I went to two different high schools during my high school career. As I’ve said before, I’ve averaged a move every 18 months of my life. We moved from the Horizon High School district to the Paradise Valley High School district around the time I started Sophomore year, but I decided to switch to PVHS after the first quarter of my Junior Year. More of my current hangout crew was at PVHS, and PVHS was more of a “punks & artists” school. Horizon being mostly a “jocks & preppies” school. Also, I fucking hated Horizon.
PVHS had all the cool arts classes. Hell, Horizon students taking electives that required a budget – auto shop, graphic design, clay modeling, advanced electronics – were bussed over to PVHS for just those classes, then bussed back again. This is because Horizon sucked, and thought money was best spent on sports and not, y’know, learning and shit.
Another unique aspect to PVHS was how they handled their students with developmental, mental, and/or intellectual disabilities 1I spent about 20 minutes trying to find the proper terminology for this group of students. We’re not talking about kids with severe ADHD, ...continue.
In most schools, Horizon included, kids with mental and intellectual disabilities were either sent to another school, or kept out of the “public eye” of the rest of the class by way of a separate area of the school. Some schools went so far as to strongly recommend to parents alternative schools and classes specially suited to their kids that had even moderate learning difficulties. PVHS had a variety of options, ranging from “we’ll place a special tutor near your child in class, so they can learn along with other kids, but they’ll also receive extra help when necessary” to “we’ll integrate your child into the school as best we can, but we’ve got caretakers that will guide them and they’ll be placed into classes suited to their skillsets”. All of this is to say — PVHS didn’t try to hide and shame their students that needed special considerations, regardless of severity.
Sometime in my first month at PVHS, my friends Andrew and Mike walked me through the cast of colorful characters around the school. Teachers, students, faculty, and then they pointed at a kid who was about 6’3″, walking with his head down and shaking back and forth, hands near his chest which he’d randomly clap together and then say “WHOO!” or “HEEEEE” in a high-pitched voice. “That’s The Clapper”, they said. I told them it was pretty obvious why they called him that, but didn’t understand why they pointed him out. They told me that The Clapper is a chronic masturbator, who really only ever says “WHOO” and “HEEE” in high-pitched voices, and if you were ever in the bathroom and heard him, it was best to just leave and use a different bathroom. Any prodding of “but why?” was simply answered “trust us”.
Because the Cosmos loves irony, wouldn’t you know a week later I’m using the urinal in the main bathroom and heard “HEEE”…. “WHOOO!”… and the occasional clapping. I was mostly trying not to laugh while peeing, but otherwise ignored it and went about my business. I finished up, walked to the sinks to wash my hands, and made the mistake of looking in the mirror.
I locked eyes with him. He was standing up, facing forward, with the stall door open. Naked. Erect. And because there’s no god, he had this enormous schlong on him. He was clapping, then he’d stop, yell “HEEE”, and FURIOUSLY stroke himself for a few seconds, yell “WHOO!” and go back to clapping. I left immediately.
When I saw Mike later, I told him I encountered The Clapper. He said “did he try to touch you?”, I said “no, he was just… jerking off” — “oh, but he didn’t walk towards you?” — “nope” — “you’re lucky”.
Cosmos irony, round 2, about 2 weeks later. I’m in the same bathroom. At the same urinal. I hear the call of The Clapper. I thought “okay, just gonna wash my hands and leave”. As I’m hastily walking towards the sink, he says “HEYYY! HEYYY FRIEND! HEYY!” and I made the mistake of turning around.
There he was, naked except for a t-shirt. Rock hard. Jerking, clapping, “HEEE”, “WHOO!”, the whole schtick. But, now he was walking towards me. Occasionally reaching out. And while he walked, he was shitting. Like.. shit was just coming down behind him.
I’ve never run so fast out of a bathroom in my life. From that day forward, I checked the mirrors first and successfully avoided any further encounters from The Clapper.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↩||I spent about 20 minutes trying to find the proper terminology for this group of students. We’re not talking about kids with severe ADHD, we’re talking about what kids in my day just called “retards”. I realize and respect that the so-called “R” word is considered a hurtful/hateful slur, but we didn’t have sensitivity training for such things at the time. So, I’m doing my best to remain respectful, whilst also trying to convey that the kids in question needed special care|