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Thread: Tocky's Tales

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I hope folks are actually reading these but I'm going to plow ahead anyway.

    Since I alluded to the cottonpicker I'll tell that one. Me, Elliott, Richard, and Kevin decided we would go down an old dirt backroad late one night and do about a four mile block of walking with the old Lebannon cemetery in the middle to hang out at awhile. It was a moonlit night and that place is the oldest cemetery in the state. There has been no church there for a hundred years but there is still a small house with pews for services before burial and back then there was a guest book we used as a diary/poetry book. Stuff like "here I sit but not alone fired one up and smoked a bone." I wish I had that book now. Anyway, one day I will be buried beneath the biggest oak there where me and my buds hung out. My dad and nephew already are.

    That night though we were young. Fifteen maybe. Halfway there we came upon a cottonpicker in a middle of nowhere plowed field. No idea why it was there. The field had only sprouts in it. Nowhere near time for needing it. A cottonpicker is like a large tractor or combine with an enclosed cab that sits way up high on this immense piece of machinery. Large tines stick out the front where cotton from about eight rows flows through and is stripped.

    We climbed on up. Surely nobody would leave the keys in it. They did. Surely it would not crank. It did. Elliott decided he would drive. The shift was just like an H shift pattern with some extra tacked on. Simple. We got going down the rows at a fair clip and swung round to cross them bumping and bouncing over them crosswise always gaining speed and finding another gear. We reached the apex of speed at maybe thirty getting a kick out of what it could do when he shifted into the last slot. The last slot was reverse.

    The Wheels locked up solid. The sudden stop threw the heavy machine tilting forward and the front tines dug into the ground lifting the whole thing off the ground to vertical. All of us fell forward hitting the windshield. I don't know how it held in it's frame. In those days they were just in a gasket and not glued in with urethane like they are today. So there we are looking down. I wish I had a picture of our faces then all pressed against the glass watching as it tilted between life and death, balanced on those tines as fate decided whether it would go on over and crush us flat beneath a couple tons of machinery. It swayed both ways and was well balanced between. I swear none of us knew which way it would go.

    Finally it chose to spare us and bounced back to earth on it's huge tractor tires. We rose from where we had been jounced off our feet and looked at one another. I know it sounds nuts but we started laughing and cheering. It was how close we came I guess. That last one was reverse Elliott told us. Ya think? We turned it off and climbed down. Nobody much wanted to ride in it after that. I hope we didn't mess up those tines. That was a lot of weight on them.

    We went on to the cemetery in the best kind of way that night. On foot and alive.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I've always ridden motorcycles. When we were kids we had Evel Knievel for a hero so what else could we do? The first was a Honda QA 50. A mini bike. The first time my brother got on it he popped a wheelie ran straight into a fence and fell over. Cool. It was on. There was a natural ramp caused by a sunken road at my grandma's place. We would line up laying down, me and my buds, and jump over each other. Not long ways. We weren't that crazy. Even still when you got to four laying side by side it was close. That last guy was nearly squished by the rear wheel. I was on the end the day Richard flew over on a jump and let go the handle bars. The bike went on ahead a bit and burnt a black mark across his chest mid air with the rear wheel. Hilarious.

    There are lots of times you nearly die. Just last year I was on a friends Harley on a trip to Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee when we (my wife and I) came around a curve and a deer stopped in the road right in front of us. He moved when he heard the tires bawling but that's just the way it is. Cars pull out in front of you or pass you on a curve or over a hill on a two lane. Lot's of stuff. Ask Gingerbread Man. He went through gravel and laid his down to a tune of forever scars and a long rehab. A buddy of mine, Kevin, got bumped off the road by a lane changing car in Cali. He lived but that place will kill you. Topanga canyon is full of idiots. And mud slides.

    But they all will. Ya pays ya nickle ya takes ya chances. I once went down Lizard road on my Shadow doing one hundred all the way because I just decided I would. They make you crazy. When I topped a curve over a hill banked the wrong way I left the ground and came down on the wrong side just over the marker line for the edge of the far side lane. I had started on the inner one of my lane. Suppose a family had been in the lane I flew over? The line from the book The Outsiders was right. Go by yourself and you are a hero. Take somebody with you and you are an asshole. But once you survive the worst curve you are not going to slow down.

    The only thing to do is not get on one if you know you are crazy but that's hard to do. They are a tempting animal and crazy attracts crazy. I recall doing 140 mph on a Bugatti and just skipping on the road like a feather. You don't feel like you can die. You feel like a god laughing at death. I'm sure it feels like that until the moment of impact. It's like a drug and the only thing to do is stay away from it. Some guys are really good, much better than me, but everybody faces the same thing. Variances in road texture can mean everything. Equipment failure can too. I was riding with Kevin on his bike when we had a flat and had to stand up at 70 mph around a curve and do the sideways watusi back and forth until we stopped. It can always go the wrong way. Sometimes in a hilarious way though.

    Every damn one of our bikes were down except Franks. We were around sixteen and bony then. We fit four on his bike. Frank, me, Kevin, and Aubrey. Frank was way up on the tank. I don't know how Aubrey was hanging on. His ass must have been on the taillight. But hey, we only had to make it to his house and we would have another bike. He could borrow his brothers. Did we keep it slow for safety? What are we a bunch of pussies?

    Every road in my neck of the woods is curvy except the interstates. Hilly, curvy, valley-y. Lots of pastures. Lots of cows. We came around one curve and suddenly we were facing a lot of cow asses. A whole herd had escaped and were tramping down the road. Frank locked her down but we were doing about seventy. Everyone was packed on Franks back. I was trying to keep some weight off him but with the others on my back it was hard. I don't know how he held onto the handle bars.

    We were sliding and the cows were running flat out. It was a race to see who would wind up with a tire up their ass. They could have parted but cows are not known for clear thinking in emergency situations. There was this one old heifer that was pulling up the rear and Frank seemed to center on her. There was nothing we could do at that point. We were locked and sliding. She was running flat out.

    It was a race. We came right up between her legs and his knobby front tire tickled her udders as we matched speed. It was a close thing. As close as you can get and we were all just getting to the point we could ease up on the pressure we were exerting on Franks back. Then the cow did something animals are known for when they want to lighten the load in fight or flight situations. She dumped a load of steaming cow pie right onto the spinning front wheel. The results were exactly as you would expect. The shit hit the fan. From the tire it flung back on all of us. Everyone had wanted a view and were leaning to one side or the other to see if we would plant a wheel up Elsie's ass. All over all our faces.

