Badman Goes Country

Every time I fail a test or paper at Andover, I just think about how I will be living 30 years from now, and all of my worries are lifted. Most of my colleagues at Andover strive for straight 5’s or 6’s, hoping one day to land the job at Time Warner, perform open heart surgery and save the sick, underprivileged children, or write an award winning novel. I, on the other hand, take the 4’s, 3’s, and yes, the occasional -5 in Dr. Kane’s English class with a smile on my face and a dream in my heart. When I am sitting in the rocker on my porch in West Virginia at two in the morning with the double barrel gripped in my hands and a steady glare on the corn field, I am not going to be thinking about that Physics 300 test I bombed three decades ago. I won’t even care about that history quiz I forgot to study for. The only thing I will care about is messing up that damn raccoon that keeps coming into the field and getting away with my corn that Jim Bob and Tom-Tom replanted three times. When I’m skinning that coon with my pa’s knife, I won’t be thinking about the Biology 100 course I took Freshman year, or that fact that I am destroying a key part of the local food chain. No, I’m wondering if Becky-Sue is going to cook it medium-rare like she did last time. Because that’s exactly how I like my raccoon cooked. When I take the manure out of the barn to fertilize the fields it won’t be because I want to increase the nitrates in the soil, it will be because I want to drive my three-speed John Deer through the fields with the Lord’s sun shining on my back and the feeling of true freedom in my soul. Using heavy machinery and tending to the fields is what life is all about. I plan on replacing the first edition Mark Twain books on the living room book shelf with real investments; all 34 of the Seven-11 NASCAR collector’s cups. That Andover diploma will have to make room for the shotgun rack and mounted buck I tagged last year. The Picasso reprints will have to be moved to make room for a black and white TV. Thirty years from now I plan on rolling up to the PA alumni reunion in a 1984 Ford F-150 pick up with rusted side boards and a gnarled mutt foaming at the mouth laying in the flat bed. I’m going to spit the dip out of my lower lip, wipe my mouth on my flannel shirt, rub the Wendie’s shake from my hand to my Levi’s jeans, and look up at the steps of Sam Phil. I will talk to my friends, learn about how they are saving the world and making tons of money, and I will probably recommend a good four wheeler to use on one friend’s 20 acre Hollywood estate. Stuffing the remaining shrimp cocktails into a plastic doggy bag for eating on the ride home, I will tell my friends I have a long day of planting in the morning, and I will mosey on out. I am going to walk back to the pick-up, my steel tipped boots clinking on the ground, and I’m going to take the chain in the flat bed, and securely attach it to the hitch on the truck. Then I’ll calmly walk over to that huge phallic statue in front of Sam Phil, attach the other end of the chain around it, and give it a good tug to make sure it holds. Walking right by the PAPS officer asking me what I think I’m doing, I’ll tip my hat; get in the truck and listen to that beautiful 6-cylinder cat purr. I’m not going rip that statue out of the ground because I am making a deep statement into the symbolism of the statue and shrubs, and the union of Abbot and Phillips Academy. It won’t have anything to do with my opinion on girls and boys both equal in their education at Andover. I have nothing against the talented artist who, if you don’t mind my word choice, erected the statue. It will most likely be because I don’t like the fact there is a big, shiny penis in the middle of the Andover campus.