My worst essay

[Talk about being a drama queen; I think I was at my best with this one. Well, at the time; later, I did top it as a college freshman. The writing in this essay is really bad. But what the heck, I was seventeen when I wrote it. I was typing on a portable typewriter. I sucked at typing on any form of manual typewriter. My fingers were too short to reach the keys correctly. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I’ve modified the story just a tiny bit, but this version contains 99 percent of the original material, minus the typos and weird punctuation, of course. (However, I did retain all those strangely structured sentences and awful adverbs—ugh). I’ve also added comments in brackets. Names of the four other, um, major participants and anyone else have been changed to (hopefully) prevent anyone reading this from figuring out who they really were.

This version isn’t complete; the last page seems to be missing. This probably was a rough draft. I must have edited the story a bit because I’m sure I showed a “clean copy” to “Jeremy” (a spring/summer on and off boyfriend who, incidentally, showed up at my parents’ house many times after we had broken up). I made him read a lot of the crazy stuff I wrote. (I usually wrote it during typing class; the teacher never seemed to pay much attention to what we were typing as long as we were typing something.) Jeremy never told me I was crazy, except the time that “Kate” and I “stalked” his brother “Roger” from North Street to Tyler Street, a distance of approximately a quarter of a mile. Oh, wait; it was Roger who told Jeremy we were crazy.]

Reading it over, I wonder how we got into that mess. Making a snarky remark wasn’t like “Jenna.”

We We’re Minding Our Own Business When…

Every year, some organization in the next town sponsors a carnival. I think it goes on for the better part of a week. My four friends and I went to the carnival for three nights in a row. By the third night, we felt like veterans [lame expression].

Passing by a certain bunch of guys we knew, I could sense Roger and “Stan” staring at me behind my back [Yeah, I know, adolescent paranoia.] You’d think I committed a crime. [Huh! Jeremy cheated on me; well, I guess maybe he cheated on both of us. Yeah, he did.] But I wasn’t at the carnival to brood over my personal problems [even though I did anyway]. Thoughts of Roger’s boyish looking [Well, he was a boy.] younger brother Jeremy never wandered far from my mind or my heart. [OMG, I’m sooo embarrassed. I can’t believe I wrote that, but I was sixteen and in luuuve.]

The five of us decided to split up. Kate, “Cindy,” and I stayed together, while Jenna and “Sally” went off in another direction. Kate talked Cindy into having a picture taken at the photo booth, so we went over there.

About twenty minutes later, we were standing in front of the photo booth when Sally raced up to us, trailed closely by Jenna whose appearance had suddenly changed from that of exemplary to that of chaotic. Her long, honey-brown hair, which had been pulled back into a French twist, now looked disheveled and uncombed [redundant]. To me, her appearance relayed the impression that she had just slugged it out with someone. How right I was!

Breathlessly [How’s that for an adverb?], Jenna and Sally pieced [?] together their little escapade of a few minutes ago. They had been standing in front of the motorcycle exhibition when Sally made some reference to Hoody Guy who was practically the star attraction of that racket. A couple of nights previously, he had made clear his interest in Sally [In other words, he tried to hit on her.].

Although the feeling was NOT mutual, Sally made some remark about the guy. It was just her bad luck that the two girls standing in front of them didn’t exactly appreciate Sally’s praise of Hoody Guy’s masculine attributes [Whatever the heck they were.]. In fact, their dislike was so intense that they started bugging Jenna.

Jenna was wearing a very nice pair of slacks. One of the girls said to her, “So, you think you’ve got hot pants.”

“No,” Jenna said. “I think they’re cool.”

The girl slapped Jenna across the face and started pulling her hair. Sally, completely stunned, backed off and watched the affair [weird choice of word] from a safe distance. Finally, Jenna got away, and she and Sally went looking for the rest of the crew.

As we listened to the details, Kate, Cindy, and I began to feel pangs [another weird choice of word] of revenge surge within us [Oh, the drama—and the insanity.] In a wild moment of madness [That explains it.], we all hollered, “Let’s go get them.” After securing [Getting would work better here; nothing about this experience was secure.] a description of the two from Jenna and Sally, the five of us courageously set out to finish what Sally had unwillingly started.

Halfway to our destination, a thought suddenly hit me like a bombshell [Yikes!]. Calling our little army [Well, fits in with bombshell.] to an abrupt halt, I asked Jenna to repeat her description of the girls. She did: one blonde, one brunette. Oh, brother, I had seen those two here before. And man, were they ever something. My idea of two typical sluts [Is sluts politically correct?], and how right I was.

Realizing that we weren’t fooling with just anybody, I began to think things over. However, the determination of the others dissolved [weird word again] any fears I might have had at the moment. Chins set firmly [s/b chins firmly set for consistency w/fists phrase] and fists tightly clenched, the five of us continued on in our search for trouble.

We found it, or rather, it found us halfway around the carnival grounds. That’s when we sighted [Oh, you’ve got to be kidding.] our opponents heading in our direction. Personally, I’d rather have sighted a saber-toothed tiger and a dinosaur instead, but that’s life, so they say [really lame sentence, and weird too]. Just about then, I thought life was getting to be pretty dangerous.

