There comes a time when everyone has to reflect. Everyone has to
take a look back on their life and think, "What are some things that
have shaped me? What are some things that have made me… me?" Recently,
while thinking back, I remembered an incident in my life that was an eye
opener for me. Well, I shouldn't say I 'remembered'. It's not really
something that can be forgotten. The incident made me understand that we
are fragile creatures, susceptible to all kinds of nature's wraths. The
day I am referring to is the day that I was given... a wedgie.
A wedgie. It happened. Full on happened, when I was in grade five. I
should give some background on me at that time. When I was a kid, I was
picked on a lot. I get why. I was really keen about school, my hair was
always parted, my clothes were terrible, and I was really shy. I always
had to be early for school. Always. I would get up early, get all of my
stuff together, then just sit by the door and worry that I was going to
be late. I would cry to my mom until she took me.
"Mom! I have to go to school! I'm gonna be late!"
"What? It's six thirty in the morning! School doesn't start until eight and I'm driving you there!"
"I need to be there! I'm gonna be late!"
Christ. Fine. I'll take you now. The school is ten minutes away. You're
gonna be an hour and a half early. That's what you want? You got it!"
Most time, I was at school before the teachers were. Teachers would show up and I would be standing outside.
"Nathan? What are you doing here? Is something wrong?"
"No. I just didn't want to be late."
"Late? You don't have to be here for an hour!"
"I thought I would be late. I'm an anxious kid!"
If I were your age, I wouldn't even be here. I don't want to be here
now, but they pay me. Actually, I don't get paid to come in early. Yeah,
what the hell am I doing here! Thanks for the talk, Nathan. I'm going
That part hasn't changed. To this day, I
hate to be late. I really dislike it. Just know that if we are ever
supposed to meet, and you say seven, I'm there at six thirty. That is a
fact about me. I'll show up, look at where I'm supposed to meet you, and
then walk around for a bit and still get there before you.
they're not here, probably because they said they'd be here a half hour
later than now. Guess I'll walk around and try to make it seem as if we
showed up at the same time."
Not only were my
clothes terrible, I was always really worried about not doing well in
school, and I was horrified to be late, I used to cry all the time as
well. Yeah. I wasn't really giving kids a reason not to pick on me. Cry
about anything and everything.
"Ahh, come on, man! Sniff Sniff. It's all that I have!"
remember one time in grade two I cried because a guy made fun of me for
not being able to open a Handi-Snack. I kept trying to open it and the
wrapper kept falling down. A kid who was probably in grade five walked
by and made fun of me.
"Oh, can't open it, huh? Ohhhhh!"
he kept doing the action that I was doing – opening and re-opening the
wrapper! I dropped the Handi-Snack and ran home. Ran home and cried! If I
had this me as a kid, it would be hard to care after awhile.
crying, again? About what? A Handi-Snack this time? Jesus. You want to
get these culprits back? Tell them that hanging out with you is like
always watching the saddest parts of Titanic on a loop. That'll make
So now you have a little back-story
on how I was as a kid. Grade five. The day of the wedgie. On this
faithful day, I was walking to school. There was a path behind my house
that was called the 'power lines', basically because it had power lines
on it. We were pretty clever.
"Hey, you guys want to go the store?"
"You mean the 'product-selling building'?
was walking and I ran into five of the cool guys from school. You could
always tell who the cool kids were in the 90s. The cool people all wore
Starter jackets. Remember in the early 90s when Starter jackets were
the greatest things on the planet? This was before hipster kids who
weren't cool enough to wear them in the 90s started to wear them.
"I found it for forty dollars. Isn't it cool? No, the suspenders didn't come with it. I bought these separately."
the 90s, if you had a Starter jacket, the world – at school – opened up
to you. People opened doors, held your book bag, did your tests for
"No, thank you Mr. Starter jacket, man! Just to be close to you gives me the feeling that, one day, I too can be cool."
"Shut up, loser."
"You got it, Mr. Starter jac... Ow! Great jab."
the cool Starter jacket kids saw me. They looked at their jackets,
looked at mine, and saw that I was not wearing what it took to hang out
"Hey, his jacket doesn't have an S with a star on it. Ours do!"
