The really close friends I have, I made in childhood, the closest of which, I met in 6th grade. Funny when you think of things like that, as my son is now in 6th grade, and I know he won’t have those same kinds of close friends.
This particular friend and I got into all sorts of mischief growing up. Nothing criminal, just the kinds of things that get you grounded. Sometimes I got caught and grounded, sometimes it was her turn, and sometimes we would screw up so badly that we were both grounded at the same time.
We were in high school, probably senior year if my memory serves me well enough. There was a guy she on-again, off-again dated during high school. Her parents did not approve of him, and when she saw him, whether I was with her or not, they thought she was with me. I was the forbidden relationship beard.
This particular night, I was with her, playing able-bodied assistant as the other gal on a double-date. As the evening wore on, the guys had said they needed to check something out, but didn’t say what town we were going to. So we drove.
These guys were dumb, but not quite as dumb as they looked. At some point they finally decide to fess up that we are lost. This point comes as we realize that I am late for curfew. I do not break curfew. If you knew my dad, you would understand that statement.
That being said, I grew up in a house where communication was key. My parents brought us up to be independent, but with the knowledge that if we need them, just ask. They were always supportive that way. Go out and make your own mistakes, but never hesitate to ask for help when needed.
We see a sign that says we are in Butler, but this does not help as we all proclaim, “Where the hell is Butler?” So a freaking out chick in the backseat finally overtakes the testosterone and they stop at a Burger King on the highway so I can call home. Thankfully, my Mom picks up and tell her what has been going on and that we are lost. She asks me where I am, which I reply “somewhere called Butler in a Burger King off the highway.” God bless her soul, she knows exactly where I am.
From the telephone receiver I hear, “Turn around, see that highway in front of you? It is Route 23. Get back in the car; make a left on to the highway. Take that to Route 46 east, and take that to the Parkway South. Get your butt home as soon as you can, your Dad is asleep, doesn’t know you aren’t home yet and if you are lucky it can stay that way!”
Guys come out of men’s room, we all pile in to the car and off we go. We follow my Mom’s directions and get home in no time. I arrive to still sleeping Dad, and keep the skin on my butt as a reward.
My friend, well, the whole ride she was saying “don’t worry, you won’t get in trouble it will be fine. “ She gets home, and gets grounded.
To this day, we still say, “Where the hell is Butler?”