Embarrassed Out of School


Jared Six

"A socially awkward teenage boy who had always been "home-schooled", is forced to suddenly start going to a public High School, and he ends up turning his forced years of public schooling into one big "Acting Class" by convincing everyone that there is something wrong with him just to make school more amusing for himself and for others. But through his greatest teacher ("Mr. Embarrassment") he also ends up learning some dark secrets about the public school system."


For the first 15 years of my life I was "home schooled", but then I was forced to start going to a public High School.

When I started going to a public school, I would always get a 0% on my grade card for "Art" because I refused to draw anything, and the reason that I refused to draw anything in "Art Class" was because I was an artist.

Let me explain...

The art teacher at my school ("Mr. Shepperd") used to tell us that he had a big fire-proof safe at his house where he kept artwork from all of his students. (That way, if any of his students ever went on to become famous artists he would have some original art that they made before they were famous.)

And because I fully expected to be a famous artist someday, I worried that the drawings I was forced to make in "Art Class" would end up in museums as embarrassing art that I made in my youth.

Instead of letting us draw whatever we wanted to, "Mr. Shepperd" would draw something on the chalkboard like a dog, or a tree, or a house and tell everyone to follow along and draw what he was drawing, and I just couldn't do it, because an artist, nothing could be worse than putting art into the world that you yourself would be too embarrassed to take credit for.

So I refused to draw anything during "Art Class", but ironically, I would draw all the time in all of my other classes.

For example, one time in "History Class" I had to take a test about "World War 2" and when the teacher passed out the test papers, I left all of the answers blank and instead turned the test paper over to the blank side, and then I drew a picture of a bunch of senile old people at "Walmart" opening boxes of soap, and I called this art piece...

"Old People Opening Boxes of Soap Just to See If There Is Really Soap in Them".

Not only did I get a 0% on the test since I didn't fill out any of the questions, but I actually got suspended from school for 3 days for drawing instead of taking the test.

Luckily, I cared a lot more about art than I did about my grade card, but unfortunately, I went to school with a lot of young and promising artists who became convinced by their teachers that the art they loved making so much was nothing more than a "childhood hobby" (or even worse a "childish hobby") that needed to be put away as they approached adulthood so they could focus on getting good grades, so they could go to a good college, so they could get a good paying job, so they could be seen as "successful" in life.

And for the kids like me who remained young at heart and who showed no signs of wanting to give up on being artists, the principle ("Mr. Dean") had a secret weapon up his sleeve...


The principle called my house one day and told my parents that I was showing the symptoms of A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder) and he said that I couldn't return to school until I saw a doctor about it.

So my parents took me to go see a doctor, and without even doing any tests on me (and without even looking at me) the doctor just walked in the room while looking down at his clip board and writing on it as he said, "So I hear that you're having trouble paying attention at school." and before I could answer him he looked up at my parents instead of me and handed them a prescription for a drug called "Ritalin" and said that it should fix the problem.

But when we picked up the prescription, I noticed a long list of possible "side effects" that were listed on the pill bottle like "Loose Stools", "Vomiting" and "Frequent Urination" and my mind immediately became flooded with embarrassing scenarios that could happen to me at school if I took the drug, so whenever my parents would tell me that it was time for me to take the pill I would secretly hide it under my tongue and then I would spit it back out as soon as they weren't looking. (And I never did take it.)

There were a lot of other artistic kids in my school, and it just so happens that their parents also got a phone call from the principle saying that their kids needed to see a doctor, and these kids were also all diagnosed as having A.D.D.

There was a wild boy named "Brandon" who sat next to me in "History Class" who was a drummer and who had started his own heavy metal band. He had big spiky hair and he would always wear black shirts with the names of heavy metal bands he liked on them, and during class he would often have 2 pencils in his hands and be air drumming and headbanging instead of paying attention to the teacher.

Eventually "Brandon" was put on Ritalin, and within a few weeks of taking it, he actually started to calm down and sit still in class.

Then a few more weeks passed and he actually started to comb his spikey hair down.

Then a few more weeks passed and he stopped wearing heavy black metal t-shirts and started wearing fancy sweaters instead.

Then a few more weeks passed and he actually stopped playing the drums and started telling everyone that his heavy metal drumming days were just an embarrassing "gothic phase" that he had went through.

And whenever the principle would see the "new and improved" version of "Brandon" he would put his arm around him and say that he was proud of him, and it made me feel grateful that I never took the drug, because I could tell that what the principle was really proud of was the fact that he was able to tame a wild beast!

For someone like "Brandon", being forced to have to sit still and listen to boring lectures for several hours a day at school instead of being able to play the drums and create the high energy music that he loved was like taking a wild animal out of the jungle and forcing it to live in a small cage.

And not only was the restless behavior that "Brandon" used to exhibit in class no different than the restless behavior that wild animals will exhibit when they are forced to live in cages, but the sedation that "Brandon" was now exhibiting was no different than the sedation that wild animals will exhibit after getting shot with a tranquilizer.

Then I found out that the school was actually getting a big bonus each year for every student they had who psychiatric drugs like "Ritalin".

All of this made me realize that creativity isn't something that can be "taught" at school. It is something we already had before we started going to school and it can only be "encouraged" or "discouraged" at school. And the fact that so many children start school as artists and so few of them finish school as artists made me realize that I was going to have to be strong to get through my forced years of public schooling without allowing my artistic side to be discouraged.


I never participated in "Gym Class" because it was mandatory that everyone went into the locker room and changed into gym shorts or sweatpants before they could play, and I was too uncomfortable to take my pants off in front of anyone.

So, I always got a 0% in gym class, and I would have to just sit in the bleachers and watch the other kids play.

I actually enjoyed "Gym Class" though and would laugh a lot because the gym teacher ("Mr. Ashley") was an old man who would get mad and cuss a lot, and I thought that it was funny how angry he would get over a "game". (Which by definition is supposed to be fun.)

Sometimes "Mr. Ashley" would get so mad that he would throw down his clip board or kick over a trash can and act like he was going to have a heart attack just because one of the kids made a bad play.

One of the boys in my "Gym Class" lived next door to "Mr. Ashley" and he told me that the police would actually get called to "Mr. Ashley's" house a lot during "Ohio State" football games, because we lived in Ohio and "Mr. Ashley" would get so mad whenever "Ohio State" was losing that he would literally start to tear up his own house!

"Mr. Ashley" was also really patriotic, and he would make everyone stand up and recite "The Pledge of Allegiance" at the start of each class.

Sometimes he would start to cry during the pledge as he proudly looked up at the American flag. (Which was silly to me, because although he claimed to love America, the truth was that he hated 49 out of the 50 states just because of their football teams.)

As a matter of fact, the boy who lived next door to "Mr. Ashley" told me that one time a car pulled into "Mr. Ashley's" driveway and two men got out and knocked on his door claiming that they were lost and needed directions, and when "Mr. Ashley" asked them where they were from they said "Michigan", and because of the rivalry between the "Ohio State" and "Michigan State" football teams "Mr. Ashley" got mad and told them that they had 10 seconds to get off his property before he shot them for "trespassing"!

Then when the two people from "Michigan" were backing out of his driveway "Mr. Ashley" came running outside with a shotgun and started wildly shooting it in the air to scare them away!

If you looked at "Mr. Ashley", you might get the impression that he REALLY loved his home state of "Ohio", because his hat, his shirt, his jacket, his watch, and his sweatpants all had an "Ohio State" football logo on them. (And I'm willing to bet that his underwear even had the logo on it.)

But the truth was that he hated all of the cities in "Ohio" besides his own, because those cities competed against our High School's football team. (Which he coached.)

