summit because I had called him before I went out to the Cliff Compound (IIRC he was impressed that I was going out there by myself to confront them) then of course you’re not surprised that later that evening I went straight over to Young Adams’s crib and gave him the rundown…complete with final Cliff quote. Since Cliff was supposedly friends with Young Adams’s father AND (according to Young Adams) said Young Adams was one of Number 10’s very first friends when Number 10 moved to the Sonland schools without knowing anyone else…..all the more reason that you should also not be surprised to read that I decided to never set foot in Number 10’s house again once May 11, 1991 (i.e. Prom Night with The Prom Date) concluded.
I’m not the best at keeping my word on things, but I did keep my word on that. (Also helps that the Cliff Compound has been replaced by a subdivision so it no longer exists).
So when I do discuss senior prom on the next main post, I’ll admit that I went out to Cliffland that next Saturday with The Prom Date (Number 10 wanted me to drive out there so he in turn could drive all of us to prom and obviously avoid seeing my family) that I knew it was the end of an era. I also knew that I could handle myself if there was an issue that evening but the main thing was to make it through said evening and just be happy I was going to prom in the first place….while also knowing that I had stood up for myself, friends and family in the process. It was a good lesson to learn with college on the horizon because there would be some times where I would have to stand up for myself in good old Lexington as well. Doing so in a place like the Sonland-Noblesville High School-while dealing with Number 10 was damn good practice.
Oh, to conclude things…..later that month after prom, this happened:
I finally did get out of the Sonland. Mission accomplished. FINALLY.
Thanks to any and all who put up with my ramblings as I summarize with this: bullying should not be tolerated. Nor should rudeness. I dealt with both in school. I feel I prove that I could overcome it. And with that being said I give the same message to Number 10, TLW and anyone else out there that I gave to the Eight Sons back when I wrote about their petty b—s— and insults last August. Better yet, here’s the message in full:
“You may have families now. You may have children now. If so, congrats and good for you. But as I type this very sentence with God as my witness, I have this to say to you: I hope and pray that your children never, EVER treat any man, woman or living creature the way you individuals treated me back during those first two years of high school. I was lucky enough to overcome it and make something of myself. But not everyone may be as fortunate as I was or be blessed like I was to get the job done and overcome your ridicule. Think about that. Better yet, pray your children aren’t getting the s–t from others that you Eight Sons gave to me.”
Switch Eight Sons for Number 10 (and to a smaller extent for her words on Young Adams, TLW) along with “first two years” to “last year” of the Sonland and we’re set.
As for Number 10…..if you want comedy, look at dude’s current LinkedIn page. Plus as a thank you to those who actually plowed through what is now 8,000 words of me recapping what inspired me to go have a good college career outside of the Noblesville, Indiana area, here’s your current photo of Number 10 from said LinkedIn page:
Now off the soapbox again. Next time there’s a Prom Date to discuss. And that alone should be some fine much needed comedy in itself.
Best wishes and thanks to all who may read this or anything else on the Fitzthoughtsblog.
Thursday evening in Central Indiana. Non-paper related homework for class is now complete. Final paper for class due in 51 hours. Answer to “is the paper done?” is the same as “Will a Tom Crean coached Indiana team win the NCAA title this year?” Yes, you figured as much. Call me consistent.
With 90’s media man Luke Perry set to take the airwaves in tonight’s newest edition of the new epic from The CW called Riverdale, yours truly thought about two topics that personally tied together for that era: Perry’s iconic 90’s show Beverly Hills 90210 and none other than soon to be profiled in-depth once my final paper gets done….The Prom Date herself, one Sarah Jane Fox (aka the gorgeous Hot Sonland Chick who is pictured in the blog’s avatar with some goofy looking f— in a tux.) Hence this GIF of the Day from when Brenda and Kelly ended up rocking the same gear to their West Beverly prom:
Hey, I say they both look great. Then again I’m the dumba– m—-f—- who’s finding 25 year old GIFs to post in place of writing a doctoral paper on qualitative analysis, so of course you also figured I’d have that opinion.
