Definitely No Angel in School

By Jeff Salter 

We’re blogging about school days this week and I couldn’t help remembering that I was there to have a good time.  Yeah, I graduated with a B+ average, in about the top 15% of my class, but I was definitely no angel in high school.  Here’s one example:

Speech Convention
            I had never taken a high school speech course, but sometime after my appearance in a one-act play, the speech teacher recruited me to present an oral interpretation at the statewide Speech Convention at USL.  [At the time I was pretty puffed-up about that invitation, but as I look back on it now, I’m assuming somebody cancelled and she needed to fill the slot.]  We did a lot of work on it:  I’d read and she’d coach; I’d read and she’d change.  Finally we had the thing worked into a really good dramatic reading.

My good buddy L.L., a debate delegate, rode in the same car with me on the long drive from Covington to Lafayette.  We arrived, checked into a motel, and immediately began investigating the female students from other schools, there for the same convention.

It didn’t take long for L.L. and I to start cutting up.  [I should explain that when he and I were together, we had about triple the moxie we’d have if on our own.]  We spotted some nice-looking girls on the balcony near our first floor room.  Right out of the blue, L.L. and I started acting like Igor and the Frankenstein Monster (I don’t recall who was which … or maybe we even switched).  Having gotten their attention, we went over and started climbing up their balcony!  Suddenly we spotted several large boys (evidently classmates of these girls) who were headed toward us with definite menace.  We dropped down, skedaddled into our room, and hid behind the bed!  Ha … it was somewhat difficult to appear nonchalant as we arose, but we made an effort!

That night we all went out to a restaurant for supper and I was at a table with L.L. and two other guys.  When the waitress asked what we wanted to drink, I thought I’d flirt with her a bit, so I ordered a beer.  [I was not yet 17.]  Well, either she didn’t know I was fooling or she decided to call my bluff, because she returned with a Michelob draft.  Now I was really in a jam!  If a chaperone caught me drinking, I would be in deep [poop], so I had only one choice.  I drank the whole thing, chug-a-lug, and then took the (evidentiary) glass back to the kitchen!  The guys at my table were astonished.  And the event must have caused a mild commotion, because even girls at neighboring tables were watching my incredible drama unfold.

The next day was the actual schedule of convention events at the university campus.  The speech teacher “assigned” A.G. (a talented and lovely cheerleader) to be my guide (to the right place), my comforter (since this was my first competition), and possibly my chaperone (to keep me out of trouble … ha).  Well, I couldn’t have asked for a more attractive companion.  To make a long story short, I finally did my interp and we learned later I was awarded a Superior, which was the highest rating.  After my event was over, A.G. left and I went to watch my buddy L.L. in his debate.  While I was there, I wound up being a time-keeper for one event.

After L.L. was through, we were both free until the competition of the one-act play performances that evening.  [Since our play had an all-girl cast, we were involved only as spectators.]  So we went exploring in the areas surrounding the campus.  It was probably natural we’d find a pool hall which served beer, and we certainly did.  It was called “Rack-m Sack-m” and it has provided many rich memories (some heavily embellished).  While there, we each had one or two beers and we flirted with everything in a skirt.  In the retelling, L.L. says we got into a game with two female pool sharks, but that sounds unlikely.  I think we just played pool and drank beer.  Anyway, we were pretty pleased with ourselves by that evening and probably enjoyed the competition plays even more because of our slight “buzz” from the beer.

One of the nights, L.L. and I set some firecrackers near the pool.  I put a lighted cigarette on the fuse so we would have several minutes to create an alibi.  Sure enough, when the firecrackers started going off outside, we were right in the middle of a room full of students and chaperones.  Shortly, the motel manager came to that room and asked if any of us were responsible for the firecrackers.  “It was none of our students,” maintained the chaperones, “because they were all right here when we heard the noise.”  Worked like a charm!

I could go on, but I think this extended example gives you an idea of my scholastic attitude during school and my sense that creative mischief was usually worth the trouble even if you barely escaped getting caught.

Question:
            What was the most mischievous thing YOU ever did in high school?

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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29 Responses to Definitely No Angel in School

  1. Iris B says:

    My, my, who would’ve thought … LOL … gave me quite a good laugh.

    I was a good girl at school …. and I stick to that comment !!!!

    Like

  2. Meg Mims says:

    HAHAHAHAHA!! Chug-a-lug – no way would I have guessed… YEAH, RIGHT! I didn’t “cut up” till college, I’m afraid. Always a late bloomer.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Well, I was also pretty “unregulated” during my first two years of college, Meg.
      Even though it’s fun to remember some of these years, I am SO GLAD that I grew out of this phase!

      Like

  3. jbrayweber says:

    Great story, Jeff. And I believe every word.

    In my teen years through my mid twenties, I earned the name Wild Child. I was never afraid to try new things or shake things up. Never dare me, I was likely to rise to the challenge. I can’t remember some of the antics I engaged in as Most would have been minor. I was in drill team, after all. And so I had to be extra careful.