    Nobody was hurt. That's the main thing. There was a creek in that valley we could at least wash our faces in. And we did have a laugh. Not at first. Not till we got the poo from around our mouths could we guffaw. But it was funny. Hard to deny that.

  3. #53
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Okay, that's funny as heck.

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Understand that my life is nothing to emulate. I know this better than anyone. If you want to succeed in life do not do as I have done. I have been incredibly lucky. Many many times I should have died. Somehow some benevolent spirit saved me every time. I did everything wrong. I never failed to screw up. But it needs to be a lesson to anyone who thinks they have reached the end of their rope. Life can turn out wonderful no matter what you do to mess that up. Never give up. I sat with my family today in a Methodist church and listened to the most angelic choir and orchestra and in the middle of a crescendo I looked over and saw my youngest granddaughter snuggled in the arms of my son in law and knew beyond any doubt that the world is okay. Good will triumph. Even the most hopeless and hapless will prevail.

    Today was the birthday of my nephew Micheal. That is likely a story I will never tell here. He gave up. I wish he had come to me. I wish it so often. Before I had children of my own he was my hope for the future. He was funny and irreverent and the world would have been a better place with him in it. I wish he had children of his own. I wish he had faith that things would turn out okay. They do. No matter what you have been through they do. You have to believe because it's true. I'm the most undeserving and in the end I've been given the most.

    I have lots of other stories. I have to tell you about the old lady who nearly killed me. I have to tell you about alphabet soup. I have many stories. Some good. Some strange. Some break my heart. But not tonight. Tonight my heart rends and twists because I know Micheal was one of the best of us and I did not know he would let go of this priceless gift of life. I did not know his story until it was too late. He is buried beneath that tree at Lebanon. One day I will be too. But until then I will squeeze every bit of wonderful happy wonder from this magical thing. When my granddaughter hugs me and I feel the love flow through me I am connected to every good thing in the universe and I know it will be okay.

    It will be okay for you too. I know it will.

  5. #55
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    So. I got kicked out of a few bars. This one, however, I was kicked out of three times. And they liked me there. I got on good with the bartenders and they always apologized as they led me out. But I had to go. At least until the next night. I would have gotten kicked out more but I was only there six weeks at Sheppard AFB, and like I said, they liked me.

    My old high school buddy Richard was there and had introduced me to a great bunch of rowdy guys before he left for his permanent duty station at Keesler on the Gulf. These guys were as rough as me so we got along great. The only name I remember was O'Reilly because he was so big and so nuts. No way I would antagonize this guy but there is always one and he got his nose broken bad for it. Bone sticking through the skin bad. Then the guy wanted to be his friend but O'Reilly was so pissed the guy made him fight that he would have none of it. Anyway he wasn't a bad guy. I get the feeling guys had been making him fight all his life and he resented it.

    So we were all drinking pitchers of draft. Everybody who showed up bought one and there was no room on the table. We started stacking them into a pyramid, some half full, some near empty, some full. O'Reilly bets me the next round I won't dive through the pyramid. So I do. I took a running go and busted them dead center. It drenched me good. Not only that but the table wasn't bolted down like I thought and it tipped over sending me rolling into the chairs at the bar. I had some vague plan about landing on my feet but it didn't work out that way. I had to go. With escort to keep me from getting lost on the way.

    Later that week I see the same guys at the same table and O'Reilly is happy to see me. They had been there awhile because again the table is covered in pitchers of various levels of beer. He calls my name so of course I come. He reaches his hand across the table for a bro handshake and as soon as I grasp it he pulls me across it with pitchers a flying. Nice. I hadn't even had a beer yet. Once again I'm drenched and I have to go. We all had to go that time. That's when we went to his Mexican girlfriends house (tiny girl and him so big) and he had to break that guys nose. Oddly I felt the most bad for O'Reilly who didn't have a scratch.

    The third time was the most fun. I had told them of my Baby Ruth in the pool gag I pulled in front of Tennessee Williams and one of the guys had a better one. Alphabet soup gag. It took some prep so I went and got a windbreaker from my room while another guy got the other stuff. We met outside and set it up. An open can of alphabet soup with a hole on each side for a string to tie to and then hung around my neck and hidden in the jacket about chest level.

    Saturday night was a big dance night and the floor was full so we had to wait for a slow number so it would be cleared out enough for folks to see what was happening. I stagger out onto the floor bumping into folks like I'm bad drunk and I start retching loudly. It worked great. The music was low so I could be heard well and folks cleared a space for me to be alone. I bend over retching then and pour the soup between my fingers. Awwwww yuck! Get this guy outta here! Some urping from a few followed a further clearing of space. I could now be seen well from the tables too.

    But what was really great was when my buddies ran up with spoons and began to eat it off the floor. The coup de gras. There was one real puke by somebody on the dance floor and a general groan of ugh that went up. I was still holding out in character until the guys started fighting over it. "Hey I wanted the carrots!" We all got kicked out then too but after that we were legend.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    The Baby Ruth in the pool is a good one and I wish I had come up with it but that was my buddy Craig. He was always coming up with something to pull and needing my help. Most of it was stupid stuff like twisting up a joint out of pencil shavings and putting it in the principles pencil holder where he couldn't see it but anyone who came in could. He would do anything. I once lost twenty bucks to him because I bet him he wouldn't eat a live cricket. Some of who I am is undoubtedly his fault.

    This guy had parents who divorced and his dad bought him lots of stuff out of guilt. Clothes, stereo equipment, a Plymouth Duster with a blower, anything he wanted. Seriously. What kid in high school has a balanced and blue printed Duster with a full race cam and a blower? Hell he wrecked the fender on our skip day (another story) and we spent the whole day at a body shop while it got fixed so his mother wouldn't know. Just peeled off the bills. He was always trying to buy me things too. Dude, you don't have to buy my friendship, I told him every other time. Some of the stuff was pretty cool and I couldn't resist.