Best wishes to all in cyberspace as the weekend is on the horizon.
Wednesday evening in Central Indiana as March begins. Actually did my non-paper related homework for class, so that’s a good thing. Now a 5-10 page paper to do before Saturday at midnight. Put two and two together on what I’m doing on said Saturday.
On the personal tip, started out March pretty well with some good job news. Hoping to have more on that around the start of May. Stay tuned.
In celebration of said news, no time like any to break out a Carlton Banks GIF:
….and f— it, I’m adding one with that him and that Fresh Prince fellow for good measure:
Ah, the 90’s. I miss that decade. Also means I am not too far off from an AARP card. To quote former Sonland High all-time crush Keri Caswell, “Ugh.”
Couldn’t have said it any better, Dream Girl.
Hope to get said final paper done soon as the conclusion of The Saga of Number 10 is on the horizon…and of course the eternal need to recap the story of The Prom Date. Lots of comedy in the latter. Not as much as what Smith and Ribeiro brought back in the day, but IMO one can come close when sailing a 1977 Buick to their prom. (Probably best to stop after that as it can only go downwards from ‘1977 Buick’. Yeah, good choice.)
Thanks to any and all in cyberspace who may actually read this blog. Have a great March.
Monday evening in Central Indiana. Six evenings left to write my term paper. So of course I think about watching the Number 10 approved dose of cinema called Coming to America and figure it’s a good time for this classic Arsenio Hall GIF from when James Earl Jones decides to make a visit:
Never gets old.
Surprisingly that was NOT the look I got from The Prom Date when I picked her up for senior prom. So I had that going for me at least. (Everything else, well, was certainly debatable.)
We’ll see if I can get motivated to finish both writing the paper and recapping the Saga of former chum Number 10 in the next few days. Best wishes to all for a good week.
Saturday evening in central Indiana. As usual found dealing with Comcast is, well, dealing with Comcast. But I already knew that. Still not fun to deal with dudes or whatever they are on the phone. Safe to say long-term business with said dudes is going down the toilet like, yes, the Pacers’ season. (Had to get that out of the way, now I’m good on the bad pro sports team references. And yes I’ve heard those Paul George trade rumors all week. Led to one man calling himself Trader Joe on the Pacers Digest message board to call Pacer front office honcho Larry Bird a “coward” for how Bird was running the team. The day said Joe tells said Bird that face to face will be the December day that I wake up and see Kate Upton wrapped underneath my Christmas tree. I assume dude is not handling seeing the departure of George Hill too well. Should that be the case, I suggest a good shrink may be in order for said dude.)
Still have Prom Dates and fraternity pledgeship and actually having fun in college (in huge part because college wasn’t in Noblesville, Indiana aka Sonland City) but in order to get that I need to get through discussing senior year at the Sonland (aka Noblesville High School). And in order to deal with that, I need to deal with a topic that I really haven’t dealt with much the last couple of decades because quite frankly thinking about it was the equal of thinking about getting a colon cleansing or vasectomy (or watching this year’s Tom Crean led Indiana basketball squad, which coincidentally will be tipping off an hour from the completing of this sentence.) That topic that I just compared to dealing with bad bowel movements? A continuation of Part 4’s conclusion in dealing with the schoolmate that I simply classify as Number 10. (Link to Part 4 at 2-20-17: Senior Year in the Sonland Part 4: Yearbook, Dick’s Class and Number 10)
Over two decades ago there was a time that I considered said Number 10 to be a best friend, even a brother type figure. But that all would change during the midst of my senior year at the Sonland, and as mentioned before it would lead me to say to myself “getting out of the state of Indiana for school won’t be a bad thing….in fact it will be a $!^@$ good thing.” Proved to be right on that one. In fact if I didn’t go out of state for said college I probably wouldn’t have had a decent life thus far. And I wouldn’t be able to have learned that something that Tony Soprano once said to young son A.J. in the midst of the classic HBO show The Sopranos: “Family: they’re the only ones you can depend on.”
