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Chapter Six

By Paul Schroder

Ah...Monday morning has dawned bright and beautiful. Our vengeful duo have arrived at Clark Jr. High with their new monkey-trap safely ensconced in Jeremy's backpack, wrapped inside his freshly laundered gym clothes. We find them in a conspiratorial huddle, standing beside their hall locker just prior to first period. Jeremy takes over the narration...

I need to tell you that when we got to reading the warning label on that bottle of Nair, which we should have done in the store, we found it was some pretty caustic stuff. Not the sort of thing you want to get around someone's eyes. That pretty much put the skids on our plans to put it in that bully's shampoo bottle. I mean, we wanted to embarrass the guy, not blind him. Scully came to our rescue once again though when he rushed down to our basement and brought back a bottle of Polyurethane Glue. I read the instructions and it said it was waterproof - meaning it wouldn't rinse into the butt-head's eyes. He also wouldn't be able to rinse it out of his hair...hehehe.

I know that when I worked with the stuff it foamed up to look something like a lather. Only problem was it was a brownish color and didn't look like any shampoo I had ever used. Well, we decided to put it into an off brand bottle of shampoo that Scully got out of Mom's bathroom. We would substitute this bottle for Sammy's bottle. Sammy would be mad when he saw that someone had made a switch but he would probably use it freak that he is. Hopefully, he wouldn't think anything of the brown color.

Monday morning I am having second thoughts about going through with this hair-brained (no pun intended) scheme. I mean, we aren't even sure this stuff will work, yet I am going to take a chance of getting my block knocked off by one of the biggest kids in the school.

"I have to admit, Mic, I'm really, really nervous about going through with this," I tell my buddy.

"Come on, Jer, don't go getting cold feet on me now. I know I'm the one that usually does the operational part of our plans...but we both know that you are the least likely of the two of us to get caught."

"I know, I know," I respond, feeling my chest all restricted, "but I had a dream last night of Sammy using my head to do a center line dribble down the basketball court."

Our plan to replace that bully's shampoo bottle with some glue has me sweating up a storm now. Oh, sure, we were all bravado last night...when we bragged about how easy this was going to be and how this was our best monkey-trap to date. But the cold reality of day has started to seep into my consciousness and I realize I am still a bit on the young side to be dying. Hell, I still have a lot of living to do. I haven't even had sex yet. Well...with another person, I mean. And you should see the biceps on Sammy Smith, our intended victim. He could tear my face off with one hand, blow his nose in it then slap it back onto my skull before I'd had a chance to scream! And he would probably do it too if he thought I had anything to do with screwing with his hair.

"Look, Jer," Mic tells me. "You've got the next two periods to calm down. You don't go to gym until third period. And even then, you don't have to go through with it unless it looks like it can go off without a hitch. OK? Now, just calm down. If you go to gym looking like you do now you'll probably just drink that bottle of crap to get rid of the evidence."

"Real funny, Mic. But at least 007 has a cyanide capsule or something in case he gets caught."

"Har, Har," Michael laughs, "not to worry, Jer. If Sammy catches you he will be your cyanide capsule!" I felt my face blanch and I got a little dizzy.

"Oh...oh," Michael continues. "Sorry, Jer...just a little levity there. Take a few deep breaths. And don't worry about a thing...I'm sure your Mom has some excellent medical coverage," he snickers.

Just then the bell for first period explodes behind me and I jump like I've been prodded by Hannibal Lector.

"Whoa, champ. Take it easy," he chides. "Look, let's just forget about this for today, OK? You are clearly in no condition to be playing 007. Hell, as soon as you see the guy you'll fall down in your own poop! We will just rethink this, OK?"

I don't respond except to waggle my head up and down like a bobble-head. That's OK with me. The operational part has always been Michael's bailiwick anyway. I'm really good at doing things off the top of my head, but give me a little time to think things through...and I come up with a million thoughts about what can go wrong.

"Yeah," I gasp, "I'll meet you here at next break," I tell him, about one octave higher than normal.

Michael closes the locker and we head our separate ways to our first period classes. Michael's shaking his head and grinning at me like I'm his favorite comedian. 'Bugger-lips,' I'm thinking, 'I'm glad you find me so amusing.'

My first period class is math and so I am able to calm down a bit cuz I like the subject. Besides, Mic has said we can rethink this plan so that means I am off the hook for the time being. I settle in and open my notebook.

