Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I'm from Idaho.

While doing a little cleaning this weekend, I came across some old boxes full of childhood memorabilia. The contents of which took me back to a life I once knew in a little town called Jerome, Idaho. Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with said booming metropolis, here is a brief collage of words (or a mood piece, as it were) to create a mental frame of reference for you. For added affect, hum Def Leppard's, "Pour Some Sugar on Me" while reading.

Gun racks. Premium Unleaded. Tuff Skins. Ghettoblasters. Lift kits. One stop light. Bangs. Acid wash. Cameros. White Snake (and Lion). Reeboks. Cheese Factory. Shop Class. Mud boggin'. Worm proddin'. Thrift store pants. Beer. Trucks. Fights. Pregnant Prom Queens. Beet fields. Dairies. Rock chuck hunting. Canal surfing. BMX racing. Cars on blocks. Cough syrup addictions. Water weenies. Muscle shirts. Self-given tattoos. Homosexual cows. Pot holes. Swears. Flipping people off with the hand titled sideways, resting on the steering wheel.

Now that you are mentally Idahoan, I shall proceed with my story. While I have a million stories (of which, in time, I shall share via the blog) I was reminded of one in particular (and don't ask why).

I attended the fifth grade at Central Elementary. The school was made up of virtually every walk of life and while we all had our differences, we were intimately united by one thing - the fear of Vance Kahala. Vance attended the Jr. High across the street at the ripe age of 17. If you're thinking to yourself, "Wait, shouldn't he be nearly graduated from high school at that age?" then you are correct. Vance suffered from "I don't need to get good grades, cause I can just totally beat your face in" syndrome. Sadly, it was supported by his over-developed body of which he used to pummel the likes of man, woman and child.

I vividly recall one summer day at the Jerome City Pool. As the only pool within a 50-mile radius, it was often jam packed, and this day was no exception. My friends and I thought it fun to drop pennies into the deep end and then, with the use of face masks, dive down and retrieve them. I would love to say the fact we did this next to the diving board was merely happenstance, but alas, I believe the drop point was pre-planned on account of the occasional bikini top mishap.

Suddenly, the pool went silent. I scanned the pool to see what was the matter. And there he was - Vance Kahala. He entered the facility alongside his younger cousin, Lynn Urivelka, who was in my grade, but three years older than any of us. Lynn wasn't as tough, however, but nobody dared mess with him, on account of his protective kin.

Vance purchased a licorice rope from the consession stand and much like a gladiator into the coliseum, he entered the chain link fence and stepped up onto the concrete deck. He slowly strutted towards the deep end. He was wearing a Jackyl tour shirt, which he had transformed into a true muscle tank top by manually ripping off the collar and sleeves. His long dishwater hair and his non successive facial hair frolicked in the breeze. Kids did everything they could not to make direct eye contact with his snarl. He walked passed us and mounted the diving board. He removed his tank and with nothing but a pair of white spandex shorts on, he launched himself into a perfectly executed cannonball - the repercussions of which soaked every towel in sight.

After staying underwater for a lengthy amount of time, he surfaced. Proudly, he whipped his hair back and surveyed the damage. Vance was pleased. Then he swam over to the ladder and pulled himself out of the water. He stood on the concrete slab and slowly turned towards the pool.

Now, while I wish not to criticize the way public schools attempt sexual education, the site of which I'm about to describe to you, did more in the way of education of things to come, than any waver-required puberty film every could.

As Vance turned around, the entire pool saw just what happens to white spandex when it gets wet. Clear as the driven snow. Hundreds of innocent children stared in confusion. The befuddled minds of many were stretched to capacity as they tried to comprehend the view that stood before them.

Vance was proud. As he displayed his high country for all to see, he snatched his licorice rope from the chain link fence and strolled right back out of the pool.


Lynn quickly followed as the two hopped on their bikes and rode away. Lynn's BMX didn't have a seat, so he rode standing up. Gratified, he rode a wheelie off into the sunset.

Needless to say, there wasn't much talking amongst friends at the pool after that. I could tell each of us was trying to make sense of the scenery all the while questioning our own realities. I tossed a handful of pennies into the deep end and hopped out of the pool. I wrapped my soaked towel around my shoulders and walked home.

Never to be the same again.


Blogger more caffeine, please said...

O-H M-Y H-E-C-K, or as we say in Springville (Jerome's 2nd cousin), Judas Priest that was funny!

2:10 PM

Anonymous Matt? said...

What were you looking at that reminded you of a kid in white spandex?

3:39 PM

Blogger :: STEVE :: said...

haha, well played Matt. Well played indeed.

4:24 PM

Blogger ~j. said...

Ew. My mind's eye hurts.

7:05 PM


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