Written 1994 – I turned nine on April 23, 1994. My mom had a birthday party with all my friends as she had done every year. It was always warm in California during this time of the year, so the parties usually took place outside.
I has about five or six friends at this party (I wasn’t that popular, in fact I was thought of as a major geek by most of the school) and we sat at the old red picnic table that resided in our backyard while eating pizza and ice cream. Chocolate chip, of course! Now we all thought of ourselves as pretty studly and manly, so we decided to prove who was the toughest kid–excuse me, MAN. I has forgotten we were already nine at the time of the party. We had all had at least three pieces of that Round Table large pepperoni pizza, but my mom had bought several, not knowing how many of my friends would actually show up. So how does one prove they are the toughest of all the Jefferson Avenue kids? Easy–Just shove a whole piece of pizza in your mouth! Now everyone who sat at the table knew that Wally had the biggest mouth of us all. He had proved that years ago after getting an apple halfway down his throat. Now, that may not seem like that much of a feat to you, but for a seven year old kid? He was the stuff, and I mean that. Everybody looked up to ol’ Wally. Sure, he was a scrawny little wimp, but he got half an apple in his mouth, without biting it at all! Although we were faced with stiff competition, the rest of us men knew that we could get a slice of pizza in our mouth. After all, with something that is that flexible (I mean the pizza, dummy) all you need is muscle, and we were all convinced that we had that.
So Eric and I challenge Wally to a duel, thinking that we’d have no problem. Wally grabs a piece and effortlessly slams it down his throat, hardly even swallowing. Of course we were scared, but he didn’t need to know that. Not even flinching, Eric grabs a piece, and with that same vigor that Wally showed he shoves it halfway in, and moves the rest in slowly, making sure he gest a good fold. That’s all you need to get a slice in your mouth we were told–good fold. So Eric knows he’s a stud, and while jumping around celebrating he accidentally spews all the goodies from the day’s festivities all over my brand new G.I. Joe collection! Not only did that whole slice come out, but Wild Bill and his green helicopter also got splattered with the other three pieces, complete with pepperoni and extra cheese, some now- murky chocolate chip/cheese ice cream and several other goodies that we haven’t been able to identify to this day.
Eric ran home in tears. A few weeks later his family moved, supposedly to Virginia, without saying good-bye to anyone. To this day, I still wonder if the Lund family had moved because of that slightly embarrassing incident, or because his dad was an FBI agent.