Now, usually I can just zone right in on whatever the teacher is presenting in here. Today I am having a bit of a problem concentrating. I am feeling a little of what Michael calls 'whimpy-shrimpy'. That's just his polite phraseology for feeling chicken-shit. We have the whimpy-shrimps quite often. I feel like I am letting the team down though and...well hell, I guess I am. That's the problem with having the physical characteristics of Jiminy Cricket - it doesn't promote a lot of bravado. I know I am the mental equivalent, or superior, of anyone in this school...but half the seventh graders could probably kick my ass...a few have proven it. Sigh.

Second period, English, goes pretty much the same way, so when the bell ends second period I'm wandering back to my locker with a definite slump to my shoulders. Michael is already there. When I walk up to him he kind of leans towards my ear and mumbles...

"Look down at my sister's locker and see who she's talking with, Jer."

I glance down to the far end of the hall where Suzzane has her locker. She is talking to a tall boy.

"Holy crap!" I say to Michael. "That's Sammy Smith!"

Mic just nods his head and we watch the two of them for a bit. Sammy has this Mr. Macho thing going and he is sort of posing and primping while leaning against Suzzane's locker. Then he pulls out his comb and runs it through his hair a few times. (He must do that a million times a day - the vain dork.) The really interesting thing though is the way Suzzane seems to be just gushing over the guy. She even ran a hand up and down his bicep. God...gag me with a spork.

Now, I'm still smarting a little bit about Suzzane's comment on the size of my dick. And there she stands, stroking this giant penis (read that as Sammy Smith) in the hallway. All of a sudden I feel myself grow a bit of a backbone and I decide, then and there, that Mr. Hotshot is going down...and he is going down today!

Michael must see the resolve in my eyes. He looks at me, smiles and says...

"You're going to do it...ain't ya, Jer?"

"Damn straight I am, Michael! As far as I'm concerned, the hair on that guy's head are just the pubes on a giant dick-head!"

I look over at Michael, who is still grinning at me.

"We might not be able to tell Suzzane that we emasculated her new boy toy, Mic, but it will feel damn good knowing that I got back at her for her nasty crack about my size."

Michael just nods his head and looks at me like a proud Dad watching his little toddler take his first shaky steps. I guess he has been feeling kind of disappointed in me, watching how I was folding in on myself earlier. Now he must be seeing the Jeremy he was glad to claim as his best friend.

I don't know why it hit me, just then...this brilliant concept that just popped into my head. But it goes something like this - I feel like I had an edge over Michael right now and I am going to take advantage of it.

"Mic," I say, "if I go through with this then you are going to owe me big time. You know that, don't you?"

He gets a slightly puzzled look and says...

"Owe you? What do you mean, Jer?"

"I mean...I am taking the biggest chance here that either of us has ever taken of winding up on some cold, mortuary slab."

"" he responds.

"So..." I continue, "if I am going to take this huge chance then you, my friend, are going to owe me...and owe me big time."

I can see he is a little uncomfortable with this idea - I mean, I am appealing to his sense of fair play. He would be less than fair if he replied in the negative but is probably too nervous to commit himself to some unknown future obligation.

"Ummm...just how do you mean that, Jer? What specifically will I owe you?"

He is fishing around for something that will give him a little bit of comfort, I suppose. He is probably hoping I will say something like doing my housework or homework or some such thing. But I already know what I have in the back of my mind and to even HINT of it would be anathema to my plans. So I simply say...

"Hell...I don't know, Mic. But if I call on you for some really big favor in the future, I expect you to remember that you agreed that you owe me for putting my life on the line."

He looks at me for a few seconds, trying to read my mind or my intentions or something, trying to determine if I have some ulterior motive, I guess. But I just keep my face straight and gaze at him as intently as I can.

"Look, Michael.." I continue, "you trust me not to endanger you or hurt you, don't you?"

He slumps his shoulders. I can see that my appeal to his honor has its desired effect.

"Sigh...I suppose. OK,'re right. I will owe you big time if you actually go through with this."

YES...I mentally high-fived myself but struggle to keep a neutral expression on my face. Little does he suspect that my intent, and in the very near future, is to see him stripped down to the buff! I intend to instruct him to stand there with everything nature has endowed him with...totally exposed to my view. And he is going to stand there until I grow tired of looking at him (as if I could get tired of that) at a distance of about 1 inch.

I acknowledge his promise by giving him a light jab to his shoulder while saying...

"OK, I go."

He gives me a grin and a thumbs-up and I reach into our locker and grab my gym clothes...all neatly folded around the bottle of glue shampoo. I pull the package out and start heading purposefully towards my unknown destiny. About ten feet down the hallway I turn around to return his thumbs-up salute, but he isn't watching me. Mic is doing a little happy jig in front of our locker. I can't help chuckling at the sight. 'Weird boy...' I think, 'but he's my weird boy.'

