One of my earliest friends who fell of the face of the earth was Juan M. Juan was a year younger than me, and I met him during my 5th grade year at the local Catholic School I was attending. He was a fun kid to hang out with, we had a lot of similar interests so we spent a lot of time hanging out together doing stuff that kids do when they are 13 years old.

A couple of things about Juan, he was an only child, and had a bit of a temper. Also, Juan was always a little bit ahead of the curve as far as physical maturity was concerned. I swear he could grow a beard when he was 15. Another benefit of having Juan as a friend was a lot like having a body guard from bullies and other crappy kids.

There are many funny memories from my days spent with Juan; one in particular sticks out in my mind.

GEOMETRIC JIMMY

There was a kid that lived down the street from me named Jimmy. Jimmy was a nerdy kid, who one day decided he was going to be cool and become a skater. It was a funny transformation, from dorky bowl cut to complete skater wedge cut. The wedge was so awful looking, it looked more like a trapezoid stuck to his forehead, so we coined the nickname, “Geometric Jimmy.” The fact that he had become “cool” in his eyes didn’t sway the opinion of many other kids that included me, Jaime, Pecos, and Juan in particular.

We still tormented Jimmy any time we ran into him. One particular time gave me quite a chuckle.

It was a typical summer day; we were playing whiffleball with Juan and Raul out in front of my house. I was pitching, Raul was in the outfield and Juan was hitting.

Sometime early we had talked about who Jimmy had won something on the local radio station, B94. I don’t recall exactly what it was, tickets to see Quiet Riot or something. Anyways… guess who eventually comes cruising back on his bike? You guessed it, GEOMETRIC JIMMY!

Juan yelled something to the effect of…

“Hey!!! Geometric Jimmy!!!”

And bolted from the lawn with yellow plastic whiffleball bat in hand, heading right for Jimmy. I was kind of dumbfounded, and a little concerned by Juan’s actions, but I just stood there and watched, figuring if nothing else, this could be comical.

Jimmy just kept riding, and yelled something back and Juan…

Then Juan yelled at Jimmy,

“I WANT THOSE QUIET RIOT TICKETS!!!!”

And then he started to beat on Jimmy with the whiffleball bat, all the while screaming at the top of his lungs…

“I WANT IT! I WANT IT! I WANT IT!!!”

I was almost crying I was laughing so hard.

Jimmy had a look of terror in his eyes, it wasn’t that Juan was hurting him with the bat, it would be difficult to hurt anyone with a whiffleball bat anyways, plus, Juan wasn’t hitting him very hard. I think Jimmy was just terrified by the oddness of Juan’s attack.

Eventually Jimmy was riding fast enough that Juan couldn’t keep up… and he retreated back to the whiffleball game, where we proceeded to pee our pants from the laughter of the moment.

Juan and I continued to have a lot of fun together, in fact another story from the Juan era, can be read at the “Melon Head” entry.

I kind of lost contact with Juan after high school, he ended up going to Cal, and REALLY digging it there. (If you know what I mean) I only ran into him a couple of times after that, in fact the last time I saw him was in about 1996. He was driving behind me in a weird looking car, and flagged me down. He looked like a typical Cal hippie with giant sideburns. We talked for a few minutes, he was still really nice. I remember his car was a crappy Ford Escort with a plate that said the following…

“MFALCON”

I asked him before I left what it meant, he said the car was like the Millennium Falcon, and his buddy was always bent over the engine working on it, much like Chewy was always tinkering with the Millennium Falcon. We had a good laugh, and he drove off, I haven’t seen him since.

I ran into his dad a year or so ago, and he said Juan was now living I believe Scotland, working in a pub… I guess if I am ever in Scotland, I should try to look him up, go have a pint of ale, and relive old times!