GCSPrank Is Here

For people who spend the day saying and writing things that others accept, while thinking things that are infinitely more interesting.

Monday, May 16, 2005


They swarmed on campus like a multi-headed creature, with an odd number of heads and legs. They tittered, giggled, cheered, tittered, screeched, tittered, shrieked, clapped and did I mention they tittered? They moved in herds with amoeba-like fluctuations that were appealing and disturbing to watch.

They were high school girls on a college campus... where there were college men. Even I qualified as an interesting specimen when that broad a definition was used. The occasional exchange was a break from routine for me and an anecdote in the fall for them.

One Tuesday afternoon, passing the Student Union, a voice from a cheerleader herd called out in a cloud of laughter: “Would you date me?”

“Only if you’re naked!” I yelled back, causing even greater clouds of laughter and setting off a flutter of spastic gyrations.

The top moment in my mind was sitting in the cafeteria with Bill, in our usual next-to-the-entrance table. The place was almost empty when four cheerleaders came in, a grand total of nine inches separating all four heads from each other, their legs choreographed in some instinctive way so that every step landed where it should. They were dressed up in what I could only describe as “informal teenage chic,” a fashion trend that changes every eleven days (except in big cities where it changes every six.)

I was ruminating about something to say as they walked by, an integrated unit of teenage vanity, when Bill yelled out “Look at them! They think they’re pretty!”

The girls wilted. Wilted, I tell you. In the time it took them to walk twenty feet they went from “fabulous” to “failures,” their body language a visual apology for being in our midst.

I turned to Bill and said “That was cruel.” He looked at me, impassive. I shook my head and added “I wish I’d said it!”

I brought that up when we saw each other recently and he told me his top cheerleader moment was something I’d done. We were sitting on the window ledge up at the office, the summer heat forcing a search for some less-stale air. A group of some 15 cheerleaders herded by and as they passed near us, I let out a wolf whistle. Heads snapped in my direction and smiles flashed. Then I yelled “Not you!”

Heads snapped back and some dropped. Postures slumped. But as Bill so keenly remembers, one girl had not turned to seek out the whistler. And as the herd moved on, her smile made it clear that my little jest had very much made her day. Maybe even the whole summer.


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