la Ketch

my life story

Friday, September 16, 2005

arch nemesis


I do have one short story that will make my presidential campaign story more interesting, so I will tell it now and then work on the homecoming story this weekend. It’s probably best that I postpone it because I’d like to post some actual homecoming queen photos to go with that story and I don’t have them with me now because I’m at work. I don’t bring those photos to work with me. I keep those photos in a special room in my apartment, surrounding the crown which I have sitting on a red velvet pillow, awash in a special soft light.

No, not really. I didn’t get to keep the crown. I had to give it to the girl who won the next year.

My JUNIOR year, before I was president and when I was still cheerleading, I came face to face someone who would become very important to me in my life – my arch nemesis. I had never had an arch nemesis before and I haven’t had one since. My Arch Nemisis she was a force to be reckoned with, a very short and stocky little bull dyke with spiky hair and a huge attitude. She was very opinionated and also very smart and really I liked her at first until she started hating my guts. I’m sure she’s living happily with her partner and cats in San Francisco as we speak. She probably has a motorcycle. If she still lives in the claw, then God help her for she is a most certainly a very unhappy person. Like me, she never belonged there in the first place.

We had met my freshman year and got along quite well actually. We both played, “The Groupies” in the spring musical which was of course, “Bye, Bye Birdie” We sang, “We love you Conrad, oh yes we do. We don’t love anyone as much….” It’s a maddeningly catchy tune and I’m sure if you are familiar with it you will now be singing it over and over and over and over again for the next 3-4 days at least. For this, I apologize.

Our junior year, my Arch Nemisis was a top reporter for “The Hornet”, our school newspaper. At some point during basket ball season she decided to write a scathing editorial re: how much she hated the cheerleaders. I think it was called “I Hate the Cheerleaders”. If you’ve been following along then you will remember that I was a cheerleader my sophomore and junior year and that I was rather psycho about it. I was like a super, Uber cheerleader who loved all things about cheerleading. Basketball was my favorite sport to cheer for and our team was really good, made it to the State finals even. So, I was in like super duper cheerleader mode during the time that the article was written.

When I first read it, I was immediately outraged. So outraged in fact, that I marched directly into the classroom where the pittaly little rag was published and demanded that the teacher in charge remove the article from the paper. How he was supposed to do this is beyond me. I guess he would have to round up all of the papers that had been distributed and go at them with a sharpie marker or a bottle of white out or better yet, destroy them and print a new edition minus scathing article.


What the article basically said was that the cheerleaders were a bunch of useless airheads whose only purpose it seemed, was to block her view of the game. She said that we had this amazing basketball team and when she went the game she wanted to watch basket ball and we kept distracting her with our crazy stupid jumping and dancing. Then she went on to say that we were talentless drunk hussies.

I couldn’t stand to read the truth in print. It was, to say the least, unacceptable. The newspaper teacher/editor told me that there was nothing he could do about the article. It was an editorial and in an editorial the journalist is free to express her opinion openly. “That’s the very definition of an editorial,” he told me. I marched out, mad as a pack of bees, huffing and puffing my way through Senior Locker Bay. Senior Locker Bay was the major meeting point/hang out and sort of epicenter of the school. If you wanted to yell at someone and have everyone see that you were yelling at them, this was the perfect place.

Wouldn’t you know it, just as I round the corner, here comes my Arch Nemisis, marching down the hall like a little baby packaderm. I walked right up to her and started in. It was a game day and I was wearing my cheerleading uniform, so I’m sure my short little shirt was bouncing up and down as I screamed at her, the maroon and gold ribbons in my hair tying themselves in knots. Everyone was watching. I told her that I thought she was a mean, horrible, hateful person. She told me all about the first amendment. I told her that free speech or no free speech what she did was mean and that I thought that SHE was a fat, ugly PIG but I wasn’t about to go write an article in the school paper about it. I didn’t have to; I had just screamed it to the whole school.