    There was one time, in my Spanish class, I pulled a successful min-prank. The teacher, bless her heart, was a bit of a bumbler and fairly, if not ridiculously strict, as if she were babysitting a bunch of unruly children (and maybe she was). She left the room to escort one of the students to the principal’s office. While she was gone, I moved her wall clock ahead 10 minutes. When she came back a bit on the harried side, it was pointed out that the bell had rung. She glanced at the clock, turned to the class, and said Adios. Everyone in the class duly filed out of the classroom. I sort of felt bad about it. Well, no, not really.

    Jenn!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Wild Child, I can definitely picture that being an appropriate moniker for you, Jenn.
      I was involved in, or witness to, some pranks against a couple of teachers. And it seemed relatively innocent at the time, but in later years, I’ve felt badly about it. [heavy sigh]
      Don’t think I was ever part of a clock-fixing scheme, though. Pretty clever!

      Like

  4. Jeff, it never ceases to amaze me what teenage boys will do to get girls’ attention! Look at all the smarts and creativity you wasted! Well, I am glad to see that you grew out of all that quickly; some fellas never do!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Well, it wasn’t totally wasted, Tonette. Because it was grist for a blog column today … and maybe a scene in a novel some other day. LOL

      Like

  5. Hilarious post, Jeff! Love your way with words in telling this story of your youth 🙂

    Not surprised on the Michelob, because didn’t you grow up in Louisiana? Yanno, if you’re tall enough to reach the bar, you’re tall enough to order a drink…At least that was our philosophy in high school!

    Hmm…most mischievous thing. Hard to narrow down, but I will say I had a fondness for playing pranks on friends, such as toilet-papering their cars, their rooms (why *did* all those parents grant me permission to do so?) and other such places. One time, I was in the midst of toilet papering a friend’s car, when his dad (a hilarious and fun guy, also a cop) came out and squirted us down with the water hose. Guess his earlier “sure, you can play a prank on my son” was really a means to play a prank on me while I was in the midst of t-p’ing his car!

    Sigh. Ah, the good ole days!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Thumbs up to that Dad for spraying y’all with water. Ha. That T.P. is a mess to clean up.
      Yes, 11 of my 12 years of school were in LA. Then gone for military. Then another 32 yrs after that. I can still feel the humidity sometimes.
      Glad you could visit today.

      Like

  6. crbwrites says:

    Too funny! The prank I always WISH I’d been involved in was putting a Volkswagen Bug on the school roof. Still don’t know how that was accomplished.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks, Chris.
      Wow … getting a VW to a roof almost had to involve a large crane. Kinda hard to keep that quiet … or secret.
      In our town, a few years before I graduated, some of the senior boys painted CHS 64 on the new overpass. It remained there for many decades. Only in the last year or two did anybody step forward and claim “credit”. They had one guy with ropes on his ankles hanging upside down, over the edge of this overpass. And he painted it upside down. You have to figure he had a lot of faith in the strength and resolve of whoever was holding him up.

      Like

  7. Sherry Gloag says:

    Hilarious! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. As for me, it seemed I took the rap for others, even when i wasn’t present at the event. 🙂

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks, Sherry. Yeah, I’ve sometimes gotten the blame when I was innocent. But, truthfully, most of the time I got busted it was well-deserved. Ha.

      Like

  8. bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

    Like

  9. Lindsay says:

    Jeff, somehow those pranks don’t surprise me. Always felt there was a bit of the devil in you.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Well, Lindsay, a lot of my mischief was pretty creative … but, of course, there were chunks of just plain stupid involved as well.

      Like

  10. ah, our younger selves … i’ll just say that a friend and i got involved with a prank involving a pig and leave it at that …. thanks for the laugh. p.s. i assume you washed that glass clean when you took it to the kitchen?

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Now, we HAVE to hear that pig story! LOL
      No, I didn’t wash the glass which the draft beer had been in. I just hurried it to the kitchen and put it with some other dirty dishes. [needed to get ride of the evidence!] Left the washing to them.

      Like

  11. I had a hard time remembering a time when I was part of any troublemaking scheme. But then I remembered my high school physics class, when we managed to postpone a test for two days. One day we spent the hour looking for a lost contact lens, another day it was another crisis. I wasn’t the planner, of course, but I played along. Pretty tame stuff, but that’s all I’ve got. I defer to your superior pranking skills.

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Patty, that “missing contact” scheme is perfect! There ought to be annual Mischief Awards for whoever thought that one up.

      Like

  12. Anne Kemp says:

    That was great! I love thinking back to when I was that “mischievous” HAHAHA…and the one thing I did in high school that was over the top? Well…I honestly can’t post it here, but I will email you offline. Let’s just say that the school board had to change some rules around because of what happened with a few of my friends and myself. Honestly, I only got pulled into said “mischief” because of guilt by association. But it’s funny…

    Like

  13. Micki Gibson says:

    I now know that when I need some mischief and hijinks for my teen guys to get into, I’ll just search the archives for your blogs. As for me, I was a goody two-shoes in high school. College…well, let’s just say my husband could never run for a high politcal office because there’s too much dirt on me and not enough money to keep people quiet. 😉

    Like

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