School of Hard Knocks

220px-Color_Me_Badd_logo                    As a boy,  I planned on conquering my every fear in life.  Knowing my own phobias of chocolate filled lollipops and flash photography I would bravely grow up to be the guy that puts tootsie rolls in the center of tootsie pops and the photographer for the Victoria Secret catalogs. When I hit middle school reality slapped me in the face and I realized I would have to come up with more realistic dreams for my future.   I would be a singer. They had lots of money and WOMEN. I often found myself singing along to FM96.5 the groove. “Smooth R&B for all ages to get their groove on”.  Yeah. I got my groove on with Usher. Boyz 2 Men. Color me Badd. I was sure I was as good as these guys. When looking for reassurance, my Dad called me a homo and rolled his eyes,  and my mom told me that I was indeed a GREAT singer. I found out later that this must have been one of her “remembered to take her prozac with her brandy” days. They were  differentiated from her “forgot to take her Prozac but remembered the brandy” days by a general lack of sobbing, cursing, slurred verbal attacks on my father and the occasional ridiculous compliment. I blame her for the events that would follow. Based on my mother’s well intentioned lie, I pursued my singing. I had seen La Bamba. Singing was where it was at and I’d take the world by storm. The culmination of my singing dream came when I boldly performed “I Wanna Sex You Up” at the 6th grade talent show.  I would have come out victorious too but Jody Sizemore was an 8th grade goddess with a full handful of the Lord’s natural padding on her chest which she used to hypnotize the crowd. Unfortunately I was part of that crowd. I was getting ready to go backstage. Her bouncing brainwashing flesh prancing around the stage in interpretive dance put me in a trance. My hormones kicked off what I can only describe as an intensely  raging boner. This was really quite common and could last nearly a full school day . In between classes this would often force the well known “look natural and walk  down the hall with school books pressed firmly over the woody” walk. This method was employed until the restroom was reached so I could slip into a stall and do one of two things. One; think of horrible naked images of the gym teacher or two; proceed to punch the poor thing like it had called my mother names. This self torture had to be done in a timely manner because unfortunately (and I learned this the hard way)  erections arent a valid tardy excuse. So I was five minutes out for my performance and a flogging would take its toll and my mind was too scattered to calm the problem with gross visualizations so I used my unmatched problem solving skills and attempted to scotch tape the thing down to my leg. It worked. How was I to know scotch tape performs poorly on sweaty hip hopping thighs? Apparently it lasts for exactly 2 verses and a chorus. I thought they were cheering for my performance. I mean, even the principal was applauding. Or so I thought.  When she screamed , “get down Mr. McDonald” I thought she was referring to the James Brown kind of “get down”. So I did. In reality she meant, “get down and take your bulging crotch off stage”, which she explained to me in those exact words after the fact. It wasn’t until I hit the splits part of my choreographed routine that I realized what was happening.  I was singing, “Girl, you know it feels real good.We can do it ’til we both wake up……, ” while dancing in a seductive manner, (or as seductively as a pre pubescent 10 year old boy possibly could) and now everyone had forgotten about Jody and her boobs from God so they could only assume I became aroused from my own performance. Needless to say I didn’t finish. (Though a large percentage of the school chanted for an encore.) No. As Jody was handed my golden trophy I was subjected to a lecture from Principal Martin. How one receives punishment for something so natural was beyond me. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t paying attention anyway.  Mrs. Martin was wearing a skirt that day. What shame had forced into submission, her freshly shaved legs were bringing back to life. The talent show program I was clenching slowly moved to my waistline. I walked away with a demerit slip, a hurtful nickname, a fear of  singing in public, and a pair of parachute pants flying at full mast. I would have to put yet another dream aside and come up with a new plan for my future. Whatever my future held, I would face it standing tall. 

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