Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Actual Conversations, Vol. 1

My friend Andrew and I went to see Quantum of Shaky Camera Work Solace the other night and--as we have a tendency to do--sat in the parking lot deconstructing, um, everything until the place was deserted save for us, a stray dog, and what was either a drifter or a Chupacabra. We also had the following conversation that I thought needed to be documented, just in case such technology becomes available.

A: If I had a time machine, I think I'd go back in time to kill Thomas Wolfe before he wrote Look Homeward, Angel. Actually, I'd schedule each trip a day earlier and chip away at his life in 24-hour increments.
Me: That's ridiculous. If I had a time machine, I'd take it back to the 8th grade so I could pass the Presidential Physical Fitness test.
A: Oh, right, that's a much better use of resources.
Me: It is. Back then I couldn't run the mile or do a pull-up, so I didn't get a laminated certificate with a replica of Ronald Reagan's signature on it. So obviously I want to go back and kick ass.
A: Wait...so you'd be 11-year-old you but have the strength of 29-year-old you?
Me: Maybe we're not going to put it that way, but yeah, it would be me at 11, with my perm and pink and teal braces and also with a sub-6 minute mile.
A: Part of me wants to encourage you and part of me should remind you that you'll be depriving some other kid of their moment of glory at the parent-teacher conference.
Me: Whatever, you'll be depriving Asheville, North Carolina of a tourist attraction.
A: And I'll be depriving myself of having to read, like, 40 pages about a dining room table. I think we're even.


zlionsfan said...

If he does manage to go back in time, and has time for an extra author, could he perhaps take the manuscript for The Return of the Native from Thomas Hardy and remove it from existence? No murder necessary.

I read that like 25 years ago and I can still remember endless descriptions of heath. (Insert macabre joke of your choice.)

f.B said...

the sit and reach! i hated that thing. touch my toes from a sitting position for what reason exactly?

but yes: i would've loved to have been good at it. it's a pride thing. so save a seat for me on that time machine, if you can.

oh, and kid who always broke pull-ups records: if you're reading this, consider your past-butt future-kicked.

theloosemoose said...

You can run a sub-six minute mile?!?! My crush deepens.

lacochran said...

Remember when the Presidential Physical Fitness test was everything? I couldn't do one pull up. I sucked. Big time. Didn't get a certificate. I blame the presidents (all of them) for my poor self esteem.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

For some reason, I started out reading this with your roles switched. So when I got to the part about the perm and pink&teal braces, I was like, "Wow! J-Money's friend Andrew was awesomely secure in his masculinity slash gayness in 8th grade! That's incredible!"

I also will now forever think you harbor homicidal aspirations toward Thomas Wolfe.

X-Country2 said...

Those damn pull-ups KILLED me! I could do everything BUT the stupid pull-ups. I too was robbed of the laminated certificate.

nwgdc said...

Quantum of Shaky Camera...hilarious!

Add me to your stalker list, please :)

the frog princess said...

I think I'm officially in love with your friend Andrew.

I passed the PPFE only because they let the girls do a 30-second-hang instead of a pull-up. Yay for gender inequality in gym class!

Andy said...

I used to get so nervous and excited about the physical fitness test. I finally passed it in high school, and considered as an achievement on par with receiving college scholarships and getting my diploma.

Dexter Colt said...

For a brief moment in time I held my high school's record for the mile. It was glorious. GLORIOUS!!!!

Mike said...

You've got a FRIEND!? A blogger with a friend? Have you been cheating on us?!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Here's to volume 2!

Gilahi said...

I just never cared about the stinkin' certificate. If you had gotten one, would you even know where it is today?

J-Money said...

zlionsfan: Yes, I think that could be arranged. I'm giving him a list of authors to eliminate, most of them from my 10th grade reading list.

f.b. You're officially my co-pilot. And yeah I guess the sit & reach is only important if you've been placed in ankle shackles.

theloosemoose: Yes, but only one.

lacochran: No shit. I'd like to know the last president who could pass his own damn test. Sure as hell wasn't Jimmy Carter.

your ill-fitting overcoat: I got no fight with Thomas Wolfe. TOM Wolfe on the other hand owes me an explanation for some of his more recent work.

x-country2: If we're ever in the same place, we're getting blistering drunk and helping each other do pullups.

nwgdc: Added. Welcome to the party!

the frog princess: Um, where exactly was this Girls R Weak school you attended? Because I would like to transfer.

andy: It's people like you who make me wish I'd been better at situps. DAMN YOU, FITNESS ACHIEVER.

dexter colt: That's awesome. I think I still own my school's record for "Most Dance Rejections On Prom Night".

mike: No, actually "Andrew" is what I call the mole on my left shoulder.

anonymous: Don't worry. I'm trying to talk to at least one other person this week.

gilahi: OF COURSE I WOULD. It would be stitched on my back, of course.

Broke But Still Drinking said...

I lived in Asheville, NC for two years and visited the Wolfe memorial once, and that was to piss in their bushes.

emmysuh said...

Damn Presidential Physical Fitness thing. Making every middle schooler feel even more like a loser, except for those genetically inbreed to dominate gym glass.

Tim said...

Dustin Pedroia wins the AL MVP and you don't mention it? Sniff...I'm sure he'll get over it...eventually.

Kath said...

In Canada in the 70's we had "Participaction". I sucked at it, but this post made me smile because I know I could kick their little butts now!

Anonymous said...

I got that certificate a few times under Johnson - totally life-altering. Ever since I've known I'm fit despite any and all evidence to the contrary. So I think your desire is valid. Forget about tipping off Kennedy or even George Bush. Go back and take care of important business!!

Eric (Extra P.) said...

Little known fact: In the 19th century, the Presidential Physical Fitness test was a mere shuffle across the drawing room while suffering from typhus. There was no laminated certificate, but if you could pull it off, you got free passage on the next outbound warship and a free shot at the Barbary Pirates.

It's true, you can check the Constitution.

emmysuh said...

Um...please come home and blog and entertain me.

PS. My word verification is "licilie" which is not a real word.

Luvvie (aka Queen IG) said...

I saw Quantum of solace and it was 2 hours of very minimal dialogue (shoot. Was there even ANY?) and people being blown up. Twas a loud 2 hours, I tells u.

Mickey said...

I just want you to know that you can borrow my certificate with Ronny's sig on it anytime.