So his proclaimed love for his country and his state seemed silly to me.


After months of refusing to participate in "Gym Class", I got called to the principal's office about it, and instead of just admitting that I was too embarrassed to take my pants off in the locker room, I told the principle that I didn't see any point in "Gym class".

He responded by telling me that kids in America were more unhealthy and out-of-shape now than ever before, and that we needed "Gym Class" in schools, because keeping kids physically active was one of the best ways to combat the "obesity epidemic".

What he said made total sense at the time, so the next day when I was in "Gym class" I thought about what he said as I watched the other kids playing from the bleachers. (And I especially watched a boy named "Josh" who was the most overweight kid in the class and who therefore needed gym more than anyone) But as watched closely, I noticed the following 3 things about "Josh"...

1. At the beginning of class, "Mr. Ashley" made all of the kids "warm up" for class by running 10 laps around the gym, and "Josh" ran out of breath and had to stop running before he could even finish one lap. (Which resulted in the other kids laughing and making fun of him for it.)

2. After the "warm up", it was time to play baseball, and as usual "Josh" was the last kid to get picked to be on a team.

3. During the game, "Josh" went really deep into the ball field, and it was obvious that he was hoping and praying that the ball wouldn't come anywhere near him (because he had learned from experience that any involvement in the game would likely result in an embarrassing experience) so he ended up spending most of the game just standing still and actually getting less physical movement than he would if he was in "Math Class"!

I then started to wonder why the gym at my school wasn't more like a public gym that was full of weights, treadmills, and other personal exercise equipment so that everyone could work towards their own personal fitness goals rather than competing against each other in sports where half of the kids would have to be "winners" and the other half would have to be "losers".

When I saw the principle again, I asked him about this and he told me that it would be way too expensive for the school to put together a gym like that. (Which made sense to me at first, but then it occurred to me that even prisons are able to provide gyms like that to their inmates.)

He also told me that "competition brings out the best in people" and that competitive sports were a highly effective way of combatting obesity. But I imagined that no adult who is overweight and wants to lose weight would actually pay for a gym membership if instead of offering "barbells" and "dumbbells" the gym offered "baseballs" and dodgeballs", and I also imagined that people like "Josh" would be too intimidated to go to any gym as an adult because of all of the intimidation that they felt as kids in "Gym Class".

I then shifted my attention to the really fit kids in my gym class, and I noticed that they would usually end up joinging the High School football team. (And if they showed no interest, "Mr. Ashley" would do his best to "recruit" them.)

And just like a "drill sergeant" he would call all of the boys he coached by their last names instead of their first names and say things like...

- "Smith", go long!"

- "Thompson", pass the ball!"

- "Baker", drop and give me 25 push-ups!"

And he would encourage his players to view the ballfield as the "battlefield", the competition as the "enemy", and the game as the "war" and in my High School yearbook, I noticed that in the section where seniors would share their favorite moment from High School, the kids who were on "Mr. Ashley's" football team would usually say things like...

- "The time we crushed Fairfield!"

- "The time we destroyed Athens 59 to 7!"

- "The time we slaughtered Alexander in front of their home crowd!"

And sadly, many of these "soldiers" would end up with concussions, bad knees, and other physical injuries that would dramatically shorten their athletic careers, and by the time they were in their early 20's many of them would already be like "Mr. Ashley". (Full of hate and yelling at their TV's as they watched other people playing the game that they could no longer physically play.)

- Time has shown that the physical injuries suffered in physical contact sports can haunt people for the rest of their lives.

- Time has shown that the "psychological scar" of being "the kid who always got picked last to play kick ball" can haunt people for the rest of their lives.

- Time has shown that "laughter" can actually provide more exercise and more overall health benefits than the average High School gym class can.

So, as ironic as it may sound, the kid in my gym class who was getting the best physical exercise and best physical education was actually me. (The kid who didn't even participate, and who was just observing humorously from a distance.)

I burned just as many calories as many of the kids who were actually playing because I was constantly laughing at the way that "Mr. Ashley" would be yelling and cussing about everything.

I also stayed completely injury free. (Both physically and mentally.)

But most importantly, I learned that the best and most transformative form of exercise is when we simply compete with ourselves by focusing on becoming better and better versions of ourselves.

* On a sad note, "Mr. Ashley" (who would often yell at me for laughing in class, and who would tell me that I had better start getting serious about life since I was almost 18 and could be drafted into the ARMY to serve this great nation) had a heart attack and died during my last year of High School...

And it just so happens that he had his heart attack while he was at home watching an "Ohio State" football game!



Once I turned 16, my dad told me that he was finally going to let me go "deer hunting" with him for the first time, and I was really looking forward to it. But as fate would have it, just one week before "Deer Season" officially began, I showed up at school and everyone was really mad because the famous late-night talk show host "Jay Leno" made fun of our High School on his show.

"Jay Leno" had a segment on his show called "Headlines" where he would show funny pictures from newspapers that viewers would send him, and someone had sent him a picture of our High School prom that was featured in a local newspaper.

When he showed the picture, everyone in the audience laughed because our school was way out in the country and a lot of the boys actually showed up to the prom wearing "hunting stuff" like camouflage pants and orange neon vests. (Which was considered being "dressed to impress" by a lot of people in my area.)

"Jay Leno" also joked that the couples in the picture looked really "close" and that judging from the looks of it, some of them might already have the same last name.

I didn't understand the joke until a cousine of mine who lived in the city informed me that a lot of the people where I lived were considered "red necks" by people in the city. And when I asked him what a "red neck" was, he told me that it was a stereotype for poor, uneducated, racist white men from the south who marry their own cousin, and who try to compensate for having a small penis by going out into the woods with a big gun and shooting defenseless animals with it.

I then got really nervous because my plan was to move to the city as soon as I got out of High School since there weren't very many jobs in the country, and I asked him if people in the city would think that I was a "red neck", so he carefully looked me up and down while scratched his chin and squinting his eyes and he said, "I don't know... Maybe."


I didn't want anyone to think that I was a "redneck", so I decided to distance myself from the things that "rednecks" were stereotyped for. (Including hunting.) And when my dad woke me up at 4:00 AM on the first day of "Deer Season" and enthusiastically asked me, "So are you ready to shoot your first deer?" I pretended that I was sick to get out of going hunting with him.

Because deer hunting was so common in my area, all of the schools were closed for the first two weeks of "deer season" just so all of the boys could have a chance to go deer hunting with their dads, and once school started back up again all of the boys (except me) brought pictures to school of them and their dad posing with the dead deer that they shot.

I felt kind of disturbed by these graphic pictures and the health teacher ("Mr. Spalding") tried to make me feel better by telling me that God put animals here for us to eat, and that I should take comfort in knowing that most of the families in our community were religious and would always "thank" the deer for giving them it's life.

If he had told me something like that a year or two earlier, I probably would have just nodded my head in agreement, but because I had recently started to view religion with some skepticism, I couldn't help but feel that it was a ridiculous statement to make.


Later that day at lunch they were serving hot dogs and green beans, but after seeing the deer hunting photos I had lost my appetite for meat and told myself that I was going to be a vegetarian.

But the school lunches back then didn't cater to vegetarians, and it was mandatory that meat be served at every lunch, so when I got to the counter, I told the old lady who was serving the food that I would like a hot dog and green beans, but then I told her that instead of a regular hot dog I would just like a hot dog bun filled with extra green beans.

She looked at me all confused and asked if I was being serious, and when she realized that I wasn't kidding she looked around as if she wasn't even sure if she was allowed to give me something like that.

