“You just keep thinking Butch, that’s what you’re good at.” (the Sundance Kid)

Editor’s Note: I would never do anything to minimize the memory of 9/11. It was the saddest day of my life. However, life goes on and we all need to keep contributing to making the world better. As for me, I just wanted to write something that might bring out a few smiles. It’s the least I can do for everybody.

I wish I had a cool nickname like the Sundance Kid. Being named Guy kind of defeated the purpose of having a nickname. The closest I ever came was in the 6th grade after my April Fool’s Day prank when everybody wanted to call me the Sugar Cube Kid. It might have something to do with my ingenious idea of putting sugar cubes in my teacher’s gas tank. Not to worry, he never drove the car before we confessed. We just had to pay to get the tank removed and cleaned and the gas replaced. I did achieve a sort of infamous notoriety but it’s not like my photo was on the wall in the juvenile delinquent section at the Post Office.

Admittedly, I have always been full of ideas and my synaptic functions must be incredibly fast, if not slightly misguided. It might have something to do with several head injuries I had at an early age. It must have loosened me up more than most or made me think I should be in a hurry to get everything thought of, in case I didn’t live very long. Whatever the reason, I was always the ringleader among my friends, not unlike Butch Cassidy. We didn’t rob banks but in our own brand of youthful abandon we were always trying to get away with something. My friends John, Clark, Larry, Jim, Rick and Trip were my compatriots in high school and they were all equally fearless and easily tempted by each new scheme. We actually formed a secret society called the Flying Dorito Sisters or FDS for short and for chauvinistic laughs. It wasn’t very secret because we left our initials all over town and pretty much everybody knew who we were and what we were up to. We managed to elude the authorities and parental control by making it look like we were trying to improve school spirit when we hung derogatory signs on our rival’s schools and dressed up like cheerleaders for a school pep rally.

During senior year we had a carnival as a fundraiser for foreign exchange students and our group offered to perform as strippers. Jim and I spent one whole evening at the Folly Theater in KC doing research and hanging out with some pretty elderly ecdysiasts, (it’s a word, I looked it up). When the night of the carnival came, my Mom helped me do my make-up and gave me a wig and told me how nice I looked. She really is something. We were having trouble recruiting female impersonators for this event, so Jim and I asked the wildest kid in school, his name was Dennis, and he eagerly accepted. We only made it through one song before cooler heads prevailed, but I did become a bit of a celebrity when the yearbook came out with my picture from that night. I could tell my Mom was less than happy with this lasting memory but she did say, “Nice picture.” Dennis is now a preacher and Jim lives in Sin City and I write deeply philosophical blogs so maybe this was a turning point for all of us.

I had some other equally creative ideas but it was always hard to recruit true believers because YouTube hadn’t been invented yet and stupidity was still really stupid. Jim and I tried repeatedly to figure out a way to get his tiny Italian sports car through the door by the gym so we could drive it to class. During senior year I tried to get the whole senior class to bring alarm clocks to school so we could stash them in our lockers and set them to go off 15 minutes early but hardly anybody recognized my brilliance and it became pretty easy to figure out whose locker was going off at 2:45. I said I was the ringleader, I never said I was good at it. At least being the co-founder of Flying Dorito Sisters gave me something important to list under the senior summary of my accomplishments in the yearbook and made my Mom happy in her usual way of overlooking the obvious, God Bless Her.

From there I graduated to the big leagues, college, where no holds were barred, whatever the hell that means. My first night in the fraternity house I led a water balloon raid on the Pi Phi  house, where my sister lived. How was I supposed to know that the girl who was the baton twirler for the band was on the porch that night and slipped and sprained her ankle? I tried to make it up to them by going to their house with all my clothes on backwards but they just thought I was weird. Later that year I went a month without shaving and then shaved just half of it off. The reactions I got were priceless. Another time I snuck into the ADPi house and left a month old piece of salmon behind the vending machine in their basement just to see how long it would take them to figure it out. Ah, college, where great minds are developed and then there’s me.

I don’t know why I did these things but at the time it seemed really important and worthwhile. If I had it to do over again, yeah I would. I don’t want to go to my grave with regrets. I want to go out laughing or watching other people laugh at me. I’m not going to take any chances though. I wouldn’t put it past my friends to draw a mustache on my face while I’m laying there at the funeral home so instead I’m getting cremated. This will also insure that there isn’t a typo on my headstone. With my luck, some kid who learned how to spell on Twitter would put “REST IN PEAS.”

©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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3 Responses to “You just keep thinking Butch, that’s what you’re good at.” (the Sundance Kid)

  1. DA says:

    Guy, I’m torn—between trying to envision the emotions you were feeling in conjuring up & writing this one and the tangled mess of historical recollections (and on some level feeling sorry for you) that I am feeling reading it!

  2. Abebe says:

    I am really impressed with the article you posted. It is amazing. true reflection what really greatness means. Please forward if you have some more such type as I am interested.

    Abebe Sibru
    Addis Ababa

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