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Adam Archer's Final Column

February 24, 2016

May 16, 1997

 

BRITISH EMPIRE INVADES, COLONISTS RETALIATE

 

MASSACHUSETTS STRIKES BACK AGAINST TYRANNY OF MOTHERLAND

 

by Adam Archer, Staff Writer

 

I still can’t believe high school is over. It seems like only yesterday that I showed up at Big Winters Elementary in the fifth grade with my Pound Puppies lunch box, to the delight of all the bullies.

 

Of course, even back then I knew what I wanted to do with my life. However, since all my attempts to build a time machine and move to the Garden of Eden failed, I opted to become a writer. Hey, what do you know? I really am a writer…writing something in the school newspaper!

 

But, as a mild-mannered fifth grader who would one day work for a great metropolitan newspaper (you’re reading it), I had trouble concealing my secret identity. Everybody figured out who I was and thought it was a riot the way I held my glasses to my face as if my life depended on it.

 

Then there was the time in seventh grade when, out of sheer apathy toward nuclear power, I opted not to do my science project. When my teacher confronted me, I told her I turned it in with all the others. Feeling bad about the idea of flunking a kid who lost his project, she gave me an 85. I was pleasantly surprised.

 

I was always fairly unamused by movies, specifically that really blah Mel Gibson stuff. What’s the deal with that? Lethal weapons, angry Scotsmen, and men without faces. Oh yeah...that’s really cool.

 

To understand my life is to understand that feeling you get when your friend announces he is going fishing.

 

The highlight of my life was that rainy Saturday afternoon in the early summer after ninth grade when, for the first time, I tasted a drink called Sprite.

 

Didlisnndhelfriendlishluedenbeauch.

 

Of course, when I went on a cruise to Mexico, I had to constantly dodge Tommy Lee Jones as he searched high and low for me in connection with that unfortunate “Cruise Massacre” dealy.

 

Then there was the time I met Charlton Heston. He said to me, “Adam, one day you’re going to be living in the wilderness, protecting sheep from bears and other predators, and you’re going to see a bush that burns from within. When that happens, fall down on your knees and cry, ‘That bush is burning!  It’s... burning...’”

 

Soon afterward, my ping-pong team got to visit the White House, so I went. Again. And I met the President of the United States again.

 

High school meant a lot to me, because that’s when I learned to count. Suddenly, my math grades skyrocketed, and I looked to a promising career as a math-using-type person.  But then I got drunk on Sprite and barred from the Magda Ferrar Institute of Mathematics, so I decided to become a writer again.

 

As I sat back a few weeks ago and watched the sophomore and junior classes participate in the Student Council elections, I found a certain irony in the fact that although I am now 18, I could not vote.

 

And so my days as a journalist here come to a close.  And when I’m sitting in an auditorium at the University of North Texas, surrounded by people I’ve never met, I’ll look back on LaMont and miss you all, even those of you I’ve never met.  I will most assuredly miss you all.

 

 

One of these days, in the future, you’ll be at a bookstore, browsing through the bestseller rack, and you’ll notice, to your surprise, a book written by me.  Please buy a copy, because likely I’ll need the money.

 

One of these days you’ll be at a movie, watching previews, and by Jove, there’ll be one written by yours truly.  Again, with the money, multiple viewings would be a pleasantry.

 

Also, in the future, you will be watching America’s Most Wanted and...actually, uh, you don’t know anything, understand?

 

To sum up, all I can say is: This is not the end.  This is not even the beginning of the end.  But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

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© 2018 by Gregory Attaway - attawaygregory@gmail.com