GETTING MORE TALE #448: Phat Curtis
I started highschool in 1986, and the best days of the week were Thursdays. They called it “Game Day”. Thursdays were shortened, and we all got to go home at 2:45 instead of 4:45. Not only did that mean I would be able to catch the start of the Pepsi Power Hour, but it also meant extra time to goof around!
My best friend Bob and I were walking home from school one Thursday afternoon. A few days earlier he found something that we dubbed “the Killerang”. It was actually just a piece of red plastic from a grocery store’s pop bottle plastic crate. It was kind of shaped like an elongated “E”. An inner slat from one of those cases had come out and found its way onto the road by which we were walking. Bob threw it away assuming it was junk, but when he did, that sucker took off and flew, better than a boomerang! We saw it land far away in a vacant lot. We both stared at each other at the unexpected aerodynamics of this plastic fork. We ran after it knowing we’d found a cool toy to play with! The Killerang.
Then on Thursday, Bob brought the Killerang to school so we could mess with it on the way home. Killerang in hand, Bob and I stopped at a park by a local public school that was still in class. We were going to use their schoolyard to see how far we could get this thing to fly. Off in the distance was a class of kids watching a football game. Way, way off in the distance. It is on that field that two fates collided.
Bob wound up and threw the boomerang. He didn’t throw it hard but again it caught air and took off. We ran to collect it, and it was my turn.
“Don’t throw it too hard,” Bob advised. “It really flies.”
“OK,” I said as I wound up.
I threw the boomerang a little too hard. I watched as it flew…and flew…and flew…on its way to the distant football game.
“Oh no,” I muttered as the boomerang continued its flight. By its trajectory, it was going to hit one of the kids in the crowd.
There was one kid on that field that could not be missed even from that distance. He was huge. He was a giant. I watched as my boomerang felled that giant, striking him directly in the back of the neck. His arms went wide and he collapsed to the ground.
“Holy shit,” said Bob as I cried “Oh no!”
“You have to go apologize,” said Bob, stating the obvious. I’d never apologized to a giant before.
Sheepishly, and possibly with a huge and sudden dump in my pants, I went over to the football field to apologize to the giant.
Fortunately the giant, whom I learned one addresses as “Phat Curtis”, was the forgiving type. He did not kill me (this much is obvious). He did not stomp me, nor did he piledrive me into the ground. You don’t get a name like “Phat Curtis” for being small, but thankfully he wasn’t a vengeful giant.
A year later, Phat Curtis started highschool, and it was there that I learned he was a drummer. In fact he had a reputation as the most talented drummer in school. Later on he added five and six string bass to his musical repertoire. He went on to play with my sister in various ensembles, and became a customer at the Record Store too. He was always looking for live albums with good bass. Didn’t buy much stuff, but he sure kept me busy every time he came in.
Maybe that was his revenge? To haunt the Record Store of the guy who boomeranged him in the back of the neck? To make that Record Store guy run around the store looking for live albums with good bass, but not make a sale? Could that be it? If so, I cannot say that Phat Curtis put me in as much pain as I put him in. However at least I can boast that single-handedly took down a giant!