Thumper was a year younger than me in school. I knew him all through elementary and high school. I never knew why he was nicknamed Thumper.
In high school, my senior year, we ended up in the same yearbook class.
Here's the class:
What can I say? It was 1991 but the 80s died hard in our hamlet. Thumper's the one on the left.
He teased me. A lot. He called me the Cattle Baroness because of the overly modest dress I wore to a formal dance. He teased me and my friend about being nerds with our physics and calculus classes. He'd pick me up and pretend to throw me against the lockers in the hallway. He'd simultaneously kick the lockers so it sounded like I was being pummeled. Sometimes I thought he'd really smack me into the lockers...and it would be the end of Thelma.
We were as different as any two people could be but bound by geography and parallel childhoods, we were friends.
For one thing, he was very very funny and I've always been easily amused.
After my freshman year of college, we both worked at The Burger Express. He still teased me and mocked my driving and anything else he could possibly think of but he made me spectacular hamburgers when I asked him to and he made the depressing business of working in a fast food restaurant more bearable.
The next summer, I was putting gas in my car in a neighboring town. I heard a deep voice calling my name. I looked around but didn't see anyone I recognized.
I kept hearing a voice calling my name though.
And I kept looking around...feeling like an idiot.
Then I heard a laugh I recognized and Thumper was in a huge black pickup truck with tinted windows. The window was cracked enough for him to call my name and to laugh at my confusion. We briefly said hello and I haven't seen him since.
Then not too long ago he friended me on facebook.
I'd forgotten all about Thumper.
I haven't really caught up on his life though because his updates were so peppered with obscenities that I've hidden him from my view. (I am after all the girl with the overly modest dress.)
He wished me happy birthday though. And suddenly facebook became as bizarre in its connections as high school was.
Without those thrown-together-in-a-small-town ties, I never would have been friends with many of the people I went to school with. I think I was enriched by my assorted friends in high school though. And staying in (sort of) touch with them on facebook is good too.
I had to smile remembering Thumper.