She reluctantly gave it to me, but as soon as I walked into the cafeteria and everyone saw that I was eating a hot dog bun full of green beans instead of a regular hot dog, they all started laughing and making fun of me for it.

Every day at lunch I would get teased by the other kids for not eating meat, and because "Mr. Spalding" was the "health teacher" he was also the "cafeteria monitor" and he didn't like the fact that I wasn't meat, so he would give me long lectures about it.

Not only did he keep quoting our school health books which stated that we needed to eat meat for protein, but because he was religious he would also quote Bible verses and claim that vegetarians were guilty of "idolatry" because they worshiped animals instead of God! (Which only added to the skepticism that I was starting to have towards religion AND to the skepticism that I was starting to have towards what I was being taught by my teachers at school.)


One day it was announced that "Coca-Cola" was donating $10,000 to my High School. (Which seemed like a VERY generous thing to do.)

But shortly after this announcement was made, 3 brand new "Coca-Cola" vending machines were delivered to our school, and although it had always been forbidden to drink soda pop during school (unless it was during lunch) and although we had always been told by our teachers that we really shouldn't be drinking soda and that it was bad for our health, a new rule was announced that as long as it was a "Coca-Cola", we could drink soda at school. (And even during classes!)

Then posters for "Coca-Cola" were hung up throughout the hallways in my school and the "Coca-Cola" logo was even sewn onto all of our school's sports jerseys.

I later learned that when "Coca-Cola" had donated $10,000 to our school, they did so under an agreement that the school would sell and even promote "Coke" products to their students. (Which would help ensure that they would become loyal "Coca-Cola" consumers at a young age.)

I then watched in disbelief as the exact same teachers who used to warn us about how unhealthy soda was (including the health teacher "Mr. Spalding") actually started telling us that there was nothing wrong with kids enjoying a soda every once in a while as long as it was "in moderation" and as long as it was a "Coca-Cola" since the "Coca-Cola" company cared about our education.


Shortly after the "Coca-Cola" vending machines were installed in our school, the "McDonalds" restaurant that was near our school started giving school children who ate there something called "McBucks". (Which were dollar bills that had the face of "Ronald McDonald" on them instead of the face of a dead president like "George Washington", and this "money" could be used by schools towards the purchase of school supplies such as new school books, new desks, new chalkboards, etc.)

The idea behind this promotion was that the more kids ate at "McDonald's" the more money schools could collect to use towards a higher education, and because of this promotion the teachers at my school actually started encouraging and even begging us to ask our parents to take us to "McDonald's so that we could get "McBucks" and bring them to school so the school could afford newer and better stuff.

And even the health teacher "Mr. Spalding" actually started telling us that a "McDonald's" cheeseburger was actually a great food for us because according to our health books it provided us with all 4 of "The 4 Basic Food Groups"...

1. Meat (Hamburger)
2. Dairy (Cheese)
3. Grains (Bun)
4. Fruits & Vegetables (Pickles & Ketchup)

And he even said that because it was high in "protein" it could be considered a "superfood"!

Then a big picture was put on display in the lobby of my school of the principle ("Mr. Dean") standing outside of the local "McDonalds" while proudly shaking hands with someone who was dressed up as "Ronald McDonald" in honor of this promotion.

I then thought back to when the principle had talked to me just a few months earlier about how serious the obesity crisis was in America and how we desperately needed to do something about it, but now he was welcoming companies like "Coca-Cola" and "McDonalds" into his school with open arms just because they were bribing him with money.

Everyone else thought that the picture was really funny and cute, but I would get embarrassed and cringe whenever I saw it, because I knew that people in the future would look back at pictures like that and shake their heads in disbelief at how ignorant we used to be about health, and I realized that if I truly wanted to be healthy, I had to take my health into my own hands and not put my faith in "health experts" who have a monetary incentive to recommend the diets that they do.


When I was in "English Class", I would often have to write short stories for class, and I actually ended up enjoying it a lot, and below are 3 short stories I recently found that I wrote for "English Class" way back when I was a teenager...


There have been many cases where "Animal Rights Activists" will do something that really annoys people. (Like throwing buckets of red paint on people who are wearing fur coats.)

But there has never been a case quite like this one...

An "Animal Rights Activist" was so upset when a pet store opened up right across the street from his house, that he decided to express his rage by breaking into the store and setting all of the animals free.

The pet store was closed on Sundays, so he broke into the store on a Sunday and released the cats, the dogs, the turtles, the rabbits, the hamsters, and the snakes.

But then he got to the parrots, and he decided that since people don't like it when you ruin the ending of a movie that they haven't seen yet, he trained the parrots to talk about the ending of the "Arnold Schwarzenegger" movie "Kindergarten Cop".

He then set the talking parrots free and they flew around the city and kept landing on random people's shoulders and ruining the ending of the movie "Kindergarten Cop" for thousands of people who have never seen that movie.



There have been many cases where a person who gets an organ transplant will suddenly start to act a lot like the person who the organ originally belonged to. (They might start to like the same music, eat the same foods, or even wear the same style of clothing, and some believe that this is because they have a part of that person inside of them.)

But there has never been a case quite like this one...

A baby male walrus was born at a zoo with a rare heart problem and wasn't expected to live. But when scientists at a nearby lab heard about it, they came up with the idea of trying to put a human heart inside of a walrus and having the first ever "human to walrus heart transplant".

It was a highly controversial surgery, but because it was also the only hope for saving the walrus's life, the zoo agreed to let the scientists have him, and the surgery ended up being a success and the walrus appeared to be doing well post surgery.

Because it was the first surgery of its kind, the scientists decided that they would keep the walrus at their lab for the rest of his life so that they could monitor the long-term effects of this incredible medical achievement.

According to the donor information, the human heart originally belonged to a man named "Harold Baxter", but the scientists didn't know anything about what his personal life was like until after the surgery when out of curiosity they decided to do an extensive background check for "Harold Baxter", and they were able to collect the following personal information about him...


He was drafted into the army during "The Vietnam War" in 1965, and while serving in the war he suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach.


He worked for the post office for many years, but was forced to go to "anger management" several times due to getting stressed out and losing his temper at work.


He went to jail once in his youth for "destruction of private property" and actually escaped from jail by breaking a hole in the ceiling and climbing out, but he was re-captured later that same day.


After "The Vietnam War" he continued to have pains in his stomach which would trigger bad flashbacks from the war.


He died from an overdose of sleeping pills.

The walrus ended up becoming like a pet to the scientists, and when they weren't doing experiments on him they would take him for walks and play with him like a dog.

They even trained the walrus to do certain tricks just like a dog, and one of the tricks they taught him to do was to fetch the newspapers that were delivered to the front door of the lab every mourning and put one of them in each of the lab rooms.

But after delivering the newspapers for a couple of months, the walrus became disgruntled and sick of doing it, and one morning as the walrus was putting a newspaper inside one of the rooms he finally snapped and started grunting and knocking over everything in the room, and he knocked over a big shelf that was full of test tubes containing various kinds of experimental "genetically modified growth hormones" which caused all of the test tubes to fall to the ground and shatter and all of the growth hormones inside them to spill all over the floor.

The walrus was now surrounded by a big puddle of growth hormones, and because he was thirsty and didn't know any better he started drinking the puddle, but then the walrus suddenly started to shake uncontrollably, and then his whole body started to grow larger...

The walrus grew a foot taller, then another foot, and another foot, and he didn't stop growing until he burst through the laboratory ceiling headfirst and was over 100 feet tall!

The walrus crawled out of what was left of the lab and stood up, and because he was so tall he could see the ocean in the distance (which naturally made him feel homesick) so he started wobbling towards it...

