[FoRK] One more reason why I wouldn't live in the South: Grandparents turn in high school student for zombie story

Ken Meltsner meltsner at gmail.com
Fri Mar 11 15:17:33 PST 2005

On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 14:50:41 -0800, J. Andrew Rogers
<andrew at ceruleansystems.com> wrote:
> Way back when I was ~13, I got into some outrageously overblown
> "trouble" on similar but even flimsier grounds, and I didn't live in the
> South.  Fortunately, this was long before the current "terrorists among
> us" fad.
> We had some type of creative writing assignment, and one of the kids in
> my class used some of his classmates as characters in a story about an
> alien invasion or some such that boys of that age are wont to write.  In
> this story, which I never did see, I apparently was cast as the person
> who "blew up" the fictional critters in graphic detail.  The kid's
> parents read this and somehow construed that I was actually some type of
> mad bomber in real-life, and called the school and the authorities.
> To make a long story short, it escalated into a bizarre Kafkaesque
> situation where I was being interrogated in all seriousness by the
> "authorities" about my criminal role in their nutty group delusion
> constructed from another kid's creative writing assignment that I had no
> part in.  It blew over when they could find no evidence of the
> conspiracy in my personal effects or anywhere else after some
> investigation and lots of threats.  It was so surreal that it didn't
> really bother me at the time, adopting a "yeah, whatever guys" attitude.

One of the reasons that this story hits close to home for me is that
when I was just a teeny annoying person (~ 9-10 years old), a friend
(Clayton Gillespie -- are you out there?) and I drew up plans for
occupying our elementary school in support of the "kids' liberation"
cause.  I'd like to think we were simply advanced for our age, but it
may have been the fact that we had both lived in UC Berkeley's
"University Village" in Albany, CA, and this was the early seventies
-- everyone in the East Bay was planning to take over and occupy
something in those days.

We chickened out when we realized that the logistics were too much for
a bunch of fifth-graders to handle.  By the time I attended high
school (luckily not Albany High), kid oppression by adults didn't seem
nearly so important.  Clayton went to Berkeley High where a student
occupation would *not* have been newsworthy, so he had to find other
ways to shock his parents.  I lost contact with him, so he may have
become a Young Republican or something similarly upsetting.


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