I don't have to tell you that my heart is doing flip-flops back and forth from one side of my rib-age to the other. It turns into this giant bass drum as I stride into the boys' locker room. I head immediately over to my locker, pop it open and slide the bottle onto the top shelf. Then I start stripping down and changing into my gym clothes.

I really detest that jock strap that we are required to wear. Especially now, when in my nervous state my ball-sack has decided to withdraw up into my nether-nether regions. You don't fill out a jock strap that way. Shoot, I had to buy a pretty small one to begin with so that is kind of an ego buster to start with. I had thought about buying one with a cup size a lot larger and sewing some padding into it...but that ploy wouldn't work...I couldn't very well shower with my jock strap on, could I?

Anyway, my package size is the last thing on my mind right now. I am dressing too fast. I need to slow down and give Sammy boy the opportunity to finish dressing ahead of me. I need to see if he is going to click his padlock closed on his locker before he heads out to the gym. If he locks his locker then the plan was worthless. You can't jimmy these lockers open like the hall lockers.

Well, there is the typical noise and bedlam of the average boys' locker room...the kibitzing, rough-housing and usual adolescent stuff. Stuff I generally avoid because...well, because everyone generally avoids me. I'm not unpopular in my classes or anything but I'm not really acknowledged in gym class. I am a short, geeky kid that has the co-ordination of a five legged clown. If you want to maintain your image as an all-around, he-man sportsman then you avoid the non-athletic people. And I am definitely Mr. Non-athletic.

Sammy has finished dressing and just slammed his locker shut. He and a couple of his bicep-laden buddies start heading out to the gym. padlock!

Later, we are all milling around in the gym waiting for the coach to get through roll-all. Then we are filled in on the exploits of our team in Friday night's basketball game against our big rival. Our team had won by fifteen points it seems, and old Sammy boy just raises his arms over his head while everyone whistles and cheers. He ia a star center or guard or...some basketball sounding position. Hell...I don't know. All I know about the game is that they drool it from one hoop down to the hoop at the opposite end and try to sink the ball in the hoop. Yeah...yeah, I's 'dribble' the ball and not drool. But I just look at all jocks as droolers.

I've worked my way to the very edge of the crowd in preparation for slipping out. I know there will be two separate b-ball games going on in at each end of the court. When school first started, the coach had decided he could do a fairly equal split in the class by using the alphabet. (Actually, I'm kind of surprised he knows the alphabet). He sends A through L to the west end of the court and everyone else to the east end. This is the part where the coach would then walk off the court and head back to his office. Well, I follow the coach.

Since there were two co-aptains on each side of the alphabet, they will choose up teams for whatever sport we are going to play. I, of course, am always chosen last and for this reason am kind of invisible to begin with. I wait two minutes after the coach has made his way out the exit and then I just casually wander towards the exit myself. Good, no one seems to be paying the invisible boy a bit of attention. If anyone does notice me they will just assume I am going the bathroom or to talk with the coach or something.

I slip out of the gym and quietly close the door behind me. The only thing that is going to give me away now is this tom-tom pounding in my chest. I don't care,though: I am going to go through with this. I have a much bigger motive for succeeding now than putting Sammy boy in his place. I would have volunteered to walk on hot coals to obtain the prize I intend to collect for success here today.

When I slip into the locker room I head immediately to my locker. Grabing my bottle of glue shampoo, I carry it over to Sammy's locker. Then I pop his locker open. Wow...the pretentious prick actually has a hand-held hair dryer in there. Well, hopefully, after today he can dry his head quite handily with just a hanky...snicker, snicker. We are quite certain he will have to shave that congealed mess of cyto-plasm. I see his bottle of shampoo and pull it out. I am about to close his locker door and dispose of his shampoo bottle when I hear...

"What are you doing in Sammy's locker?"

'Oh my God...Oh my God...Oh my God...' Is all I can keep repeating in my head. If I were a turtle I would be totally withdrawn into my shell right now...somewhere in the sub-basement level. I try to look casual as I slowly swing around to face whoever this might be.

Hot DAMN! It's Tyson Samuels, the kid that Sammy loves to torment, the poor bugger that Sammy locked into a hall locker!

"Wheew" I exhale, sagging down onto the dressing room bench.

"Tyson, you just about became my cure for constipation. I nearly shit myself when I heard you."

Tyson is looking kind of perplexed.

"Look, Jeremy, I know Sammy isn't even close to being a friend of least, I hope he isn't. So, just what are you up to here?"

I produce a smile that would make the Mona Lisa look like Scrooge. I wiggle a finger in a come-here gesture and lean forward. He bends down and I proceed to explain what the new contents of Sammy boy's locker is.

