“The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate.” Douglas Engelbart

When it comes to embarrassment, I think it would be hard to compete with my junior high school experiences. I did myself no favors, as you’ll soon read.

One of my all-time-greatest achievements came on the sporting field. Gym class. Flag football. You need to understand that I was an average athlete then, but smart enough to be modestly competitive in most sports. Flag football was one of my least favorite activities simply because the best athlete got to be quarterback, and the remaining 8 to 14 teammates are wide receivers. No, I didn’t get the number wrong. Everyone played. But I digress.

Our quarterback, Nick Nowak, wouldn’t throw the ball to me because I wasn’t one of the athletically gifted kids. Fair enough. I don’t remember the particulars of the game situation, but I’ll never forget the play. Our receivers flocked down field so Nowak could bomb the ball. The ball came down to his desired receiver, who inadvertently tipped it, and someone else deflected it up into the air, and I jumped up with several others in an attempt of gym class glory.

I caught the ball. What’s better, I was able to come down and take off running before anyone knew I had it. I was nearly to the endzone…when Marty Crisp, a supposed friend, yelled “Brooks! You’re going the wrong way!”

Oh shit. I had spun a few times when tracking the tipped ball. And the windswept tundra we called a field wasn’t good for landmarks either. Marty was probably right. I changed direction and streaked towards the other end zone. I was running like the devil, desperate to make up for my mistake. Oddly enough, I was eluding pretty much everyone on the field. Until Nick Nowak tackled me…and said that I had been going the right way the first time. Marty lied. I looked like an idiot. It was only then that I realized how I had covered so much ground – nobody was chasing me. The other team was thrilled with my idiocy, and my team was stunned by my idiocy.

The play, which should have been 7 points, was a net loss of 10 yards.

I will punch Marty Crisp in the face should I see him again. Douchebag.

My other junior high sore spot would be ___ ______. She was short. Really short, but there was something about her that I liked. I think it was the fact that she potentially had boobs, nipples and a vagina, and if I dated her for a requisite number of years, I might be given visual proof of such mysteries.

I wasn’t the ladies man back then (those damn honors classes) but I felt I had a chance with her. It took me a relatively short five months to work up the courage to write her a note, asking if she’d go out with me. “Going out” had nothing to do with actual travel, or dating; it was merely an accepted term for a formal partnership that would probably not involve much touching. So the fact that I’d never actually spoken to her wasn’t an actual deterrent to successfully “going out”.

Despite the fact that she was rumored to be dating some bastard 8th grader (who is now a close friend of mine), I wrote what I felt was a simple yet effective note, folded it intricately (as was the style at the time) and asked one of her close friends to give it to her. Then I had to wait for the reply.

Late the next day, several of my friends informed me that the entire school had heard of my move on ___ ____. People looked at me differently. I started to panic. Perhaps I was shooting too high, trying to work out of my league. She wasn’t A-List, but she wasn’t a troll either. Definitely a strong B-squad girl. And she had the potential to grow big tits*, which excited me further. No, I wasn’t out of my element…this had a chance.

The same close friend found me at the end of the day to deliver ___’s intricately folded reply. I completely forgot what I wrote to her, but I will never, ever forget her response. Verbatim, I swear:


I can’t go out w/you because I’m going out w/someone else.

If I wasn’t going out w/someone else, I still wouldn’t go out w/you.


Perhaps I’m still a little sensitive, but what the fuck is the point of the second line?!?!?! What a cunt thing to say! So, fuck ___ ______.

*She did.


11 responses to ““The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate.” Douglas Engelbart

  1. A+ post, Mike. Laughed out loud.


  2. ____’s second line was way too much. I mean what happened to civility in romantic discourse? Couldn’t she have at least considered “it’s not you it’s me?”

    To hell with Marty Crisp, if I see _____ again I am gonna punch HER.

  3. breathlessmini

    You should look them up on facebook & tell them to go f* themselves… just for the fun of it. OR, I’m sure you could think of a more creative way of telling them that. a can of beans mayhaps?

  4. Great post! Loved it.

    Hey Finkenwalde, make sure you put a video of your meeting with ____, up on youtube.

    As is the fashion these days.

  5. Thank you for reminding me about Marty Crisp–I sat next to him in music class, and although I had yet to establish any type of coolness at that point I still had the ability to see what a total tool Marty Crisp was. Seriously, what the hell kind of name is Marty Crisp anyway? If it makes you feel any better when we had to do the obstacle course in gym class and Mrs. Miller and Mr. Banazak were cruel enough to send one student at a time so the whole class could watch, I didn’t make it over the parallel bars and just ended up smashing my boobs and then flying backwards off of it. I can still remember Dan Massey yelling, “now you’ll be even flatter, Hartman!” Yeah, you know what happened to my chest in high school…I sure showed him, that bastard.
    Great post, Mike!

  6. Update –
    Googling “Marty Crisp” is useless, as there is a children’s book author of the same name who dominates the results.

    Searching “‘Marty Crisp’ + tool” yielded similarly disappointing returns.

  7. Thanks all. Glad to know my humiliation is entertaining someone (cause I still cry myself to sleep).

    I rather like Dan Massey. I like him even more after hearing that.

  8. but if you google “poop in a basket” you totally get Marty Crisp!!

  9. Pingback: MySpace.com is the biggest turd on the Internet « The Boggs Blog

  10. Just came here from Boggs’ blog. Fantastic story many, brought me right back to high school. That sucked.

  11. Dude, don’t you think you should take her last name off this post? I just googled her for business reasons and your “Penis in a Rowboat,” post came up on the first page.

    Judging by your version of the story, if this doesn’t matter to you, well then you are a dick.

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