The bus ride to - and back from -
high school every day was a long one, winding its way through
four towns. Our stop was the first in the morning, and the
last in the afternoon. That much time every day sitting in
one place provides ample opportunity for "creative
Several stops away (and in the
next town), a fellow student (who shall be known as
"Jackass" - why in a moment) boarded. I don't
know whether coming from a wealthier (and snottier) town than
ours caused it, but he had an attitude, and would go well out of
his way to give us a hard time. Jackass hung with Fuckhead,
another asshole who went to our school.
Why the names? One
particular day, during the bus ride home Jackass was being
himself - giving us a hard time (as usual), and we were returning shit (as usual), when he says to us, in what I supposed
he figured was his most macho voice, "Y'know I have a split personality..." (probably intending to follow it up with some
gangsta tripe like "I can be your best friend or worst enemy").
One of us cut him off with "yeah, you're a cross between a jackass and a fuckhead."
From that point on, he came to be known as Jackass and - two
peas in a pod - his friend was called Fuckhead.
Now... switch scenes: to the
school science lab.
We sat in groups at these stations with little
cubbies for books and papers... which were supposed to be kept clean.
Well, that year I had science towards the end of the day, and kept
coming in to find the cubby a pigsty (which it then became my duty
to clean). Class after class it was like this - papers, wrappers
from Hostess snack cakes, ... I vowed that, if I ever found out who
was leaving this mess, I'd get even.
Well, I found out: one day, I found a crumpled note - complete with
envelope bearing the recipient's name (Tina) and locker number. The
salutation of the note read "Dear Tina" written in a girlish,
scripty hand so it rather resembled "Dear Tuna" - this, of course, was all
I began the note that appeared in her locker "Dear Tuna" and, in
my usual less-than-subtle manner, let her know what a pig she was.
I probably would have let it go at that, except that more trash
appeared in the cubby thereafter.
At our school, homeroom and locker assignments were,
generally speaking, alphabetical (by grade). Thus, when We of
the Bus discussed it, we realized that her locker was only a couple away
from that of one of our number - who was promptly engaged in a mission to gather intelligence. He reported that, yes
indeed, the locker belonged to a girl named Tina, who happened
to sit near him in homeroom. And she began discussing with her homeroom neighbors
what had, at that point, escalated to a series of "Dear Tuna" letters,
the ultimate of which threatened to, um, "squirt tuna juice" in her
At this, an opportunity was seen to take out several birds
with one stone. He let slip to Tina that he thought he saw Jackass
and Fuckhead in the vicinity of her locker, and overheard them saying something about tuna juice. Shortly thereafter, we were
treated to the sight of Tina backing the two of them - each wearing
a deliciously bewildered expression - against the lockers, screaming
about what she'd do to them if they dared to (she shrieked) "squirt
TUNA juice in my LOCKER!" (We discretely laughed our assess off.)
P.S. Tina's locker never received the
prophesied dose of tuna juice - not from us, anyway. This didn't stop us from
becoming rather handy with smelly fish substances generally, though.
(But that's another tale...)