Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another True High School Story

Are you getting tired of these yet?

I loved being on the Cross Country team when I was in high school. I made the best friends I've ever had, got to run with and hang out with good looking girls (when you're a freshman hanging out with senior girls, that's a huge thing), and it was one of the few sports I was actually good at. Another underlying reason that I never really admitted to anyone, especially myself, was that it filled my PE requirement and I got to skip gym class. I only had to take it once in seventh grade. That was enough.

I know that physical fitness is an important thing, what with the entirety of the country getting too fat to even move to get more food, necessitating the invention of robots to shove burgers and fries down their gullets on demand lest they eat their own hands off, but ask just about anyone and they'll tell you that gym class is a fucking nightmare. Everyone hates gym class. The only ones that don't hate gym class are the mongoloid retard alpha males that get to run around and yell and throw things and act like mongoloid retards with very little supervision. They love that shit. No ones really trying to teach them anything, making them confused and irritated with concepts like "words" and "numbers" and how fucking magnets work and they get to pick on people weaker and smarter than they are with encouragement from an authority figure. Said authority figure is usually a retard alpha male himself, maybe just a step above mongoloid. Sometimes not. The female gym teachers are usually butch pseudo-lesbians that love their job because they get to watch high school girls run around in shorts and get naked. I might be exaggerating with stereotypes, but there's truth behind every cliche is all I'm saying.

Our gym "teacher" fit the stereotype pretty well. He also taught health class but you could tell by looking at him that he wasn't very bright. His nickname was "Gumby" probably because he was obscenely tall and had to bend slightly to get in most doorways, but there was probably a stupider reason. Only the MRAMs called him Gumby to his face without him getting pissed. I suppose there was some kin-ship there. Most of those guys would either end up working factory jobs or become gym teachers themselves someday. He was once in their shoes: telling stupid sex jokes, yelling at random intervals in the locker room, grabbing each others nuts in the shower, and attacking the asses of the fat kids with towels as they changed. Yes, he's been there and he knows how glorious it all was, so he looks the other way except when he has to assert himself as the king alpha male by making everyone run laps. This is the perfect place for him and he'll keep it. Till the day he taunts a gay kid for being gay and loses his job and gets picked up by another school far away in an endless cycle. And when he finally retires he'll look back on the full life that he has led running a zoo for MRAMs and their prey. He'll die happy knowing the hundreds of kids he has scarred for life and won't understand why the fires of Hell are suddenly burning the hairs on his ass. Such is the fate of the gym teacher.

Um, sorry, I got a bit off track there. Anyways, other than running around like an idiot, having to suffer through changing and showering with a bunch of other dudes (something which I wouldn't have to go through again till I joined the military and went to basic training), and getting my ass beat and my glasses broken in dodge ball, there's only a few things that have really stuck in my mind from that one year of mindless stupidity and brutality. One was a boy who I'll call...Cletus.

Cletus's family was poor. Dirt poor. Even the poor kids made fun of him for being poor. I know nothing about what his private life was like but I'm guessing it was sort of like Kenny's on South Park. Without all the death. He was skinny and malnourished, his teeth were a lovely shade of yellowish brown, and when you talked to him you had to remember to not use big words or he'd get easily confused. Oh and he smelled. Bad. A heady mixture of musty dirt and cigarette smoke emanated from the very center of his being. I have a hunch that he might have come out of the womb smelling like that, it seemed so natural. Being at the intelligence level to know how to function in society but not much else, Cletus sought the companionship and the acceptance of the MRAMs. He might have fit in except that he wasn't an alpha male. Still, he did his best to repeat stupid sex jokes even if he didn't understand them, and yell nonsense at random intervals, and make fun of Gumby till one day it all came crashing down on his poor lice ridden head. One day he was changing clothes and stripped down to his massively skid mark streaked underwear. Someone yelled
"Hey, look at Cletus's underwear!
Someone else yelled
"Yeah, he's got crusties!"
Pretty soon almost everyone was pointing and laughing and the poor kid put his clothes back on and wandered off to cry alone. From then on everyone called him Crusty, all the way through high school it followed him. I think eventually he even got used to it. I saw a lot of people call him that to his face and he wouldn't even flinch. Maybe he just pushed the origin of it out his mind and was glad that people were calling him anything that wasn't ugly or stupid or poor. That wasn't the saddest thing I'd seen that involved Cletus though. The saddest thing was the time I was standing outside the bio lab under the overhang with some friends and we saw him going through the gutters looking for cigarette butts to smoke. It was raining out. Not hard, but even a drizzle would make looking for used smokes on the ground even more pointless than it already was. And sad. So very very sad.


Justin said...

I will never get tired of this. It's insanely interesting!

The gym teacher descriptions are really accurate, from what I remember in middle school. luckily, for some reason, I don't have gym at my high school. They're completely focused on torturing us with boredom, I guess.

Oisin O'Sullivan said...

I was friends with a guy similar to that years ago but he was much less severe than what Cletus sounds like.

My P.E. teacher (which is what we call gym) for the three years of my junior cert (what you'd call middle school) was a complete cartoon character.
He was a redneck obessesed with Gaelic Football (the Irish cultural equivalent of American Football)and excercise and fitness in general and always took more of a liking to kids who played sport than those who didn't.
He taught other classes and he'd just stop abruptly and talk about sport with some of the more athletic kids in the class for the whole time.
He was the coach of a couple of school sports teams and got very obsessive about them He'd make them train during the summer months. I wondered how much of a life he could have if he cared so much about under-13 boy's gaelic footabll teams.
I used to do an impression of him, about what I imagined his home life was like. He'd go around, yelling at his kids to hurry up eating their breakfast, doing their homework, and chase them around the kitchen with a broom while forcing them to kick a football. Just like he yelled at us to run faster in PE.

For a while his wife was very sick and he was pretty depressed and drank a lot and we had him for our first class each monday. He'd come in with the stench of whiskey, holding his head, slightly stumbling, and say something like
"Alright class, go to room number... whatever, we're not doing class today... YOU!! DO YOU HAVE YOUR PE GEAR IN? NO?! Get to the office, and tell them you've got detention. and what about.... YOU?!"
It was like that every day, I counted about 5 days we actually didn't just sit around in some empty room.

Kurdt said...

@Oisin: Great story! I think all gym teachers (or PE Teacher, they're called that sometimes here too, like a military drill sargent is sometimes called a TI, training instructor)are cartoon characters. Most of them were the big tough jocks in highschool and after they graduated it was either teach sports and gym or work at a factory or a car dealership. It allows them to relive a little bit of their fleeting glory and pretend to be cool again. Its kind of sad really. We had one guy who should have been teaching PE but he was a history teacher instead. It was pathetic, one of the worst classes I've ever had. We'd read from the book for a bit and then just watch movies all hour. You'd think that would be great, but I just thought it was a waste of time. The jocks all loved it because he would talk to them about sports and everyone got A's for doing nothing. One time he showed us Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor and claimed we should learn something from it. I wanted to scream. Another time he came to school with sunglasses on and never took them off, all week. Apprently he had gotten into a fight at a bar and both of his eyes were blackened. A few years after I graduated he got fired for calling a gay kid a faggot and making him cry. He probably works at a car dealership now. Sorry, long comment.