Senior year high school is only about one thing…being cool.
And sometimes, in the pursuit of coolness, you take a high hard one to the chin.
And that is what happened here.
Got up that morning for school, dressed into my bleeding madras shirt, white Levi’s, and penny loafers without socks (This was 1967).
Headed out the door to school, which was not even 100 yards away. I open the door to school and cruise ever so coolly down the hallway.
Students at their lockers look at me and laugh. Hmmmm…not cool. As I go further, the laughter increases. Starting to panic.
I enter homeroom and the laughter turns to a roar.
I turn around, and behind me is my dog Ginger, wagging her ass wildly.
Immediately a chorus of “Ginger! Ginger!” starts up.
I approach Mr. Gilbert, my home room teacher, and tell him I have to take Ginger home.
Mr. Gilbert refuses to give me permission to leave, and I envision 9 periods of this madness. (As Ginger is getting mobbed with pats and belly rubs).
A second chorus—“Ginger stays! Ginger stays!”
I ignore idiot Gilbert’s command and head out the door with Ginger.
I get to the house and SLAM the door. Mom is tugging on a Chesterfield and doing her crossword.
“Don’t even think of letting this f’ing dog out today!” I scream.
That was my last Ginger school visit. But everyday, EVERYDAY, I checked behind me on the way to school.
As far as high school cool went, Ginger was the ultimate assassin.
But, shit, I loved her anyway.