Back when I was in high school, I lived far enough away from the campus that I had two lone options to get to school. I could:

a) Take the bus, which was amusing mainly because people were always smoking hitters of Mary-J. This was a shining example of the coveted Wake -n- Bake.

b) Con my way into getting rides from other people as my parents refused to buy me a car of my own. Something about polluting the environment or something. I don’t know, I wasn’t listening. Damn hippies.

Since St. Charles is sprawling enough that although I didn’t live by school, I had many friends who REALLY didn’t live by school, and since, I convinced them, I was pretty much on the way, why didn’t they just stop by and pick me up?

A whole band of kids would pile into someone or another’s small ass two-door car, and off we would go to school. We’d purposefully leave even earlier than we needed to so that we could drive in concentric circles around the school, getting closer and closer until we finally arrived. This may have been the only time in my life that I’ve willingly gotten up earlier than necessary.

Why the hell did we do this? In retelling this, I don’t really know.

We’d listen to Sublime’s Sublime, or Led Zeppelin’s Houses Of The Holy, or even a sweet ass mix tape, we’d smoke as many cigarettes as we possibly could, clam-baking the car. Sometimes we’d play Student Driver and overreact like hell to random things like a Fire Hydrant, and drive slowly in the middle of the road, hands at 10 and 2, feigning intense concentration.

I guess we did it because we could. And why not?

In my senior year, due to some intense over-crowding, the school system had built a second campus, called, for lack of anything smarter The North Building. I’m certain you can guess why.

My first class happened to be in the North Building, so the Band of Merry Pranksters would gallantly drop me off there first before eking out a parking spot. Before I’d emerge from the car in a cloud of smoke and classic rock, we’d often spot one of our classmates trudging dutifully to the North Building, his monogrammed backpack slung jauntily across his back.

And without fail, we’d slip in Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits Album and crank it as loud as the speakers would allow, roll down the windows and scream, “STEEVVVEEE MILLLLLERR!” Half of us would hang our bodies out the window as we screamed this at him, waving frantically and exaggeratedly to him.

He’d look up at us, obviously stunned, as he was a really quiet kind of guy, and wave back at us tentatively. Almost shy.

I can only assume that the kid was named by parents who had lived under a rock for years, because seriously? Neither name is bad, by itself or together, but you hear the name “Steve Miller” and you can’t help but start to whistle “The Joker.”

Again, the obvious question here is why the hell did we do this? And the only answer I can give you is that I don’t know.

We certainly weren’t being mean or malicious or anything resembling that. None of us were like that then nor are we like that now.

I guess we did it because we could.

And as for good old Steve, who was always such a good sport? He got the last laugh: I think he went to Harvard or something.

Steve Miller, indeed.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

32 Responses to Abra-abra-cadabra, I Wanna Reach Out And Grab Ya

  • swirl girl says:

    We hung out in the parking lot doing the same – with an occasional stroll toward ‘dope alley’ for some, uh – you know.

    then to C Halls girlsroom to clambake that.

    those are my memories of High School.

  • Matt-Man says:

    You probably did it because you were young, and didn’t care how that joke may or may not affectothers.

    I have been there, on your end, so, no I’m not preaching.

    Seems harmless to me, but I think when we were young, we just needed instant gratification, whether it be sex, a buzz, or in this case humor.

    Some people dislike getting older, but damn, I kinda like it. I appreciate everything much more. Cheers to you, and here, have some more Vodka, I’ll join ya.

  • Badass Geek says:

    I seriously JUST downloaded “Abracadabra” and “The Joker”. Like, a few nights ago.

    Awesome.

  • DOC says:

    We always sang Billy Joel’s ‘Piano man’

  • Rachel says:

    We often did this sort of thing, but called it ‘going on a mission.’

    On weekends, the parties were referred to as ‘deermeat parties.’ Our stupid parents thought we were actually grilling venison and eating it at a cabin in the woods.

  • kbreints says:

    I just love your stories– when is that book coming out?

  • Jenn says:

    I went to school with a guy named Michael Hunt. For serious. That poor guy who went by Mike.

  • heather says:

    I’m gonna have that damn song stuck in my head for DAYS. Fuck you, Aunt Becky.

  • Mumma Boo says:

    I was in Target not long ago and heard a mother shouting for her daughter, “Margaret Rita”. That poor kid is going to have a helluva time in high school.

  • birdpress says:

    My school was small and strict. We couldn’t get away with that kind of thing. I remember that it was in the dress code that white tee shirts were not allowed because they were UNDERshirts not OUTER shirts. My friend was sent home for wearing one. She then drew a small design of a fish near the shoulder and wore it again and was not bothered. This was public school too!

  • Heather says:

    Our last name is that of another classic rocker (though far more unusual than Miller), so every.single.time. I give the name at a restaurant or whatever, the host will ask I’m related to said rocker. Uh. No.

    And did we go to high school together? Seriously, that sounds waaaay too familiar. Only our “North” building was the vocational building.

  • Sara says:

    In high school? Take out the smoking (of anything) and that’s what I would call fun now. I like being random and doing non-mean pointless things. It’s fun to be random.

