Skip to comments.Who?s listening to this All-American jerk?
Posted on 06/19/2003 6:40:52 AM PDT by left field
I was flipping around the radio dial one afternoon when I heard a familiar voice. The last time I heard that voice was to the accompaniment of a leering grin and towels snapping in a locker room.
"Gotcha!" the voice had been saying. Snap! "Gotcha good, didn't I, queer?" Snap! "That'll teach you to mess with Mike."
Mike was the terror of my high school locker room. Snapping towels at young boys' private parts. Getting freshmen in a headlock and rubbing their faces in his armpits. Calling all the boys "queers!" and "wimps!" He was a class act then. Now he's the voice of America.
". . . another thing these limousine liberals who are perverting America want you to believe," he was telling his talk radio audience.
I remember Mike. I remember the time he dropped trou at the senior prom. I remember when he told the principal he was a "*#(@#)$ queer." I remember teachers shaking their heads and wondering what would become of him.
". . . the only thing that'll save this country is to take all the liberal perverts and drop trou right in their faces. That'll teach 'em to mess with ol' Mike."
Mike was an ugly guy. Weird hair that seemed to grow on all visible parts of his body. Acne to make you cringe. We always wondered if that mossy growth on his teeth made him so angry. Or was it his Dad? We only saw the old man once at a football game. He kept standing and screaming at the ref while his son looked embarrassed. Someone behind me actually said, "Poor Mike," and the rest of us laughed. But we wondered what would become of this simmering pot of testosterone with bad teeth.
We couldn't imagine that anyone outside of Mike's small circle of fellow losers would listen to him. His friends were guys in tight jeans and white T-shirts, guys who stood on street corners flipping the bird at passing cars and laughing hysterically. They all thought Mike was "The Dude." Everyone else thought he was a) psycho; b) creepy; c) pathetic, or d) all of the above.
There was Mike again, giving a wedgie to another hapless freshman. There he was sneaking out of the girl's bathroom with a grin on his ravaged face. There he was revving his Camaro and screeching past some VW, shouting "queer!" When would he grow up? Thank God we'd never have to see him again after high school.
Now Mike has millions of listeners nationwide. People tune in to hear him rant about liberals and "wimps" and immigrants and "other scum that are dragging this great nation down." Patriotism works in strange ways.
"... listen to me, America. I'm right and you know it. We gotta get all the @#*$&$ "
Listening to Mike, it all came back. The infantile comments. The snapping towels. The rage in its purest form. Why would anyone pay attention to him? I wondered. If my high school knew he was an All-American jerk, couldn't everyone else tell? Or has America become a giant high school, a cauldron of angst and anger, interested only in clothes, music, this week's big game, and who's sleeping with whom. "Attention students! The Army recruiter will be in the cafeteria at 3 p.m."
Maybe we were wrong about Mike. Or maybe we were wrong in choosing to grow up. Mike's success - his book is a best seller! - suggests that the future belongs to the perpetual adolescent, the one who can still muster that locker-room rage and that simple, soothing worldview in which everyone is either for or against you, all wimps and queers and liberals except on Mike's street corner.
Now I no longer wonder what became of Mike. I wonder what will become of American High. Snap!
Time to dust this oldie but goodie...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.