My family moved four times as I was going through school, so I have distinct memories of four sets of kids. I used to wonder what happened to certain ones, and these days, Google and Facebook allow you to find out. So when I'm bored, I Google the more interesting kids I encountered growing up, to find out what became of them.
(As a side note -- I started reading this blog at one point, where a guy wrote down every memory he had of the kids he went to school with in Wisconsin. I remember odd things like that too, but I'd never do a blog like that -- too much chance to offend someone. Still, it just shows some of the funny things you remember from elementary school.)
Anyway, among all the kids I encountered in four school districts in Central New Jersey in the 1980s, one of the smarter ones was Buck R. I remember him because he was in the top three smartest kids in my eighth grade class, and that was a class in which almost everyone was pretty smart. It was the year we lived in snobby Holmdel, N.J.
Buck was handsome and looked kinda like Doogie Howser, with the scrunched nose. He talked kinda slow, which made any funny thing he said even funnier. There are two distinct funny things he said that I remember the whole class laughing at:
1. We had a substitute teacher for social studies one day. Anyone who has been in the gifted/smartypants/honors classes knows that sometimes the smart kids can be just as obnoxious as the other classes, only maybe in a less threatening way. They're wiseasses and think they're superior to the teacher. So this day, my classmates were riling up the sub about something.
The sub said, "You kids are acting retarded."
Buck responded, in his calm, slow manner, "Yeah, we're the retarded gifted and talented class..." which got several people roaring.
2. Whenever we got done early with our work in class, like say before Christmas break or on a half day, the class would clamor for Trivial Pursuit. That's usually how the teachers passed the time on one of those non-work giddy days. They'd break the class in half and one side would play the other side.
One day, we were playing Trivial Pursuit and our teacher asked this question: "What is the number one reason for divorce in the United States?"
Buck suddenly burst out, "IM-potency."
That also got a big laugh...kind of the way he said it so matter-of-factly, and just the fact that he said it to begin with.
Anyway, I Googled him years ago. He had gone to Harvard Law and then become a manager at Goldman Sachs. Maybe a dull sort of occupation, but work doesn't make the man. That was about all that showed up about dear Buck.
Until I happened to hear something funny last week. Stephen Colbert was complaining about Wall Street executives and their bonuses. He mentioned that one of his writers found the Goldman Sachs credit card of a manager there. He held it up on TV and threatened to reveal one number of it each night on the show unless the owner came on the show to defend the bonuses. Who does the card belong to? Buck R.! (Colbert also made fun of his very Yuppie sounding first and last name). Here is a rundown of the event from the Washington Post, with video.
So anyway, Buck is famous again, as he should be.