Thanks to Number 10 I found that the fictional Mafia man was one correct individual, and in turn I learned to live by another favorite personal quote of mine: “With friends like (Number 10), then who in the f— needs enemies?”
Which leads us back to Number 10.
Also leads to the need for me to cut the b—s— and get going on why dude could have pointed me towards a lot of self-doubt….. but in turn led me to have perhaps the best four years of my life via finding out there was more to life than being in Sonland City USA and being told I was a piece of s–t because I did not live out by Morse Reservoir in a 1960’s built house suited for the likes of Marsha Brady and the cast of Eight is Enough. Yes, I got in fights over the size of my house. Yes, when it came to topics like intelligence and acutal awareness of the world around them if brains and common sense were dynamite then some of these Sonlanders (like, well, Number 10) would not have been able to blow up a gnat. And yes I can only shake my head that I did not end up pulling a Samuel L. Jackson from the movie Pulp Fiction because quite frankly I would have rather been stuck in an elevator with Roseanne Barr than to dealt with that kind of s–t back then. Hence the mentality of Number 10 was not the mentality I needed for the 1990’s…thought the 1890’s might have welcomed the youngster’s way of thinking. In other words in the time frame of six months dude became an outright (rhymes with DOCK) and someone I loathed. And considering that this would be the dude that I ended up double dating with for PROM.…yes, what could have been a p-ss poor teen drama on the CW Network was luckily avoided thanks in part to me deciding to stand up for myself and not be treated like s–t…oh, and going to a college that I wanted to as opposed to a college where I would have been on the potential eight year plan in Muncie or on the potential three month drop out plan in Bloomington. Or in other words without a degree and probably working at your local sporting goods store while claiming night school was around the corner in another year or five.
But ironically back in September 1990 (my senior year of Sonland), those kind of thoughts weren’t close to being on the horizon. In fact things were quite the opposite.
Going back to the end of Part 4 for quick recap…as mentioned earlier dude was in my fifth hour Spanish class. Dude had called me the evening of Labor Day needing help with Spanish homework. Sailed the 1977 Buick out there, met Cliff and Mrs. Cliff, homework got done, I got to see the tour of the Number 10 family home (bedrooms upstairs, Number 10 having the prerequisite Michael Jordan posters from Nike that all basketball playing Hoosier teens had back in the day)…and that was that. I sailed home and didn’t think much of it. I sure as f— didn’t think I’d be back out there to visit Number 10 anytime soon…..
…..and as established many a time in Part 4, as illustrated by our 45th Chief Executive, I was JUST a bit….
The next day in class Number 10 made it a point to talk to me. That evening after school Number 10 made it a point to call me at home. This became frequent. Even more frequently was me visiting or going over to his home on weekends. Dudes usually crashed at other dudes’ houses back then in part because teenagers needed something to do if not getting d—k or l–d or debating the validity of the upcoming Gulf War. So it got to the point where that fall semester I was over at the home of Number 10 on every Friday and Saturday evening before rolling back to my home on Sunday evening (with the exception of one weekend where Number 10 decided to show his greatness by visiting my house-and note the sarcasm because that’s where business begins to pick up on dude’s ego increase- and a second Saturday where Number 10 joined Young Adams and MC Burkett on a triple date to the Homecoming Dance that as mentioned previously yours truly got stood up to by one Aimee Allison). While CW showrunners would have wanted me and Number 10 to be the equal of what the Kevin and Moose characters were doing in the series premiere of the show Riverdale , thankfully for all of mankind that sure as #!$%$ was not the case. Instead basically dude and I became best friends to where he was calling every evening to shoot the s–t on sports, school and -of course because we were teenage dudes in 1990 Sonland City-women, or if good looking women Hot Sonland Chicks.
