Why I got my anus kicked in junior high


Just came across this photo today. I was probably in seventh or eighth grade.

My mom stopped reading this blog long ago—so now I can make fun. When I was a kid, I had my hair butchered by one of two people:

A. Carmelo, the stooped-over Italian barber who charged $8 a cut (plus the usual $2 tip). All I remember is Carmelo always asking my mom, “Over or around the ear?”—a can’t-win query were there ever one.

B. My mom, Joan. Great woman, great mother, lousy barber. She used to bribe my brother and I with a piece of orange Trident gum. That usually got us to sit atop the sink for a half hour, during which time Mom would use this big ol’ pair of rusty scissors to absolutely destroy us.

Ah, memories.

Also, while I’m at it–tonight someone forwarded me the below photo. It’s from my junior prom. That’s me on the far right, standing above my date, Jody Cohen. Jody and I are still tight friends, so I think she’ll be OK with me telling this story …

I was 17, and had never kissed a girl. Had never come close to kissing a girl. Jody and I knew one another from Hebrew school—during the week she went to Carmel High, I went to rival Mahopac. I had always dug Jody as a friend, and I needed a date. So I decided I’d ask her. I called her home, her dad answered—I hung up. I dialed again, same thing. And again. And again. Finally, I worked up the nerve, and when she picked up I somehow got out the words, “Prom,” “Me” and “Please.” She accepted.

The night was fine and dandy and cool and whatever. What I remember most is the final scene. We got back to my house, and I made up my mind that, on this special night, I’d finally kiss a girl. Asked my dad for the car keys to drive her home.

“No,” he said.


“No. You’re only 17—you can’t drive after 9 o’clock.”

Hence, we both drove Jody home. My dad and I in the front seat, Jody all alone in the rear (Smooth, I wasn’t). When we arrived at her place, I walked Jody to the front door. As we strolled down her driveway I kept thinking, “I can do this! I can do this!” And yet, there was my dad—sitting in the car, motor running, looking at us.

We approached the door.

I thanked her for coming.

I … I … I … stuck out my hand.



7 thoughts on “Why I got my anus kicked in junior high”

  1. Jeff,

    The upshot is you went to the prom, unlike some of us. Then there was the family member of mine who attended 3 in one school year (that the Catholic high school, the school he attended and the school he’d left by mutual consent).

  2. Jeff, I mean this next sentence in no offense at all. You first picture posted looks like the main character from “Freaks and Geeks.” Just making an observation…..

  3. Carmelo’s..was that the place on Route 6 with the fake plastic orange tree in the window??? Ollll school. I remember going there too. Once I went there when I had shoulder length hair and had them shave it completely bald. Great place.

  4. i got my hair cut by carmelo, too.

    my mom used to cut our hair, too…she took of a piece of gregg’s ear one time and i refused to let her cut mine ever again…

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