Our courage began to fail as we previewed [ugh] our opposition. We unanimously decided against violence and continued on our way, ignoring the two. Unfortunately they decided not to be ignored. We all cautioned one another not to get excited [Panic would be a better word here.] as the pair began following us. After all, there were five of us and only two of them.

I walked about five yards ahead of the others, with Kate close behind [We were scared out of our minds at this point.]. Intuition told me there was going to be trouble, and again, how right I was [I seemed to be right a lot.]. Making up my mind, I turned to Kate, “I’m going to find a cop.”

“No,” Kate said, “If my mom and dad see this….” [Kate and Jenna’s parents were also at the carnival that night.]

Ignoring Kate’s protest, I raced to the animal [sheep? cows? pigs?] exhibition where I found a rather elderly gentleman who was certainly far from my idea of a cop [I was impressed by State Troopers back then; they looked good in uniform.], but it apparently suited the person who had the audacity to pin that badge on the man’s shirt. And as long as he was endowed with that shiny symbol of authority, he would do. [Oh, puhlezzze!]

Attempting not to appear too worried [actually too freaked out], I told the officer that two girls were apparently determined to start something with my friends and me. I explained that they had evidently [way too many adverbs in this thingy] singled out one of my friends to push around.

Without any sign of surprise [Happened all the time, I guess.], he followed me almost mechanically to one area of the carnival where a crowd had gathered. Shoving my way through the human mess, I blinked my eyes in disbelief at the sight before me. The Blonde had grabbed Jenna’s long brown hair and, by that means was whirling her around [bad sentence]. Jenna was no match for the girl, who, by her attitude of pugnacity [pugnacious attitude], conveyed to me the impression that she was, most likely, the veteran of several similar disagreements.

I knew that I had to do something. But what? Realization hit me like a rocket [not a bad simile, just okay] as I turned my shocked gaze and discovered to my horror [No, really?] that Jenna wasn’t the only one being thrown around. Kate, standing stunned on one side of the crowd, was about to be charged by the Brunette, who looked no less friendly than her companion.

In the midst of all this excitement, whom did I happen to glance upon standing bewildered among the spectators but Sally and the equally confused Cindy.

I knew what I had to do. As the Brunette raced toward Kate, I charged into her with all my strength, and as she retreated in surprise, I yelled in her face with all the audacity within me [sure], “You leave her alone!”

Caught off guard, the Brunette fell back, startled. “What are you butting in for?” she yelled.

Before I had a chance to yell a smart remark in return and before she had the chance to reciprocate the attack, the police officer (or whatever he was), who didn’t seem much interested in the first place, calmly wandered into the circle and broke up everything. The crowd, disappointed because the battle had culminated in the first round [We hoped], faded away in amusement [ugh].

Hoping against hope that we had seen the last of that pleasant pair, Jenna, Kate, and I rounded up the two non-participants and proceeded to continue on our tour of the carnival grounds. This time we stuck together.

About twenty minutes later, while standing before one of the many amusement booths, I learned to our great dismay that fate was against us [Yep.]. Turning around, I noticed the enemy sneaking up behind us. Not rejoicing at this present development, I concluded that I’d just better find that cop again.

I walked away from the booth at a normal pace. Kate came up behind me. “I think they’re going to start something,” she whispered. “I heard one of them say ‘you take this one, and I’ll take that one.’”

The next thing I knew, one of the girls grabbed my coat [Why the heck was I dragging a coat around? It was July.] “Where do you think you’re going?” she demanded.

“I’m going to get a cop,” I said in exactly the tone of voice that I had been addressed.

“And why are you going to get a cop?” the Blonde asked.

“Because,” I retorted, “I don’t like the way you’re treating my friends.”

Apparently, that wasn’t the answer she was looking for, because the next thing I knew I was being slapped across the face. As I realized my true plight, I began to panic. I wanted to run, and then the Blonde smacked me good with her experienced little hand.

Courage renewed, I threw down my sweater [What the heck happened to my coat?] and began kicking wildly. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kate shoving her way through the crowd that had gathered.

[Unfortunately, the last page of this story got lost somewhere between then and now. However, here’s how it ended: Kate grabbed onto a post and started kicking the Brunette in the stomach. About two minutes later Kate and Jenna’s parents wandered into the scene and broke up the fight. Blonde and Brunette took off, never to be seen again that evening.

A few minutes later, we discussed the situation with two or three guys who had begun talking to us. They were strangers, but they knew the Blonde and Brunette and were familiar with the girls’ reputations [and probably with the girls themselves]. They walked around the carnival with us for the remainder of the evening, for protection, I guess. I don’t remember their names. Jeremy and I were “on” at the time, so I wasn’t interested. At any rate, we didn’t become permanent friends with our new acquaintances, which is probably just as well.]

 

 

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About WestWordArizona

Writer, editor, originally from Berkshire County, Massachusetts, now living in North San Diego County, California.
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