His eyes light up like a display window at Macys.

"This stuff is going to destroy his impeccable hairdo...isn't it?" he asks.

I just nod my head and say...

"We're hoping so. We haven't tested the stuff yet. But, all he has to do is put it into his hair and it's all over. The stuff is waterproof and won't wash out. I just hope he won't be suspicious and borrow someone else's shampoo. "

"Why do you think he would be suspicious, Jeremy?"

"Well, the stuff is brown. That just isn't your normal shampoo color."

"Well, I don't think he'll be suspicious, Jer. He uses a Selsum dandruff shampoo and that stuff is brown."

I still have Sammy's shampoo bottle in my hand so I open it and look inside.

"Well...dip me in shit and call me a pop-tart," I reply. "This stuff IS brown!"

"Yesss..." I exclaim, and raise my arm for a high-five. Tyson just looks at my hand and then reaches up and shakes it. Cheeze...he is even nerdier than I am.

"Wait a minute," I say, "how is it that you are so intimately acquainted with this guy's shampooing habits? I mean, that seems a little strange, Tyson. Do you watch a lot of guys when they wash?" and I wiggle my eyebrows at him and give him a wicked grin.

He blushes up nearly as pretty as Mikey.

"Actually, Jeremy, you guys aren't the only ones to think of this. I intended to put some of my Mom's Nair in his shampoo bottle."

"No way!" I exclaim. "What are the odds of this?" and I shake my head, dumbfounded.

"But, dude, it's a good thing I got to him first," I tell him. "If you read the caution label on that Nair's pretty caustic. It's not something you want around your eyes."

"No, I haven't read it yet. I don't think I would really have the guts to go through with it, anyway. You're a pretty gutsy guy, Jeremy."

I just kiss my bicep in way of response. Sigh...I wish I had a bicep.

"So what are you doing out of the gym?" I ask him.

"Well..." he says "as usual, neither side picked me for a game and I'm just kinda wandering around. Thought I'd come back for a long shower without a bunch of screaming adenoidals around me."

A shower, eh? Hmm. Tyson isn't really my type when it comes to picking a fantasy model...way too tall, but he is kind of cute. I have seen him in the nude of course because we are in the same gym class and he does have one thing going for him. Let's just say that the one thing I am referring to would definitely have trouble fitting into my boy sized jock strap. I guess I wouldn't mind seeing that thing swinging around for awhile.

"Cool" I say. "Let's both just hop into the shower, then." And I start walking towards my locker to strip.

"Ahhh...I don't know, Jeremy," he replies. "Don't you think it might look kind of weird to others when then come in and see us both in the shower? I don't think I want to start any tongues wagging."

DAMN! He's probably right. Oh well, it was a nice thought while it lasted.

"I'll tell you what..." he adds, "maybe I better wander back out and sit in the bleachers to allay any suspicions about things. And perhaps you ought to go into the equipment room until the locker room starts to fill up with guys."

I change my mind about this boy being dense.

"Good idea, Ty, I'll act like I'm putting basketballs away, or something."

This time Tyson sticks his arm up in the air and, instead of giving him a high-five, I reach up and shake his hand...the dork.

I hide out in the equipment room until about half of the guys have filed in. I am going to quickly strip down and head for the showers. God, I'm just so anxious about the next few minutes that I am about ready to pee. I finish stripping and slip on my shower thongs. After wrapping a towel around me, I grab my bar soap and head for the shower. Some of the boys are dressed already and heading out. We're supposed to take a shower after gym but I have never seen the coach come in and enforce the rule. And it's too bad because some of these guys leave here smelling like a giant arm pit. Some boys are just shy like my little Mikey. Then I start thinking about the favor I am going to demand from Michael and I start feeling the old snake stirring under the towel. 'Whoops...better think of something else, Jer, me lad. Can't go into the shower looking like you want to play drop-the-soap.'

There are already a couple of guys in here showering and one of them is Tyson. I pick the shower-head to his right and set my soap on the soap shelf. I get the water adjusted and then kind of lean towards Tyson.

"Are you ready for this buddy?" I whisper to him.

He just gives me this quizzical look in return. 'Gosh, what's up with him' I'm wondering. 'You would think he would be jumping at the bit here just like I am. Instead he acts like he's forgotten all about what's going to happen.' I am about to comment on this when I see Sammy boy stepping into the shower.

SHIT! He doesn't have his shampoo bottle with him! What the hell is up with this?

I look over to Tyson and he just kind of shrugs his shoulders.

