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University Library: Scooter

February 6, 2018

(image via wikimedia)

During my freshman year at the State University, some guy on my floor tried to give me the nickname Scooter.

This was back in the mid-1980s, and I was one of the few freshmen on my dorm floor who had a car.  It wasn’t much of a car.  It was a chevette scooter, a tin foil compact that didn’t fit adults of any size comfortably, but technically I could cram three people into the back seat without breaking any laws.  Since the chevette was already paid for, my parents gave it to me for college, and I was glad to have it.  It raised my social status just a bit and gave other students on my floor a reason to be nice to me.  I was the quiet guy with the obnoxious roommate, but I didn’t drink, and I didn’t mind being the designated driver.  Without that car, I might have been a social outcast.

This cheap car had a cost, besides the insurance, maintenance, and gas.  Some dick on my floor kept calling me Scooter.   His name was Dennis, and everybody agreed he was a dick, so the nickname Scooter didn’t catch on, but it still ticked me off.  Every time Dennis called me Scooter, I told him to cut it out.  I’m not the kind of guy to get into a fist fight over stupid stuff, but Scooter was my breaking point.

“Don’t f***ing call me Scooter.”- I’m pretty sure I said that to Dennis a couple times.

The Scooter nickname came to a head late in the first semester.  It was a Saturday night after a football game, and we’d had an early November freeze, and the wind made it one of those nights that hurt your face, and there were five of us in the chevette (Kirk on the front passenger side, with Dennis and two Nameless Guys next to him in the back), fogging up the windows, so that everybody was wiping and holding breath at the same time.

“Scooter, turn that defroster up,” Dennis said while rubbing his arm on the back window.

I was ticked off already because of the visibility problems.  “Don’t call me Scooter,” I said.

“My arm’s getting tired, Scooter.”

That was it!  I braked hard along the curb and turned off the car radio so I knew he’d hear me.  “Get the f*** out.”

“What?” Dennis actually looked surprised.  I hardly ever used profanity.

“I told you not to call me Scooter.  Now get the f*** out.”

“It’s alright, Jimmy,” Kirk said.  “He’ll cut it out.”

“Bulls***,” I said.  “I’m not moving this car until he gets out.”

“What am I supposed to do?” Dennis said.  We were miles away from the university, and it would be a windy freezing walk.

“I don’t care.  Just get the f*** out,” I said.

“You heard him,” Kirk said.  He unbuckled, stepped out, and pulled the front seat up.  Nameless friend #1 got out too from the back, and Dennis sat there.

Kirk stuck his head in.  “Dennis, if you don’t get out, I’m gonna pull you out and beat the sh** of you.”

Nameless guy #1 said “And I’m gonna help.”

Nameless guy #2 said, “You’re gonna have to walk either way, man.”

Dennis pleaded for a couple minutes.  He swore he’d never call me Scooter again.  He swore he didn’t mean anything by it.  I told him he was making it worse by not getting out of the car right away.  Finally, he relented and pulled himself out.

Kirk and the two Nameless guys got back in, and as we started to pull away, Dennis ran up, kicked the car (I think), and yelled “F*** you, Scooter!”

“Stop the car,” Kirk said.

In a split second decision, I stopped the car; Kirk and the two nameless guys rushed out, but it takes a long time for three guys to get out of a chevette, and Dennis ran and managed to get away with a decent head start.  Kirk and the two guys chased him for a couple minutes, cussed him out with threats, and returned breathing heavily to the car.

“If he calls you Scooter again, I’ll kick his ass,” Kirk huffed.

“I usually don’t condone violence,” I said, “but this is an exception.”

Looking back, maybe I should have turned the car around and given Dennis another chance.  The walk back to the dorm was long and cold and wet.  Dennis made it back to the dorm, but he hated me even more for kicking him out of the car.  I guess he never understood how crappy his nickname was.  Still, I could have used Dennis’s help later that year when the University Library incident happened (which I’ll get to).

The rest of the dorm floor heard about Dennis and my car, but there was no divisiveness over it.  Dennis was unpopular, and I was just a quiet guy who had a car and didn’t bother anybody.  At least everybody knew I had a breaking point.  I could tolerate a roommate who got drunk and slept with drunk chicks in our room.  I could tolerate spending most of my free time studying at the University Library.   I could even tolerate a guy kicking my car.  There was a lot of stuff that I could put up with as a college freshman.

But Scooter… don’t f***ing call me Scooter.

*****

To be continued in University Library: Almost Cute.

And you can read University Library from the beginning at University Library: State School.

From → Dysfunctileaks

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