You would probably never guess this if I didn’t confess it. I haven’t always been the enlightened, moderately peaceful woman you see before you today. And to put an exclamation on that point, there’s the story about the time I pistol-whipped a kindergartener.
There are many factors that come into play with this story. I mean, after all, I’m not just some wanton sociopath going around pistol-whipping kindergarteners. In my own defense, I was myself a kindergartener at the time of the incident. And the little bastard had it coming.
There are a few things you should know before I make my full confession, things that will hopefully help mitigate the rapid plunge my moral standing must be taking with you right about now. Things that will, perhaps, lead you to agree with me that the little bastard had it coming.
First of all, I was one of the youngest kids in my kindergarten class. My birthday was very near whatever arbitrary date they had set as a cut off, and I entered a class of mostly five-year-olds at the tender age of four. I turned five shortly after the school year started. On top of being younger than most of my classmates, I was dramatically undersized compared to most of them. I was always the tiniest one in the class, no matter what grade I was in. Except the fourth grade. In the fourth grade there was one girl who was just a smidge shorter than me. And I never let her forget it. But that is a story for another day.
So here I am. A tiny little kindergartener in a class full of monstrously oversized older kids. Add to that my “attitude”, as many teachers throughout my academic career would euphemistically refer to it. Even then I had no problem speaking my little ill-formed mind, nor did I have any problem questioning authority. And I was a tomboy. I mean I was REALLY a tomboy. I put the tom in tomboy. Now you are getting the picture. I was a teeny tiny little butch bitch with a really smart mouth…just to kind of bottomline the situation.
One day, sometime after we had returned from winter break, our teacher had given us permission to bring one of our favorite toys to school to play with during recess. This was a special treat we were receiving, perhaps a reward for our concerted effort to refrain from eating more paste than the school district could afford to supply us. It was a special occasion, and we were all excited for the opportunity to show-off how highly Santa thought of us via the most precious piece of Christmas booty we had received.
I knew EXACTLY what I was going to take. Santa had brought me a genuine leatherette holster (appropriately decked out with tin conchos and plastic fringe), with the most beautiful simulated pearl handle six-shooter cap gun you had ever seen. And this wasn’t one of those crappy little plastic jobs that pass for toy weaponry today. That sucker was made out of metal. HEAVY metal. As far as I was concerned, Santa entrusting me with such a treasure was a sure sign of my authenticity as a real live, full-fledged, no holds barred, rootin’, tootin’ cowgirl. And it never occurred to me that those monstrously over-sized classmates of mine would see it any other way.
At long last, recess on the appointed day finally arrived. All the girls in the class sat around the swings with their brand new dolls, trading stories about the perils of dolly parenthood, and casting wary and judgmental looks my way. The boys in the class were hanging about the monkey bars with their Tonka toys and Hot Wheels, discussing the relative merits of sand construction versus mud construction while casting wary and judgmental (and dare I say ENVIOUS) looks my way.
I was by myself, very diligently practicing my fast-draw skills and performing absolutely PERFECT (in my mind, anyway) twirly tricks with my six-shooter. That is when Kevin decided to approach me.
Kevin walked up to me and stood there with his hands on his hips. He watched as I continued honing my twirly trick skills. He’d turn his head from one side to the other, studying me and my activity with his squinchy little eyes. Finally I asked him what it was he wanted, since his closeness was starting to make me self-conscious about the rare twirly trick that went wrong and caught my fingers up in a distinctly un-cowgirl-like knot.
That is when he said it. Flat. No judgment. Just a statement of fact. “Girls aren’t supposed to play with guns. And girls can’t be cowboys.”
I had no idea. I thought toys were for whoever wanted to play with them. Suddenly the divide on the playground, and all those confused looks started to make sense to me.
I told Kevin that he was woefully misinformed. Santa had brought me my six-shooter. Santa knew who got what toys. And this toy was mine. Controversy solved.
Kevin, however, was unimpressed with my flawless logic. He summed up the situation and decided on his course of action. “You aren’t supposed to have that. Guns are for boys.” And that’s when Kevin really, REALLY fucked up. Kevin decided to try and confiscate my genuine leatherette holster (appropriately decked out with tin conchos and plastic fringe), with the most beautiful simulated pearl handle six-shooter cap gun you had ever seen. I wasn’t having it.
I did what any self-respecting, unenlightened cowgirl would do. I grabbed my six-shooter by the barrel, snatched it out of his hand, and pistol-whipped that little bastard upside the head with every ounce of strength my tiny little body could muster.
Kevin went down. Kevin stayed down until the teacher, who was now running and screaming at me from across the playground, reached his side. Kevin went to the hospital where Kevin got a couple of stitches. Kevin never, EVER fucked with me again.
Needless to say, my mother was mortified that I had committed such a crime so briefly into my academic career. My beloved kindergarten teacher never quite looked at me the same way again, either. And my beautiful genuine leatherette holster (appropriately decked out with tin conchos and plastic fringe), with the most beautiful simulated pearl handle six-shooter cap gun you had ever seen lived high on a shelf for a really long time after that.
There isn’t really a moral to this story. Except maybe don’t fuck with the GrumbleButt when she is busy practicing her twirly tricks. But it does have an interesting post script.
Turns out Kevin was gay. Really gay. When Kevin grew up, he rejected even more gender stereotypes than I ever thought about assaulting. I guess Kevin was working out his own problems that day on the playground, as well. I haven’t seen him in quite awhile, but the last time I did I could still catch a glimpse of the faint scar on his temple underneath his foundation.
Kevin turned out to be a pretty hot woman, and I turned out to be the GrumbleButt. Kevin might have gotten the better part of the bargain. But I got a damn good story to tell.