I will never forget the day I met Jim Duke. We were waiting in line to use the restroom at G.H. Whitcomb Elementary School in Clear Lake City, Texas. Well, that isn?t exactly true. We were actually waiting in line in a contest in the boy?s bathroom. We were both trying to be the first second grader in school history to actually use the bathroom over the urinal, despite the fact that it was about six feet wide. We had been drinking water all morning long. Jim and I have always been ambitious.
That contest was interrupted when an emergency landed one of the contestants in an ambulance. I won?t describe what happened after Hamp Turner held it in too long. Besides, I was in the stall trying to convince Jim that the first ?o? in the ?Fort Howard? label on the toilet paper dispenser was really an ?a.? We still argue about it to this day. Jim and I have always been intellectuals.
When Scott Maxson moved to town two years later, Jim and I got over our grammar school foolishness. In other words, we started acting like bona fide juvenile delinquents. I wasn?t there the day that Jim and Scott lit the ditch on fire behind Scott?s house but I do remember hearing the sirens when the fire department arrived.
Nor was I there the time that Scott and Jim used tin foil to make fake nails that stuck out of the cracks in the street in front of Scott?s house. It was pretty funny until the guy in the El Camino truck (or was the El Camino a car?) spun out of control trying to swerve out of the way of the ?nails? in the road. I was also glad I wasn?t there when he hopped out of that El Camino and chased them through the neighborhood.
I should be careful about making fun of Jim. He knows that I once got arrested at a party with a sixteen year old girl. Every time I try to defend myself by pointing out that I was only seventeen at the time, he talks about the second time I got arrested. That was after I relieved myself on the side of a car. I didn?t know that it was an undercover cop car. And I sure didn?t know that there were two undercover cops inside the car at the time. Come to think of it, I don?t think my parents ever found out about it. I hope they aren?t still reading my columns.