Tales of embarrassment shared with friends
National History Day:
My sophomore year of high school, my friend Lizzy, a ginger, and I had to do a huge project for National History Day for AP World History. For some reason, we decided to take the project seriously and formed an elaborate plan to properly display our theme of “The Sun Never Sets On The British Empire.” This plan involved a base map of a ship actually navigating the course of the trade routes of the empire. Having no engineering or construction skills of any kind, we forced Richie to become the third member of the group. Richie had us use actual construction materials to create the project. There were Styrofoam boards we needed to paint black three times because we had the bright idea of laying it down wet on newspaper (we did not understand the correlation between wet and dry paint at the time so funny enough the paint acted as an adhesive between the boards and the newspaper). He formed a crown for the top with the same material with jewels from some show he was in. The base was built out of wood-his favourite material. Over top was some stupid map and the “ship” complete with a miniature British flag ended up following no trade routes and just stumbling around, ostensibly underwater, in a circle. It got stuck every couple of seconds and we would have to encourage it along to keep it moving. The sound of it struggling along the whole time was almost louder than our voices while presenting. Once the revolting project was finally completed, we had to take it to the high school to be judged. Richie drove Lizzy and I to the school with the project in his pimped out ride “ol’ green” (a green, 2002 Ford Windstar). The project could be pulled apart into several pieces and Richie wanted to help us bring the project into the school. I had informed him that it was quite alright, we’d be able to manage. But despite my pleas he proceeded to emerge from the drivers seat and make his way towards the trunk. As I shooed him away, he began shouting “WHAT’S A MATTER, LIVVY?! OH YOU DON’T WANT ME OUT HERE?!” He then grabbed the blue wool blanket that was still in the car from when we went to the beach (it stays there year round, covered in sand) and draped it over his head. He partially crouched down as if ducking for cover from enemy forces, jabbing his head from side to side, and started spastically fleeing about the van literally transforming himself into a beheaded chicken. Once he safely returned to the drivers seat, he rolled down the window and megaphone mouthed (Kathy’s description of Richie’s yelling) “BYE LIVVY, I LOVE YOU!!!!’ as an anticipative display of my daily junior year experience with Richie.
I had cross country practice everyday after school throughout high school. I made Richie pick me up after practice to avoid the after school bus extravaganza, even though we would usually get swallowed by the flock of buses sitting in the parking lot, much to Richie’s enjoyment. My friend Tara ran with me and he would usually drive her home, as well. Once we stepped outside towards “ol’ green” we’d be able to hear the music blasting from the car—classical of course. He would scamper around to open the door for Tara since it was “broken” apparently, and then complain to me about waiting for five minutes and not answering my phone (that he would call ten times and leave ten messages on every time). Richie would always try his hardest to provide much needed entertainment on the long drive. As a solution, Richie would sing Louis Armstrong songs, usually “What A Wonderful World,” in the Louis voice. He would also make comments on the radio selections once I changed it from his classical station. As high tech as ol’ green is, it says the title and artist of the song that is on at the time. Fortunately, it reveals the information a few letters at a time so it almost turns into a guessing game. Richie decided to showcase his music knowledge by saying how much he loved the song that was on. Unfortunately, his reading skills are slightly subpar, so when asked who sang it, his response was, “Oh, my favorite. Uhh Ti—Tim— Bah— Tim Balin.” Here’s the song: http://tinyurl.com/yad7nn5
My friend Lizzy the Ging decided it would be fun to call me nip, entirely unprovoked. Kathy was picking the two of us and a few other people up after cross-country practice and as we were getting into the car, Lizzy called me nip. Kathy persistently questioned why she was calling me nip, wondering if it was because of an exposure incident. She then proceeded to remark how coincidental my new name was because she was also called nip in high school and shared the entire story as to how that name came about. The dumbfounded look on my face did not register, as it rarely does.