The RV Vomit Story

Alternate title: How to Win Cute Girls’ Hearts in High School

This is the cover of the 1980 Talon, for which I was a writer, although I only wrote a couple of pieces.
This is the cover of the 1980 Talon, for which I was a writer, although I only wrote a couple of pieces.

This is a great story, a great moment, a seminal moment.

In tenth grade, I applied for a position on the yearbook staff at my high school, Eisenhower High School, the following year. The Talon was a decently prestigious yearbook, and I wanted to write, so I felt fairly elated to be selected. Yearbook tends to attract good-looking girls, too.

Journal, April 6, 1979
“I made it! I made the yearbook staff! Jubilation! I am so proud and pleased!”

At the end of the year, our yearbook advisor loaded all his students for the next year into his RV and drove us down to Taylor Publishing in Dallas, who printed our yearbook, to show us the process of producing it. I suspect the affair was unsafe, since almost none of us had seat belts.

D-Day (D for Dallas)
“All-in-all, it was a fantastic trip. To kick the day off with a bang, I threw up three times due to motion sickness. Taylor Publishing is a unique place to visit. Had the key not broken off in the ignition at Peaches Records, it would have been an ideal day.”

So, yes, I was the kid who puked on the trip to Taylor Publishing.

First Girlfriend Tina Suzuki's Note in My 1980 Talon Yearbook
“I still can’t believe you are the same red-headed kid on the mobile home I told my mother about.”

Let me add that in reading my journal from those waning days of 10th grade, I can tell you that in today’s milieu of social media and zero tolerance, I would almost certainly have been far more of an outcast than I was at that time. I talked about suicide and murder and revenge. “I’m falling apart” and “I am losing control of my emotions” and “I could vanish right now and no one would notice.”

I know, I know. My wife chided me recently for holding grudges from 35 years ago. I even advised someone close to me to let go of just this kind of thing. How bitter and hypocritical am I? Answer: as much as I damn well please.

The basic layout of the Fleetwood RV hasn't changed in 40 years, so this illustration, made tonight in our RV, fairly accurately represents the spot on the floor near the rear of the vehicle where I got sick and blew chow on that fateful day in 1979.
The basic layout of the Fleetwood RV hasn’t changed in 40 years, so this illustration, made tonight in our RV, fairly accurately represents the spot on the floor near the rear of the vehicle where I got sick and blew chow on that fateful day in 1979.
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4 Comments

  1. “I talked about suicide and murder and revenge.”

    It is a little disturbing to me that kids today aren’t even allowed to *talk* about some things without a big Clamp Down from The Man. Which seems like it would force them to keep such things more secret, and therefore more dangerous. But I’m no expert.

    Personally, I wrote about similar things as well, often only in a hyperbolic sense, which still would have gotten me into trouble in today’s atmosphere.

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  2. >>force them to keep such things more secret, and therefore more dangerous< < Agree completely. Would you be inclined to tell a parent or guidance councilor about such fantasies? They'd treat you like a criminal.

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  3. I remember making the trip to Taylor Publishing, probably a year after you, but I don’t remember an RV. I think we were in a van. I’m reminded of that trip every time I turn onto Mockingbird Lane.

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