For that first semester of my senior year, if anyone wondered where in the blue hell I was at when calling my home they could probably figure out I was. And if someone wondered where Number 10 was at, they could also put two and two together and figure out who he was with whether it be Glendale for the movies, Castleton for wandering the mall, Carmel to buy music or Lafayette Square to buy his new Adidas Artillery sneakers for basketball season (in which for trivia purposes I received $40 in gas money from Cliff for sailing said 1977 Buick to make the purchase, which admittedly beat stocking the shelves at Shoe Carnival) then they usually put two and two together and figured that dude was with with the gent who is typing this sentence. That was how things were. And quite frankly I considered Cliff and Mrs. Cliff to be surrogate parents. In fact at the time I thought the world of them to where I would do stuff with them that I would not even do with my own family like going out to dinner for New Year’s Eve or going to the movies. Today’s me is ashamed I typed that, but Sonland senior year me thought that was acceptable. Meaning Sonland senior year me needed a swift kick in the groin to know better considering what Number 10 related drama I would be dealing with in the spring. (And a baseball bat to the cranium also would have done the trick as well. I simply was not thinking clearly, period.)
In other words I thought the world of Number 10 and considered him to be my closest friend…period.
I also got used to a routine that led me to be in the best shape of my life and kept me at 140 pounds throughout that senior year (as opposed to the 200 I weighed as a Sonland freshman). That routine was late night Fridays, all day Saturdays (when not at movies or the mall) and all day Sundays of either playing football (Number 10’s younger brother was the quarterback/center, and for your additional trivia he would be the Boys Club basketball teammate of future Indiana University hoops great Tom Coverdale with Cliff and Coverdale’s dad as coaches) or going to the before referenced Number 10 family barn from Part 4 that had been converted into a basketball court. We played a lot of one on one hoops, H-O-R-S-E, and so forth…as mentioned before via the photo on the Instagram account (@fitzthoughts) Number 10 was soon to be the only sophomore on the varsity basketball team while I was simply your basketball statistician. So you can figure out how most of the games went. (Though there would be comedy if I actually beat him or blocked his shot because he would get mad and say DER DAT A FOUL NAW WAY U BLOCK MAHSHOT.) While I was generally the Washington Generals to dude’s Harlem Globetrotters, at the same time I was undoubtedly in the best shape of my life. Also beat sacking groceries or stocking shoes for s—-y pay while generally helping me in not being too concerned about most of the seniors that could care less if I breathed or not in my senior-laden classes of that fall like senior comp, math and the ‘Shoe’s Class’ of classic literature where I would often say to myself “I don’t really like most of these m—–f—–s because they treated me like s–t when I was overweight, and I sure as f— give two s—s about what they think about me right now.’ As a result I was not too concerned about missing things like building the senior float or what fictional road trip had taken place.,,,and that was in part to knowing I already was probably hanging out with Number 10 and family to begin with.
While I served as Number 10’s scrimmage ‘competition’ for said basketball, I also in turn helped dude with homework….particularly Spanish and English. I ensured dude got B’s and C’s in the former while ensuring dude got B’s in the latter…..with the latter being ironic because Number 10’s English teacher also happened to be my senior comp teacher, one Carol Devine (which led me to call my comp class ‘Carol’s Class’, and since I had one of the two highest grades in said class I figured I could do as such.) Save for talking to soon the soon to be Homecoming Queen and good friend Danny Davis, the only time I ever had anyone look at me or pay attention to my existence in that fall in Carol’s Class was when Carol read one of my papers out to the entire class since I got said highest grade. It was the only time I remember Candi Streich and Jenni Snelling looking at me that semester (both had grins similar to what one might have if they see their neighbor has a three legged house pet), so obviously it was one of those memories that stands out more often than not.
Ironically enough, in a high comedy moment the same thing happened to Number 10 in his sophomore version of Carol’s Class.