But there was a big city that was between the walrus and the ocean, and the only way for the walrus to get to the ocean was to cross through the city!

It was a peaceful and quiet day in the city, but the peace and quiet quickly turned into chaos and screaming as the people saw the giant walrus approaching their city!

When the walrus got to the city, he wasn't trying to hurt anybody. (He was crushing cars and knocking over buildings on accident, but in reality, he was just as frightened as all of the people were.)

The "Armed Forces" were then called in, and they surrounded the walrus with tanks, helicopters, and soldiers on foot, and the walrus just covered his eyes as they opened fire on him!

Over 1,000 soldiers were shooting at him from all directions, but their bullets were just bouncing off of his blubber and weren't really harming him.

But then they loaded a big cannon and shot the giant walrus with a cannon ball right in the stomach, which made the walrus quickly uncover his eyes and grab his stomach in pain, and now that his eyes were uncovered, he looked down at all the soldiers shooting at him.

The walrus just stood there with a dazed look on his face for several minutes as he watched the army shooting at him while he clutched his wounded stomach, and it caused the walrus to have a "Vietnam flashback"!

The walrus went nuts! He destroyed the army and completely leveled the city! And the people didn't know what to do. (They had seen "King Kong" movies and "Godzilla" movies, but they had never seen anything quite like a giant walrus that was having a "Vietnam flashback"!)

But then the growth hormones that he had consumed slowly started to wear off and he slowly started to shrink, and once he was back to his normal size he was seized by what was left of the city and put to sleep.



There have been many cases where something has developed a completely unexpected "cult following" of fanatic fans. (Like the movie "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".)

But there has never been a case quite like this one...

One night a young man was looking out of his bedroom window through a telescope and watching airplanes take off at a nearby airport, and he noticed that the airport had those big mobile flights of stairs that are driven up to the airplane doors.

He then noticed that on the far end of the airport they had what appeared to be a "driver's-ed course" set up for people who wanted to become drivers of these mobile staircases (which he was oddly fascinated by) and over time he learned that every Tuesday night people who wanted to get a license to drive these mobile staircases would have their driving tests.

He started telling his friends about this unique "driver's-ed course" and inviting them over to his house on Tuesday nights to watch it with him through his telescope, and as more and more people started coming over to watch it his bedroom simply became too small to hold everyone who shared this odd fascination with it, so they eventually started walking to the airport on Tuesday nights to watch it live and in person, and before you knew it a large crowd was showing up for it.

But the airport management was greatly disturbed by the cult's presence, and they quickly banned them from the airport property. But the cult fought back though by putting their money together and buying the land surrounding the "driver's-ed course" and building a big stadium around it.

Every Tuesday night the stadium was packed, and the cult would "cheer" whenever a driver would pass the test and get his license (or make a really good dodge on a cone) and the cult would "boo" whenever a driver would fail the test or hit a cone (and it would get downright riotous in the rare times when a driver would hit a cone and the driver's-ed instructor wouldn't see it) and the airport management didn't know what to think of it all...

(The cult would often hold up unusual signs to confuse the drivers and to make the test even more challenging.)


I got an "F" on all 3 of these short stories because they completely deviated from the original topic that the teacher wanted me to write about. (One was supposed to be aBut when I found and read these old stories they inspired me to want to write. (Which I feel is far more important now than the grades that I got way back when I was a kid in school.)

My "English Teacher" ("Mrs. Patterson") definitely wan't a "fan" of my writing style, and one time she made all of us write a paper about what we wanted to do when we got out of school, so I actually did what she asked me to for a change and I wrote a paper on how I wanted to write a book someday. But when I got my paper back, not only did I get an "F", but "Mrs. Patterson" actually wrote a message for me on the bottom of the paper that said, "If your goal in life is to be a writer someday, then you might as well give up on life!"

Although her comment was pretty mean and would probably be considered "child abuse" now-a-days, I realized at a young age that if I wanted to be an artist, I was going to have to endure a LOT of criticism like that along the way, and I would have to be strong enough not to let it do what it was intended to do. (Stop being creative.)


Because I was such an odd and eccentric kid, I got put in a "special needs" math class for odd and eccentric kids who were deemed incapable of ever being able to understand complicated math like algebra and geometry.

Looking back, this seems pretty ironic, because not only are all of the famous math geniuses odd and eccentric people, but it's ridiculous to even think that someone could be a math genius and live a totally normal life.

One of the things that instantly stood out to me about this "special needs" classroom, was that the kids in the this class would ask about 25 times as many questions as the kids in my other classes who weren't so "special" would.

Young children can ask a lot of random and unusual questions (like "Do worms yawn?") and these "special needs" kids were constantly asking the math teacher the most random and unusual questions ever!

But the math teacher ("Mr. Pool") didn't like random questions, and he looked as if he had actually aged a lot over the years just from all of the questions.

One time a kid asked him "When is kangaroo bedtime at the zoo?" (Which I felt was a great question, because not only was I curious to know the answer, but it actually kind of made me want to learn how to play a guitar just so I could start a band someday and call it "Kangaroo Bedtime".) But "Mr. Pool" was never amused by these kinds of random questions and would usually get really upset about them.

One time when "Mr. Pool" was in the middle of doing a big math problem on the chalkboard a boy raised his hand to speak so "Mr. Pool" asked him what he wanted and the boy said...

"Whenever me and my parents go to a restaurant that has a salad bar, there will be a small window around the salad bar called a "sneeze shield" so that people can't sneeze into the food."

"Mr. Pool" then asked in confussion, "What's your point?" and the boy said, "Well, I was just wondering if there are "Salad Bar Sneeze Shield Repair Men" who restaurants can call if their sneeze shields break." and "Mr. Pool" just walked away from the chalkboard with a look of defeat on his face, then he sat down at his desk, put his hands over his face, and sighed while asking, "What the hell does that have to do with math???"

The average pre-schooler will easily ask hundreds of questions a day because of how curious they are about the world around them, but when they start going to school many of them end up losing a lot of that curiosity, yet these "special needs" high school kids were still asking just as many questions as pre-school kids would.

It wasn't until I was in a class with so many questions being asked that I realized how important it was to stay curious and to keep questioning things. (Including what I was being taught in school.)

And despite the fact that these "special needs" kid's were handicapped in certain ways, I noticed that they seemed to be unusually talented in other ways. (Like playing the piano, or being able to tell you the score from any baseball game they had ever seen, and some of them were even artists!)

I didn't get good grades in "Math Class", but I did come up with a simple mathematical equation which says that we are all "equal" in terms of our overall potential, but that if we are a lot more skilled than others in one area (like art) it will be balanced by being a lot less skilled than others in another area (like social skills) and I realized that if I wanted to "add" to my artistic skills, I must first be willing to "subtract" certain other skills in life, so I stated to embrace my social awkwardness and realize the creative power that could come with it!



I made some puppets that looked like my schoolteachers and when I was alone in my room I would have "puppet shows" that were inspired by watching "Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood", and I got really good at imitating all of my teacher's voices this way.

Sometimes I would tell myself that the other kids at school might really like the puppets that I made if they saw them or that they might really like the impressions that I could do if they heard them, but I everyone made fun of me for being weird, and I figured that they would just laugh and make fun of me for still playing with dolls, so I decided to keep it a secret.


The "Spanish Class" at my school was a joke. (And a racist joke at that!)

Even though we were all in High School, the Spanish teacher ("Mr. Childs") would often just pass out black and white cartoon drawings of a Mexican man and have us color them in with crayons for our education.

