The Fastest Man Alive

I started high school in the late seventies, and let’s face it, it’s an understatement of Everest proportions to say that things were a little different then. But some things don’t change; adolescent boys do incredibly stupid things, often sacrificing their dignity and limited good sense at the twin altars of hormones and teenage girls. The main differences between now and then were that you were much less likely to end up with a criminal record, and there was no such thing as a registry for “sex offenders.” I am eternally thankful in both cases.

“Gym” was a required class in my high school, and it of course involved changing into gym shorts and a t-shirt before class, and then showering and changing back afterwards. For teenage boys, I don’t know that there was, or ever will be, a more tempting, titillating, and testosterone teasing thought than knowing... that just on the other side of a concrete block wall... were teenage girls. Naked teenage girls. Doing who-knows-what behind the steam of hot showers. That unknown, unseen, and unbelievable knowledge was the source of many heated debates while walking home in the afternoon, and played a large part in the origins of the only nickname ever bestowed upon me that actually stuck for any length of time.

I still vividly remember the day, even the conversation that led to the fateful event. John, the same “John” who has been nearby pretty much anytime I've ever done anything that could get me in trouble, was, as usual, the instigator. As we’re standing there in the boys locker room, toweling and changing after hitting the showers, he suddenly threw his towel against the lockers.

“I can’t stand it!” He said as the locker rattled. “They’re RIGHT THERE!” He said, pointing at the impenetrable wall. “NAKED! Someone’s gotta go in there. We gotta know.”

Everyone froze, wondering what was coming next. Eight boys, eyes darting, looking at each other, waiting, daring each other to say or do something. Finally, once again displaying chronic inabilities to miss an opportunity or use good sense, I stepped forward dramatically, as if volunteering to go into a burning house to save a stranded puppy. “I’ll do it,” I said with resolve, and then quickly following up with, “But I want five bucks if I do.”

A hurried accounting showed that the required cash was available, but John, of course, upped the ante. “For five bucks, you gotta do it naked.”

I was in too far to back down, so I solemnly collected the cash, gave it to Splooge for safekeeping (yes, that’s really what we called him, but that’s another story), wrapped a towel around my head leaving just enough of a slit to see through, and took off. To get there, I had to exit into the gym, duck down as I went under the glass wall of Coach Turner’s office, and then open The Door To The Promised Land (a/k/a “the girls locker room”), and make my bid for adolescent history.

Although the story was told for years, my friends proved that day that we were and forever will be true friends. Despite several beatings from Coach Turner, a threatened group suspension by the principal, and uncounted weeks of "house arrest" imposed by our parents, no one... not a soul... caved and snitched. All the girls could say was that “he” was tall, fast, whooping like a lunatic, and buck naked save for a towel around his head.

And that, my friends, is how I was given... no, make that earned... the nickname that followed me for the remainder of high school. In 1979 I was "The Fastest Man Alive."  I was, I AM, The Flash.
OverWritten OverWritten
46-50, M
3 Responses Dec 10, 2012

Love it.


Lol! That was hilarious! I think if I had seen something like that, I'd want to find out who was "The Flash," and maybe ask for a date(women's lib and all that sort of thing)...'Cause if there was a guy courageous enough to check out the female goods, while pulling a live "Ray Stevens" song, I'd want to know more about the gutsy (or ballsy?) guy. But that's just me.

Gutsy, ballsy, foolish, deranged... pick an adjective, any adjective, and it likely applies. To this day, I'm still dumbfounded that my 15-year-old self did it. Blame it on the hormones, as I can't explain it otherwise.

Hormones are what they are. Good excuse as any to try streaking. If you had been a Trekkie, you could have used the Vulcan "Pon-Far" excuse... ;-)