    Anyway this time we were in Jackson with the Creative Writing Club. We put out the schools literary mag twice a year and Craig had some wicked funny stories I would illustrate for him. I illustrated everything in that mag but his stories were the most fun to do. I was also poetry editor. The club had gone to some literary conference thing that I can't recall because it bored the shit out of me. I didn't have to have anyone tell me why I liked stories.

    But there was a lot of down time. We were all out at the pool being high school kids, the girls acting as if they weren't showing off their bikini bods and the guys doing a poor job of acting like we didn't notice, when he came to me with his plan. It was fucking brilliant. He gave me a Baby Ruth bar to hide while I swam to the middle of the pool and let it go. A Baby Ruth is caramel covered in peanuts then covered in chocolate. With the outside layer rubbed off a bit it looks just like a turd. He distracted them while I did it. He was good at distracting.

    If nobody had noticed I would have to act as if I discovered it but Scott Fiew ran right into it with his face dog paddling. "Ew turd! Everybody out of the pool! Somebody dumped in it!" That was part of my acting. It cleared in no time. The rest was Craig and he was so perfect I could have cried. He took a long handled pool net left by the hotel on the fence and scooped it up. About twelve of us gathered round this lonely little turd looking down in disgust. The only other people around were some old fat guy under an umbrella with his flaming servant fussing over him but we paid scant attention to that.

    Everybody is staring at the turd and discussing it. We can't go back in the pool now. "I don't know", Craig says, "is that really a turd?" He bends over it and looks closely. "It looks like one". He bends closer and smells of it scrunching his nose. "It smells like one". "Ew don't get near it" one of the girls says. At just the right moment when everyone is focused on him he picks it up and takes a bite. He grins at them with chocolate in his teeth and says, "yep, it tastes like one too. That's a turd folks." Scott was retching and the girls were aghast. It was great. It could not have gone better.

    Of course we gave up the gag. Mostly it was given up by us laughing but we explained what we did too. Not long after our teacher Mrs. Causey comes out and recognizes the old fat guy as Tennessee Williams and goes ape shit. She oozes nice all over him and gets him to let each of us ask a question. Me and Craig are at the back of the line. By the time we get to him everybody had asked all the good stuff about The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. Craig asks him what he is drinking (looks like whiskey) and Tennessee just looks at him like he is disgusted to be in his presence. Next it was my turn. All I could think was how could he not acknowledge that great joke. I had wanted to ask why he didn't stick to horror like his first publication in Weird Tales but I couldn't get past his lack of humor. Sweat rolled down his face as he looked at me like I was a talking slug with intellect to match so I said "hot ain't it?"

    The man was a bonafide genius, no doubt about it, so how in hell could he not appreciate that joke? Did he miss it? It still puzzles me.

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    IF I tell every single story of my life then everyone is going to know everything about me and I'm still not going to know shit about you guys. Do you think that's fair? Okay it's fair because I started this shit. Damn it.

    Okay. I feel like I should say something about my girlfriends. They were so nice to me and I was such a shit. Okay I'm glad that's over. No wait. Maybe a bit more.

    Okay in sixth grade I met three of my best friends for life but also one more only she was a girl. I used to pop Karen's bra strap because she sat right in front of me and I kind of liked her. I talked with her like I would any friend and flirted because I love to flirt. However she became smitten and wrote me over the summer. SWAK with a pair of drawn lips on the back of every envelope. That's sealed with a kiss. She would tell me what she wanted to do with me and I would not exactly disagree.

    Back at school I didn't say I loved her or anything but I did buy her a Saint Christopher necklace which was a big thing at the time. I made her laugh a lot, I disconcerted her at odd times, I flirted at odd times, all the things that make a girl fall for you. I never said I love you or will you go with me or anything like that but I knew what I was doing. I even wanted to love her but I just couldn't. I liked her. She was pretty enough, blue eyes and dark hair, and willing plenty.

    So it was a dick move when I moved from my usual spot to behind Anita. She was damned interesting. Had this really sardonic sense of humor and a deep laugh she used plenty and to good effect. I called her for awhile. She would tell me of her alcoholic father straining shoe polish through a loaf of bread and I would be amazed at this strange world she lived in. She was also best friends with my cousin and we told each other the goofiest jokes. But I must have hurt Karen.

    I never explained anything. I did what I felt. I got my comeuppance though. I still talked with Karen and walked to class with her at times. Once while walking with her Tommy came up behind me and knocked my books out of my hands. As I picked them up vowing to get him back he continued with her. Tommy and me had fought back in fourth grade a few times but I had become friends with him since. We got along good I thought.

    So later I see them walking together and sneak up to knock his books out of his hands. He tells me he is going to get me. Well fine get me now I tell him. He just pouts and I rush on to the field house to get in my gear for football. As I'm pulling up my pants with those lumpy ill fitting pads I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn right into a fist. What the fuck? I fell back into my equipment locker. By the time I get out of it he had gone to his own locker.

    I'm standing there hurt because well... I say it out loud like an idiot. "I thought we were friends". I realize how stupid that sounds because one of the brothers repeats it in a mocking tone. I would have laughed but damn it my feelings were hurt. "Well lets go then. Come on." But he just keeps getting dressed and I'm standing there with my pants half down feeling foolish so I get dressed. Then we play football. I wore a damn black eye for a week unsure whether I should push the issue or not. It wasn't whether or not to fight. I was just confused. He wouldn't even look at me.

    I continued being friends with Karen. We still are to this day. When we meet at a restaurant or grocery we always speak and catch up. True there was the one time on a ride home from, well, I think it was that Creative Writing conference when we started kissing and continued all the way home on the bus which was a ride of over a hundred miles. She was a good kisser. Then when we had our ten year reunion Bill remembers and says some stupid shit about it in front of her husband and it gets real quiet until I deflect the conversation into a funny area. Bill was a dumbass.

    Anyway we all live our lives and one day Tommy comes into the shop where I work and I'm sitting at my desk and we are catching up and talking about his time in Oregon and how great that was to raise his girls in and what happened to other of our classmates when Karen comes up and he tells me she is single again which was a surprise and a sadness as I hoped this one would be permanent. (At our twentieth reunion when another girl had asked me how I had managed to stay married Karen had said "he found the right one" and I was so grateful to her for that because it meant she understood. She really is wonderful. I pointed out she had too. I was wrong apparently.) Tommy was sad for her too. We didn't understand why it didn't last for her.

