Sunday, August 17, 2008

GSR **UPDATED**

(This is a special guest post from Dave. I was going to add editorial commentary, but have decided against that. It is fine as it is. Although, the bit about the redhead does lead to another story, which I may tell tonight.)

(Also, I realized that in presenting the Ginny award for favorite and most-hated commenter, I failed to mention Dave, which is a ridiculous oversight on my part. His infrequent comments add a certain zip and pizazz that only he can bring. This is not to say that he should or would have won. I mean, let's not indulge in fantasy... Still and all, I thought he should be mentioned.)

And now, here is a very special Gin and Tonic Lounge presentation from our very own, Dave:

It's been asked of me, where was I during high school. Seriously, I've been asked this. If you look through the embarrassing high school photo set, you don't really see photos of me amongst the group. Nor do I pop up in a lot of the recollections of working at Penguin's, going to Church Youth Group, etc. etc. I am usually not included in those stories, which begs the question "Do you have any high school stories that include Brian/Tom/Dr. Brian?"

Yep. GSR.

For fans of the television CSI, the term "GSR" stands for gunshot residue – usually an indication a suspect has recently fired a gun due to the expulsion of gunpowder across their hands and chest. Although its presence does not conclusively proves a suspect's guilt, it definitely builds a strong enough case they should be investigated further and perhaps arrested. Hooray for Grissom and the old broad that used to be a stripper.

But for anyone who went to high school in the state of California, "GSR" really stands for General State Requirements – the catchall class program that fulfills a high school's state obligations as part of the curriculum. This included health education (yes, yes that means sex education, too), driver's education and whatever they decided to throw in to keep you busy and fill the basic requirements to get the grant money. No child left behind, indeed.

If you were smart and/or lucky, you opted to take the course during the summer where the accelerated time schedule cut down on the boredom factor (such that it was.) Of course, the summer always guaranteed one of the second-string substitute teachers were teaching the class. Mayhaps that's why so many people in California don't know how to drive worth a damn, or put on a condom correctly. If you had a ninety year old teaching reject giving you instructions, you'd be advocating the sponge yourself.

Now Brian and I were fortunate enough to take the class together, because the buddy system gets you through those long droning hours of reviewing moving violation laws. Tom, I believe, was supposed to take the class, but had to drop out because he was suffering from some illness that only struck teenagers that were taller than six foot eleven. (Tom was a tall kid. Old age shrinking is only making him less of a mutant. ) It was a strange class – in order to elaborate on the harshness of AIDS, our teacher played a video of the 80's emotional tearjerker, "An Early Frost". I remember he also let class out early because he was crying during the program. He was very deep.

But I don't remember much of the actual curriculum. Actually, I only remember two things of note – the first being our communal comic strip officially became a "franchise" during that summer. Yeah, yeah, you've probably heard about all that and I won't rehash (much), but it was during that summer GSR class we did the first sequel to the initial Quest strip – "Quest in Space". The original cartoon was done to whittle away the minutes of boring classroom lectures. Imagine the added free-time during all that. Of course, Brian and I were the worst of the actual cartoonists so many of the pages were pretty rough. (Heh, "rough.") We would occasionally stop by Tom's elongated deathbed and leave the comic with him for a day while he masturbated to the Price is Right. So the strip would be pretty lousy back and forth and then have three or four pages of full, well-designed artwork… and then go back to kindergarten scrawling. I like to think that all that cartooning doomed us to the blogging and internet antics you see now, "Quest in Space" begat the "Quest Through Communist Disneyland" and "Secret Society Quest" which would ultimately begat Dead Honkey, Gin and Tonic Lounge, all that rat-trap. So if you ever wonder what to hold responsible for all this shit on this blog... blaming the California GSR program probably is a good start. Keep your kids in private schooling, I think is the message here.

The other thing I remember were the three rocker girls in the class. Go figure, I was sixteen. Appropriately, they were a blonde, brunette and redhead – all of which wore vaguely rock and/or metal shirts every day to class. Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, you name it.

The brunette was how should we say, visually unpleasant. Well, maybe not that bad, but she wasn't a looker. She probably didn't go home after the kegger alone, but she definitely wasn't asked until AFTER the keg ran dry.

The redhead actually turned out to be really cool, and I think Brian even hung out with her toward the end of Senior year (Although I cast no dispersion into what transpired. I'll let Brian brag about that. He's good at it.)

And then there was the blonde, which I remember most clearly. She was cut in the perennial "rocker chick" dye – bleach blonde, frizzy hair, tanning-lamp tan, massive amounts of make-up and every day, she wore her rock chick best. Black cowboy boots, skin tight black vinyl pants, perfectly ripped Crue t-shirt, even those "Cats-eye" contact lenses which were just beginning to become mainstream. Even Brian, Mr. Scritti-Politti Boy himself, immediately imagined her on a daily basis of acting out his own little "Girls Girls Girls" video in the privacy of his own bedroom (when he wasn't doing Republican charity-work for the Lord of course.)



But looking back, with twenty years worth of perspective on the matter, begs a world of different questions – For instance, who the hell let their teenaged DAUGHTER go to high school dressed like a trampy penis cozy from the Whisky-a-Go-Go??? We were not in Hollywood, people – we were thirty minutes out into the Valley, as suburb as you can get without putting up a white picket fence and joining the local Rotary Club. But she did it, every single day. Second question – why?? Who was she trying to impress, on hindsight? She certainly wasn't interested in any of us, I don't remember her even speaking to anybody outside of the little Metal Chick Circle there. I remember girls like this in high school who seemed so unattainable, dating their twenty-one year old boyfriends and such.

Looking back as an adult, both she and her loser boyfriend seems like scuzzbags. "Dude! SHE'S IN HIGH SCHOOL!!!" But it still left an impression on me, because I was indeed young, horny and stupid. And probably pushed me into the direction of rock music faster than anything else, because of the unobtainable factor of women like that.

So GSR is probably where it all went wrong: stupid banter on the internet, a lifelong bout of tinnitus and loud music and Brian and I probably became better friends during that summer because of the experience. Oh and we both drive like shit.
________________________________________

UPDATE:

If you don't know what Dave means by "Mr. Scritti Politti," here's a reminder:



Keep in mind, I had the haircut and the blue shirt. I called it my "Scritti Politti Shirt."

I think I also had the same dance moves...

8 comments:

  1. I wonder if Greyline paid a dime for the product palcement in the video?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually, I wanted to include "Girls Girls Girls" by Motley Crue as a video, due to its associations with strip clubs. Unfortunately, the song is not embeddable.

    Heaven forbid Motley Crue gets a negative stereotype on the Internet.

    ReplyDelete
  3. if only you could have found the Scritti Politti video

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Dave, why dont you tell them about our church summer camp experience?

    stolen skateboards and Marlo.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, I should just take over the blog as a whole for a week.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rocky Horror3:49 PM

    And you better not forget about me...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Psh, that's a boring story.

    ReplyDelete

Be compelling.

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