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10:23:45 - 2001-03-08


Until yesterday, I had forgotten how incredibly creepy junior high students can be.

Now...I'm sure there's at least one junior high student reading out there who's reading this and thinking "Wait a second there, Bobby Boy...I'm a junior high student...and I'm not creepy in the least."

Yes you are. And yes you are.

Kids in junior high have hit puberty and let's all face it...puberty is an ugly, UGLY thing.

Puberty means that you're no longer a child, yet you're not an adult yet. You're a 'tweener that wants to be treated like an adult, but there's not a damned adult on this whole planet who will take you seriously in your quest to be taken seriously.

So you're stuck.

Oh. And chances are high that you're pretty ugly too.

Physically, that is.

And I'm willing to bet you're not exactly a rose garden on the inside either.

Sooooo...I had to go to one of our local junior high schools yesterday to do a story on a group of kids who have entered some dramatic competition that takes place this weekend.

The story was set up a month ago by the parent of one of the kids involved. She REALLY wanted me to get a picture of the kids in the newspaper and a little story on what they've done because she was sooooo proud of what they had achieved.

Not a problem. I was hesitant to wait a month before interviewing the kids, but I agreed to do it.

I show up at the school and notice some of the local TV station vans outside.

I go inside and ... hey...whaddayaknow?? The mother of the student has decided that since I agreed to come out, maybe some of the local TV stations will cover the event as well.

Well, hip hip hooray.

Lemme tell you something about junior high kids. They LOVE to get their picture in the paper and to be quoted in a story.

They LOVE it.

But...wave a TV camera and microphone in their face and they COMPLETELY FORGET about Mr. Newspaper Guy.

They're TV STARS now!!!

Since the TV guys were there first, they were interviewing the kids first. It's a common media courtesy.

I waited patiently for my turn to talk to the kids and the coaches of this drama team.

Thirty minutes passed and I was starting to get a little impatient.

Finally, both TV stations got their footage and allowed me to talk to the kids who were all hyper because THEY WERE GOING TO BE ON TEEVEEEEEEEEE!!!!


"We're going to be on TV," one of them told me.

"Yes, I know," I said. "That's great!"

I wanted to say "Hey kid...I co-hosted a TV show back in the 90s for two years. I've BEEN on TV. It's NO BIG DEAL."

But far be it from me to burst a junior high bubble.

I asked the kids to line up for a picture.



Bitch, bitch, bitch.

"Why do I have to stand next to her?"

"Why do I have to stand on the end?"

"Why are you taking our picture, can't you just interview us??"

Ungrateful little bastards...they certainly weren't complaining when the TV cameras were in their pimply little faces...

I snapped a couple of pics of them, then sat them down at a table in the cafeteria to interview them.

Two of them could NOT shut up about their TV debut. They weren't even paying attention to me...they were trying to think of everyone they knew to call and tell them to watch the news that night to see them ON TV!!!

The one kid who talked the most (coincidentally...the son of the mother who called me originally) was a class A smart ass.

Of course, he reminded me of what I SHOULD have been like when I was his age. Except I was quiet around adults and respected my elders.

This kid kept looking at my notes and telling me I wrote funny.

At least three times, he told me that they were all going to be "big stars".


Lose the back acne, greasy hair and nail down a personality that isn't abrasive and unamusing and you just MIGHT be a star, Junior.

THEN, for the benefit of the media and the few students who were on hand, they decided to do a run-through of their little play.

It wasn't actually a play so much as a series of skits.

The first one had the two boys of this fantastic acting troupe dressed the same and wearing masks. One was chopping something on a block. He then called his son a chip off the old block and that was the end of that skit.

I stood there in horror. There was absolutely nothing funny about the skit. No punchline. And the acting was atrocious. They said their lines in monotone and kept screwing up what few lines they had.

Everyone sat there in silence instead of laughing uproariously which is what the kids had expected.

The second skit had a girl crying in a chair. She was crying because someone stole her boyfriend. A girl in the chair next to her was smiling. She was smiling because she now had the other girl's boyfriend.


That was skit number two. Once again...dumbfounded silence from the audience.

The third one used special effects. One of the girls had slipped on a plastic butt that made her butt look huge.

Two other girls on the side of the "stage" did the monologue from the beginning of the "Baby Got Back" video.

"Becky...look at her butt..."

The girl with the butt finally heard the two girls talking about her butt and they met in the middle of the stage where the big butt girl told the others it wasn't nice to make fun of people.

The two gossippers agreed and they all shook hands.

That was skit number three and thankfully...the end of this horrendous piece of dramatic shit.

I was soooo amused that these kids who were treating me like shit and walking around like their shit didn't stink because it was a slow news day and the local TV people needed SOMETHING to fill the last 30 seconds of the show, were going to go to the national competition and get their uppitty asses handed to them on a dingy silver platter.

Here's the kicker...I videotaped the whole cavalcade of skits. Don't ask me why, I guess I thought it might actually give me some insight into what these kids were doing. Instead, I got a gem of a video that I'll treasure for years and years. And whenever I'm feeling down and useless to this world, I'll pop this baby in the VCR and realize that there are people far worse off than me.

The mother of the student in the production also got a bit star struck. She "didn't have time" to talk to me after being interviewed by the TV stations and asked me to call her Monday after the competition.

I agreed. Mainly because I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible because the stench of that reeking series of skits was beginning to permeate my clothing.

Basically, I was treated like shit because I didn't have a TV camera on my shoulder and I wasn't on television every night, stumbling over words off a teleprompter like a second grader with dyslexia.

But...I did get to see the absolute worst play in the history of plays, so I guess I should be thankful for that.

Had lunch with my boy Eddie Lavoie yesterday at Tony Roma's.

He said there was a job opening at his place of employment ... the same place that published the book I worked on last year.

I told him to put in a good word for me and he said he would.

Then he reminded me that I bailed on the writing of that book and let someone else finish my assignments.


I've got that job in the bag, alright...

Watched "Meet The Parents" last night for the first time.

I thought it was funny. I loved how everyone kept calling Ben Stiller "Focker". I cracked up every time they said it.

I love Ben Stiller. He's basically the same in almost every movie he makes ... a schlep that's down on his luck.

Except that movie where he was a heroin addict. He was a bit different in that one. He was a heroin addict who was down on his luck in that one.

The ending was too cutesy for me, but overall, it was worth renting.

Uncle Bob gives it three stars.

That's it from here. I've gotta walk the dog, shower and take the kid to daycare.

Speaking of the kid ... he's cutting his second tooth.

Goooooo kid!!

Only 13 more years and he'll be in Junior High.

God help me.


REM, ANDY KAUFMAN and TONY CLIFTON: "This Friendly World"

Taken from the "Man On The Moon" soundtrack, this song reminds me of "Happy Trails" except it turns into a clusterfuck towards the end.


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