    But here is the thing. It blew my mind to finally understand Tommy was in love with Karen back then. It must have pissed him off she was so hung up on me. I understood now. Thinking about those days must have reminded him of the time he punched me though because he got real funny then. I can't explain it. I knew that he knew all of a sudden that I owed him a punch. Why he would think I would hold a grudge I don't know but I swear I could feel him tensing to defend himself. It actually made me think about doing it finally. But that's silly. I started talking about my grand kids and he told me of his.

    I was glad he came in. It made sense now. Those times were such a whirlwind of emotion and I never knew if I was doing the right thing. I was just happy to understand finally. But you know what? I think I had to pay for Karen. Not right away. There were a few girls in between but one got me good. That would be Laurie and what a payback that was. It will take quite a while to tell that one. We were both so wild I thought I had found my soulmate. I loved her so much and she cut me all the way to the core. I still recall the ache though I no longer feel it except in memory.
    Last edited by Tocky; 16th Dec 2017 at 23:41.

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Rebs rule: never tell.

    Reb Bailey was a senior and I was a freshman but we shared a room when we went to the state cattle judging championships in Starkville. I came in fourth which wasn't bad for somebody that never owned a cow but I was in FFA (Future Farmers of America) because they got out of school a lot on trips like this. Plus the Mid South Fair in Memphis which was a carnival/agricultural exhibit was a thing we were bused to each year and that was cool. But anyway, he gave me some good advise which is rare in high school. We were talking about girls when he said they wanted it more than we did. I didn't believe that. He swore it was true. He said they just have more to lose than we do. They have a reputation to uphold and are looked down on by other girls and the guys think they are easy and just want them for that if they find out they put out. It made sense. His rule was never tell. There is no sense bragging. Who gives a damn what other guys think? Exactly right. Not that I was planning on it if I ever got anywhere anyway. So here I am about to break Reb's rule. Maybe forty years makes a difference.

    Y'all thought I was about tell some gay shit.

    I guess I'm working my way up to Laurie with a mild sort of dread. Well after a dalliance with Anita there was Tammy who I met at Shere's restaurant before football. Several of us who lived out in the country just stayed after school and hung out there to play pinball and fooseball and drink a shake before a game. I think she was the first I ever had that instant pull for. We kept catching each other looking at each other. She had blue eyes and blonde hair and a splash of freckles across her nose and cheeks. So when my buddy Aubrey came in with his girl and his girl turned out to be her friend I had an instant in. We got along great.

    Real great. I would meet her at the old skating rink though I couldn't skate a lick. When I came in she would hang up her skates and we would go to Aubrey's brothers car and steam the windows till they all got sick of skating. We didn't go all the way but we rounded the bases. That was a lovely winter. I'll just say that every time a girl takes off her shirt for you it is a magical thing. In winter particularly.

    Anyway her family moved off before the next fall. I wonder if she ever thinks of me. I hope in her memories I'm as fondly recalled as she is in mine. There is something pathetic about old men remembering being young though you could never tell it by Bob Seger. He made a mint off that damn song. It was a good one.

    Next came Pam who was Jewish and I enjoyed finding out the Yiddish words for things. When it got to yea esca day (that's what it sounded like) which I found out meant "I love you" I moved on. I felt kind of bad about that. She said such sweet things when she signed my annual even after. But I'm a dick and I knew that one wasn't going anywhere. I had already been lured by the siren call of an older woman. A sophomore no less.

    She was in band. I was in football. It worked out well. We met behind the field house and smooched a lot. Not much else though she did write me fifteen to twenty page letters about what she wanted to do and where she was when she wrote them and what she was touching. Riveting reading. She broke up with me for another boy alas. I met her in a bar many years later and she asked me out. I told her nah I was good. I was going to leave it at that out of spite but she said damn you hold a grudge. That was funny so I let her know I was going with someone. Nice girl actually. We shared a lamaze class when my wife got pregnant.

    I'm almost certain I've lost everybody at this point. This is meandering as hell. I don't blame anyone for not reading this crap. Anyway after Shelia there was Cheryl. She was my first in a car date. We went to see The Goodbye Girl at Cinema 6 theater. She was so pretty and had such a great smile. I recall her necklace with her name in script and sparkling eyes and pink lipstick that I waited too long to kiss so that she was too eager when it happened and we clacked teeth. It was still a great kiss. I asked were there any broken teeth and she hit me on the shoulder. She was interesting. I should have dated her more.

    I was a slut though and moved on to Lynn. We kissed a lot in this one alcove before school. She hardly wrote me any letters and honestly didn't seem to care for me except for fooling around. We went on one date and she had to make it a double so I asked Elliott to go and he went. His date was Laurie, her best friend. No idea what movie we saw. I kept feeling like Elliott got the best end of the deal though. After the date he told me how far he had gotten and I just felt bad for her that he didn't know the Reb rule. He couldn't understand it even when I told him.

    Lynn broke up with me to date some ugly ginger with a lot of money. I wasn't exactly heart broken but somebody called to make sure I was okay. Laurie. Anybody still with me? Bueller? Bueller? This next I'm not sure what to tell all of. I may blow by some things quick that are full stories or I may tell most. I may break it into several small stories. I don't know. I still feel funny breaking the Reb rule.

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Just to say thank you Tocky, starker etc. this has been the best thread on ttlg for absolutely ages. You should go on an after dinner speaking tour with these stories..

  10. #60
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I'm reading these like an anthology of episodic tales, and they're great. Keep going, Tocks.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Well alrighty then. After dinner would be great. That's when the good scotch comes out.

    So I'm going to avoid Laurie for a little while longer to tell you how you get into the FFA. You aren't going to believe people used to do this to each other and it was school sanctioned... well until that last year. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

    Future Farmers doesn't sound like a club most guys would like to join right? What do y'all do churn each others butter? Har har. But it was actually a great club. Everybody was in it. You got to go to all the fairs and get slant eyed with the stoners and sometimes win a ribbon for something. Plus you got to learn welding. All you had to do was make sure some ass wasn't lighting your pants leg on fire while you were concentrating on keeping the arc weld to a steady ripple in the dark of that welders helmet and you had a trailer for hauling crap before long. I'm serious though, you had to watch those guys. Lighting pants on fire was a thing for awhile.

