Monday, August 21, 2006

Riding Shotgun

Danny's father was the king of real estate in Juneau, until the business was sold in later years. Although I didn't feel it in my bones, I was a poor boy. All the classic symptoms existed for that logical conclusion--trailer park, plastic utensils, Top Ramen and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dinners, depleted and moth eaten wardrobe, one-sided world view, family-bred distrust of anyone not like us--but I knew I would some day rise above it. Problem was, nobody knew it but me.

Despite his privileged home life, Danny was a bit of a recluse, a survivalist of sorts. He became known for his red beret, and once walked into the high school shower after gym wearing his new hiking boots. Why? They won't mold to your feet unless you get them wet. He was so proud of his new crossbow that he stepped onto the bus holding it at his side, pointed to the sky, like Chuck Norris--and yes, he was wearing the red beret and camouflage pants. And he sat next to me.

I had a crush on a girl in my Geometry class, one of the few classes besides computer programming that I actually understood and did well in. Her name was Kathy. As far as I know, she didn't even know my name. She was a basketball player and had an athletic build. I made the mistake of telling Chris Clarke.

Danny's father bought him a monster pick up truck that you had to literally climb to get into. He took Chris and me for a cruise at lunch time. Danny drove, Chris rode shotgun, so that left me to ride "bitch." We pulled out of the school parking lot and hadn't gone far when we all spotted Kathy walking toward us on the sidewalk. She didn't see us until Chris unrolled the window and yelled, "Hey Kathy!" Then he ducked under the dashboard, out of sight.

Then she looked right at me, sitting snugged up next to Danny, and nobody on my other side.


fringes said...

Great story. I loved the disjointed feel to it. Staccato sentences that encouraged the reader to keep going, looking for the clues that would pull it all together. I had no idea what riding bitch meant until the very end, and I was not disappointed. Excellent way with words today.

Bernita said...

Was a little confused because the beginning is all about Danny.
That was a dirty trick.

mr. schprock said...

That's funny as hell! Great post, Scott.

Writing Blind said...

That is an awesome story. And you have such a natural talent for telling these things, it's amazing.

Flood said...

Thanks for the chuckle. I didn't know it was called 'riding bitch,' either.

magnetbabe said...

That was great! I loved both your desciptions- the "signs" of being poor and the Chuck Norris wannabe. Entertaining as always.

jenbeauty said...

giggles....boys....they are so naughty!

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Who knows, she may have been secretly aroused.....

Anonymous said...

Never heard of riding "bitch" before. That's awesome!

I could definitely see that prank. So true.

Scott said...

Erica - Thanks, I remembered this over the weekend and couldn't wait to put it down.

Bernita - It sure was. Talk about game over.

Mr. Schprock - Thanks man

Rebecca - See, now I'm blushing.

Flood - I'm not sure where the term came from. Maybe it was a Juneau thing.

Nat - I had fun with those. Thanks for noticing.

Jen - True, so true. Good to see you are still alive!

Toast - Leave it to you to come up with that!

Jason - Yeah, that was a real burn job.

Tee said...

LOL. That was so wrong!

The description of your childhood lifestyle is worded beautifully. I knew those kids. One of them was my best friend and first boyfriend. Going to his house was so differnt than my typical middle class suburban home complete with Mommy and Daddy.

His house had a few mixed breed dogs running about. It was on a farm but they didn't own the farm. His Mom often wasn't home but other non-family members were often about. The house smelled like cigarette smoke and bottles of alcohol were often just sitting on the counter. He never had much in the fridge to offer. There was an abandoned car we drove around the fields and barns to investigate though.

I was more like your eccentric "character", Danny. LOL.

Kathleen said...

Great story, but why are boys so mean to each other?

trinamick said...

That's a phrase used in this area too. My cousins pull that on each other all the time. I laugh every time.

Beth said...

They won't mold to your feet unless you get them wet.

I had no idea about this or "riding bitch" either so I learned two things! =)

Thanks for the chuckle.

LL said...


While you've got to feel bad about being the victim, you've got to applaud the genius of it.

benjibopper said...

there is nothing hotter than a female basketball star. damn that Chris Clarke!

Scott said...

Tee - You make some good points. I forgot to mention our dogs, one a St. Bernard the flipped drool onto the walls.

Kat - Well, it's all part of the fun. I've been just as mean in return.

Trina - Ah, thanks for backing me up there. I figured it wasn't a local term, but had no idea the joke was prevalent. It's a good one for sure.

Beth - That's what I'm here for, to teach the way.

LL - Absolutely. It was a great joke, perfectly executed.

Benji - I know, right? I should look him up now and give him a little grief for it.