In Which We Fight On Trampolines

Vintage Violence: Grades 6-8

by John Gruen

Note: The author attended an all-boys school.

1. I told J he looked like Dickey Barrett from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. He slapped me in the face.

2. I swung a lacrosse stick at W’s head and missed.

3. B threw me over a desk.

4. A made a spear out of a stick and killed all of the fish in the pond outside of the math building.

5. J, M and I stole food from the cafeteria everyday and put it in an unlocked locker we called the ‘yucky locker’

6. M took a bottle of whiskey to his room and drank until he had a .24 blood-alcohol level.

7.  J, B and A used to kick T’s ass every day after lunch. I would watch sometimes.

8. T bought a mouse, killed it and skinned it. He brought the body to school the next day and ate it.

9. I kicked A in the testicles for no reason whatsoever. Years later, he told me it was the most painful and confusing thing that ever happened to him.

10. M took a volume of Encyclopedia Britannica into the library bathroom, shat in it, and reshelved it.

11. W, J and J used to try to make me fight a different person every day to toughen me up. I never won.

12. My mom took T and I to Disney World and I got a rash. When we got back, T told everyone that she’d put Gold Bond on my balls.

13. J and W convinced J he was gay.

14. W and J played a game called ‘Robinhood Shuffleboard’ which involved shooting an arrow straight up in the air and running away.

15. G (and many others) told me that I was going to burn in Hell for being Jewish.

16. All the cool kids made themselves pass out.

17. B broke my glasses twice and called me a faggot when I asked him to pay for them.

18. Coach T made J demonstrate a new kind of sit-up in front of my whole gym class even though he had a visible erection.

19. W used to make A and I fight on his trampoline. This led to many bloody noses.

20. M stole all of my Pogs, and I ratted on him. This led to both Pogs and Magic cards being banned.

21. W made the sixth grade math teacher cry.

22. Someone (unknown, probably W or M) took a shit on the bathroom floor and stuck a AA battery in it.

23. M used to take his mom’s muscle-relaxants in class.

24. Everyone hated C, M, C, B and K.

25. D drank a whole bottle of Nyquil before math class.

26. B made the Spanish teacher have a nervous breakdown in class. The teacher never came back to school.

27. P gave me his extra sandwich, which I later found out had a giant loogie in it.

28. One day while picking him up from school, J’s father, who was ex-IDF, put J in a sleeper hold and made him pass out.

29. B, who was several years older than us, would whip his dick out in our faces at the carpool line.

30. T peed on all off the faucets.

31. M brought a screwdriver to school and stole all of the doorknobs in the English building.

32. One day a few years later J made fun of me for a failed club I started, and A spit a mouth full of water on me. I went home, started crying and was on anti-depressants the next day.

John Gruen is a writer living in Brooklyn. You can read his entry in Childhood here.

“Society” – Eddie Vedder (mp3)

“Setting Forth” – Eddie Vedder (mp3)

“Long Nights” – Eddie Vedder (mp3)


Our second trip to the MOMA.

Breaking and Entering was ridiculous.

Rufus is stuck in a mirror with you.


4 thoughts on “In Which We Fight On Trampolines

  1. I, too, had a “yucky locker.” In high school, my pals and I threw old apple cores, banana peels, citrus rinds, etc. into a vacant locker deemed “The Fruit Locker.” It smelled foul, and we delighted in sitting nearby and watching the expressions change as students and teachers walked into it’s orbit. It actually made someone vomit one time, which pleased us to no end. We were such pricks.

  2. Hmm… I used to break stink bombs in the hallway between classes, just to see the looks on faces as they passed. Only on Fridays, and only because I was a teacher and no one would suspect me.

    I am king prick. All hail.

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