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Don't mess
with the bull.

How to ruin a friendship without really trying

In ye olde times of my youth, I had a rather eccentric cast of friends growing up during my years of intermediate school. Some I'd stayed friends with up to this day, while others vanished into obscurity early on before trudging into the millenium.

Going back to the tried and true year of 1996, I'd like to share the tale of one of my friendships gone awry. At the late time of July, I was currently living in a suburban type of mobile home park in Chesapeake Virginia, known simply as Stoney's. Originally I moved there with my family at the dawn of the 90s, but not much happened during those times for me. But as mid-decade came around I was slowly building up friends.

It was at this point that the last family I'd see moving into the neighborhood would be before the time that my family and myself would move away. I quickly became friends with the family's son, Jesse, who was roughly the same age as me at the time. Occasionally he'd come over to visit when given permission, and sometimes on the longer days we'd just go outside and do some pretend character battle thing, whether it was Power Rangers inspired, or Mech robots. We both watched Beast Wars at the time, so that was mostly our inspiration for it.

The first cul-de-sac in the mobile home park, and our usual play area.

And it was pretty fun while it lasted, though as far as letting him come by to visit would go, his parents thought of me as a slightly bad influence, so I never really got to go to his home. Inside that is. Remember in my past article 'A Grand Day Out' when I mentioned my trips going into the woods? Upon telling Jessie about it, he'd asked his parents if he could go with me out there someday. That one question alone gave them a feeling of disapproval, even though they still allowed him over at my house.

As the months went on, he at least let me see the stash of video games he had (yeah, I was THAT kid back then) and I even managed to watch him play a few of his games through his bedroom window when his parents were gone. This had actually made me envious, as he had twice the library I did, and even had games that I didn't even know existed at the time. From what I recall, these are the titles that he had on him.

Sega Genesis

Brutal: Paws of Fury
Normy's Beach Babe-O-Rama
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Sonic & Knuckles

Super Nintendo

Super Metroid
Super Mario All-Stars
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Mega Man X
Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage
Donkey Kong Country
X-Men Mutant Apocalypse

Jesse's mobile home at the time.

Jesse's room was on the right side of his home, right next to the backdoor. One afternoon as he was out with the family, I was unaware that he was with them, so I briefly knocked on the front door to see if he was around. Curious, I went and knocked on the backdoor thinking that he might be in his room. No dice, but strangely the backdoor was unlocked. I chanced checking out his game collection thinking that I'd sneak back out unnoticed, but that was a big mistake on my part after what I'd decided to do next.

With the games that I never really got a chance to borrow, I turned on the TV in his room with his Super Nintendo alongside it. The thing with his TV set though was that it had knob dials, and I never used one like it before. I went ahead and turned it on anyway to play Donkey Kong Country and X-Men. So after a short ten minutes playing both, I'd thought it would be a good time to leave with them still gone.

To my dismay, I couldn't figure out how to turn off the TV. I was already in a panic, and their next door neighbor had become suspicious. As I veered through the window to see their car pulling in I'd turned white as a ghost and hid in Jesse's bedroom closet. I overheard their neighbor talking about the situation and Jesse's mom opened the closet door to find me inside, and afterward brushed me out the front door. She and my parents had a long talk outside, with me being in the middle of it all.

To conclude, I was left with a spanking via a wooden 2x4 as Jesse and his family were already packing their things to move. I hung my head in shame. Cut to two years later, and I got an invitation for his Birthday. His parents forgave me for my actions, but it was the last time that I would see him, ever.
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munkysrench Posted on Aug 06, 2015 at 02:44 AM

Yeah I remember that. (Our stepdad) Tim was PISSED! Oh yeah, remember in that cul-de-sac picture where the basketball hoop was? I played many a game of street basketball there..

Benjanime Posted on Jul 21, 2015 at 06:01 PM

vapor, stephen, stephen, vapor.

i also remember when we camped out in the backyard, jesse and my other friend chris spent the night out in the same tent, and the next morning jesse happened to wet his pants, and the sleeping bag. since the sleeping bag he used belonged to us, his mom ended up being the one to get it clean, since the inside was all sticky.

Vaporman87 Posted on Jul 16, 2015 at 07:56 AM

Ha! Awesome to see the brother putting in his two cents on the matter. Welcome Ben's brother! Now if I could just get my own brother to start posting stuff.

munkysrench Posted on Jul 16, 2015 at 02:46 AM

I also remember them kicking you out of their house for not letting Jesse play his own game! Hahaha, you loved your video games back then...

Benjanime Posted on Feb 13, 2015 at 01:27 AM

True, but I don't know about him helping me. When I visited him again for his Birthday he had a suspicious look on his face, so he possibly did get the idea that I'd steal them. From what I recall in Normy it was about some hippie guy that has to rescue a group of clad beach girls after an alien abduction.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Feb 12, 2015 at 10:42 PM

I totally thought you were going to get away with it and that Jessie would help you escape out the window or something. At least you weren't there to steal his games. I had a "friend" who did that that I wish I could have seen smacked with a 2x4! Uh, what was the premise of Normy's Beach Babe O Rama? Definitely never heard of that one.

Benjanime Posted on Feb 11, 2015 at 09:10 PM

they weren't nearly as aggressive as my stepdad, he's the one who came out with the 2x4, though the mom was scared with how i got in the house. his dad on the other hand didn't have much to say other than that he'd be the one making sure the doors are locked from then on.

vkimo Posted on Feb 11, 2015 at 07:56 PM

Wow, haha. Your friend's folks seemed a bit uptight, but sneaking in to play some games is pretty bold, I would never had the nerve to do that! As for the TV, just unplug it. The neighbor would have given you up either way though. Great story

Benjanime Posted on Feb 11, 2015 at 07:30 PM

to be honest both me and jesse had a pretty curious nature at the time, though i was more of the troublemaker when it came to finding outdoor activities. i still thought of the consequences but i always went for risk. the only problem was, the more i'd gotten in trouble, the more my belongings my parents would sell. back then i remember losing a sega game gear and a vhs player.

Vaporman87 Posted on Feb 11, 2015 at 06:35 PM

Well that stinks. At least there was forgiveness for you in the end. I know there have been interactions with my friends growing up that I definitely needed forgiveness from someone for (just see my comments on Hoju's "Being The Fat Kid" article). Even so, these are really just innocent, youthful mistakes that don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

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