  • Lola says:

    Oh, the memories of falling out of smoke-filled cars in the school parking lot. We were way too stoned to tease anyone but ourselves and the teachers that were fortunate enough to have us in their classes first thing. Man, did I love high school!

  • Your teenage years were always spent doing the things you could bt ween’t suppose to do. It’s teenage nature!

  • Anjali says:

    Cars and parking lots were the true landscape of the high school years, I think.

  • Tiffany says:

    Ahh…high school!
    We used to trudge up a hill called Smokers Hill behind the high school..it was technically off school property..and we could smoke there ;)
    good times!!

  • Tiffany says:

    Oh and I used to smoke in the lower commons bathroom before we went to Vo Tech..he he he…

  • Boy, do my high school days sound lame. ‘Course my school was REALLY small (32 in my class, seriously) and both my parents were teachers so I could get away with NOTHING!!! However, my friends and I did do some weird and random stuff like dance naked to YMCA at midnight in the middle of a country road. Damn, I miss being a teenager sometimes.

  • Edward says:

    Isn’t that how it always work…the nerd, geek guy gets the last laugh as he rolls in his diplomas and money? I did some fucked up shit too…wish I could say sorry to a few people.

  • Heather P. says:

    I went to school with a girl by the name of Jayne Powell, (like the MGM movie star), and a kid by the name of Dale Shannon(like the singer of “Little Runaway” from the 50’s).
    But I also went to high school and was friends with this gal Stephanie Spitzer Baker.
    http://dangerousfemaleblog.com/?p=12
    And was on the school paper staff with this guy Michael Shane Hale.
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE4DD1639F932A05753C1A963958260
    High School sucked!

  • RhoRho says:

    Steve Miller brings me back. To a long, long time ago…sigh.

  • Kyddryn says:

    During senior year of High School, I went to several of the same classes as a young woman with the surname Sun.

    Invariably each day, as attendance was called, a recitation would follow her name:

    Random Teacher: Sun

    Class full of smartass students with no couth or sense of human dignity (myself excluded, of course, because in high school I had neither coolness nor sense of humor): Moon, Stars, Mars, Saturn (and on, and on, and on…)

    It’s a wonder she didn’t snap and come to school armed with a spork and a serious need to use it on human flesh.

    Instead, she got revenge by constantly blowing the curve.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (who was obviously never young and free, herself)

  • Jenn says:

    Becky,

    This is completely off topic, but I though that this was right up your alley – http://www.boobsinjuriesanddrpepper.blogspot.com/ If not, then I’m sorry to take up your space :)

    Jenn

    P.S. I swear that I did the same shit in HS, just because I could, but I was always the driver.

  • Lori says:

    I too, look back at those things I did with my friends, and am totally clueless as to what the hell we were thinkin but makes for some fun crazy memories!
    Great post!

  • mandy says:

    lookat what I missed! I was at home with a baby, homeschooling. I have no regrets, only that I don’t have cool stories to share.

    I have to tell you that you are SUCH a good writer, I could smell the smoke and hear the music. (I should be packing, but this is more fun)

  • Kate says:

    If you went to high school in New York, and this Steve Miller was the son of a pretty well-known local car dealership franchise, I know the Steve Miller to whom you are referring. And if so, please email me privately, because I have a ridiculously pathetic story to share.

  • Amanda says:

    Sublime!!!! I know every damn word to that album!

    High school. Sigh.

  • baseballmom says:

    I bet Steve Miller liked it though, feeling like he was part of the gang…his moment in the sun!

  • We did the most random stuff in high school too–not sure why–and we were equally amused.

    One friend would sit in the hall every morning and ask every.single. person. that walked by, “Ma’am do you have the time?”

    It didn’t matter if it was a guy or girl–he’d still say, “Ma’am do you have the time.”

    This seriously cracked us up, after the 5000th person walked by–day after day after day.

    No reason to it –none at all. ;)

  • Kristine says:

    I was beyond self absorbed in high school.

    Not snobby, just, not interested in what other people thought or did, especially if it didn’t effect me.

    We did have a guy whose last name was Merkling. So we called him Merkel (Like Urkel – since he was nerdy) behind his back, except the one time I let it slip in front of him and his face just dropped.

    And then I had a friend who had a friend we dubbed a side kick – we call him Ed to this day. For Ed McMahon.

  • Leslee says:

    HAHAHAHA! You just made me think back to when I would pick everyone up for school in my badass 85 Ford Escort that had two doors and a virtual reality passenger seat. (Apparently seats in cars are supposed to have 4 bolts. That seat had 1.)

    We would either wake -n- bake on the way to school or save the coveted stash for lunch. If we got there early enough, we’d go across the street to Smoker’s Corner and puff about half a pack of cigarettes before we went inside. There were many afternoons spent aimlessly driving around. (Gas wasn’t even $1 a gallon back then) We couldn’t jam out to anything awesome cuzz my car didn’t have a tape player or anything, so we’d have to listen to the shitty ass station I actually got. Of course, that didn’t prevent us from screaming some horrid song at the top of our lungs, though. :-)

  • Jerseygirl89 says:

    I so forget to mention how much I miss driving aimlessly and smoking in my I miss high school post.

    As for Steve Miller, I would have done the same thing.

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