The Mexican man in these cartoons would always have a stereotypical big mustache as well as a stereotypical big sombrero, and he would also always be depicted in the stereotype that people in Mexico are lazy and need a nap after overindulgence.

For example, in one picture the sleeping Mexican man would be leaning against the wall of a saloon with a bunch of empty tequila bottles around him, and in another picture he would be leaning against a cactus with a bunch of empty cans of of beans around him.

The Spanish teacher ("Mr. Childs") was also a pervert!

There were 3 exceptionally beautiful girls in my Spanish class ("Laura", "Sarah", and "Jennifer") and "Mr. Childs" conveniently had all 3 of them sitting in the front row and right in front his desk, and he would spend a lot of the class flirting with them even though they were underage and he was old enough to be their grandpa.

"Mr. Childs" would often walk around the class room to pass out tests or to collect homework assignments, and I noticed that whenever he would walk past the desks of "Laura", "Sarah", and "Jennifer", he would get so close to their desks that his "you know what" would rub up against the edge of their desks, and I'm guessing that he was doing it on purpose to try to send them subliminal messages that he was "well endowed".

Everyone knew that "Mr. Childs" was a pervert, but it was during a time when sexual harassment wasn't taken anywhere near as seriously as it is today, so nobody ever called him out on it, and he continued to flirt with the females in his class year after year without ever getting in trouble for it.

"Mr. Childs" also had a bad temper (towards the boys in his class) and it seemed to me that he liked to yell at the boys just to show the girls that he was the "alpha-male" in the classroom.

I also noticed that whenever "Mr. Childs" would yell at someone, he would always start by shouting the word "HEY", but the way that he would pronounce the word "HEY" sounded exactly like he was shouting the letter "A". (Which for some odd reason was funny to me.)

One day "Mr. Childs" yelled at a boy in class named "Jeremy" (the school bully who I feared the most) for talking in class, and after yelling at him he then yelled at the rest of the class by saying that he had to use the bathroom and that while he was gone we were to all "shut up and work on our Spanish".

He then left the room, and as usual, about 10 seconds after he left everyone started talking to each other (and in English instead of Spanish) and while he was gone I stood up and walked over to the trashcan (which was by the door) to throw a piece of paper away.

But once I threw it away, I turned back around and noticed that all of the other kids were so busy talking to each other that nobody was looking at me, so I quietly tip-toed out the door without anyone noticing, and I stepped a few feet into the hallway.

My heart was pounding out of control as I nervously looked down the hallway to make sure that "Mr. Childs" and none of the other teachers were around.

The hallway was completely empty, and everyone in "Spanish class" was talking loudly and was still unaware of my absence.

I then told myself, "It's now or never." and I decided to do something brave!

I took a deep breath, and while standing outside of the door I shouted the letter "A" as loud as I could in "Mr. Child's" voice, and the noisy classroom immediately became silent because they actually thought that it was him!

I then stepped back in the room and everyone was looking down at their books pretending to be busy studying, so I continued to yell at them in "Mr. Child's" voice for talking when they were told not to, and they all kept their heads down and kept believing that I was him until one by one everyone slowly started to look up and realize that it was actually me, and after several moments of total disbelief everyone started laughing, and then they actually started clapping and cheering for me!

As I stood in front of a loving and accepting audience for the first time, I felt overwhelmed with the confidence that I had always lacked!

I then looked over at "Jeremy", and although I had always been terrified of him, I started yelling at him and repeating word-for-word exactly what "Mr. Childs" had just said to him a few minutes earlier, and because I was yelling at him in "Mr. Childs" voice instead of my real voice he actually laughed and wanted me to keep yelling at him rather than getting mad for daring to talk to him like that.

And despite the fact that I had always been painfully shy around girls, as soon as I finished yelling at "Jeremy", I turned to "Laura", "Sarah", and "Jennifer", gave my pants a manly tug, and winked at them, which resulted in a lot more laughter. (But it also made some of the audience gasp in shock, because they couldn't believe that I was "going there" and bringing up the fact that "Mr. Childs" would flirt with them.)

I then decided to keep "going there" and to try some physical comedy, so I walked over to "Mr. Childs" desk and grabbed a stack of papers (which was our homework that he was planning to pass out at the end of class) and I started passing it out to everyone, but when I walked up to where "Laura", "Sarah", and "Jennifer" were sitting I purposely stuck my crotch way out and banged it on the edge of their desks. (Making it look as if I had tried to send them a subliminal message that I was "well endowed" but that I had tried too hard and it backfired.)

I then threw all the papers that I was holding in the air and grabbed my crotch while acting like it hurt, and the papers rained back down all over the classroom like confetti, and some of the papers even alanded on "Mr. Childs's" desk and caused his coffee cup to tip over and spill all over his desk!

I knew full well that what I was doing could (and would) get me in a lot of trouble once "Mr. Child's" returned, but I was feeling such a natural high in that moment, that I was willing to do ANYTHING to keep the audience entertained and liking me!

But then "Mr. Childs" (who was on his way back to the classroom and who could hear the laughter from all the way down the hall) yell "A!!!" from all the way down the hallway, and I immediately snapped back to reality and became my usual stuttering and stumbling awkward self again as I realized that I only had about 10 seconds before he would walk back into the room and see the mess that I had just made!

I got so scared that I actually grabbed "Mr. Child's" coat (which was hanging on the back of his chair) and I started using it try to mop up the coffee that I had spilled all over his desk before he got back to the classroom, but then he walked in the room and saw me holding his jacket while standing at his desk which was now covered in coffee and surrounded by papers all over the ground and he shouted, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING???"

I was so nervous that I literally couldn't speak, but then a girl in the class named "Mindy" (who I guess felt that as a comedian I had crossed the line of decency by joking about something as serious as sexual harassment) spoke for me by saying, "He was making fun of the way you talk "Mr. Childs" and then he told him that I threw all of his homework papers in the air, knocked over his coffee mug, and smeared his coat in the coffee!"

Once she told him what I had done, "Mr. Childs" came charging at me looking like he was going to kill me, so I dove under his desk to try to hide from him, but he reached under the desk and grabbed me by my shirt, and then he pulled me out from under the desk so fast that my neck cracked in several places that it had never cracked before, and then he shoved me towards the door so hard that my back cracked in several places that it had never cracked before, and he shouted, "GO TO THE OFFICE!!!"


As I walked to the office, I was afraid that I might get "paddled". (Which was still legal back then.)

I had never been paddled before, and because I was the thinnest kid in my school, I didn't have as much "padding" on my butt as the other kids did.

Plus, I had heard a lot of horror stories from other kids who had been paddled.

Sometimes kids would claim that the teacher hit them so hard that the paddle broke, or that the teacher would humiliate them by making them take off their pants and even their underwear before paddling them, and every once in a while a teacher would paddle a kid in the hallway while classes were going on just so everyone would hear the sound of a kid getting paddled and know that if they misbehaved, they would be next!

One time "Mr. Childs" got so mad at "Jeremy" that he took him to the office and paddled him, and when they returned to the classroom "Jeremy" had a noticeable redness around his eyes and a bit of a sniffle as he breathed, which made it obvious to me that he cried when he got paddled, so I knew that if getting paddled could make the toughest kid in school cry, I was in serious trouble!

I sat in the office waiting for "Mr. Childs" (who was still in his classroom getting more details from "Mindy" about the impression that I was doing of him) and I ended up waiting for what seemed like an eternity.

I didn't mean to offend anyone, but for some reason "Mindy" got so offended by my joke that she was actually more upset at me than she was at "Mr. Childs". (Even though "Mr. Childs" was actually doing the things that I was merely joking about.)