    Getting in was tough. It scared everybody. I'm not lying when I say some guys broke down and cried. Some had to give up at the start and maybe try again next year. You felt a combination of sympathy and disgust for those guys. I mean Jesus, it's just pain right? It's fleeting. But holy crap what a belt line. Every guy in school was in this club and they all lined up a gauntlet of over two hundred guys right and left wielding belts. Some really mean bastards would swing the buckle end at you. But if you just listened to the shop teacher he told you how to come out with minimal damage. You jam close to one side and that side doesn't get a full hit and the other misses completely. Some guys could not get that into their heads from fear I guess.

    Some guys just lost their minds running. After the first few licks they ran blind full out straight down the middle like a lamb to slaughter. God the raised red welts all over them. Sometimes on their faces even. It was great fun. I got maybe four or five good welts. I was jamming them so good I was getting hit with a few fists so I over compensated too much when I got those.

    Then there was a huge wash tub full of cow manure. If you found the one bolt hidden in it you got to skip the rest of the initiation. Me and a handful of others just hung back as about thirty guys fought through shit for that bolt. Shit everywhere. But we were the smart ones. We were clean. The next thing they did was blindfold you. Just after that they shoved your face in cow shit. There were lots of fake outs but that shit was real.

    They did the one where they have you step onto a board and it feels like they are lifting you over their heads but really they are squatting and they tell you to jump off and you look like an idiot when you hit too soon. I didn't fall for that one. I had heard of it already but some guys busted their asses. They had you drink a raw egg in vinegar with Tabasco. They put a lump of axle grease in your hair that took a month of washing to get out. They let you catch a glimpse of them putting a cow patty between two pieces of bread then handed you the bread to eat but they had swapped it with mustard and slaw mixture sandwich already made. I caught a glimpse of that one before I got to it out of a corner of my blindfold so I just chowed down with relish and grossed them out.

    I wish I could recall them all. They were pretty inventive. The last was you sat in a fifty five gallon drum of ice water and spelled the shop teachers last name backwards. Easy right? His name was Rottenberry. That's hard to spell when you are shivering. The more you mess up the more you shiver. Eh. We survived. Then we got to do it to the next crew next year.

    They had the damn line bent around a corner of the hurricane fence which led to the field house. It was a bad idea. Some kids running blind with fear broke through the line at that point and had to be urged back into line and through the gate. When I say urged I mean beaten and shouted at. Most got it in a few licks and headed the way they were supposed to. Not Bruce. He was full on fear blind. He hunkered in the corner and they were beating him senseless. I got there and smacked him one but saw it was no use. I stopped the other guys swinging and just started shouting at him. "It's right fucking there! Just a few feet over and you are through the gate and not much farther to go! Go! Go now! We are going to start beating you again if you don't! Move it! What the hell is wrong with you? Go!" Shit he was crying and snotting and I was at a loss.

    That's when Stacy came through the crowd and put his arm around him and led him away. Well shit. I should have done that. Bruce and me were friends. One of the few black guys who always had a smile of greeting and some cool shit to lay on me. A black guy. We were beating him. I was a Nazi. A plantation boss. Fuck. I just dropped my belt and watched the rest go by after that catching and herding the few I saw thinking of heading for the corner.

    Warts and all folks.

    I saw Stacy about five years ago and we were always the shortest guys on the team when we played sports. He had shot up a foot after high school he said. I didn't even know that was possible. Karma folks. You will never convince me otherwise. Y'all think I'm making this shit up? Every damn thing I've said in this whole thread is true. I usually tone shit down just to make it believable but I'm done doing that.

    I'm supposed to learn some stuff from this life. I get that. Some of it eludes hell out of me. Not this one.

    They ended initiation after that.

  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: on a mission to civilize
    Quote Originally Posted by zacharias View Post
    Just to say thank you Tocky, starker etc. this has been the best thread on ttlg for absolutely ages. You should go on an after dinner speaking tour with these stories..
    I kinda like the one where we all got into a fight over something or another.

    ...and these are wonderful, Tocky!

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    You know how Bruce and me became friends? There was this stupid shit in the early seventies we called the black and white wars. In the south there was still a vestige of the sixties going on and it mirrored in the playground. I would look around and notice nobody was around me on the swings or whatever and everybody would be lined up like red rover only blacks on one side and whites on the other. I would go over to the white side and listen to the two main tough guys shout at each other and nobody pass a lick.

    I don't know. I was kind of messed up. If you get used to fighting then your blood lust gets up when you hear shouting and I felt that. But then I knew this was bullshit too. Race fighting was stupid. My teachers were good people and I felt every patriotic reverb when they spoke of John Wilkes Booth breaking his ankle when he jumped from the balcony and hung it on the flag. That shit meant a lot to me. More than fighting. My wife and I stood at the spot Booth shot Lincoln at Fords Theater and really you just hate that deluded fucker. Anyway I listened and walked away same as everybody else. Bunch of bullshit. It happened for about a week the same way.

    Anyway in class before it started one period Bruce slugged me hard in the arm out of nowhere. What the hell was that for? You know he said. No. I didn't. You were out there he said. Yeah, so were you I said, but I figure you were doing same as me. We couldn't stand in the other line could we? We both thought about that. It might be kind of funny. It never happened because that stupid shit ended soon after. But me and Bruce were friends after.

    And then I failed him in high school. Hung up on that macho bullshit. He still liked me after. Mores the pity for my character.

    Edit: John Wilkes Booth? Sorry folks I'm still trying to find the perfect number of drinks to loosen me up without causing me to conflate stories. It's not an exact science. Anyway, as Bruce used to say, gimmie five- on the white side- in the hole- you got soul.
    Last edited by Tocky; 22nd Dec 2017 at 08:32. Reason: Nothing over three large tumblers of wine.

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    My buddy Kevin called me today. It's always instant happiness to hear from him. He had a stroke last year about this time. It did the funniest thing to him. He isn't sure what is gone from his memory anymore so I try to fill him in with stuff I recall about the past. Most of it he recalls and I can't tell it affected his personality at all. He is still just funny as shit out of nowhere and we know each other so well we play off each other. That isn't the weird thing though. He lost his truth filter.

