Tuesday, July 19, 2011

...And It Was The Greatest Idea The Gang Would Ever Have

Kids do stupid things. They do things that would cause adults to ask "WTF where you thinking?". Sometimes these actions get you in a little trouble, other times a lot of trouble.  And some can unfortunately have dire consequences- like what did in poor Little Mikey from the Life Cereal commerical.

Sniff..Damn you, Mikey. I told you not to do it. I told you not eat those
Pop Rocks and then down that Coke...sniff.
And then there are times the actions have no real consequences other than 'I probably should wait until I'm older, probably much older, before I start admitting what we did...especially to girls.' This story is sort of like one those time. Only it should probably never be admitted to...especially to girls. It's from a time period in my life where puberty was just starting. And I'm not sure how others at that age felt, but for my crew we were not happy with the speed at which parts of it was progressing.

(please note that the names have been changed to protect the innocent idiots of this story...all except mine of course.)

When we were about twelve my friends and I were a little obsessed with our body hair growing. But not just growing. It had to be the dark hairs. Peach fuzz was just no longer cutting it.

I remember one day my friend Brock and I were standing on the corner of  a street. It was summer and we were just hanging out, probably eating candy cigarettes and drinking Jolt Cola, while discussing either video games or girls we liked. I decide now is a good time to start looking for some quality dark hairs on my armpits. I pull up my sleeve and start to look. Unfortunately I see only a few pale hairs protruding from the even paler skin of my armpit.

Brock, who was watching this without much regard, because again this was pretty normal behavior for our circle of friends, suddenly states, with some excitement, "Wait, I see two blacks on the corner!"

I, of course, am beyond delighted by my friend's discovery! 'Oh man, my first dark hairs!' ...but as I search  my armpit I do not see them. So I frantically start asking "Where? Where?"
Brock points and says "Right there!"
I don't look to where he is pointing because I'm too busy looking for these damn hairs! "Where dude? I don't see them?"
"Right there, man. They are right there!"
I'm now thoroughly frustrated as I can't find them at all. 'They have to be here! Maybe they are tucked in to a part of my armpit that I can't get a good look at!' I illogically think to myself, unable to accept the fact that Brock just may be messing with me. "Seriously, dude. Where?? Are you just messing with me?" I ask.
"No dude. Two black are on the corner, just look where I am pointing!" he replies.

I finally look up and realize that he was never pointing to my armpit at all but rather he is pointing just over my shoulder. So I turn my head to see what he is pointing at.

lady 1- do you see any?
lady 2-yes, I see two whites on the corner.
lady 1- oh, you do? where?
lady2 - over there!
lady 1 - OH! you mean those kids over there and not on my head! Thank God!
Ugh, damn you Brock and your amazing humor. It is just two black women on an adjacent corner. Hope is dashed and I pull my sleeve down. One day my time will come, unfortunately for me today is not that day. I down what's left of my candy and Jolt and we head up to street to the local school yard for a game of stickball.

If you're wondering why dark hairs were so important to us, the answer is simple. Dark hairs = being a man = getting girls. It was the 80s. The girls dug hairy dudes...
What I wanted to see in the mirror's reflection.
What I saw in the mirror's reflection.

And what the mirror actually reflected
...more or less.
As the summer moved along our obsession with growing dark hairs on our chests, on our armpits, our faces, and the holy grail of areas only intensified. It wasn't unusual for any one of my friends to take a break from whatever we were doing to hit the bathroom to do some reconnaissance of our bodies, looking for those elusive fellas. However it always seem to end with the same disappointing results for all of us.

So what were we to do? Wait for nature to run it's course and just be happy with having the entire summer off to do what we please? For 99% of kids my age I'm sure that is what they would do. But not us. Not my group of friends.

So one day four us are hanging out, perhaps playing Nintendo, when we come up with a plan. A plan that we all think is a great idea. Probably the best idea we collectively ever had. Below is the basic outline.

The Greatest Idea The Gang Would Ever Have Outline
  1. Get some money
  2. Go to Thrift Drug
  3. Buy hair tonic (for more info on what hair tonic is, wikipedia it)
  4. apply to desired areas of the body
  5. wait for results
  6. hook up with girls
The plan is set. Now we need to execute. Money won't be the issue because, luckily, we all get allowances . For our twelve year old brains we see the biggest obstacle as getting our hands on the hair tonic. See we live in a small town. Everyone knows each other and, more importantly, most people know whose kids are whose. Going in to Thrift Drug to buy hair tonic could put us in a situation where an adult could spot us and tell our parents what we are up to. That we were purchasing hair tonic to use on ourselves to speed up puberty. Not once do we think 'Man they might think we are buying this stuff to somehow get high.'  Which of course is probably what was going through their minds. God I hope that is what was going through their minds.

And why do I think that was probably going through their minds? Because of our poor execution in getting the hair tonic. Instead of sending one of down to the store we all walk down together to each get our own bottle. We "thought" this much through - since we are all going down to the store and getting our bottles at the same time they might be suspicious and ask us what we are up to. So we tell ourselves - "Be calm if they question you. Just tell them we are getting it for our fathers." Because you know - dads always send their kids to the store with their friends to get hair tonic.

We get to the store, look for the hair tonic, find it, and cautiously approach the cashier. Whew! It's no one we know! We all get in line and each purchase one bottle of hair tonic. Four twelve year olds in a row. Each handing over a bottle of hair tonic with cash. None of us purchased anything else. I sometimes wonder what must have gone through the cashier's mind.. Again, they had to think we were getting it to get high, right?

Anyway, the excursion is a complete success!!! We are now the proud owners of four bottles of hair tonic.

today : hair tonic
tomorrow : dark hairs!
the day after that : girls!!!
We quickly get back to Brock's house and each take turns going in to the bathroom to place the tonic on all desirable areas.  And since we are twelve years old (aka - idiots) we barely wait an hour before each of us takes a turn going back in to the bathroom to see if anything has sprouted. Of course none of us so lucky.

Initially disappointed but far from defeated the fearsome foursome all agree this could take some time. The plan is to use it daily and to check at the end of every day to see if anything is happening. I'm sure I probably doused myself at least twice a day on the desired areas...focusing, of course, on the holy grail region.

The days come and the days go without much growth...then one day, about a week later. I have the discovery of a lifetime.

I drew this myself!

A dark hair!! I've done it! I'm a man...finally I'll be getting with girls!!!

And I did start getting with girls....three years, and many other dark hairs, later.