Number 10 had a big composition assignment (IIRC it was his big paper of the semester) to do. Number 10 was as good a writer as I was a dental surgeon. So yours truly had the honor of assisting with said comp. We had to pick a topic that Number 10 was familiar with and could write-or in this case talk-a lot about. You probably figured from earlier sentences that Michael Jordan would be the choice. Thanks to my Sports Illustrated collection (swimsuit issues notwithstanding) and my time in yearbook I got enough information where I would take a couple of Number 10 quotes…include them with Jordan stats ranging from points scored per game to endorsement money…and I, er, we crafted together a fair little writing assignment one evening when not playing pickup basketball. For tribute to said Jordan since Number 10 had enough posters of said Chicago Bull on the walls, here’s one of said posters:
…and better yet, here’s another one:
When it comes to knowing useless information for times like this, I tend to know more than my fair share. Then again you would expect nothing less from a Dilton Doiley clone who remembers-and previously posted-the actual windbreaker jacket he work the night he went out with (said for dramatic effect) the future homecoming queen Trina Byers. (And yes, I still get giddy whenever I type a sentence like that.)
Back on topic….Where father of Number 10 Cliff asked if Number 10 had done any work on the project, I assured Cliff that Number 10 had been there for the writing. (You can read between the lines there.) The result was Number 10 getting a 93 percent (aka he got an ‘A’) from the usually tough grading Carol and thus had the highest grade in HIS class….plus, yes, Number 10 got to have our, er, HIS Jordan composition read out to his entire class. (IIRC Pat Kastner had noted the comedy effect of the situation by saying -paraphrasing-‘We(the non-Carol students) knew he couldn’t have written that, and we figured out it had to be you since you knew your sports.’) While Mrs. Cliff was proud that Young Number 10 got the dap from Carol by getting our, er, his Jordan essay read out loud, I in turn had helped keep dude eligible for his upcoming gig as varsity basketball roster filler and junior varsity basketball star (plus he could play baseball in the spring too without issue). Plus I impressed myself because IIRC I had told Kastner ‘well, since I’ve got her for comp class I know how things go.’ Indeed I did as I proved to be a capable Number 10 clone in the written word. (And to this day that still cracks me up. Plus if someone asks WHY HE ONLY GET 93? my answer is simply that I couldn’t be TOO obvious.)
So I’ve established that fall I helped him with schoolwork, was out there at his place 24-7, drove him around before he got his license, went to movies and the mall when not playing pickup ball and generally talked to him 24-7. I even remember the movies we went to see (for example one Saturday afternoon in October we went to see Rocky V at Glendale, and for New Year’s we saw The Bonfire of the Vanities at Castleton.) And you’re not surprised that if we went to a video store we would end up renting, yes, The Naked Gun. (Dude’s second favorite choice if the OJ Simpson classic was not available was Coming to America starring 1980’s media love child Eddie Murphy. That movie was actually on cable TV a couple of nights ago. You’re not shocked I watched it, and you’re also not shocked who I thought of since I had seen it a dozen times or so in the past.) Also in between hanging out and apparently becoming best friend and confidant of someone who was two years younger and the opposite of me (him being a popular name with his class as their top athlete, me not necessarily being a popular name with my class other than the DO HE LOSE WEIGHT? looks I sometimes got as a not-so-athlete from those who were not prioritizing the life’s work of W. Axl Rose at the moment) I found out three key themes when it came to Number 10. These are kind of important because they in turn set the foundation for the next semester and-in my view, at least-the increased ego of Number 10 that would lead to the end of our friendship:
.* first of all, the backstory on Number 10 is he lived in the Hamilton Southeastern school district but Cliff and Company paid tuition for dude to go to the Sonland for said Sonland sports since at the time Southeastern sports were not iconic. Move was made in junior high, and during that timeframe Number 10 had one steady girlfriend of note (literally as you’ll soon see) that he thought of often. I had mentioned her before because she was one of the Hot Sonland Chicks who had signed my yearbook at Tracy Richardson’s back to school party before I went to college…one Sonland girls soccer star and attractive blonde Catherine Purdy. The polite way to put it: IMO Catherine was basically the female version of Number 10 in being the top female athlete of her class; combine that with their blonde hair colors and they had at least two things in common besides the ability to maintain oxygen. (I was going to post a picture of the then sophomore Catherine to validate her being said Hot Sonland Chick, but no such luck. Which makes perfect sense with what will be typed soon since it won’t be the first time that dealing with her would unknowingly cause some issues for yours truly.). Number 10 talked a lot about Catherine…I know because he talked to ME a lot about Catherine. I knew that he kept ALL of his notes that Catherine had wrote to him during said junior high romance due to the fact that I SAW all of said notes and got to read them. And when Number 10 decided that he wanted to try to socialize for the first time after school hours with the now high school Catherine, I know that he wanted to call her. I know this because HE ASKED ME TO MAKE THE CALL FOR HIM. So one weekend evening when Catherine apparently did not have a soccer game yours truly called the Purdy residence in order to see if Catherine wanted to socialize. Catherine responded by nicely telling me (and indirectly Number 10) in a round about way to go find the nearest body of water and submerge myself in it. (Yeah, after that happened I didn’t expect her to sign my yearbook either. So perhaps I called her at the wrong time of the month.) Hence no rekindling for Number 10 on his junior high romance. Also no expectations for me to go to get an invite to the Purdy household unless hell was having a sell on frozen ice.