"Hey... you're right. That's a different jacket! Oh, man. I pray for these days!"
Once they figured this out, they started calling me names.
"Nathan... Nathan! Where are you going, Naaaaathan?!"
they weren't really 'names', but I was an anxious nervous kid! Also,
you had to hear their tone. Their tone? Their tone implied that they
wanted me to feel bad. You don't say someone's name with about eight
extra a's if you want them to feel good about themselves. For some
reason, that makes people feel dumb.
"Hey, Staaaaarbucks, guy. Can I have a tall mild?"
What's wrong with what I'm wearing? I'm just working here to further my
photography career! Why do you have to mock me? Why!"
of the Starter jackets was an old friend of mine. We went to daycare
together. Actually, one time, I went to his house when we were in grade
four. He literally kicked his grandmother in the stomach and
power-bombed her onto a bed when she asked him if he wanted butter on
"You want butter?"
"Butter? It's on!"
thought that was a moment, but was he going to help me? Nope. He saw
his opportunity to hang out with the cool people. He had already bought
the jacket, so he couldn't stick up for someone like me.
"Guys, let's leave him alone. He saw me put wrestling moves on my grandmother."
Are you sticking up for a guy who doesn't have one of these balling-ass
jackets? Wow. Tear the S off of that, man. You don't deserve it."
"But... guys... you know me. I listen to Tupac. I wear the jacket. I'm cool!"
"I said rip it off! Starter would be disgusted by you."
Starter jacket guys started running after me. I didn't think they
wanted to do anything good when they caught up to me, so I took off into
the woods to hide from them. I ran for a bit and lost them! I was
sitting there, thinking that they were stupid and couldn't find me, and
then I remembered that I had to go to school. I was going to be late!
"No, I can't be late! I'll be a complete failure at life!"
So I left my hiding spot, and starting running to school, crying the whole way.
gonna be late! I'm gonna be late and as soon as I get to school these
guys are going to beat me up! Why would anyone put a ten year old
I got to school, and realized that I was there
before the bell. Perfect, I was on time, and these guys are nowhere in
sight! I did it. Just then, over the hill, there they came. Running and
laughing because they knew what they were going to do.
"Told you'd he be at school! That's where nerds go. School! The place that we have to go but don't want to go!"
Starter jackets guys came running down the hill toward me. I didn't
know what they had in mind, but I knew it wasn't good. I knew it was not
something I was going to like. I knew that it wasn't going to be
"Why'd you run, man? We just wanted to see if you
wanted to play for slammers. And to start you off, we were going to
give you ten for free!"
I was prepared for something, but not
what happened. They grabbed my underwear and lifted me over their heads.
Over! I was in the air, yelling something that I don't remember,
looking down at my old friend wearing his Starter jacket.
why? I saw you jackknife your grandmother. I didn't tell your mom! I
didn't try to stop you! We went to daycare together. Why?!?"
"You ever try on one of these jackets?"
"No, actually. Are they comfortable?"
"More comfortable than being lifted in the air by your Fruit of the Looms."
"Haha. Oh, you're right about that. Ah, man. Good one."
was hoping that the underwear would break so that I would fall. Didn't
even kind of happen. These must have been the strongest underwear in the
"Mom, thanks a lot. These underwear you bought me don't break."
"Oh, that's good to know. I'll get some more."
not good to know when you're being held in the air by them! I need
underwear that can break, dammit! I need underwear that tears apart like
Hulk Hogan's shirts!"
"Nathan, you know I can't afford to buy
you Hulk Hogan underwear. I'll keep getting the
"That's it! I'm not wearing underwear anymore!"
they just put me down. I don't remember why. Probably because it
stopped being fun once they realized that they weren't going to be able
to rip me in half.
"Didn't you guys think this would split him in half like Baraka from Mortal Kombat?"
"Yeah, man! I've been playing a ton of that game. That's what I had in mind."
"This isn't a fatality at all. More like a bore-ality. This sucks."
people around who were watching got bored and I was just put down. It
took me a few minutes to straighten out my underwear, and that got the
audience to watch again.
"Hey, look at this. The guy who was
in the air by his underwear now has to straighten that underwear out.
Oh, man. That's great... Well, I'm done. Anybody have any Gushers?"