August 4, 2009

The Revenge of the Upside Down Clown

There are few more highly anticipated times than at the end of each school year when we get to sign each others crack yearbooks. This event is rivaled only by the receiving of the yearbooks themselves. The next best thing to cracking open that brand new photo directory of classmates and taking that first whiff of the fresh, glossy pages is giving your peers the privilege of writing in it.

Today's post is a playful poke at our friend Serena Koon (I have her permission to do this and the remainder of this post comes complete with a double coat of sarcasm). You see, for the past two decades as I've recalled and recounted all the wonderful school memories tucked away in my simple little mind, there was always something lurking in the shadowy corner. What was this dark mystery hiding in the cleft of my mind - or was "it" a "who"? Who could still be haunting me & taunting me like a schoolyard bully even twenty years later? Well, the answer to these questions has been revealed - yea, even documented in the annuals of history... our yearbooks. The evidence I have is as plain as words on a page. Read on.

Just take a gander at the verbal assaults below - beginning in the 2nd grade for crying out loud - and tell me if any decent human being is deserving of such ill-treatment.

You see that it starts out cute, playing the ole "upside down clown" card. But notice the subtle twist - this clown doesn't just sign upside down - but BACKWARDS TOO! I had to get out my pocket mirror to verify the signature... and sure enough, it was Serena Koon. What could this mean? Upside down? Backwards?

Then... the clown strikes again (see below). Same page. Same pen (not supposed to have pens in Mrs. Thompson's class!). Same clown. Same vertical orientation. Same horizontal reversal. I'm sure that something's going on here. This is senseless torment for any second grader.

The disoriented clown laid low for a few years, but in 1980 she struck again. And, as before, ever... so... subtle. Notice the underlined word "nice" in the image below. And notice the parenthetical laughter - HYSTERICAL parenthetical laughter. Everyone knows how to decode this: the underlined word goes with the parenthetical remark - easy. It's the LOL version of the grade school yearbook. And LOL she did - about me being "nice."

Childish flirting? No way. She's moving in for the kill.


The year is now 1983. Put on your CSI cap and just let the evidence do the talking. My investigation of the image below produces the following observations:

1. Clue: Cursive writing. Meaning: Intimidation.
2. Clue: Red ink. Meaning: One word. Blood. I'm really feeling threatened now.
3. Clue: Parenthesis right off the bat. Meaning: It's like the viewer discretion warning at the beginning of a television show - you just know something bad is gonna happen.
4. Clue: Sarcasm. Meaning: Just another way to toy with my mind. Is she serious? Is she lying? Are those question marks or exclamation points? Is she really "kidin"? Does she really not know that you double the final consonant when you add "ing"?

This next and final piece of evidence that seals the case against this mental maniac is nothing less than a roller coaster ride of tricks and taunts that are only meant to play with my feeble esteem like a yo-yo. Again, I observe:

1. After 10 years of knowing each other, she immediately strikes down my significance and deflates my ego by misspelling my name. Granted, this is before the age of "spellcheck", but that's still no excuse.
2. The flow of this, her longest yearbook contribution, is a poetic and rhythmic assault against any shred of dignity I might have left. See the repetition: NOT, NOT, NOT. This really stings.
3. Three opinions are expressed here as facts: 1. I'm not nice, 2. I'm not a stud, and 3. I'll need luck with the girls. I beg to differ. I think after 13 years of marriage and four children this can be easily refuted. However, to be fair, back in 1985 I was a far cry from the typical boy favorite.



If you've enjoyed this, why not pull out your old yearbooks and read all the silly & sweet & maniacal things that your friends wrote to you way back when. And, many thanks to my friend Serena for being a good sport.

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1 comment:

  1. Oldies but goldies:

    1. It makes me giggle, it makes me laugh...to think you want my autograph. 2. I bet you never would've guessed that I would be the first one to sign your crack (or some variation).

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