Episodes that sum up my early life in Scaggsville abound, but the peculiar victory lap of the sneering, sullen, bullying, trash-talking Joey Decker around the hallowed halls of our middle school was one of the best.
“Yeah, you heard me. I got herpes.”
“Uh huh. Wanna see?”
“You wanna see?”
“Ugh. Why would I want to see that?”
“You know how you get herpes? Sex. You get it from sex. On ‘count of I’m havin’ sex and you are not.”
At the time, I still had my imaginary purported girlfriend, Christine, who lived in another neighborhood and I’m sure you don’t know her but she’s just sex-crazy and will just pull your pants down the second you see her, because she’s just like something from a Penthouse letter, but I was fooling around, too, BUT NOT WITH HERPES…well, or with any girlfriend, for that matter. Adolescence is an interesting time.
“So…what you’re so proudly announcing is that you have a disease?” asked one of the more wry fellows in my regular entourage.
“Yeah, man,” Joey said, his chest noticeably puffed out with redneck pride. “A sex disease. So chew on that, motherfuckers!”
“Perish the thought,” replied the wry fellow in my regular entourage, which was exactly the reason I enjoyed sharing an entourage with the guy.
“Pssh. Y’all are just jealous, on ‘count of I got herpes!”
“No, we’re not.”
“Y’all are ‘flicted,” snapped Joey, and he strutted off to spread his message of God’s plan for the worthy. “‘Flicted!”
© 2014 Joe Belknap Wall