Two weeks before I started my senior year at Southern High School, in the school year of 2000-2001, I had a minor surgery to remove some small tumors on the front right-side of my head, and on the back right-side of my head. The tumors were actually just underneath of my scalp, but they were bothersome. I was hoping that the scars would be mostly healed and my hair would look alright by the time school had started.
Well, the appointment for me to have the stitches removed wasn’t until the day after the first day of school. I wasn’t about to go to school with a couple of patches of missing hair and stitched-up scars and ruin my senior year of high school, so I skipped school, and instead, went to visit my Uncle Kenny in the hospital.
And can you believe it? As I was sitting in the ICU waiting room with my family, Dr. Nazar strolled into the waiting room to see another patient’s family. After he talked to them he came over to greet us. Then after we informed Dr. Nazar that I had an appointment to see him the next day to have my stitches removed, he took me to another room and removed the stitches. Following that, I went to my barber, Virgie, to see if she could doctor up my do. Virgie simply took the clippers and trimmed my hair short enough to blend it in with the patches of shorter hair. Good idea, but now I had to go to school looking like Robert DeNiro in “Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.”
The next day at school, first period, second period, third period, and fourth period came and went. A lot of people looked in curiosity at the scars on my head, but nobody really bothered to ask me about what had happened. And for some reason, I never even bothered to come up with a good answer, in case anyone had asked me about it.
Then it was time for fifth-period Tool & Die class. Finally someone asked me, “Man, what happened to your head?”
I heard on the Maury Show that if it takes someone more than three-tenths of a second to answer a question, then they’re likely telling a lie. Telling stories about tumors was getting old, and they didn’t seem to impress high school students very much. So I did what most seventeen-year-olds would have done and I told everyone that I tried to peel out on my cousin’s ninja bike and drove it into a fire hydrant. Some kids thought that my ninja-bike story was a joke, and some of them tool it with a grain of salt.
But it didn’t matter to me whether anyone believed my ninja-bike story or not as long as my senior year in high school was relatively good, and it was. Fifth period and sixth period in the machine shop was my favorite time of the school day. With no problem, I got to sit in the seniors’ cafeteria at one of the cool kids’ tables.
Now think, “Fast!”
At lunch, all those gear-heads talked about was sooped up cars or sooping up their own cars. My friend Kent was working on restoring an old Volkswagen Beetle. That sounded good. My friend Brad wanted to get a Mazda Miata.
I asked Brad, “Isn’t that a little car for girls?”
Brad responded, “Yeah, but you should see what I’m gonna do to it, dude.”
What, put it on a diet of protein bars?
I actually just got around to watching “The Fast and the Furious” a week before I wrote about this particular incident. It made me think of those kids at school who would put that Neuspeed junk on their cars and show it off to their buddies while they had their three-hundred-watt sound systems vibrating the rear-view mirror of my Mercury Tracer out of position. In the movie, there were expensive Mitsubishi Eclipses, Toyota Supras, etc. There was a kid at school with a sooped-up 1989 Toyota Camry. When I first saw it, I thought, “My grandma drives an ‘89 Camry!” I even saw a girl with a sooped-up 1990 Pontiac Sunbird. Why??? I’ll bet her boyfriend talked her into letting him have that done. I wonder how many girlfriends were forced to endure sitting through “The Fast and the Furious” on a date at the movie theater. Poor things, there’s hardly a love scene in that flick.
Whenever you asked most of those kids, “So you got you’re boosters a-boostin’ and your chargers a-chargin’… do you race?”
They’d respond, “Uhhh…”