I ride a red-hot mountain bike to my shifts at Dairy Queen. Parents, if you want to safeguard your children against delinquency, ensure that they have to ride a wild hog like that around town. Transportation by two-wheeler does not a mischievous adolescent make. I leave my house a half an hour early for my shift at the DQ, having completed the story problem in my head: If Kendra wants to reach her destination three miles away and have both hands off the handlebar and she pedals at a pace of….
Coolness: there was no app for that.
After I get my driver’s license, I am occasionally allowed to borrow the mini-van to drive to work. One night, while mopping the floor at DQ, I accidentally hit my head on the corner of a stainless steel prep table. I continue mopping until I see red droplets falling on the floor, coming from my head. I want to go tell my manager that I think I am bleeding but as I approach her, the information and the blood cross circuits and I stand there smiling creepily at her, pointing to my head.
“Why did you squirt Mr. Misty syrup on your head?” my manager asks, slightly annoyed.
My mouth is moving. The words are not.
“Oh my goodness! Oh Oh, sit down. Oh, that’s blood. Okay, hang on, let me call your parents.”
Both of my parents arrive in my dad’s car, wearing their pajamas. One to drive me home, one to drive the minivan home since I am too disoriented to get behind the wheel.
I totally hope my bloody slush story is part of the folklore of the Bay Village Dairy Queen.
The official uniform of high school evenings and weekends includes navy shorts two sizes too big and a beige polo with the DQ insignia. Weekdays I wear the navy pleated polyester dress code of my all-girls Catholic high school factory. Either a nun or a corporate queen dictates my high school wardrobe. You should see the fascism I overcome with a pair of socks.
(above: In spite of the fact that I look 9, this is actually my 16th birthday).
I know teens today are busy texting their bosses GUNNA B L8 as they drive barefoot to Hollister, listening to Howard Stern full blast on XM. But one thing that has not changed is the misguided usage of “teen” as a noun or adjective. Open a Teen Cafe or launch a Teen Scene website and you are a teeny bit going to guarantee no one below the age of 43 will think it is the hippest. And remember I consider myself an authority on these matters, since I am the epitome of high school hip.