Friday, March 21, 2008

The BS Boating club meets its maker.

After we had our photo shoot, we all returned home and didn’t give much thought to what might happen yet. Pretty typical for teenagers. Consequences of our actions? Why think past the instant gratification of a job well done. Our photographer went and developed the pictures. He caught me at lunch one day and told me to be ready the next day, as I needed to help him right after school let out. We would be taking the completed edition of the high school paper to the printer. So, I arranged to have him give me a ride home afterwards. My parents didn’t think about it, as he often gave me rides. So we meet up in his Pinto. That Pinto will be covered in a future edition. We pull back to the back parking lot at the school. He proceeds to take the cover off the correct paper and substitutes on the BS BOATING CLUB goes sailing photographs. The one with the moon on it is included! The entire cover has the main photo of us on the sunken boat, looking like Washington crossing the Delaware, with a gorilla. Down in the very bottom, cut in, is the photo with the Moon rising over Lake Accotink. The headline makes sure no one misses this. The headline is BS BOATING CLUB SCRAPES BOTTOM. Off it goes to the printer. I questioned my friend if they would actually publish this, and not call up the school paper sponsor about a bare ass hanging out on the front cover of a high school paper. He just said that we’d have to chance it.
By the next week, we are first in line at that Friday lunch to pick up the latest edition of the West Springfield High newspaper. There is a great uproar at the school, as people laugh uncontrollably, shriek with disgust, and teachers and the administrators begin the inquest as to why and how a bare “moon shot” could appear in the paper, who is this boating club, who is involved. It was decades before terrorist were an everyday topic, but with the Vietnam War still going on, they thought we must surely have been infiltrated by the Viet Cong. The members of the BS Boating club became instant celebrities when we were identified. We all went home that Friday with our heads held high. At least until we got home, the adrenaline wore off and realized that the school administrators will figure this out and calls to our parents would commence. We figured we had the weekend to live, executions would surely begin the following Monday.
True to our predictions, by 10 AM on Monday, we are all being summoned, one by one, to the principles office. He notes each of us and points to the error of our ways. Some of us, such as me, had never been in trouble. Well, at least not CAUGHT. Big difference. I’m informed that this is a major strike, that my parents will be notified of this activity, that I’m on probation, but can still be in the band functions. Some people, such as the photographer, who was a well known instigator, are in a bit more trouble. We all liken it to being on double-secret probation. Nobody really knows what double-secret probation means. This was back in the days when our parents would probably dish out double the consequences than the school would. I march home and present the evidence to my parents, 10 minutes before “the call”. I found that being up front, was usually the best action. My parents have shocked looks on their faces, and reply to “the call” with a lot of “um hum. I’m shocked. Ray’s USUALLY a good kid. Yes, we understand. Oh yes, he will soon rue the day he was born”. I get a big lecture about such antics, but I get off surprisingly light. I think I have no dates for one month, and have to do all dishes and trash duty for the month. My hanging around with “Those friends”, is also quite a topic. While my sister sat and sneered while watching me doing her chores. We usually had to split those duties.
End of the story? Not quite. They never figured out who had the moon shot! They had interrogated each of us. But I know when the principle talked with me, that he’d given up getting a straight answer out of us. It was easy to figure out, but they missed it. A quick count of the heads, perhaps drawing a line between the two photos’s, to see who was “missing” in the moon shot, would have led to the missing person. Maybe it was because we had all moved about, but they never figured out that General McArthur was missing in the second photo, but his derrière was present.
So another week goes by and a new paper is printed. Has the hubbub died down? Would we let it? Never say Never! Well, we would, but our photographer would not. How he kept his job with the paper, was beyond us. The next edition has a notice of yet another sailing event by the BS Boating club! Plus, it has a quote from the principle that clearly stated that the student newspaper was not the place for such things and that there would never be another bare-A** again in the paper. We didn’t get in trouble for that one. End of it? Now how could we let that one just lie? Nope, one more blip in the paper. We declared the BS Boating club to be defunct due to lack of interest.

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