Wednesday, June 19, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on May 26th, 2009, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 10, Issue 11 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 10, Issue 11

Wrecked him?

Shoot, it nearly killed him


I had a lot of friends growing up. My friends and I loved Garbage Pail Kids, G.I. Joe, and hearing the sound of the nearby ice cream truck. As time goes on, friends grow apart and nowadays, there are some whose names and faces I can hardly even remember. Except for one particular friend; I’ll never forget this noteworthy individual for a couple of reasons. One, he was weird, and two, he got me into a lot of trouble growing up. Thankfully, my juvenile records are sealed.

I met him on the first day of kindergarten. He came to school with a broken leg. His cast was bigger than he was. Besides having a cast, which made him stand out in a crowd, he was dragged to school by his older sister who was pulling him in a red Radio Flyer wagon. That visual pretty much sums his life up in a nutshell.

After his leg healed, and he was normal for a second, he shaved half of one of his eyebrows off with his dad’s electric razor because, in his own words, “I was looking for some hair on my face to try it out on.”

Once the eyebrow grew back he began to ride his Huffy bicycle around the neighborhood wearing a pumpkin on his head like some sort of strange jack-o’-lantern motorcycle racing helmet. As luck would have it—his sort of luck—the pumpkin ended up blocking his vision and he crashed, falling down hard; his pumpkin head splattering all over the sidewalk. Strangely, the pumpkin saved his life.

Over the years my friend continued to do strange things and for this he earned a very strange nickname. We called him Rectum. Yes, Rectum. That was what we called him to his face and even to his parents.


“Hi, is Rectum home?”

“Yes, just a minute. I think he’s in the bathroom.”

“I’m sure he is.”

When we would go places, I would introduce him along with some of my other buddies to new people.

“Hi. This is my friend Ryan, Jason, and this is Rectum.”

Inevitably, people would be confused by his strange name. Later they would ask, “Where is that friend of yours, what was his name again, Sphincter?”

As much as Rectum was weird, he was also an absolute mechanical genius. He could build a motor scooter out of a car starter, a fan belt, and a Jet Ski battery. We were in the fifth grade! He later built something called “The Chair Kart.” It was a 
suicidal machine built out of a kitchen chair and a lawnmower engine that could go 40 mph. The only drawback being that it was made out of his mom’s kitchen chair and likely to flip over at about 5 mph. The good news was he had already invented the pumpkin helmet so flipping the chair kart over was no big deal. 

Unfortunately for Rectum, his parents never really appreciated his mechanical gift since he had usually taken apart his dad’s Jet Ski, or lawnmower, or truck to find the parts he needed for his new creation.

As you could imagine, my friend spent a lot of time grounded. That just gave him time to dream up some new schemes. As a kid I would come over and knock on his door to see if he could play (it was 50/50 he’d be on restriction). He would always open his front door with an adventurous question. Here are just a few that I can remember:

“Do you want to go dig up a dead snake?” (We did. It stunk like … well, like a decomposing dead snake.)

“Do you want to go find the people who ate my turtle?” (He was absolutely convinced that his Portuguese neighbors had stolen his pet turtle, Herbie, and eaten it. For whatever reason he was convinced that boiled turtle was some sort of Portuguese delicacy.)

“Do you want to light some fireworks in the kitchen?” (The theory here being outside we would get caught. But inside in the living room we would catch the carpet on fire. The kitchen seemed like a reasonable fireproof alternative at the time. To this day there are still black marks in the Linoleum, and I think some belt marks on Rectum’s back—I escaped the corporal punishment.)

“Do you want to see what happens when you Super Glue two fingers together?” (In case you’re wondering, they glue themselves together as advertised. His dad saved himself the emergency room bill and used an X-Acto knife to cut the two joined fingers apart. I passed out.)

As we got older the adventures got more daunting: “Do you want to drive to Mexico and get some bottle rockets? I built a fake spare tire so we can smuggle thousands of them in and sell them for twice the price!” (I skipped this one.)

Rectum got really into Volkswagen Beetles in high school. He always had four or five of them in different states of complete disrepair. He was continually asking for a ride somewhere: “Can you take me to the hardware store? I wanna build a potato gun.” Eventually, my friends and I, who were sick of driving him around, talked him into taking five broken Volkswagens and turning them into one running Volkswagen. He was inspired and just three hours later he pulled into my driveway in a running car. He was sitting on a five-gallon bucket for a seat. I knew this because the car didn’t have a driver’s door. It also didn’t have a windshield, but it was running and he was driving it (on a suspended license I believe). All he needed as a finishing touch was his signature pumpkin helmet.

Rob and Rectum are still good friends but they only get together about once a year. Rob’s wife, whom he loves, thinks that’s one time a year too many.

Weekly Poll
Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

Yes—the water from the proposed area can't serve as drinking water.
No—oil containments could still pollute usable groundwater.
Additional oil and gas projects can create more jobs.
We need to move away from oil and gas and look at renewable energy projects.

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