Or maybe it was Mandy. Either way, he had a girl's name and was mentally disabled, and was old enough to have a wispy mustache in grade school. He wasn't as disabled as Robbie, the ursine, lumbering behemoth with a real mustache who'd run up to you, make a gun with his thumb and forefinger, and spray you with saliva as he gave you the Bronx cheer. But he wasn't as developed as the Rooster- the gangly, hyper kid who was in our regular classes until one day he was disappeared. Was never sure where he went, but Facebook tells me he graduated from NJIT in '88, so it looks like he jumped a few grades after he stopped running in circles on the playground and yelping like a turkey. I probably forced friendship on Mindy because I was a huge fan of the TV show "Mork & Mindy." For the same reason in 2nd grade I suddenly began signing my school papers as "B.J.," because I liked the TV show "B.J. and the Bear," about a trucker with a pet chimpanzee, pursued by the nefarious Sheriff Lobo. This was later immortalized in the web comic Pathetic Geek Stories:
|My young life immortalized in "Pathetic Geek Stories"|
I had a great time visiting the Special Young Adults. As we all know, they generally tend toward cheeriness, when most people we meet look like they'd kill us with a plastic fork if it would shave five minutes off their morning commute. I had a great time telling silly stories, playing games, and reliving my playground days. And I still get random hugs from special kids at malls- most recently at a food court- probably because I look like a giant hairy muppet. The kid's father was apologetic, but I took it stride, smiled and told him not to worry about it. Me and special kids go way back, bro.
© 2010 Tommy Salami