Me and Pat Had Our Moment!

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 09:53 AM.

 The kids today think this internet thing is fast. They mull over instant text messages, tweets and, boy howdy, they can miraculously show you the face of the person they are reportedly talking to right there on their 4G network iphone. They don’t know nothing about lightening quick communication……

            When I was in the seventh grade Coach Campbell lined us up one day in PE for a square dance. Are you kidding me! It was physical education for goodness sakes! We were supposed to be playing softball, running laps around the field house, smashing someone in the face with a dodge ball or at the very least, unlimbering with a few calisthenics. I was almighty young, but I was fairly certain the high school gym wasn’t the proper place for the Virginia Reel.

            This was a joint conspiracy as the girls’ class had joined with us for the activity. I drew Pat Stone. Listen, I grew to love Pat, but it wouldn’t have mattered at the moment if it had been Rita Hayworth, Sandra Dee or Elizabeth Taylor all rolled into one. I wasn’t going to dance with no girl!

            Coach Campbell only asked me one extra time…..and then he whipped me pretty hard. I sure remember thinking the crime didn’t fit the punishment at all here. But this was back in the days when you didn’t protest to a grownup no matter which one of you was right.

            This beating took place fourth period. I didn’t speak to nobody and mostly minded my own business as I raced home after school. Mother was standing on the porch with a switch in her hand. She whipped me longer and harder than Coach Campbell did! In between licks, she was lecturing on Pat Stone’s feelings, embarrassing the family and disobedience like this is exactly what led to a life of crime. I kept thinking, how did she find out? This train wreck just happened a couple of periods ago!

            You think emails are quick. Daddy got out of the cab of that old 1947 International that afternoon taking his belt off. I would have cut and run but I was too astonished that he somehow knew, there was no way…… He’d hauled a load of hogs to Tupelo. By himself! He’d been gone all day. There were no mobile phones, CB’s or any possible way he could have known! He didn’t give me no lecture at all. But he did make those few licks Coach Campbell gave me at school feel like a walk in the park.

            I went to bed that night pondering on that “life ain’t fair” thing and wondering what kinetic energy or cosmos fields lined up to deliver a message of such dire consequences so rapidly. I also prayed that I could somehow turn from my wicked ways and avoid future jail time. 

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