    It used to be he was like the rest of us and held stuff back in social situations that might not be appropriate. Not anymore. He won't come on facebook anymore because of it. I hate that. I use that to keep up with a lot of my friends lately. But I kind of have to agree. When I'm talking about something with my daughter and he brings up a mushroom trip we took together forty years ago then yeah. Time to post less. Not that I haven't told her about a lot of my checkered past but EVERYBODY does not need to know that shit. I absolutely love his hippy ass though.

    Anyway we got to talking about his sister Lisa. I loved her too. All his friends loved Lisa in high school. Everybody had a crush on her. She wasn't gorgeous or anything it's just that she was spectacular. Animated and funny and full of impish drama. Huge eyes and a wide smile bubbling over with wicked playfulness. She used to jump out at me as soon as I entered his house hissing like a Christopher Lee minion and baring her teeth and we would fall into our usual roles. I would throw my fingers into a cross saying, "back foul demon from hell! who knows where those lips have been!" and she would withdraw with something like "I know where they are going to be! You can't escape me forever young one!" She knew I loved horror. And honestly I wanted nothing more than to throw down my cross and bare my throat to her.

    She was two years older and so sophisticated I knew it could never be. But she was so wonderful inventive and played with me so well I stayed hopeful. Hell, his sister Cathy came home from college one weekend and woke me up from a dead sleep kissing me. She was so drunk. I could taste the wine on her lips and she held her forehead to mine in a drunken wobble and told me to arise fair prince because she had a dragon to slay. Her friends were in the background saying "Cathy stop it! He's just a boy!" I didn't mind. I wished it was Lisa though.

    I spent about as many weekends at Kevin's as I did at home and when I wasn't there he was at my house. Our voices sounded exactly alike even. I would call his house and Lisa would answer and say "Kevin! Where are you? I just saw you! How are you doing this?" and I would have to convince her it was me. I always told Kev we would rule the world with our voices. When he asked me how I would say I hadn't figured that far yet. We did make a few tapes of skits we did and I still listen to them when I'm feeling nostalgic.

    Anyway the closest I got was when we were sleeping on mats in the living room after a movie one night. She sat up and took off her bra beneath her shirt and I caught a glimpse of side boob. She lay on her front and asked me to massage her naked back. She enjoyed it for a long time telling me where to rub and with what pressure and when to turn my fingers to feathers. I was respectful to keep my hands well back from the boobage area but my touch must have conveyed my feelings. She told me "you haven't been with many girls have you?" I figured I had done okay but it chastised me. I was embarrassed. "That's okay", she told me, "I like that about you." We just went to sleep then.

    So all these years later I'm talking to Kev and we are going over all the horrible things that happened to her in her life and how she has finally got it together now after three failed marriages and after severely wrong choices in men she now has a good one and I'm just so heartbroken for her because she was so wonderful and did not deserve any of that shit and he mentions she was raped by three guys in high school. What? I never told you that? NO you never told me. Oh. Shit dude, what the fuck? Mygod it's a damn wonder she even talked to guys.

    I wanted to go back in time and beat the shit out of those guys. I didn't just want that. I wanted their names now. Kevin said he didn't know but could ask her. No no man, you don't have your filter anymore and you can't do that. I can give her your number and y'all could talk then. Yeah. Do that, I would love to hear from her after all these years and let her know I remember everything about her. That's likely better than going to prison anyway.

    I've been so very lucky. I've gotten more than I deserve at every turn. It's just not fair. It's beyond not fair. One day I may break and give some asshole exactly what they deserve but I've got to remember I have kids and grands to protect. That's always the thing to consider and that's a damn shame too.

    I hope Lisa calls.

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    You ever considered a blog?

    https://wordpress.com/

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    I like all your stories, Tocky, but that last one was oddly touching and really struck a nerve with me. Maybe it's because I too had some girls I had a connection with and eventually lost contact with, and from time to time they enter my thoughts, and I just hope life has treated them well or at least remotely fairly. In some cases, I get a general gist from Facebook or something, but with some other girls, who are now women, I have no idea at all how they're doing. I just know they were great people and I hope they've received the happiness I wish for them...
    Last edited by Harvester; 23rd Dec 2017 at 18:24.

  17. #67
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Who reads a blog? Even the ones who did me wrong I want to find love and be happy.

    Okay, let's get this straight, Laurie was the best looking girl in high school. No way was I in her league. A true blue eyed blonde with an absolutely perfect body. She had the Farrah Fawcett hair and the stuck up girlfriends and would have been a mean girl type if there were others like her to hang with. She had one friend, Toni, that I spoke to regular before I knew Laurie. I enjoyed coming into homeroom early and flirting. She was giggly and easy to talk to, a pretty red head. I played the suppose game with her. Just any outrageous supposition I could think of. Suppose cows had wings and you had to watch out lest they dump a load on you from above sometime? Stuff like that. Okay, maybe not that, but stuff like that.

    Other than that and Lynn who I dated I had no connection to her. So when she called I was a little stunned. We talked for two hours and I'll be damned if I can recall a thing we said. She didn't seem to want to let me go. Here was this homecoming queen majorette hottie that I would have trouble forming a word in person with and we got on great right away. She called me the next night. I had been to a friends house and was high and was honest about it. It didn't matter. She was seriously into me. Right away we were talking for up to four hours every night. Then sometimes calling back to talk another hour saying goodnight. I don't know what I said or did on that double date she filled in for last moment but whatever it was impressed her. I fell instantly. She did too.

    We were finding ways to see each other between classes, places to meet, places to kiss. Hungry kisses that caused me to stumble backward. She admitted she was pressing her hips against me to feel my bulge. Well damn. She was constantly arranging to meet me somewhere, someones party, at a store, at a friends, she was a whiz at that. We dated Friday and Saturday night but that just wasn't enough. I had never had any girl come at me that strong and she was drop dead gorgeous.

    Every date beyond the first two was us skipping dinner and movie and just finding a place to park. She had her friends tell her the plot to movies just so she could lie about what we had done to her mom and we could touch and kiss those few hours. One night when it was time to leave our parking spot on Bell River road, which was a turn off to a farmers field that crested a knoll enough to hide my car, my lights would not turn on and I had a moment of panic. They would find out now for sure. Oh baby the emergency lights still worked. I drove all the way to the Cinema (about five miles) just catching the road in amber flashes. Why, we just came out of the theater and they would not come on Mr. Laurie's dad.

