Another Defining Moment in My Adolescence By Pete Rosky

When I was 11 I had a paper route. My family wasn't well to do, and I liked to buy stuff, so this is what I did. One very cold winter's morning I picked up my bundle of papers, carried them onto the porch, folded and rubber banded them, as one does. Nothing special happened that morning. No dogs attacked me, no birds tried to swoop me, I didn't dodge any cars. I finished my appointed rounds, and went to school. I was a normal, socially adjusted, young boy with a bit of a cheek, and life was good. Until I reported to my home room that morning.

The cold can mess with your sense of smell. As I began to warm, it became apparent that my jacket stunk. In hindsight, it's obvious what happened. I had picked up the bundle of papers, and a cat had sprayed them. That spray had transferred onto my jacket and the smell permeated the classroom.

My teacher, let's call her Ms. Caring, a nearly retired woman noticed the odor. I'm sure if she gave a shit, she would have called me up quietly, whispered in my ear, and suggested I go and change. Unfortunately, she took a different tact. She loudly told me that I stunk, and needed to bathe and wash my clothes. I really didn't like her before this event, but this was too much. I instantly tried to defend myself verbally, ignoring the laughter and howls of my classmates. We wound up in a screaming match, and I threw a book at her.

This was another defining moment in my adolescence. I got in a lot of trouble over the next couple of years.


in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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