While waiting at a stoplight last week, my sister and I watched as one boy at a bus stop grabbed a nearby notebook and tossed it into traffic. The owner ran out into the street and collected what he could before a car drove over his papers and scattered the remainder over three lanes. My sister then asked, "On what planet is it acceptable to be such a dickhead?" She wasn't expecting an answer; we were both already preoccupied with haunting memories of the planet of dickheads: high school.
I went to a small, Christian high school, the kind of school that most parents would expect to have a smaller percentage of dickheads than large, public schools. That would be an incorrect assumption. Compared to public schools, small, Christian schools have the same ratio of dickheads to non-dickheads. However, since there are fewer people overall, the Christian school dickheads are expected to multitask. The dickhead must be the homecoming king must be the scholar athlete must be the drug user must be the Junior class treasurer. It's a lot of responsibility. Thankfully, they generally possess the self-confidence of ten invisible choir losers combined, and then exponentially multiplied. (Note: though not required to fulfill as many roles as the dickheads, the invisible choir losers don't get a free ride. They generally need to join the cross-country team, volunteer, and get pregnant at a surprisingly young age.)
The only way to deal with high school dickheads is to make jokes about how they will one day pump gas for a living. Unfortunately, this does not apply to the special breed of small, Christian school dickheads, as their multiple roles prepare them for a generally successful life. The good grades, the discipline from playing sports, even the resume-boosting minor role in the school musical ensures that they will finish college and then find a well-paying real estate job.
My consolation comes from knowing that the proverbial dickhead has lost his threat in my own life. He is no longer my prom date or my ride home. I don't owe him anything, not even a laugh. I'm laughing because that kid's papers are all over the road, and that is funny.