Friday, October 15, 2004

This is a photo from my high school yearbook. Not much going on, just a buncha kids hanging out in class. I think the caption read, "Five more minutes to go."

The reason I like it, though, is that’s a perfect example of why I do what I do.

See me, the guy chewing on his pen? I’m watching the guy on the left in the black and white striped shirt. That’s my friend Andy.

He had the ability to make fun of me, good-naturedly, but so bad, that I was often too busy cracking up at myself to even retort. I don’t remember all the jokes. Once after I mentioned how much I liked the character Indiana Jones, Andy said "Mike probably goes right home after school, puts on the Raiders of the Lost Ark soundtrack and starts jerking off." Then he’d act out the hand motion while singing, "Dun-de-dun-DAH... dun-de-dahh..."

My friends would bust up laughing. And so did I. Hey, we were teenagers. I’d try to catch my breath and say, "Oh yeah? Well, you--you-- you suck at basketball!"

Andy’d just look at me. "Yeah, good one, Mike."

See, he didn’t play on the high school team; he joined the temple youth group league. Can you imagine the trash-talk between the Temple Beth Torah kids and the Dix Hills Jewish Center team?

"Yo, bubbalah, Dix Hills gonna kick your tuchus in Jew ball tonight!"

"Dream on, boyee. We gonna circumcise your defense. TBT is fresh! Dix throws bricks, ya schmendrick."

That schtick may have appeared in one of my cartoons. Maybe it’s the one Andy’s reading in the picture. When I drew my stuff, I got sweet revenge. The ‘toons got passed around so everyone in class could get in a chuckle. Many of the teachers didn’t even mind; if they confiscated it, they’d sometimes laugh too. Ha-HA, Andy! The pen is mightier than the sword-like tongue.

Speaking of which, I remember having a series of strips about his long ski-slope nose, which was used as a dueling epee as he swash-buckled through our high school as "Andy, the Gay Blade!" Hey, like I said, we were teenagers -- that shit was funny back then. Even he thought so -- see the smile, the anticipation on his face?

I wish I had saved those silly cartoons. I did so many back then, just to make people laugh. I lived for that. Still do.

Oh well. At least I have this photo.

And I can just keep writing and drawing more...


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