Class reunion gets old after many years
I received notice that my 35th high school reunion is next month, which caused me drop my ear trumpet, spill my drool bucket and knock over my walker in excitement. I shuffled around the room waving my false teeth in the air, yelling, "The class reunion's coming! The class reunion's coming!" in the same overwrought manner in which Walter Brennan used to clamber around on "The Real McCoys" yelling, "The barn's on fire! The barn's on fire!"
Aiea Class of 1972
Alumni from 1963 to 1979 also are invited:
35th reunion: Feb. 18
Place: Ige's Restaurant and 19th Puka, Aiea
Call: Patrice Kaneshiro (Secio), 484-5310, or e-mail email@example.com
You might detect a note of sarcasm in the above narrative. Sorry. I'm not fond of high school reunions. They make you feel old. Old enough to make references to ancient television shows that only about one out of 456 of you reading this sentence actually ever saw. (Historical note: "The Real McCoys" was a hit TV show in the late 1950s and early 1960s starring Walter Brennan as Grandpa Amos. In 224 episodes, not one was about class reunions.)
Whoever invented high school reunions should be beaten into unconsciousness with boxes of Depends. I mean, your fifth-year reunion is kind of cute. None of the nerds have become millionaires yet. The fat kids haven't turned into muscle-bound cage fighters and all the athletes haven't gone to seed. Everybody still looks pretty normal.
By the 10th reunion, it's pretty clear that all these people shouldn't be getting together again. Life has begun to smack them around a bit. The skinny guy who set the state record for the 100-yard dash now looks like he ate Molokai. By the 20th reunion, half of those in the room are raging alcoholics and the other half in law enforcement. By the 25th reunion, nurses have begun to accompany many of the attendees, and bounty hunters, parole officers and process servers lurk outside the ballroom. All 30th reunions are required, by statute, to be held within 150 feet of a licensed emergency room and/or mortuary facility.
The 35th? Forget about it. That's the one where some idiot who used to get tied up in class by members of the Future Felons of America Club and who somehow managed to secure a job on a newspaper writes a snotty column about the upcoming 35th reunion.
OK, I've got to lighten up a bit here. A lot of people love reunions. Especially in Hawaii, where your high school is more important than where you went to college. You could find a cure for cancer and win a Noble Prize, but you'd still be introduced at any large gathering of people in Honolulu according to where you graduated from high school.
In Hawaii, Barack Obama, who went to Columbia University and graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude is still referred to as "a Punahou grad." How'd you like to be part of Obama's graduating class and go to those class reunions? ("Hey, Obama! Remember when we locked you in the toilet during study hall? Man, you were such a nerd. What are you doing now? Running for president? Hey, great! Me? I sort of work for the county. Yeah. Well, work release, actually. How do you like my ankle bracelet? No, never quite made it to college football. Stupid drug tests. The cheerleader? No, she divorced me years ago. Hey, it's been great talking to ya. Hope that president thing works out.")
Actually, the high school reunions I've been too haven't been too bad. I mean, nobody has actually ever shouted, "My God, man, you're FAT! What did you do, eat Molokai?"
I made the mistake of agreeing to give a "humorous presentation" at one reunion in which nobody laughed. I had put together what I thought was a very funny parody slide show based on photos from our yearbook, showing the way everybody used to look and dress. The only reaction was some snickering from the bounty hunters and process servers in the lobby.
Then I realized that the reason the presentation didn't work was because the only thing this large group of people had in common was that they had occupied the same small piece of real estate for four years. A class reunion isn't like a convention of mortuary attendants, where everyone has something in common (and which I understand can be a pretty jolly affair). It's just sort of a get-together of folks to renew old friendships and see how everyone turned out. I think even a crotchety old cuss like Water Brennan would agree that there's nothing really wrong with that.
Charles Memminger's book, "Hey, Waiter, There's an Umbrella in My Drink!," is available at island bookstores and online book retailers.
Buy Charles Memminger's hillarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org