(EDIT ON 2/26-finally learned how to use the caption stuff on these blogs so you the reader can see the photo of Catherine that shut down my computer for an hour last night. Number 10’s ex in full effect below…)
Now if Catherine had actually not told me in a round about way to go f— myself during that one phone call….let’s just say things could have ended up a lot different for my senior year. As in A HELL OF A LOT. If you’re still reading this, thanks very much for not being too bored about reading about my ghostwriting ability as I refer you to read on to find out how Catherine’s NO would indirectly effect my senior year and subsequent future. (And for your additional SIDENOTE…Catherine would eventually date Number 10’s Carmel counterpart in basketball circles, one Scott Shepherd. And the year after that when Number 10 would eventually be dating the female that you’ll read about at the conclusion of this post, Catherine would move on to date Number 10’s teammate one Brad Coverdale. Which leads to the irony that as of this writing Shepherd’s family insurance firm is now the employer of one ypunger brother of Brad….yes, TomCoverdale.. Yeah, I have too much free time, but we’ve established that many a time. Hence we shall move on.)
*second thing of note was finding out that Number 10 was not particularly fond of YoungAdams. I would get both sides of the story throughout this year, but the short version from the Number 10 side of things was that Young Adams was someone to not regularly hang out with because Young Adams liked to invite himself to other people’s events (hence earning the nickname Sector 15 (shortened to Sector) for supposed tracking skills via locating others’ location via map/ESP/area ‘sectors’ and such) and thus Number 10 apparently thought Young Adams was not of the same ilk. This was news to me in particular because on one October Saturday night that did not involve Homecoming both Number 10 and Young Adams sailed along with yours truly in the 1977 Buick to go see the Charlie Sheen/Emilio Estevez movie Men at Workat the Glendale cinemas. For effect of seeing the Estevez brothers together (and to go along with an Instagram post from earlier last year) here’s the movie poster from said classic cinema piece:
Quite frankly I liked the movie. I also remember Young Adams ordering eight bucks worth of candy and cola, but then again you figured as such. And the Brothers Sheen got our cash at full price. But I should have expected trouble in later months…which in fact would be the case.
However Young Adams was not the only recipient of Number 10’s verbal scorn, and that in turn is where things should I take blame for not taking care of business early on in order to involve the rocky road that would be coming up that spring….
