Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chris B.'s Comment on Northgate Mysteries

Here's Chris Bowhay's comment on the post "Northgate Mysteries". Because the original is way down there, I thought I would post it here. But we definitely need more info on the lingerie women...
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Gear Failure, indeed! Thanks, Matty! That's something worse than a wardrobe malfunction... 1. The rappelling mystery has been unravelled by the victim himself, so I don't think I need to comment further. Suffice it to say, near-death experiences are supposed to involve the spirit rising up, not the body plummeting down. 2. The mysterious car incident has also been mostly unravelled. In order to protect the guilty, I'll not say who asked us for the key that poor, unwitting Mr. Wood gave to John E. and me. (In truth, he didn't give it to us, but loaned a copy for a "late night" newspaper session, which we promptly took to the hardware store in Ygnacio Valley Road, carefully taping the "do not copy" imprint with masking tape marked "shed" and greasing it up with oil and dirt. We didn't know what purpose it might serve some day, but we knew that day would come.) The true perps behind the car plot approached us, somehow learning of our contraband. For several nights before the attempt, they carefully set off the school alarms, bringing our beloved, affable principal to the school in his bathrobe, training him to think that there was something wrong with the alarm system. This was in case they accidentally triggered the alarm on the night of the event. To avoid this, they used duct tape to cover the motion-trigger alarms installed in the doorframes. I was not present at the school that night; John and I had played our parts and had exited the stage. But the next morning was rather glorious.

Now that I work at a Church with a School, I remember this event when our Seniors pull their pranks. This year they managed to use an old-school block-and-tackle to hoist a 500-pound statue of St. Francis onto the tower overlooking the church entrance, dressing him in a Batman mask and cape so that he looked exactly like the mournful superhero looking down on his fragile, corrupt Gotham. It was pretty sweet.

3. The "Chippendale's" faux-ster was our greatest glory that would become our greatest shame. Here's the context: Long before the days of the Spice Girls and their commercialized use of market-driven "girl power," there was a generation of young women that were strong, confident, and unafraid of seeming sexy. At least, that's the way they seemed to me, who wandered the halls of our school in a constant state of pheremonal inebriation. I recall an underground movement of these young women who used to prowl the streets of Walnut Creek, allegedly dressed only in lingerie, seeking to assault the homes of their male classmates with toilet-paper. Weren't they called something like "G.N." for "Get Naked?" Heady times indeed. I barely remember a group of us somehow learning of one of their assaults, and intercepting them en flagrante. Perhaps this incident is yet another mystery of the class of '86? Anyone remember it?

Anyway, raised in a time when Alan Alda was an icon of sensitive masculinity, many young men in the class of '86 felt powerless when beholding the goddesses before us. (Anyone remember Jake Barnes from The Sun Also Rises?) For some, the nadir of our humiliation was when certain of these young women placed a chippendale's poster on the interior walls of that weird, circular air-freshener shaped room just outside the cafeteria which served as the "student government" room, as if it were their private locker room in which we were ignorable eunuchs. Enough was enough. Somehow, some of us thought we should reclaim our dignity and counter-act that pathetic poster with one of our own. So, with Mr. Schwerin's help, and with Charlotte Ng liberally applying water to our hairless chests (hmm-maybe it was Charlotte's idea), we did a photo shoot. We presented the poster at a student council meeting, and I'll never know if the cries from those present were of shock, delight, or horror. From that day forward, none of us could ever run for political office, for fear that photo would be dredged up and used against us.

Thus shame and glory are mingled together, transfixed in a moment of black-and-white time, adorned with strippers' bow ties.

3 comments:

matt c said...

The Father Bowhay Mysteries...I smell TV gold! GN qualifies as a mystery in its own right...think we need to get the backstory finally revealed from the instigators

tina c said...

How could you think that our surprise was none other than that! That photo is a classic and a great memory of ther real fun we did - you guys - did have. (I think I have a copy at my mom's..will look for it this summer.....) Honestly I did't remember that the photo was in response to G.N......hmmm, are we ready for GN stories....GN was not born in our senior year...it was several years before that.....

Elizabeth said...

I still have my copy of that classic shot somewhere too:) I'm gonna look through boxes this weekend. Isn't that pic of our handsome bow-tie-clad boys in the yearbook? Anyone have a good scanner?