I hated high school and it hated me. The boys spent half of the day thinking of ways to kick my ass, and the other half actually kicking it. The girls looked at me like I was walking around with two fistfuls of dog poop glued to the sides of my head like earmuffs and wearing a winter jacket made of carefully patched together cow plop.

You can call me crazy if you like, but it's kind of difficult to get excited about quadratic equations when you’re anticipating the oh so wonderful feeling of Johnny Jockstrap’s foot colliding with your kidneys at 3:45 next to the dumpster out back.

"Look, mom! I'm pissing blood! I need to get to work on paper about Operation Barbarossa and how it was the turning point of World War II, though. Guess I'll have to clean up those pesky blood splatters later!"

Don’t misunderstand me; despite the occasional group dumpster beating, my high school wasn't what anyone with half a brain in their head would consider "tough."

Of course, we did have to wear an ID card around our neck. There were also random locker checks throughout the year and metal detectors at the main entrance. Graffiti peppered the stairwells and there was a special office on the fourth floor where a local cop was posted - but still, to the best of my knowledge no one ever went on a shooting spree or anything – at least not while I was there.

Like most schools, every year there was a homecoming pep rally - you know, so everyone could support the team and show school spirit – Rah, Rah, Sis Boom Bah and all that nonsense.

On the day of the rally the entire student body was herded into the gymnasium. Once the cattle were packed in the principal would go into the standard speech about how the kids at his school were faster, stronger, angrier and had thicker penis’ than the kids from the next town over.

The football team instantly became the recipients of thunderous applause and come hither glances those in the audience with vaginas. The cheerleaders spun and jumped, and offered up ever so brief glimpses of the teenage camel toe crammed into their tiny blue underpants. A beach ball was passed around. There were signs, and streamers. A few of the more dedicated decided to lather themselves in body paint.

It was loads of fun for all involved, right?


As far as I was concerned, that nonsense could eat my nuts.

It could eat my nuts then, and it can eat them now.

Hell, I’ll lather them up in sauce if it’ll make them go down smoother. I’ll marinade them for a solid twenty-four hours before tossing them on the grill. Yeah, you heard me. I said marinade. I don't even care if that doesn’t make any sense.

Making sense can eat my nuts as well.

I’ll put them on a bun.

I wanted the girls to ram the beach balls right up their backsides and the boys to roll the streamers into a fine point and slide them it up their pee hole.

Sophomore year I came to a major decision: I was going to buck the trend.

I was going to play by my own rules and I was going to ditch the pep rally.

Under normal circumstances at a normal high school this might not have been such a difficult thing, but at my school the pep rally was mandatory. In fact, security people were posted at the exits in order to catch mad anarchist black sheep like myself, and return them safely to their pens.

I was going to have to play it smart and play it cool. For one day in my life I needed to be less, Steven Novak and more, Steve McQueen.


My eighth period ended and the teacher told us to line up and follow her to the gym for the pep rally. I made sure I was at the back of the line.

Down the stairwell and to the first floor we went. We made a left at the cafeteria and headed toward the gym. When we passed by a bathroom, I quickly slipped in the door. From there it was into a stall where I dropped the toilet seat, hopped on top and quietly chuckled to myself at the sheer genius of my plan.

What's that?

You're saying to yourself, "This isn't very cool. Hiding on toilet seat doesn’t sound a hell of a lot like Steve McQueen"

Well, here’s a bit of movie trivia for you smartass. Apparently you haven't seen the special hush-hush directors cut of Bullitt, because Steve does exactly that. It's there. Trust me on this one. You don't need to go confirming it or anything. I just schooled you and you know it! Take it like a man.

After ten minutes I figured it was safe to make my move. I hopped off the toilet, cracked open the bathroom door and peeked out.

The coast was clear.

Tiptoeing out of the bathroom, I began carefully making my way to the exit on the other side of the school. It was my thinking that the furthest exit from the actual rally was the one least likely to be guarded.

Makes perfect sense, right?

When I passed the principals office I crouched to make sure the receptionist didn't see me. I used an alternate route to avoid the cafeteria. My plan was working perfectly! Everything was going exactly according to plan and I’m not the least bit ashamed to say I was pretty proud of myself.

I was really doing it!

I was really ditching school and I was pulling it off in spectacular fashion!

It was awesome!

No, no, wait. It wasn’t awesome – I was awesome!

For the very first time in my life I really was, Steve McQueen!

After rounding a corner at the end of the hall, I spotted the exit twenty feet away. I’d done it. I’d pulled it off. Screw those douchebags and their douchey school spirit! 

Screw all the football players who had prom dates and would undoubtedly lose their virginity fifty times over before they reached their twenties! Screw all those cheerleaders with their silky skin, luscious hair, and mouth-watering chests! Screw their perky high school-loving smiles and their annoying high-pitched laughs! Screw the principal and screw the teachers! Screw the mustached janitor who would make more money putting wood chips on puke in a year then I would ever make with my art!
Screw them all!

Screw them all ten times over with the business end of a business stick! Screw them so hard they forget their names and their address and their families, and they’re doomed to forever walk the streets confused and lonely, and begging for change!

Screw everyone in the whole damn wo-"Hey, you! Where do you think you're going?"


The voice came from behind me. It belonged to the girls gym teacher.

Double shit.

Not only did my entire plan come crashing down around me in an instant, but it came crashing down because of a beefy, butch lesbian in a pair of short shorts with a whistle around her neck.
Ten minutes later I was sitting on the bleachers in the gym while everyone cheered, and the kid behind me purposely kicked me in the spine.

To the best of my knowledge I can't recall that ever happening to Steve McQueen.

Even in a hush, hush directors cut.


  1. Love it! I remember some school ditching myself...LOL

  2. I remember ditching pep rallies. They held them in the cafeteria which was 20 ft from one exit across from the gym which had 3 more exits. Not the smartest plan.

  3. @HEATHER - Hopefully you had a wee bit more success than I did. ;)

  4. @JENN - See, I would have been screwed even in there, because there were literally guards at almost every door to make sure no one used the opportunity to sneak off.

    It was weird.

  5. Pep rallies aren't always mandatory? I used to bring a book and read. Then I joined the JROTC unarmed drill team and I got mocked by the cheerleaders and football players when we did a demo. Then I went back to reading. Yeah, mandatory fun is anything but.

  6. @DORKYDEB - They weren't mandatory at the second school I went to - for my senior year. Of course it was in far more hoity toity part of town and pretty much everyone wanted to be at the things anyway.