*To be polite and not throw out a lot of expletives….Number 10 was not a big fan of my family or my home. I know because he made fun of my house and would often make fun of my parents. I also know because where I was out there every weekend at his house…he would only come to my house once to spend the weekend (or in this case crash over there on a Saturday night.) In a foreshadowing of what his future girlfriend/main squeeze would do in the spring during the sole time that she visited my home, Number 10 simply hid in my room and would not deal with my parents directly. Afterwards he basically told me he wouldn’t spend another night over there while in turn making it a point to never come by again when my parents were home once he did get his driver’s license. For politeness and a rare case of brevity from yours truly, basically IMO Number 10 considered me and my family to be slightly higher than white trash. As his ego got bigger that spring (which coincidentally came about when he started dating the Hot Sonland Chick I’m getting ready to mention) he also would openly insult my family during class. At first I handled it as him b—s–ting around as he made fun of a lot of people (see the previously mentioned Young Adams). Come springtime you can put two and two together that I eventually got sick of it and would either ignore him or occasionally tell him to shut the f— up (where during one class period that I ignored my so-called ‘best friend’ the before mentioned Kastner one time looked at him and said ‘why would he want to be your friend when all you do is make fun of him and his family?’ Kastner was indeed right. As for Number 10, I would often hear the DER HEH HUR I JUST JOSHIN (‘joshin’ was his term for ‘I’m just messing around’ as opposed to ‘I really think you’re a low class piece of pond scum’ that he was actually trying to communicate, limited as it may be) and then I would just move on to the next day.
It’s been established that as time progressed that year Number 10 was anything but a swell fellow to hang with. Also established that he wasn’t actually getting down on the weekends with Catherine Purdy…yet he would eventually come of age by getting to hang and (use your imagination) with a Hot Sonland Chick two years his elder…aka someone in my class year. Which was courtesy-SURPRISE-of yours truly…and I say that because yours truly was the actual go between/connection/Cupid/whatever you want to call it that set up one Number 10 with his girlfriend/prom date/high school beau whom he’d drive up to see when said girlfriend went to college. Never wrote about it before, but probably a good time to do so since it was kind of a big deal when it came to effecting my senior year…and helping make it easier for me to find college outside the Hoosier State to be a damn fine option to consider.
Said girl has already been mentioned on the blog. And I call it as I see it when I say said girl ended up having a pretty big effect on me as well as preparing me to be ready on how to handle drama once I got to leave the unhallowed halls of Noblesville High that May. (Considering four years later I had a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ with the dean of students at college number one to not set the school on fire during my final week on campus so I would be able to graduate, then just take my word for it that I’ve had dealt with more ‘unique’ situations than most of my peers.Also take my word that my life story will eventually make for an interesting movie, if not an early to mid 1990s version of Animal House for college number one. )
Said girl: one Tara Lynn Walczak.
Yes, the basketball manager Walczak with the gigantic calculator for keeping track of Pizza Hut tips. The same Walczak who I had probably spoken a combined 100 words to from August to December of that fall semester despite being in the same government class. Usually I associated Walczak’s love life with an on-again off-again relationship that she had with a dude one year older than us by the name of Jason Streeter. And as one can figure out I didn’t exactly talk to said Walczak that often to know whether it was on or off time with said Streeter. During that fall I’d roll into Dick’s Class (4th hour government) and sit on the other side of the room from Miss Tara Lynn…and not expect to deal with her because I still considered myself as being a non-entity in her social circle because, well, she dated older dudes and wasn’t exactly hanging out with me outside of group situations following a handful of basketball games. Plus if one wants me to actually be positive and give some compliments, read this: I considered Tara to be both very attractive as well as pretty damn intelligent (she was in the top 10 percent academically of our Sonland class) and therefore viewed her as someone who I was probably not going to deal with in part because, well, she was smarter than me..she was mature in how she carried herself….and lastly she was a Hot Sonland Chick (aka good looking). So again that fall I didn’t expect her to come up and talk to me unless it was to tell me that my fly was unzipped or that she had lost a bet. I respected Tara, yet I also wasn’t going to count on socializing with her on a regular basis. Like I said before in previous posts, West Harbour (her subdivision) might as well have been West Berlin because I hadn’t hung out with her since she had moved to Sonland City and therefore figured that would remain the case for my last year of being in GTFO mode towards graduation.
As already established throughout Part 4, the continuing theme of being wrong continued here……and admittedly this time it caught me off guard even though at first I handled it with comedy and ‘yes, this should be interesting.’