From then on we hated each other. We weren’t fighting all of the time or anything there was just a mutual huffiness whenever we passed each other in the hall. Then one day there was an assembly or not really an assembly but a performance/play of sorts. The Theatre Department at Western Washington University, located about 2 hours North in Bellingham Washington (later to become my Alma matter) came to our school and put on this play.

The play was called “Labels” and it was all about the different types of cliques that are formed in high school and how we are all alike and we all have feelings that can be hurt and we all need to try and understand each other better. There was a rich kid and a poor kid and a jock and a nerd and skateboarder and of course, there was a cheerleader.


I have to say, the cheerleader’s monologue was really one of the best. She did this fantastic cheer and then she explained how she just wanted to be a dancer like Paula Abdul but everyone thinks she’s an air head. God, could I relate to that. My heart really went out to that awesome cheerleader character. All of our hearts went out to all of the characters. The nerds loved the nerd, the jocks loved the jock, the rich kids… well there weren’t really any rich kids so no one loved him. Funny side note, the rich kid was played by a guy who would later become one of my best friends, who still is one of my best friends today. He’s an actor in L.A. now. He wasn’t really rich. HE’S JUST A REALLY GOOD ACTOR!!

After the play there was a talk back and lots of people had things to say. It was very emotional and very after school specially in a way that only high school can be. At one point my Arch Nemisis stood up to speak. She said that the play had really affected her, especially the character of the cheerleader. She said that she had never really thought about cheerleaders having feelings before and she had written this very cruel article in the school news paper about how horrible the cheerleaders were and now she realized that they really just want to be dancers and that dancers are alright. Everyone is of course locked in on me, waiting to see what I’m going to do. Then she turns to me and I stand up and I am bawling per usual and she is sort of crying too and then she says to me, “La Ketch, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wrote such a mean article and hurt your feelings.” And I said, “It’s okay Nemisis, I accept your apology. I’m sorry I called you a fat, ugly pig in front of the entire school.” And everyone applauded and most people were crying too. I’m sure that a flight of doves simultaneously erupted from the roof of the auditorium at that moment – all was well within the walls of EHS.

We still didn’t really like each other. Not so long after all of it, when I ran for Student Body President at the end of my junior year, I ran unopposed until two days before the election when someone crazily, boldly decided to run against me at the very last minute. It was of course, my Arch Nemisis. I guess I’ll have to tell that story next and the homecoming story gets pushed back yet again… I might WEAR the crown when I write the story. NO, no I’m kidding. I had to give it back remember?

Another funny side note to this story is that a few years later, when I was actually a student in the Theatre Department at Western Washington University, the favorite acting teacher was sitting around shooting the shit with a group of us undergrads and somehow it came up that I was from the Claw. He said to me, “The Claw, that’s funny. I know that place. I remember it because we took our play “Labels” there and at the talk back afterwards there was this big event where this girl had written a horrible article about one of the cheerleaders and she stood up and apologized to her in front of the whole school and everyone was crying.” “Yeah, that was me,” I said. “I was the cheerleader.” He started laughing so hard he almost peed his pants. It was really funny. We were all laughing.

So it’s true what they say. Everything seems so important in high school and then later, you can just laugh about it all. That story wasn’t short at all. Jesus, sorry.

4 Comments:

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Brikin Blog said...

Who was the actor? Do we know him?(Also, no, that story was simply not long enough).

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger Eve said...

That is seriously the BEST afterschool special ever. I can just picture Meredith Baxter Birney as the drama teacher, and Tori Spelling as the cheerleader.

And oh, MAN! I f I'd been Homecoming Queen, I would still be wearing the sash today. sigh.

 
At 7:04 PM, Blogger tina said...

Your posts are never too long. They are ALWAYS TOO SHORT.

 
At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Langus said...

The guy that played Birdie was shockingly unsuited for the role. At least I thought so at the time.

That song is so annoying but at my house the soundtrack to Rent is in heavy rotation and I am pretty sick of that too.

 

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