Maybe it’s because I grew up with brothers, or maybe it’s because I’m from the generation that gave us Beevis & Butthead (Beavis and Butt-Head | Full Episodes, Photos, Episode Synopsis and Recaps | MTV), but I’m beginning to realize that there’s something wonderful about middle school boys.
Relax. Before you set your Tivo to record my tearful confession of undying love for some 14-year-old (complete with stylish orange jumpsuit and assurances that our love was mutual), that’s not what I mean.
I mean I think they’re funny.
Every Thursday I head to the middle school for a few hours over lunch, to supervise Game Room. It’s a place where kids can come if they want to hang out and play games, away from the chaos of the general lunch crowd.
The rules are simple. No cursing (you’d be amazed at the discrepancies in what constitutes a swear word), no bullying or running anyone down, if you burp you have to say excuse me (which never fails to elicit an eye roll), and because we’re in a very small room attached to the library they have to keep the volume low (definitely the hardest to enforce).
There are a few girls that drop in once in awhile, but generally it’s just the boys. The bell rings and they burst though the door in a storm of t-shirts and backpacks, already negotiating for each other’s food.
“Dude, can I have your milk?
“Shut up, you still owe me from last week.”
“Come on! I’ll pay you double.”
“Huh, huh. Your mom pays me double.”
Do you know how hard it is not to laugh at shit like that?
They crowd around the tables and devour their lunches, crumbs flying, while they play YuGiOh, which by the way, is very serious business. They wage fierce battles with things like Monster Reborn and Zombie Madness, with Needle Worm and Final Flame.
It’s like miniature poker night with cheezy poofs and lunchables instead of cigars and booze.
It’s a complete crack up. Life (at least for two hours at lunch) consists of sports and boogers. Who knew things could be so simple? Life with girls is not like this.
Girls, for example, do not obsessively follow every sentence with the timeless classic, “That’s what she said.”
Which is kind of a shame, because it’s super funny. And that’s why, much to my daughter’s disgust, I have adopted it as my own, kind of as my new favorite thing.
It’s perfect. Whenever I’m having a pleasant (and tediously boring) conversation with someone, that one simple phrase is always there to spice things up, like Tabasco for talking.
“So, how was your trip to Atlanta?”
“Nice, except we had a rough landing in Houston.”
“How hard was it?”
Huh, huh. That’s what she said.
It’s like there’s a 12-year-old boy inside me that can’t wait to sneak out and pollute the world with juvenile sexual innuendo.
I haven’t laughed so hard, so frequently, in a long time. In fact, I think everyone should start doing it. (Huh, huh. You said do it.) The next time someone says something even remotely risque (you know, like, “How was your day?” or “Paper or plastic?”) just smile, drop your voice an octave and say, That’s what she said.
Try it. I dare you not to smile.
With the school year coming to an end, sadly, tomorrow is the last day of Game Room. No more raging sessions of Uno (which I’ve learned has as many house rules as Monopoly), no more rigorous chess matches, or back room deals for the last half of a chewed on, gooey burrito. I will miss it.
And with my daughter headed to high school next year, I wonder if they’ll ask me back. I hope so. I can’t wait to do it again.
Huh, huh. That’s what she said. 🙂