Summer of '86

November 23, 2005

Many of my readers will be too young (or too old -- Hi Dad), to remember the day before Bryan Adams wasn't a pussy.

Bank in the summer of 1986, I was 15, and enjoying the freedom that comes with being old enough to run wild, but too young to drive and work. But most of my friends were 16 and driving, so it was the best of both worlds. And this isn't one of those "I didn't know how well I had it" types of posts. I knew that it was great even at the time.


A group of us went that summer to the Bryan Adams concert. I had a dentist appointment that morning, and it was decided that I needed to have a couple of incoming wisdom teeth removed.

"We've got time. Let's do it now."

I whined and complained but was overridden.

Here's a tip for parents: if the dentist has nothing better to do than recommend non-emergency procedures, and then has the time to take care of them right away, then it's probably a good-for-nothing dentist.

This was in the oh so innocent days before people in Little Rock, Arkansas got AIDS, so the dentist worked in my mouth bare-handed. I remember distinct times being able to smell/taste the grits that he had for breakfast. What kind of lunatic eats grits with his bare hands before practicing dentistry is anybody's guess.

Regardless of the fact that the quack had yanked out a couple of wisdom teeth, I went with my friends to the concert. We went to Wendy's first, and the pain and/or the medication made it very difficult to eat. I also felt nauseous. I actually considered calling and getting a ride back home, but I decided to at least ride to the arena before making the decision to bail.

It's odd. I can picture the girl who drove, and for that summer, we were pretty good friends. She was a big (but not fat) chick with a huge head of 80s hair. I can picture her, her car, and even today, I could take you right to the house where she lived. But for the life of me, I can't remember her name.

I know that we were comfortable enough with each other to bandy around the word "piss" right in front of Culson Johnson's mom. It went back and forth between us before we noticed her stare, which shamed us into an apology.

You'll have to find this song somewhere else. Your browser won't allow embedded media. Sorry.

Once we got to the arena, I felt a lot better. And it ended up being a good show. I had an old Bryan Adams song randomly come up on the IPOD playlist the other day, and it still holds up as a good 1980s rock and roll song.

I'm fortunate to have caught the pre-pussy act.