When "Mr. Childs" finally came to the office he pointed his finger at me and said, "For what you did... I'm going to paddle you... AND 30 TIMES!!!"

According to the school rules, the principle had to be in the room to witness anyone getting paddled, so "Mr. Childs" got the principle, and then the 3 of us went into a small room.

The principle stood against a wall with his arms crossed while "Mr. Childs" went over to a filing cabinet and pulled out a big wooden paddle, and then he told me to get into a squatting position and put my hands on my knees.

He then got behind me and started to pace back and forth just to build up the fear and suspense that I was feeling...

My heart was pounding out of control, and I could feel what I ate for lunch (which was just a roll) "rolling" around in circles in my stomach!

And as I waited for the first hit, I suddenly remembered the movie "The Karate Kid", and the lesson that if you are being physically attacked, it is best to defend yourself not by hitting back, but by using the attacker's own force against him...

He then hit me with the paddle! And he hit me so hard that it made a really loud "BANG" like a shotgun, and the force was so strong that it caused me to lunge forward towards the filing cabinet, so I purposely went ahead and ran right into it headfirst and then I fell over and pretended to be knocked unconscious to get out of the other 29 hits.

My acting must have been pretty convincing, because "Mr. Childs" immediately dropped the paddle on the ground and then him and the principle quickly ran over to see if I was OK.

But then they tried to pick me back up, and as soon as they grabbed me I freaked out because they were putting their hands of me, and I freaked out so bad that the principle said, "Oh my God he's having a seizure!" (Which was one of the side effects of the ADD medication that he was responsible for getting so many kids to start taking.)

So, I purposely started shaking as much as I could because I wanted them to think that I was actually having a seizure, and the principle ran out of the room to get the school nurse.

After a minute or so of wild shaking, I felt so fatigued by it that I simply couldn't keep it up any longer, so I stopped shaking and then I opened my eyes and saw "Mr. Childs" standing over me while looking like he had just seen a ghost, and he asked me, "Are you OK?"

I then asked him, "Where am I?" in a dazed and confused voice.

He told me that I was in the principal's office, and that I had a seizure because he paddled me so hard that it made me fly across the room and hit my head on a filing cabinet. I then thought about all of the random and unusual questions that I would hear from the "special needs" kids in my "Math Class", and I asked him, "You're not going to put "Bill Clinton" in a trash can, are you?"

At that point he looked even more dazed and confused than I did, and I could tell that he was scared that I might have suffered brain damage due to how hard he hit me. (And that my parents might try to sue him over it!)

I then told him that I was feeling really dizzy, and I asked him if I could use the school phone to call my dad to pick me up, and he got so scared that he quickly reached back into his pocket and pulled out his wallet, and then he handed me a $10 bill (which was a lot of money to me back then) and he told me that I could keep the $10 if I promised not to tell anyone that he paddled me, and I agreed.

I felt kind of guilty about taking his money, but if he found out that I had hit my head on purpose and that I faked a seizure, there's no telling what he might have done to me. (Plus, I felt that I had put on such a great performance when I was imitating him in front of the class that I deserved to be paid for it!)


Word about the incident of me making fun of "Mr. Childs" for being a pervert quickly got around the school, and a lot of the girls started coming up to me and thanking me for getting everyone at school to start talking about it. (And I even noticed that "Mr. Childs" started to stand back at least a couple of feet whenever he would walk past the desks of "Laura", "Sarah", and "Jenniefer" instead of rubbing his "you know what" against the edge of their desks.)

The kids at school also really liked the way that I could make my voice sound just like "Mr. Childs", and they kept asking me to imitate him. Then after a while, they started asking me if I could imitate the voices of any other teachers, and when I started imitating other teachers, the kids loved me even more, and then they started asking if I could imitate other students as well (when they weren't around) and everyone couldn't believe how flexible of a voice I had.

Doing impressions for people was a lot of fun for me. (Although I never knew what to do or where to hide myself whenever someone would come up to me and says, "So I hear that you do an impression of me.")

I even brought the "puppets" that I made of my teachers to school one day and the kids absolutely loved them! (And none of them make fun of me for still playing with dolls.)

The teachers weren't too thrilled when they found out that I was imitating them and that I even made puppets of them, but I knew that the principle wouldn't dare to let any of them paddle me after what happened the last time he let someone try to paddle me, so I kept doing it.

The kids at school were suddenly being really nice to me, which was a wonderful and welcome change after years of being teased for being "weird", and not only was I making them laugh but they were making me laugh as well.

I was easily amused and I had a really loud laugh, but because I had recently been paddled my butt was still really sore, and it would actually hurt whenever I laughed, so whenever someone would say or do something to make me laugh, I would laugh and reach around and grab my butt cheeks. And after a while everyone started to notice this, so they would ask me, "Why do you grab your butt when you laugh???" and because I had promised "Mr. Child's" that I wouldn't tell anyone that he paddled me, I would just tell people that it was a natural reflex for me.

Everyone thought that it was really weird and funny that I would grab my butt whenever I laughed, so once the soreness wore off, I continued to do it just to make everyone laugh, and over time it grew on me to the point where it really did become a natural reflex for me to grab my butt whenever I laughed.

That year I actually ended up being voted "The Most Popular Kid" at my school in the yearbook, but I was also voted "The Shiest Kid" that year as well. (In fact, I was so shy that I was "not pictured" for these awards.)

"Who was I?" I wondered to myself.

I started school as one person, but then I became two totally different people (one was shy, while the other craved attention) and once I started doing impressions of everyone, I literally became everyone.

I may not have learned to speak any "Spanish" in "Spanish Class", but I did learn how to speak, and I may not have learned how to translate "English" to "Spanish" in "Spanish Class", but I did learn that once I started to make people laugh, they started to understand me, and once I started to imitate and put myself in the shoes of others, I started to understand them as well.


I am very "easily startled", and anyone who knows me knows that if they want to approach me they have to do it very carefully, because I am so introverted that the slightest external disturbance (such as a knock at the door or a tap on the shoulder) when I am in the middle of daydreaming or talking to myself can cause me to react the same way that a normal person would react if they got an electrical shock of 10,000 volts!

One time in "Math Class" I was daydreaming, and the kid who was sitting behind me tapped me on the shoulder to ask if he could borrow my pencil (which I was holding in my hand) and it startled me so bad that I threw my hands up in the air and screamed.

As usual everyone started laughing because of how jumpy I was, but then I noticed that everyone was looking up at the ceiling instead of me, so I looked up and saw that my pencil was in the ceiling. (When I threw my hands in the air, the pencil I was holding flew out of my hand, and it hit the ceiling panel tip first and got stuck like a ninja star!)

Everyone thought it was funny that my pencil got stuck in the ceiling, and even more funny that it was just because someone had tapped me on the shoulder.

Ever since I started going to school, kids would get a big kick out of scaring me. But after my pencil getting stuck in the ceiling incident, I noticed that instead of trying to scare me in an aggressive manner (like by coming up and screaming in my ear) kids started coming up to me and just lightly tapping me on the shoulder or just quietly whispering "Boo" in my ear. (Which would still startle me and would still make them laugh.)

It then occurred to me that by acting more scared than I really was over little things, I could "train" my classmates to scare me more gently, so I purposely started acting way more scared than I really was whenever someone would do something really small to scare me, and sure enough, it quickly became a game of "let's find out just how little it takes to scare this weird kid".


I was doing such a good job of acting scared of everything that the school nurse was starting to worry about me, and she recommended that I join the "Drama Club".

I asked her why in the world she would want me to do something like that, and she said that due to how nervous I was around people, I desperately needed a "crash course" in how to overcome my social anxiety now that I was about to become an adult.