One day in late December (I’m going with the last week of classes before we got released for Christmas Break) I’m getting ready to roam out of Dick’s Class for the day…and all of a sudden I get stopped by none other than our main chica Miss Tara Lynn. She has a sheepish grin on her face. I have a WHAT THE F— IS THIS AND WHY IS SHE WANTING TO TALK TO ME? look on mine. I am amused as I get to have this conversation with her that starts similar to this:
I HAVE TO ASK YOU SOMETHING?
WHAT IS IT?
DO YOU KNOW NUMBER 10?
(Thinking that this was a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air moment) UH….YES.
With that….Tara told me she liked Number 10 and wondered if Number 10 had a girlfriend. See previously mentioned Catherine Purdy info to compute the answer for that one. I in turn told Tara I would talk to Number 10. And so that night I turn basically told said Number 10 “Dude, you’ve got an older chick who likes you.” Without giving lengthy details I then got to be said go between for the first ‘date’ or social gathering for Number 10 and Tara. Not only that…but I got to go on the date too. Of course I would.
The last week of 1990 after Christmas and before New Year’s….both me and Number 10 get to ride with Tara in (IIRC) Tara’s Pontiac Grand Prix to go to the movies. It had snowed that week, and I remember going down Keystone to the Lowes Theater to see then media favorite Macaulay Culkin get down in the then epic Home Alone. And since I now know how to use captions, your obligatory film poster below:
Afterwards we ate at the nearby Pizza Hut. Exciting as it sounds, with me cracking up the whole time saying to myself DUDE THIS IS COMEDY as Tara showed off her calculator to add up our tip and Number 10 wondered aloud what the f— was going on with said calculator. (Quite frankly I was shocked to be in the same car with Walczak to begin with. I figured I would have had a better chance of winning a date with Debbie Gibson through one of those teen magazines then to spend more than 45 minutes at a Pizza Hut with said Walczak. Either way it made the trip worthwhile as it gave me a night off from watching weeknight mainstays The Fonz and Judge Harold T. Stone on the tube.) I didn’t know what to make of it when that afternoon became evening, but then something that I wasn’t expecting began to happen: I started actually talking to TARA on the phone. And as one can figure out, I got to keep the role of go-between for a bit longer.
Actually, a lot longer.
Ended up not always being a good thing. In fact it would eventually lead me to many a time ask myself what was stated before: with friends like Number 10, then who the blue f— needed enemies?
Because that afternoon of seeing Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern get outsmarted by a pre-teen dude from the Chicago suburbs would turn out -in my view, anyway-to be the beginning towards the end of my friendship with Number 10. It also was the beginning of realizing that even with all the positive changes I had made in my life those last couple of years at the Sonland-the losing of 60 pounds, the being more social, the actually going out in public with Hot Sonland Chicks-there was still a long way to go. Better yet as I was considered a second class citizen in my own hometown-my family’s hometown, damn it-by an individual whom I considered to be my best friend, then it was probably not going to be productive to be in said hometown area much longer with college in the future.
Whether intentional or not, that matinee movie would set the wheels in motion for a friendship to turn into a feud. Fortunately for me, I was able to overcome it and make it through the rest of the year….and then be able to have a much, MUCH better time of things in college. (Plus I went to that prom deal I keep babbling about too. Still need to talk about how The Prom Date came about, and ironically good ol’ Number 10 is involved in that. And those prom proceedings actually have some VERY good comedy to go with it).
How I overcame that while learning a lot about friendship and family (and, well, eventually proms and pledgeship)……I’ll be ready to tackle that full speed ahead with the next post (aka Part 6).
Hey, I admit I wasn’t thinking about writing the sequel to War and Peace, so a big thank you to any and all who have been reading these. My memory’s not too bad after all these years…or I’m just long winded. Or more than likely both.
(Oh….Tom Crean’s sons actually beat Northwestern tonight, too. Now we’ll see if his boy Fred Glass will reward him with another ten year extension. After all if 16 wins a year from your coach is acceptable at a Big 10 school, why wait?)
Good place to stop. Will see if I can get this senior year in the Sonland wrapped up before getting that paper done for class next Saturday. Or if I can at least not wait another four months between posts.
Best wishes to all and thanks again to all who read these.