March 17, 2014 in Features

The Slice: Ritual didn’t compare with pinch to grow an inch

By The Spokesman-Review
 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Paul Turner, Spokesman-Review columnist.
(Full-size photo)

‘Carnage” might be too strong a word.

Perhaps “bedlam” is closer to the mark.

But once upon a time, showing up at elementary school on St. Patrick’s Day sans green apparel was an invitation to be pinched to within an inch of your young life.

I don’t know what it’s like today at grade schools on St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe there are self-esteem exercises and sensitivity training. But back in the 1960s, it was every kid for himself. It was a frenzy of grabbing and squealing.

There were several distinct pincher profiles.

• The Lame Leprechaun: The kid whose fake Irish accent was more punishing than his pliers-like thumb and forefinger.

• Crustacean Boy: This unhinged lad would lock onto almost any available flesh and hold on until targeted with a tranquilizer dart or yelled at by the teacher.

• The Indiscriminate Pincher: This troubled youth did not care about the rules and pinched anybody — regardless of what you might be wearing.

• Pinching With Vaguely Sexual Overtones: Let’s just say sixth grade was a watershed year for certain young scholars, a season full of awakenings, discovery and insanity.

• The “Bad Touch” Pincher: See above.

• The Instigator: This kid would pinch, pinch, pinch with such untamed abandon and feverish intensity that the result was almost always a brief classroom brawl.

• The Kid Who Tried to Create a Bruise: One way to deal with this assault was to try out some newly acquired vocabulary and punch right into the aggressor’s solar plexus.

• The Cute Girl Whose Pinches Didn’t Really Feel Bad at All: Has a fifth-grade boy ever had the presence of mind to say “Who told you to stop?”

• The Human Calipers: It was as if this child was trying to assess your body fat index with clinical precision.

• The Classmate You Wouldn’t Have Minded Being Pinched By (but who sees that you are wearing green and so abstains): “Note to Self: Wear Orange next year.”

Today’s Slice question: What is the most amusing (and printable) context in which you have heard someone say “They’re always after me Lucky Charms”?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. You know you’ve stopped rockin’ when …

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