Tuesday, October 24, 2006


With apologies to Val Kilmer, Vanilla Ice, and anyone who has ever stocked an ice machine with bags of ice... myself included.

I considered beginning a new feature here on IYROOBTY, with a working title of High School Memories. But since I only remember about four things that happened in high school, I thought better of it. Nevertheless, today's post takes us back to a time of pep rallies, hall passes, lunchroom pizza, and falling asleep in study hall, and every other class for that matter.

He was just another student in my class, who may or may not have repeated a grade to get there. He was an outcast with an intermittent body odor and/or hygiene problem. Until 1990. When Vanilla Ice released "Ice Ice Baby." Then he was an outcast with an intermittent body odor and/or hygiene problem, and a self-given nickname. Iceman.

Before 1990, he would walk around making beatbox noises with his mouth, often singing "Paul Revere." After 1990, his song of choice was "Ice Ice Baby." I think he even had a shirt with "Iceman" written/embroidered/ironed on it.

We somehow wound up with part-time jobs at the same place for a short while in high school. The manager called him into a meeting one day and told him he would have to bathe before he came to work. Every day. Or he would be terminated.

But my favorite Iceman memory occurred sometime between 9th and 11th grade. I think. He brought a small briefcase to class several times, labeled "Project Nova." We asked him what it was. He said he was working on a secret project for the government.

First of all, I can't imagine what all has to be going on in your life to cause you to concoct such a story and carry it out amongst your peers in school. Nevertheless. The legend of Project Nova grew.

Finally, one day in class Iceman opened the briefcase. Inside it were several small vials containing some sort of liquid. We asked him what was in the vials. He said they contained samples of the HIV virus. Now keep in mind, this was the early days of HIV, pre-Magic Johnson even. And no one knew much about it.

So Iceman begins opening one of the vials. I was sitting in front of my friend Archie at the time, in the row next to Iceman. Archie never could resist such an opportunity. He reaches over and hits Iceman's hand, spilling the supposed "virus." (The more I write, the more I'm thinking the teacher must have been out of the room all this time.)

There is a collective gasp and silence, as everyone is a bit surprised by this turn of events. We await Iceman's reaction, unsure of what he might do. Iceman throws up his arms, palms open, and yells, "All right! That's it! I'm not responsible for anything that happens now!" As if to wash his hands of the entire thing.

We all laughed heartily. But at the same time, I think we all left class that day with the slightest bit of doubt. I know I did.

And Project Nova was never reopened. As far as I know. At least the government never admitted it.

"Lookin' for a girl, I ran into a guy. His name was MCA. I said howdy. He said hi..."


  1. Ha! I went to high school with a guy as crazy as he was. Only his were all about the UFO's and other secret stuff he was gathering information for the government on. That's good stuff.

    Makes you wonder where he is today?

  2. LOL, that is really funny!!!!! Now you have to go to your 20 year reunion and tell us if the Iceman shows up. Or better yet find him on classmates.com or myspace. Hell google him, just find him . . . and report back.

  3. Ohh that's a wonderful story!
    I love his reaction:)
    Hee hee I've known people like that in school and while
    actively hanging out with them would have been social sucide,as an adult I wish I'd have least spoken to them more.I betcha those would have been some interesting conversations!

  4. Um, was he wearing moon boots and had bow hunting skillz, computer hacking skillz, or numbchuck skillz?

    Did you go to Preston High?

  5. Can't StopLaughing10/24/2006 06:13:00 PM

    Did EVERY class have THAT kid???? Our school had one (or two, actually) like that, but I can't say they actually went that far with it. Probably because by the time we were in 9th-11th grades, AIDS was old hat.

    What's sad is that I'm sitting here picturing that kid as this skinny, greasy, acne-ridden, dirty clothed, halitosis having, Magik playing boy with his hands up in outrage disavowing all consequences and you and your clean-cut, Zach Morris-esque friends laid back in your desks laughing it up.

    Great story!
    Are you sure you can't make your high school memories into a recurring theme???

  6. Traveling Chica: Oh, he's probably married with children. And I'm still single and blogging about him :)

    Hotpinksox: My 20 year reunion?!?! That's a long way off... Or... only... five years... I just freaked myself out.

    Lael: Ha ha. I like your term "social suicide."

    Dorothy: I think he had some computer hacking skillz. And now that you mention it, I do recall him claiming to know some karate. Honestly. lol Figures.

    Can'tStop: Wow. Very perceptive. He was a bit greasy. And acne-ridden. He just never really "looked" clean. Although I'm not sure about the halitosis. I never got close enough to tell. Or if I did, I held my breath.

  7. At least you've got a bunch of us laughing about him. Though, now that you mention it, I at least know that the weird guy of whom I was speaking is still as weird as he was in high school. Now, I'm depressing myself.

  8. Top Gun was an awesome movie. I wish Tom Cruise was still the nice normal guy that he was... then. He's such a weirdo now!

    Val Kilmer was a hottie :)

  9. Hearing stories like this reminds me that there are kids just a few thoughts away from Columbine at every school and that just scares me to death. I know we had at least 6 kids who were that crazy when I was in school.
    One kid actually set fire to the science lab. We were in class and the fire alarms went off. Soon after the PA came on and said to disregard the alarm. a minute later the PA came back on with a panting teacher telling us that there was a real fire to evacuate the building avoiding the halls on either side of the lab.
    Actual damage was like a pancake sized hole in the carpet and smoke.

  10. Wow, i'm impressed that you had a boss that made the guy bathe. You'd be surprised how many HR departments won't address such an issue. :)

  11. Yeah, we all had an Iceman. Nutty bastards.

    Keep in mind... I was only 8 when Ice Ice Baby hit the airwaves....

  12. Traveling Chica: You chat with him, don't you? ;-)

    Kerry: I'll always consider it a classic.

    Renee: We used to have kids who'd bring cigarette lighters and burn people's behinds during class.

    Carmen: Hahaha. Some place you've worked, perhaps?

    Blondie: Right. How old are you now, 14? ;-) No telling how many nights we cruised to that song. Over and over and over. On cassette, of course.

  13. *shuddering*

    No, I don't. He tried emailing me a couple of years back and at first I responded because I'm like that... and then he started getting weirder and weirder - something I didn't think was possible back in high school - and I finally just stoppped responding. I eventually got a different email address and I've never had to hear from him again.

    Last Christmas though, when I was home, I ran into him and it was... scary as ever. We'll leave it at that.

  14. We had a guy that used to do experiments for the government too. He was weird.

    We also had an Iceman. But only because he looked like Val Kilmer and Top Gun had just come out. He took the nickname Ice. Mainly because his real name was Ashley.

  15. Traveling Chica: That was probably smart of you. Still, I think you should definitely blog the Christmas story :)

    Lass: Oh no. Not Ashley. There's a surefire way to get your kid beaten up at school :)