Northwest Classen Memories (Louis Would Like to Forget)
6:14 AM EST on March 2, 2017
This past weekend I was out at dinner with some friends when an old comrade from my high school days stopped by the table to say hello and then proceeded to reminisce about how one time, in Ms. Funk’s Spanish class, I ran into the classroom screaming “Let’s dance!” and threw a textbook at a window, breaking it into a million shards.
I honestly had no recollection of that, but, apparently, it happened.
Even though I attended (and graduated from) the Classen School of Advanced Studies from ‘94 to ‘97, when I started high school in 1993, I was assigned to Northwest Classen and, with all of my Harding Middle School friends now at Northeast, I was the odd man out. Desperate to be liked but lacking the social skills to be liked, I would often engage in clinically insane behavior that would leave my classmates laughing, and my teachers' jaws agape.
Sure, there were a few positive moments at Northwest Classen, like when I was named Native American Prince at the annual Diversity Day celebration or the various marching band outings that gave me a newfound sense of independence, but, to be honest, they are mostly filled with the attention-seeking embarrassing instances below. Sadly, if you are ever out with me, I will invariably be reminded about these (or other forgotten) shenanigans I committed by well-meaning former NWC classmates who are probably surprised I am still alive today.
Rolling Down the Stairs for Quarters
Talk to anyone from that time period and, more than likely, they will bring up the fact that I would forcibly throw myself down numerous flights of stairs for quarters, with which I would maniacally use to buy 20 oz. Diet Cokes from the newly-installed vending machines. If I planned my drop times just right, I’d have enough change to buy two or three of those addictive aspartamed waters to make it throughout the day. What a way to earn a living.
(This would eventually backfire, however, when a few jocks would just start shoving me down the stairs without paying, resulting in clandestine broken thumbs and, ever worse, no 20 oz. Diet Cokes. It's the supply and demand of the tears of a clown, I guess.)
Getting Drunk Sick on Scope Mouthwash
Sometime during the first week of school, the good people at Proctor & Gamble put together and distributed these EXTREME TEEN gift bags of kewl hygiene products filled with toothpaste, zit cream, Teen Spirit deodorant and, oddly enough, Doritos, but, most notably for this story, trial size bottles of Scope. Looking to impress everyone (read: the girls who like to party) and believing this might just be the way to do it, I proceeded to drink bottle after bottle of Scope in a bid to show I was a cool fat guy party animal (Hawaiian shirt optional) who could hold my liquor so you should invite me to your cousin's house party in Nichols Hills this Saturday night, brah.
It wasn’t until the 15th or 16th minty fresh swig, however, that I realized not only was this Scope non-alcoholic, but that I couldn’t hold it anyway; without warning, I unleashed a fresh-scented tidal wave of spearmint refuse as I hurled all over the hallway, right in front of the cosmetology class that taught the hot pregnant Mexican girls how to give perms. Needless to say, my Friday nights were left wide open, but at least I had kissable fresh breath.
Moving My Desk Out on the Ledge
Another acquaintance recently reminded me how, for some reason, before Ms. Bryson’s Algebra class started, I one time moved by desk and chair from inside the classroom onto the second floor outside ledge and was demanded to be taught from out there, the heavy winds blowing my papers all over the parking lot. Luckily, Ms. Bryson was a very patient teacher and only threatened me with a referral if I didn't get back inside within five minutes. I tested her, of course, and she gave me five more minutes. Eventually, the novelty wore off and I came back inside.
By this point, I’ll be honest: I no longer had any idea if anyone was even laughing with me anymore or if they were genuinely worried about my mental well-being. Personally, I feel like I knew I was grasping at social straws that were simply far too out of reach for the likes of someone such as myself, but I had this inherent need to at least try. as pathetic as it sounds. Of course, I say that but there are people who continually stop me to drunkenly recount these dumb stunts, still cracking up over them and delivering better-late-than-never accolades regarding my anarchic spirit, so I guess that’s something.
Getting Thrown Out of Piccolo’s During Frog Dissections
Perhaps my least-favorite teacher (and I, his least-favorite student) was the no-nonsense biology teacher slash basketball coach Mr. Piccolo. Right from the get-go this leather-skinned No Basketball for Old Men-type didn't care for me or my slacker sort; the way he and his polyester shorts would just explode on me almost made it a daily challenge to see exactly what I could do to push his buttons in what I secretly believed was a very playful Dennis the Menace/Mr. Wilson relationship, even though I am sure he did not. Dude hated me.
Things would come to a head, however, during frog dissections when, instead of making my vertical incisions and identifying the various organs, I made a top hat and cane for my toad, proceeding to sing “Hello my honey, hello my baby, hello my ragtime girl…” to those around me. Boiling with rage, Piccolo flamed “Fowler…what the fuck is wrong with you? Get out of my class and don’t come back!”
And I didn’t. I think I got a C and was sent to the library for the rest of the semester, a behind-the-scenes deal cut for not telling my parents he used the f-word. Thank God there were no cell phones back then!
Now I know there are a few more stories, some that I'm either too embarrassed about--such as the gorgeous Native American girl (who happened to be a "little person") in marching band that I wrote love poems (mostly rewritten Depeche Mode rip-offs) to every day--or have simply forgotten about, like the aforementioned above "Let's dance!" scenario. Eventually, I would move to Classen SAS and, now surrounded by people more like (or less) me, would mostly get my act together by embracing the Smiths and cutting; to this day, however, it's amazing to me how, for such a brief time in my life, I made such an amazingly negative comedic impact on so many people.
There was also that one time where I wrote a 12-page Twin Peaks spec script using that week's 30 vocabulary words. Follow Louis onTwitter at @LouisFowler.
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