Crap! I reach over and turn the water off, grab my stuff and just walk out of the shower. I can't believe this. All this effort and it was just a waste of stinking time! I snatch my towel off the hook and walk, slump shouldered, back to my locker.

Fuckedy, fuckedy, fuck, fuck, fuck! That's all I have to say about that. What the hell is the deal here? All that heart stopping, adrenalin pounding fear for nothing! Old shit-head isn't even going to shampoo his hair.

I am just slamming things around in my locker and wishing someone had brought a dog to class today so I could kick it! That's when I notice someone is hovering around me waiting to get my attention. I glance over and it's Tyson.

"Sorry, Jer" he tells me, "I thought you knew. Sammy doesn't shampoo after gym class because it takes him too long to prep his hair before next class."

"Then what the heck's the purpose of having a shampoo bottle and a hair dryer if he doesn't even use the darn things?" I ask him.

"Because he always shampoos his hair after basketball practice and after a game," Ty responds. "That gives him plenty of time to blow dry his hair and get all prettied up."

My face went from this squinty scowl to a devilish grin in Concord speed.

"Ty... you little angel, do you mean Sammy boy is going to be shampooing tonight after all?"

Tyson just nods his head and grins back at me.

"I thought you might like hearing that, Jeremy."

I just heave a big sigh and feel a sense of relief wash through me as I watch Ty wander back to his own locker. HOT DAMN! It is going to happen after all. OK... I won't be here to actually watch it happen, but I will sure be able to see the after effects tomorrow. This might just be better anyway. I will be out of sight and out of mind. I won't even be a lingering memory in the guy's mind when the screams of comprehension come echoing out of the shower room. Oh yes, things are right with the world after all and I am humming a little ditty as I finish dressing and leave the room.

I see Michael is waiting at our locker. The boy has a look on his face like he is waiting for Santa Claus to come sliding down the chimney with his new pony. I give him a double thumbs up before I reach him. By the time I am standing at his side he is doing his happy-boy jig again.

He stops after a few seconds and asks...

"Well, Jeremy, don't keep me in suspense. Are his hands glued to the top of his head?...giggle, giggle."

"I don't know, Michael. We won't know until tomorrow."

He gets this befuddled look on his face and, before he can ask me, I go ahead and explain about Sammy's typical shampooing arraignments.

"Damn," he says, "and here I was hoping I would at least catch a glimpse of his new hairdo in the halls today."

"Well," I say, "I'll tell you all about it at lunch. There is a pretty good story behind it actually."

That perks his ears up some. And we wander down the hall together, mumbling and snickering.

It is later, after school, when we are climbing the stairs up to Michael's room, that he asks me...

"What do you think, Jer, are we going to be able to trust Tyson to keep his mouth shut? After all...our necks are really in a sling over this."

"I think so, Mic. I mean...think about it. He is just as deep in this as we are right now. He caught me red handed and if he was going to squeal that would have been the time. Besides, he wants this as bad as we do."

"Yeah, I's just," and then his phone rings before he can finish his sentence.

Michael bounds back down the stairs to answer the phone and I just continue into his room. I think about booting up his computer and doing a bit of snooping but he didn't have anything juicy to put in his diary. So I just sit on the edge of his bed and wait for him.

He comes back up in a few minutes and he is giggling.

"That was the Weasel. He wants to know if we have a new cement-head in our school." Giggle...snort. "I told him we probably wouldn't know until tomorrow."

We are both giggling now and we give each other a belly bump and a low five. Actually, that belly bump felt kind of kinky. It gives me the warm fuzzys. And speaking of the warm fuzzys...I ask Michael...

"Your sister have cheer leading practice tonight?"

Still grinning away he just nods his head yes.

"That means no one will be home for at least an hour, right?"

His grin fading slightly he, again, nods his head yes.

"Well then, Mic" I grin back at him..."I think I may just be calling in that giant favor you owe me, buddy."

Michael gets this oh-oh look in his eyes...and I can't say I blame him.

"Ahmm," I clear my throat. "So here's the thing, Mic..."

Oh oh! Does Jeremy think he stands a chance of getting past Michael's world renowned modesty? Even the doctor that delivered Michael into this world didn't see that boy's peter. He came into this world wearing a fig leaf!

And, in all reality folks, there is no such thing as a non-austic hair remover. So don't even think of playing the Nair trick on anyone. No, no, nadda, nope. If the author had a brain in his head, and you had a feather up your ass, we would both be tickled. Well, you might be grossed out rather than tickled... but at least I would be smarter.

© 2007. All rights retained. No duplication without author's permission. No posting on another web site without approval. No, that's not an erection. I have a half-roll of dimes in my pocket.

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