    I was in art and she in theater. I had given up football by that time due to my knee and just being not good enough. It gave us even more time together. The art students built the sets for theater productions. She arranged a cast party at her friends house and they talked her mother into being somewhere else during it. After the teacher left it became a couples party. We had a kissing contest and out of about eight couples we won. 39 minuets of constant tongue dancing. Our mouths felt like rubber. Did it stop us from going back to her friends room to be alone on a bed with only the moon through the window? Some images stay with you forever and I'll never forget her bare skin in the moonlight.

    Billy Joel's "Only The Good Die Young", Rod Stewarts "Tonights The Night", Bad Company's "Feel Like Making Love", every song on the radio was urging us to do it. I won't give details of our first time only that it was magical. She told me she had never and would never but I was unlike any boy she had ever known. Oh god. I was so nervous I dropped my handful of quarters before I could get one in a condom machine of the Kream Kup bathroom. They went everywhere.

    She smelled so good. She looked so good. She tasted so good. Cinnamon lip gloss and White Shoulders and she slid over against me as soon as we left her folks. Just the drive to a place we could be alone was torture after that first time.

    Some funny and not so funny stuff to come.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by Tocky View Post
    Who reads a blog? Even the ones who did me wrong I want to find love and be happy.
    People interested in your content I guess. Nothing wrong with a blog per se.

  19. #69
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Also, you can moderate comments on it.

  20. #70
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Eh. I tell things to friends in social settings. A blog really does seem like a vanity press. Thanks though.

    My old buddy Dit (Dwight) came by yesterday to exchange presents and yack over old stories and laugh. This is sort of the same. I like some of you guys a lot and I just want to share and try to figure things out before I croak. You don't bring weird craft beers that taste like somebody drank a beer, ate an orange, and then puked into a bottle but you will do.

    He gave me one present I was overjoyed about. He has finished his novel. He had written half of it and I had gotten really into it when it just abruptly ended so I hounded him about it for months until he got back on it. I've read a lot of works and I know good when I read it. This is good.

    Merry Christmas everyone! Oh and LOL my daughter just told me we were on TV during that Methodist choir thing I wrote about earlier up there. She was just flipping channels and saw us. Some local network I guess. I'm a star already so I don't need a blog!

  21. #71
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
    I like all your stories, Tocky, but that last one was oddly touching and really struck a nerve with me. Maybe it's because I too had some girls I had a connection with and eventually lost contact with, and from time to time they enter my thoughts, and I just hope life has treated them well or at least remotely fairly. In some cases, I get a general gist from Facebook or something, but with some other girls, who are now women, I have no idea at all how they're doing. I just know they were great people and I hope they've received the happiness I wish for them...
    This didn't deserve the one sentence I left for it. I do know exactly how what you mean. Every year before the ball drops I thank God or the great spirit of the universe or whatever you want to call it for the wonderful people in my life. They are the ones who have made my life. Many of those are women. Also in that I beg for forgiveness and understanding and offer it to any who may need it from me. I know I may not have done particularly hurtful things but I'm certain I didn't do my best. Likely talks in person would do better than a lone once a year prayer sent into the vastness but some I will never see again. I want them all to be happy and to know love. And maybe, just maybe, think once in a blue moon of a fool they once knew.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I've been wracking my brain to figure a way to tell this next part without being lurid or exposing too many details but so much of that is wrapped up in the stories. I'll do my best.

    Nature is a beast to pump such hormones into those so little prepared but so very willing. Any place we could find in any amount of time we could steal. I was recently at a beauty pageant for my niece given at that old school auditorium and as the contestants waltzed across the stage I couldn't help but remember that stage darkened long ago and the two of us in our passion upon it. I had swiped a book of hall passes from a teachers desk. The auditorium was empty most all the time. Naturally these are thoughts one keeps to himself sitting next to his wife. I've kept most of these stories to myself. Even drunk I've kept them though I did let one slip to a laugh from everyone but my wife once. That taught me.

    We were caught out on Bell River road. I suppose the farmer had to check his cows some time. He just sat there though. He could see we were struggling into our clothes and maybe he figured it was his property and he could watch if he wanted. Also he was cross ways of the the road as if blocking us in. That sort of pissed me off. I always backed in or I couldn't have gotten out then. As it was I had to punch it and ride up the angle of sunken road bank a bit to go around. Once around him I backed up in the gravel to the side of his truck then gunned it showering him in a spray of gravel. My temper has never improved my entire life I'm afraid.

    So we found a new spot. One I had used with my buds to burn one on occasion. It was a field over a ridge nearer to town down a gravel road to nowhere. Once off the road and over the ridge on a barely visible track it was out of sight and no reason anyone should happen along. I taught Laurie to drive there. We learned a lot of stuff there. Charms blow pops, despite the word blow in them, are a bad idea for instance.

    One night someone came along anyway. Lights blaring into my car and lighting us up like a stage. I told her "wait don't" but too late she popped up from the back seat breasts a bobbin'. They were not moving then. I had to crawl my bare asset over the front seat to retrieve our clothes. We were such sluts for each other we always took them off as we pawed each other from the front seat.

    But before we could get our shoes on all four doors opened of the car in front of us. Four guys got out. I reached across and locked her door then mine. The guys had T shirts over their faces. To my amazement they formed a line and ran up my hood and over the top then down the trunk. Then they went around and did it haphazard again before getting back in their vehicle. Cars were made of sturdier stuff then but it still pissed me off.

    Okay this I'm not proud of. I unlocked my door and jumped out advancing on that car ready to beat hell out of everyone in it. That was stupid. I was cussing for all I was worth though and going for the drivers door. I think about that now and cringe. God that was stupid. I was such an ego driven maniac. Before I could reach the door they began to back up then stopped. I advanced again. It was a stupid double down. That's right. I'm going to rip your car apart and tear each of your heads off. I managed to bang on their hood before they got to backing up that time.

    Even I knew that was a losing situation. I could never catch them like that. I turned and ran back to my car. Laurie must have been stunned. I should have thought to check. Instead I gunned it and headed right for them. They backed up as fast as they could and managed to turn onto the road with me right behind them. Once they hit the highway I knew I had them. There was no way that brown piece of shit station wagon was going to outrun my Skylark GS. We reached speeds of over a hundred.