I of course didn't want to do it, but she talked to the principal, and they forced me to join the "Drama Club" for 6 weeks just to see if it would improve my public speaking skills and reduce my social anxiety. (Which I didn't even want to improve since I knew that being "normal" would make becoming a great artist someday impossible.)

They told me that once the 6 weeks were over I could either quit the class or choose to stay in it and be in the school play later that year, and therefore, I wouldn't have to actually go on stage and perform in front of a live audience unless I actually wanted to stay in the class after the 6 weeks were over.

On the day that I joined the "Drama Club" I was a nervous wreck! Public speaking was terrifying enough as it is, but in addition to talking they actually wanted me to "sing" and dance as well if I participated in the school play, so I just wanted to get the next 6 weeks over with so I could quit.

The school nurse also told me that I had a "tactile dysfunction". (Which means an over sensitivity to touch.)

For a normal person, human touch can be very enjoyable, and a little bit of light touching during a conversation such a hand shake, a pat on the back, or even a rub of the leg can add some "spice" to the conversation (like sprinkling a little bit of salt on your food) but for someone like me, it would be like putting an entire salt shaker worth of salt on my food, because I wasn't used to it and it was simply too much stimulation for me to handle!

She also called my parents and gave them some weird exercises to have me do at home to help me overcome my phobia of touch.

In one of the exercises, my parents would take an empty bucket and put a random object inside of it (like a hairbrush) and then they would fill the bucket with dry uncooked rice. Then I would have to reach in the bucket of rice with my bare hands and try to feel the random object and guess what it was without getting uncomfortable and freaking out. (Which I simply couldn't do.)


During the last day of school before "Christmas break", the classes were super easy and a lot of the teachers let us just play games instead of doing our usual schoolwork, and while I was in "Science class" we were playing the game "Scrabble" and someone spelled the word "LEG".

I don't know why, but for some reason seeing the word "LEG" spelled out on the "Scrabble" board freaked me out so bad that I had a bad panic attack, and they actually had to call an ambulance and take me to the hospital!

I wasn't "acting" when I saw the word "LEG" and got scared, but the truth was that after a minute or two I felt fine, and I just kept acting scared for fun. (Getting put on a stretcher and going to the hospital was completely unnecessary, but I really wanted to make sure that during the time that we were out of school for "Christmas Break" everyone would still be thinking about me, and would even be telling their parents about how a kid at school had to go to the hospital just because someone spelled the word "LEG" while playing "Scrabble".)

I was starting to really enjoy all of the attention that I was getting, and because the principle, the teachers, and even the school nurse were all convinced that I had mental problems, nobody suspected that I was an actor.

And to make my acting ever more convincing, when I would get home from school I would have "rehearsals" in front of my bedroom mirror where I would work on clever and funny ways to mess up my lines for "Drama Class" so that everyone in the "Drama Club" would go around telling the rest of the kids at school that I was the worst actor ever.

And when my 6 weeks of mandatory "Drama Club" classes were over and I could finally quit the class, I actually told the nurse that I would like to stay in the class. And although I had just turned 18 and had always planned on quitting school as soon as I turned 18 since I used to hate school, I was starting to have so much fun at school that I decided to go ahead and stick around a while longer and wait for just right time to quit school and give my big "finale".


When I started going to a public school, I was already 15, so they put me in the 9th grade. (Which I failed not once, not twice, but three times, so I was now in my 4th year in a row of 9th grade.)

A lot of kids would laugh about the fact that I had failed 9th grade 3 times in a row, but even though I would get embarrassed over little things, I never felt any embarrassment whatsoever about failing in school.

When other kids would fail a grade, they would get so embarrassed about it that they would be in complete denial about it, and would usually say things like, "I didn't fail, I just got "held back" a year." And if you asked them why they got "held back" a year their excuses would be something like "Because my math teacher hated me!" (Which is silly when you think about it, because if you were a teacher and you hated one of your students, why would you want to keep them around in your life for a whole extra year if you didn't have to?)

During my time in school, I learned to be OK with failing, and I also learned that if you are the "Class Clown" there is really no such thing as "failure", because if I would trip and fall in front of everyone, or if I would misspell my own name on a test paper, it didn't hurt my reputation as the "Class Clown", it helped it!

Because my parents were "Mormons", and because they were really strict about what kind of movies I could watch when I was growing up, we owned a lot of movies that were produced by the "Mormon" church and that featured an all "Mormon" cast.

I fell in love with these movies, because the acting in them was so much worse than in regular Hollywood movies, and it inspired me to want to be "the best worst actor" of all time!

I ended up performing in the school play ("Peter Pan") that year, and because the school play had generated such poor ticket sales the year before, combined with the fact that I had become the most popular kid in school, the drama teacher decided to go ahead and let me have the role of "Captain Hook" instead of giving me a much more minor role.

I showed up for the play hoping that I would fail so badly that when the play was over, the audience wouldn't go home saying, "That was a really good play" or "I thought it could have been better" and would instead just be asking, "What in the world was wrong with that boy who played "Captain Hook"???"

I may have "appeared" to be a terrible actor that night who didn't spend enough time rehearsing my lines, but the truth was that I probably spent more time rehearsing for that play than everyone else on stage combined!

I spent countless hours alone in my room and in front of my mirror perfecting my imperfections, to the point where I was able to do the one thing that all great actors dream of being able to do someday. (Make the audience believe that what they are seeing is real.)

I may not have been able to convince the audience that "Captain Hook" was real, but I was able to convince them that I was real!



Because my school was located in such religious area, we were actually taught in "Science Class" that the Earth was created by God, that Adam & Eve were the first humans, that Noah's Ark was real, etc.




My least favorite class in school was definitely "History Class", and I would always fail the class.

But one year I actually got straight A's in "History Class", because my history book was full of perverted drawings made by one of the kids who owned the copy of my book in one of the previous years.

Any time that there was a picture of "George Washington" or some other historic male figure, there would be a drawing of a big penis between his legs, and the reason that these inappropriate drawings motivated me to study so hard, was because I was worried that if I got bad grades in "History Class" my parents would insist on helping me study for "History Class".

So I studied really hard that year just to avoid the awkwardness of my parents seeing the inappropriate drawings while helping me study, but because I ended up reading my history book from cover to cover that year, I couldn't help but notice that whenever "America" was involved in a war with another country, "America" was ALWAYS portrayed as the "Good Guys" and the other country was ALWAYS portrayed as the "Bad Guys". And I couldn't help but think to myself that the history books in the countries that we've went to war with probably don't present themselves as the "Bad Guys" and "America" as the "Good Guys".

I also noticed that even the pervert who drew hundreds of penises throughout the book gave the "American" soldiers really big penises and the foreign soldiers really small penises whenever there was a picture that depicted the 2 armies battling each other, and I again couldn't help but think to myself that a pervert who lived in one of the countries that "America" went to war with probably wouldn't give the "American" soldiers the big penises and the soldiers from his own country the small penises in his personal history book graffiti.

And this made me wonder how much of what I was being told about "history" was true.


Although the kids at school were really starting to like me and were being a lot nicer to me, my history teacher ("Mr. Shamrock") would get a kick out of scaring me in an aggressive manner.

One time I fell asleep in his class so as a joke he went across the hall to the music room and got 2 large metal symbols and then he walked up to me and slammed them together, which made me jump up out of my seat and scream in horror, and made everyone else in the class laugh.

Because I had gotten so scared, he sarcastically asked me, "Did that scare you?" and I said, "That would have scarred the hiccups out of "David Hasselhof"!" and everyone in the room suddenly got really quiet and looked at each other all confused for a few seconds, and then they all started nervously laughing and asking each other, "What the hell?" in confusion because they weren't quite sure what to make of what I said.

