When I was in the 7th grade I was soooo popular. I had myself convinced that everyone wanted to
a) be friends with me
b) “go out” with me or
c) be me.
I later found out that none of these things were true, in fact most of my 13 year old peers either didn’t know who I was or thought I was a great big jerk, which to be honest, I kind of was.
I only tell you this to set the scene, to illuminate for you the great social heights from which I thought I fell in the course of this unfortunate event, and just how detrimental to my imaginary social status it really was.
We, the “cool kids” (or so I thought) hung out in the back of the school during lunch. This is where the back door of the cafeteria can be found, and where the dumpsters that house all of the left over, rotten or undesirable food is kept. Why the self proclaimed “popular” crowd decided standing around smelly dumpsters in the closest thing to an ally for miles around is beyond me, but there we were.
The rest of the girls and I were clustered against the wall gossiping about the latest chick fight and discussing crushes. The group of boys we followed around, because lets be truthful the majority of 7th grade boys haven’t quite figured out girls are interesting yet, were playing very close to, in, and around the garbage’s. Once again, no idea why this was a “cool” activity.
One of these brilliant boys, Garrett I believe it was, found a stick. This stick was used to poke and prod a box of rotten tomatoes lying on the top of the overflowing dumpster. As the game continued, simply jabbing the spoiled fruit was not enough, they started to dig them out. The observation was made that if you punctured quickly enough you could skewer the tomato on the end of your stick and launch it into the air. This took the game to a new level.
As we watched the boys catapult rotten fruit at the houses across the fence we should have registered that the odds of this activity reaping benefits were slim to none, but we stood idle by nonetheless.
The game escalated once more.
The houses were a long distance target. The school, on the other hand, was a close range target. They could hone their target skills better on a closer target than on the far away homes. Tomato throwing at the school commenced.
I will take this moment to illustrate one of the three basic laws of physics.
For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. In other words, what goes up
must come down.
And the tomato came down.
It came down right on my head.
Thank you Garrett.
I immediately ran into the bathroom to get the rotten fruit out of my hair. My friends didn’t even come into the bathroom to cry with me on what I literally considered to be the worst day of my life.
My crush saw me get pelted in the head and face splattered with spoiled tomato. Now he would never love me.
I stayed in the bathroom for the entire period after lunch. When I finally built up the courage to brave the hallways (which were empty since everyone was in class) and make it to the office to use the phone I was caught by the hall monitors and got a badge-d escort to the front desk. Conveniently that was where I was going anyway, but I now had to recite my embarrassing story to the entire office staff. I spared them no theatrics. I was allowed to borrow the office phone to call my mom.
I received no sympathy. Apparently tomato head was not a viable condition for missing valuable learning time. I was skipping P.E.
I had already gotten almost all of the tomato chunkage out of my hair, but fragments were lodged in my twisties that I couldn’t undo without ruining my hair-do. The smell, unfortunately, didn’t dissipate with the tomato morsels. I had to endure all of sixth hour and the hour bus ride home smelling like dumpster fruit.
After that day my popularity dwindled until I was geek enough to join the debate team in high school and only date boys from other schools.
And that is how Garrett and a tomato ruined my high school career.