    I got up beside them but they were all hiding their faces. It was only then I looked at Laurie's. She was terrified. Excited, amazed, but thinking I was a maniac too. I backed off and made note of the tag number as I did. I told her there was a pen and paper in the glove box and she wrote it down while I still remembered it. Even still, knowing what a shit I was being, I felt as if I was watching them get away and I hated to let them go.

    Oh god I can see myself now but I couldn't then.

    The next day I was at Kevins and took the tag number to pull a trick old Travis McGee of the John D. McDonald color series would be proud of. I called the cops and told them a car had lost a hubcap and I thought I knew who it was but I wasn't sure. Would they run the tag and give me the address so I could return it. They would do it if I brought it down. No, that's okay, I think I know them anyway. Why the hell that worked I have no idea but it did. They gave me the address. I don't think that would work these days.

    Once I hung up and started out the door Kevin stopped me. I asked did he want to tag along. No. I have a confession. It was me, Frank, Elliott, and Richard. We were in Franks car they had just bought. He hasn't even tagged it his own yet. That address is the previous owner. Holy fuck. Now I was pissed at him. They saw us there and knew what we were doing and thought it would be funny. I wanted to be mad. I couldn't. It was funny. Jesus.

    I don't know how to turn this into a Christmas story. I don't think even Dickens could. Instead it is a sadness now to see what an invincible hothead I was. No. Not invincible. Just someone who thought they were. Even now I forget I'm not at times. Peace on earth, good will to men, then. I need that more than anyone.

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    I don't blame any woman I've been with for thinking she should not hitch her star to me. Look at that story above. Is that normal behavior? Suppose it had been rapists? True I told her to lock the door behind me but was she going to drive away (and that's exactly what she should do) if I were getting my ass beat? Would she have that presence of mind? That could have gone so wrong. What if they had weapons? I put her in danger and that is unforgivable. That sort of shit never crossed my mind then.

    I don't think it crossed hers either. It certainly didn't cool her ardor any. The next weekend she wanted me to drive around the courthouse square because she had a surprise for me. She wanted me to continue circling it while she gave me a BJ. That doesn't stand for black jack Thief fans. Next she wanted me to blow my horn. What the hell? Hey, if she wanted me to start running over people at that point I might have. I did. I blew my horn again and again. There was a group of kids our age off to one side who began to cheer. She had set it up with her friends to be there and know what was happening when I blew my horn. She reached up her hand from her position in my lap and waved at them even. LOL there was Toni among them.

    God what a girl. She was amazing. Is it any wonder I thought I had found a soul mate? Yeah, well, it also wasn't long before she had finagled to spend the night with a girl who rode home on the bus with me every day. Back then even if you had a car you still mostly took the bus and saved your gas. It was a different time. She got to see me on the bus that way and we stayed somewhat tame. No tearing off of clothes at least. She also called and had me come by to get her for a little drive but we didn't have long.

    The next day she wanted to break up with me. What the holy fuck? How could? What? Why? It didn't make sense. I was hurt more than I had ever been but I kept it together. If that's what she wanted then at least tell me why. She wouldn't say. I was dumbfounded. That evening her friend that she had stayed with sat next to me. She had never done that before. She was so sorry things hadn't worked out between Laurie and me but maybe that wasn't such a bad thing. She made it very clear she liked me. A lot.

    Okay this is kind of making some sense now. I called Laurie up and told her of her friends attentions and asked did she know about it. What sort of twisted shit was this? No she didn't know. Her "friend" had been instrumental in talking her into dumping me even. How? How if you really love somebody (and she wrote ten page letters during study hall telling me she did) does a friend talk you into some shit like that? That is juvenile. Of course it didn't occur to me I was talking to a fifteen year old. I was who I was and who I would always be at sixteen.

    She talked me into going back with her. She asked and I jumped is what happened. We both hated her friend after that. That was the first time we broke up. I should have thought more about that. Her friends opinions counted more than love. My sisters each married their high school sweethearts for life. My parents married for life. They didn't break up. They never broke up. Not once. That was my template. That was what I was expecting. Laurie not so much.
    Last edited by Tocky; 26th Dec 2017 at 01:35. Reason: reasons okay?

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Tocky View Post
    How if you really love somebody (and she wrote ten page letters during study hall telling me she did) does a friend talk you into some shit like that?
    The same person who wanted to give an auto-BJ not for the recipient's sake nor her own, but to show off to her friends. (BTW, death by "auto-erotica" got taken off the "News of the Weird" listings for being too common or, as they say, "no longer weird".)

  25. #75
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    She got high with me sometimes. That seventies show? Yeah. It was based on the seventies. It got a lot right. She was really weird when she got high. Circles and triangles and squares she would say as she drew them on my body. I have no idea. It could have been witchcraft for all I knew. It would have been cool with me if it was. I was certainly under her spell.

    Maybe she was just trying to keep up with me. We didn't get high often. It wasn't her thing. That was cool. I never insisted or even offered. If she asked I would bring some along. She bought me a NORMAL T shirt (legalization of marijuana). She got me Pink Floyd albums. I got her jewelry. I got her Bee Gees albums. We accepted there were just areas we did not have in common. At least I did. I took her to see Grease. She loved it. I tolerated it. I did enjoy singing the songs with her though the emphasis she gave to "you better shape up" was a tad too enthusiastic I thought.

    Her old friend BB came down from wherever exotic locale and started school at Lafayette again. BB did not take to me. I didn't like her either. Her sister was my age and I had known her for awhile and thought she was a total poser. Like a pretty doll. Hollow on the inside. BB was no different. Still, I was fine with her having a boring friend. The bland holier than thou crap irked me but I could deal. Laurie couldn't. Suddenly my smoking pot was me luring her into a den of iniquity. I was in the reefer madness. BB knew. She had seen this before.

    Laurie broke up with me. I told her I would consider anything that would help our relationship but we had to talk about it and she wasn't doing that. She was reacting to whatever her friends thought as if she could not think for herself. That didn't help. I then got soft and spoke of how I figured we would marry one day and the sort of life we might live. I spoke of my sadness in knowing that would never be. I was certain that wouldn't work either. It was just my thoughts on the ending of our relationship and as every time I spoke to her it was with complete honesty. I might be an ass in a lot of ways but I was an honest ass. I was never going to change until I did settle down but when I did it would be with my family as my heart and soul and nothing was coming between that. That worked. BB never bothered us again.

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