Although I really did get scared when he clashed the metal symbols together, the truth was that it only scared for a moment or two, and once I was aware of what was going on I continued to act scared just to keep the laughter going, and to work on my improvisational skills. (And the bit that I said about "David Hasselhof" was just me inserting my own random humor into the act.)

It was a mutual performance, and although "Mr. Shamrock" had creative control of how these performances would begin, I had creative control of how they ended, and although I didn't look forward to them and I wished that he would stop scaring me, I would come to life and end up getting really into these situations once I found myself in them.


I never used the bathroom at school (not even once) due to the fact that I had "bladder shyness".

From the time that I would leave my house for school in the early morning, until the time that I got back home in the mid afternoon, I would have to "hold it" and not go to the bathroom during for 10 hours in a row.

And once I got back home from school, my parents would have to go outside and leave the house for 5 - 10 minutes so I could go to the bathroom in complete privacy. Or I would just pee in the forest that was on our property... (But only if my parents brought the family dog inside the house first so that I could pee without the dog watching me!)

And because my last class of the day at school was "History Class" with "Mr. Shamrock", combined with the fact that he really liked to scare me, there were several times when I almost peed my pants in his class. (And as time went on, his pranks kept getting more and more "physical".)

Then one day we had something known as "Hippie Day" at school. (Which was a day when kids were allowed to show up at school dressed up as "hippies" by wearing things like sunglasses, tie dye t-shirts, long wigs, peace symbol necklaces, etc.)

There were other "theme days" at my school as well such as "Hawaiian Shirt Day", "Twins Day", and "Super Hero Day". I never dressed up or got into these days though, but some kids would, and during "History Class" on "Hippie Day", "Mr. Shamrock" told us that he had to use the bathroom and that he would be back shortly.

But instead of going to the bathroom, he went to the teacher's lounge and put on a gorilla costume with the intentions of really scaring me. (And all the other teachers agreed to help him with the prank just so they could be there to see my reaction in person.)

When he returned to the classroom he hid outside the door as all of the other teachers entered the room with scared expressions on their face, and they told us that a big truck that was transporting gorillas to the zoo crashed near the school and that the gorillas had escaped, and that one of them was spotted on school property!

The teachers told us that this was NOT a drill and that the school was officially on "lock-down" and that we all had to stay in the room until the gorillas had been captured. (Even if it meant staying there over-night.)

Although I was extremely gullible back then, even I found this a bit hard to believe at first, but then one of the teachers set off the "Fire Alarm" and I remembered that there was a boy at my school who got kicked out of school for 6 months because he pulled the "Fire Alarm" when there wasn't a fire, so I knew that faking an emergency drill was against the school rules and was no joking matter.

Because I was too afraid to use public bathrooms, the thought of having to stay at school overnight (and not being able to get back home and use the bathroom until the next day) made me feel like I really needed to pee, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to just "hold it" that long.

I also knew from watching "National Geographic" on PBS that a gorilla was strong enough to rip a person's arms and legs off, and because all the other kids in the room (who were also in on the joke) were doing such a good job of acting scared, I actually started to believe that it wasn't a joke, and I got so nervous that I had to cross my legs really tight because I felt an almost uncontrollable urge to pee!

Then "Mr. Shamrock" jumped into the room wearing a very realistic gorilla costume, and he came running at me while growling madly!

He grabbed me and pulled me out of my seat in a bear hug, and then he started shaking me wildly, and I completely lost control of my kidneys as they were being squeezed by his tight grip as he thrashed my body back and forth, and I peed my pants!

Then all of the kids burst out laughing really hard and saying, "Oh my God, he peed his pants!" so "Mr. Shamrock" set me down, took his mask off to get a better look, and literally fell over laughing about it!

I had completely forgotten how uncomfortable it was to have everyone laughing at me when I didn't want them to laugh, and I felt so embarrassed that I actually started to tear up.

There was no way that I could ever show my face in school again after peeing my pants, and I also knew that I wouldn't be allowed to get on the bus with pee-soaked pants, nor could I deal with the embarrassment of my parents having to come to school with a clean pair of pants, so I was stuck in an embarrassing situation with seemingly no way out and no way to redeem myself.

I then became overwhelmed with anger as I looked at "Mr. Shamrock" laughing at me, and I was so mad at him that I looked down at my history book and felt an uncontrollable urge to throw it at him.

So I grabbed the book and went to throw it at him and everyone in the room screamed, but luckily at the last split second, I decided to turn slightly to the right, and I instead threw the book across the classroom towards the trashcan, and it landed perfectly in the trash! (Although the force that I threw the book caused the trashcan to flip over and spill onto the floor.)

I then shouted, "I quit!" and started walking towards the door.

Then "Mr. Shamrock" (who was probably scared that he was going to get in trouble over his prank which was technically "illegal") tried to stop me by running over to me and saying, "I'm sorry." and I snapped and shouted back at him, "Well you should be sorry! And you should be fired over this!! You should know better!!!" and then I stormed out of the room and slammed the door behind me.

I felt ashamed of myself for allowing myself to get that offended over a "joke" and for giving into negativity rather than finding a creative way to make my last appearance at school one that would always make me smile whenever I thought about it.

And then just as I was about to walk away from the door and away from school forever, I looked across the hall and saw a boy dressed as a hippie walking out of the bathroom across the hall and it gave me an idea...

I then turned back around and re-opened the classroom door, and then I walked back into the room and walked right up to "Mr. Shamrock" while looking him in the eyes with a very serious look on my face.

Everyone was watching in complete silence, and you could hear a pin drop because everyone was waiting to see what in the world I was going to say or do...

As I stared him down, I was clenching my fists, I was breathing heavy, and I had tears rolling down my cheeks...

And then after several seconds of suspenseful silence I finally opened my mouth, and in the most offended sounding voice that I could make I said...

"And on Hippie Day!!!"

Then all of the kids turned to each other with confused grins on the faces and started giggling as they wondered why the fact that it was "Hippie Day" would make what "Mr. Shamrock" did worse.

I kept staring at "Mr. Shamrock" with a serious look on my face and kept pretending to be offended, but the sounds of confused giggling throughout the classroom was making it incredibly difficult for me to stay in character.

As I was struggling internally to keep a straight face and not smile, all of the anger that I was feeling towards "Mr. Shamrock" completely melted away, and even though I was terrified of "human touch" I actually kind of wanted to give him a hug because it wasn't until that moment when I actually looked him in the eyes that I realized just how much he looked like me.

And then just when I felt as though I couldn't keep a straight face for even a moment longer, I turned around and I once again stormed out of the room and slammed the door behind me.

I then walked away from the door, and as I walked down the hallway, I heard the classroom behind me burst out into the confused laughter that I was known for inspiring, and because the hallway was empty, I broke character and started smiling and laughing as well.

"I did it!" I thought to myself. I was able to make my "finale" at school a unique one that no one who was there to witness it would ever forget!

It was a really long walk home, but I was so excited about the fact that I had just quit school, that I ran the whole way there and got home before dark.

Just like "Luke Skywalker" in "Return of the Jedi", I was tempted by "The Dark Side", and I almost turned to evil during my "final test", but in the end, I overcame it. I didn't hate "Mr. Shamrock", or the "Principle", or any of the other teachers or students who were ever mean to me in school. I loved them all!

I was able to get through my forced years of public schooling without losing custody of my "inner child", and I was even able to get a POWERFUL education along the way, and it was all thanks to my greatest teacher of all "Mr. Embarrassment".