Monday, April 12, 2010

Stories of Stupidity

Dave and I decide it is too cold to go to school today. We do not go to the same school, he goes to Edison HS and I go to Jamaica HS. We are both freshman and have never really cut school before, it seems like a good time to experience this rite of passage. The toughest part about skipping school is finding a place to go. All the normal places are out, someone could spot us and it would get back to our parents. A few blocks away past a strip of stores, is what the neighborhood calls the woods. It is really a large abandoned lot that has not yet been cleared for homes, but it is woodsy and nearby, the perfect hideaway. We find some large pieces of plywood and decide to build a clubhouse. We survey the grounds and find an optimal piece of land, a hill with a four foot drop on one side. If we build here, the structure would not be visible from the street. In a short two hours, our clubhouse is complete. We crawl through the doorway and inspect our clubhouse. We have all the comforts of home, a dirty wooden floor, four plastic milk crates for furniture and a metal tray for a table, and no light. The problem is a lack of heat. It is cold, too cold to go to school, definitely too cold to stay in the clubhouse all day. We put our heads together and with our limited knowledge of outdoor life and survival, come up with a brilliant idea. We would burn something.  

We gather some twigs, branches and newspaper, place them on the metal tray and light it up. It is warm inside with plenty of light; we congratulate ourselves for a job well done. We talk up our building skills, our planing skills, and our school skipping skills when the fire goes out. We need something that would burn longer. Our brilliant teenage minds come up a game plan, we would burn a plastic milk crate. We light it up and it starts to burn. Quickly the small flame turns into a large flame. The clubhouse is very warm now so we take off our coats. The crate is generating a stench and the black smoke starts to hurt our eyes, but we do not fret. The flame reaches up and starts to move against the ceiling. The wood develops a small, then large black circle from the flame, we get a little worried. We attempt to die down the flame a little by waving our books at it, but that just makes the flame strengthen. The wall now has its own fire developing and the two flames are attacking each other in hopes of a merger. Worried turns to panic as we desperately struggle to extinguish the out of control fire. Without warning, Dave unzips his fly and starts to pee on the flames. My head does a double take then I unzip my fly and join the effort. It works, the flame does not take kindly to the pee and begins to die down. Soon the flame is low enough that we knock over the hot metal tray and stamp on the flame until it is dead. We continue to stamp on the ashes, just to be certain. We crawl our way out into the afternoon sun, and inspect our dwelling. On the roof of the clubhouse is a huge black circle and the sides are smoldering. We look at each other, happy to survive. 

Its 3:30pm and just about the time school would let out. We knock over any resemblance of the burnt out clubhouse, cover our tracks and make our way out of the woods. Firefighting made us hungry and agree pizza would hit the spot. We have to walk past the supermarket, the fruit store and the card store to get to the pizza place. We agree to walk separately, not to draw attention to ourselves and will meet up at the pizza place. Dave goes first, and after five minutes I proceed into population. As I pass people, they are staring me. Did we show ourselves too early? I pass some school kids so I know the time is correct, so I shake it off. I walk into the pizza place, I do not see Dave, so I go up to the counter to order. The fat guy behind the counter is covered in pizza sauce, soda stains and cigarette ashes. I laugh to myself at how ridiculous he looks. He stares at me for about thirty seconds, smiles and points down the hall. I shrug my shoulders at him, then he gestures again down the hall and says "Your friend is in the bathroom, why don't you join him." I stare down the hall, then meander to the bathroom. I swing open the door and call out Dave's name. Dave's head is buried in the sink, quickly splashing water on is face. I am puzzled when I glance at myself in the mirror. I am startled and almost fall over the tall metal garbage can. I move in closer to the mirror to inspect myself. From the ring on my t-shirt to my forehead I am covered in black soot. I let out a screech and bury my head in the next sink dousing water all over my face and neck. I take off my shirt to not get it wet when I am amazed, there is a skin colored outline of a shirt on my body, the rest is all black ash. I am in a state of hysteria, as I am scrubbing my whole body with paper towels. After about a half an hour in the bathroom, we both exit with some relief that we do not look like freaks. We make our way to the counter, the fat guy gives us a once over and drops two slices of pizza onto the counter. We pay then turn to get a table, when the guy says "Its a little burnt on the bottom, I guessed yous would like it that way." 

I get home and quickly run to my room. My parents are not home yet so I take off my clothes and jump in the shower to finish the job I started in the pizza bathroom. I then take my clothes and run them under the water and soak them in soap. The water drains out of the tub, leaving a black ring so I proceed to scrub the tub. Everything looks presentable when my sisters and brother walk in the front door. I am exhausted, and lay down on my bed, thankful to be home. 

Any stories of stupidity you want to share, send them to All stupidity will remain confidential...


Unknown said...

That is a sick story! You are lucky you did not damage your lungs.

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