Memorable Characters From My Tenth Grade Drawing Class
CARTER: This pudgy nebbish claimed to be the original Donkey Lips from famed Nickelodeon sitcom “Salute Your Shorts”; this was proven false when I interviewed the real Donkey Lips (Michael Ray Bower) for Ink19 in 2006. Carter also claimed on several occasions in a somber tone that his mother was dead; this was also proven false when he slipped up one day and admitted his mother was picking him up after school. When asked his age, Carter’s stock answer was, “Old enough to know better.” I borrowed the first Weezer album on cassette from this lunatic in 1994.
WAYNE: Our high school’s resident “bad ass,” Wayne was never seen without his tattered jean jacket or spiked bracelet. He kind of looked like a Native American version of Trent Reznor. Wayne was constantly hitting on our female drawing teacher in a very over-the-top “Three’s Company”-type manner. I am unsure if this ever paid off. Wayne drove a motorcycle to school and gained immortality at graduation when he kissed our principal Mr. Moll after receiving his diploma. Within the context of the drawing class, Wayne was noted for verbally attacking another student over a secret stash of tater tots (this was a full decade before Napoleon Dynamite, mind you).
GABE: Illinois albino called out by Wayne over a clandestine grouping of leftover lunch room tater tots in his jacket pocket. Gabe would sneak the greasy delights during class; for some reason, this caused Wayne to go ballistic when he finally noticed. Gabe had no defense (depositing potato products in your jacket is apparently par for the course in Midwestern states). Gabe played the drums and would eventually join me in the ranks of previously noted musical abortions the Roswell Incident and Johnny Turd & the Commodes. Obsessed with the paranormal, Gabe could talk your ear off about stuff like Uri Geller for hours.
MITCH: Scrawny redneck who loved Jimi Hendrix so much he refused to speak to anyone who couldn’t automatically admit the guitar great was the second coming of Christ. Mitch refused to let me play his acoustic guitar at lunch one afternoon for that very reason (for the record, I’ve always thought Jimi Hendrix was really good, he’s just not my absolute favorite).
SHIPPEE: Metallica superfan who looked like a cracked out version of Les Claypool. Shippee once leant me a computer game based around an alien invasion that my father became obsessed with in early 1995.
AEROSMITH DEFENDER: Whenever our class would get into some kind of music discussion, this tiny Puerto Rican kid who sat near me would inevitably pipe up and firmly state that Aerosmith was “the most talented rock group of all-time.” Despite his size, this kid was kind of ripped, so no one ever openly challenged his assertions.
FINK: An affable, Judge Reinhold-esque loser who thought he could attain Wayne levels of cool by not doing his work and constantly talking about how awesome Batman Forever was going to be. Fink once threw a Coke bottle at my head during lunch for reasons I have completely forgotten (probably an argument over who was more awesome, Eddie Vedder or Joey Ramone).
RAMSEY: Redhead who always tried to inject “Robotech” into the conversation. Years later, I would encounter Ramsey behind the counter of a local video store whose business was so slow he actually had time to build and paint a “Robotech” model right there atop the checkout counter.