Photo by Jan Laugesen/unsplash
Read the first part HERE.
Brian was a freshman! A high schooler! But, a small one at that. He had gained a huge 7 pounds and reported for his second year of football at 105 lean, green and not so mean pounds! He had participated as an 8th grader weighing just 98 lbs and was lucky he did not get killed, though, one-time fullback Barker had caught him in the low stomach area with a block, and flipped him over his head as a bull might do to a hapless matador.
The new locker rooms were a nice and shiny change from the dingy ones of the past. BUT, they also gave way to some new high jinks. The older boys started stuffing the younger, smaller boys in them, on a few occasions, upside down! It was not until Coach Cherry gave a long, stern talk on this practice, that it came to a stop.
But there were other ways for the “veterans” to harass the “rookies.”
One was to get right up to a younger boy in the shower, and, either pee on his legs, or, fill the mouth with warm water, grab the pudenda, and spit the water while pretending to pee.
It was an incident such as this that almost got Brian killed!
While taking a shower after practice one day, Brian felt a hot stream on his leg. He instinctively turned and slapped the face of the perpetrator of this deed.
As he swung he recognized that person as Jim Hatchaway!
Hatchaway was red-faced and MAD and instantly grabbed Brian and threw him across the shower onto the floor where he proceeded to beat him unmercifully. Brian covered up the best he could. It was a no contest! Hatchaway’s 195 lb heavily muscled body against the 105 lb skin and bones that protected Brian.
If not for Captain Ronald “Quackers” Littell, there might well have been a death in that shower room. Littell and a few more senior players pulled the angry Hatchaway off, thus preventing further bloodshed.
Brian never forgot that day. He got older and bigger and bided his time for the day when he would get his revenge on Hatchaway.
That time never came but God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.
Many years later in a bar Below the Hill, a slim young man was having a relaxing beer. In came Hatchaway, looking for trouble. As most bullies will do, he surveyed the bar to handpick his next victim.
His eyes fell on the small, skinny kid at the bar.
He started picking on the kid and soon challenged the kid to come out and show what a man he was.
The kid pushed his drink to the side, and despite admonitions from some older, wiser heads nearby, followed Hatchaway outside.
All inside heard the next sounds. Whack! Whomp! Thump! Thump! Next, the door opened and the kid walked back in, sat at his stool and continued drinking his beer.
It turns out that the small, skinny kid was a black belt in karate and he handed Hatchaway an ass whipping.
Karma. No one has seen Hatchaway since.
Another thing Brian learned in that new locker room was that the guys who talk about having sex the most are usually lying. Always trying to look big to those around him. Most boys, Brian included, were novices when it came to “amore.” Their time would come later.
One day two guys were getting dressed with the team when they started up about how they were both “getting it on” with Peggy Sue.
About that time the gym door banged open and Peggy Sue’s big brother came in yelling he wanted to “talk” to the guys who were talking trash about his sister.
You never saw such a turnaround in your life!
Both boys almost started to cry. Said they had never touched Peggy Sue, and shook in their boots while the Big Brother informed them of what would happen to them if they ever put their hands on Peggy Sue! Brian never saw a conversion happen so fast!
If they had had Brian’s mother as a parent that might have learned one of her sayings and kept out of trouble. “When you are out with a girl, treat her like you want the boys who are out with your sisters to treat them.”
The last incident in this rendering deals with a boy named Isadore Izzi. He was a lineman, who had moved here from Massachusetts and quickly earned the nicknames Ishe Izzi? Double Izzi and Dizzy Izzy.
Iz was an amiable guy, a good football player and liked by all. Unfortunately with this group that was not enough to keep you off their log for pranks to be played.
One day after practice, Iz left his locker open. The “boys” discovered it and saw Iz’s jockstrap hanging there. They proceeded to get a bottle of wintergreen and poured it into the pouch of the jockstrap.
They then locked Isadore’s locker back up and let the wintergreen evaporate into the pouch.
The next afternoon Iz came in and got dressed for practice. He went out on the field and started going through calisthenics and drills. Soon he started to sweat and as he did the action released the wintergreen in his jockstrap which soon got into the closest pores in contact.
Next thing Big Iz was crying and screaming. The coaches had to rush him into the locker room and call the rescue. His ballettos were swollen up to three times normal size.
Maybe more. Iz was packed in ice. Iz was rushed to the hospital. The coaches once again had to talk to the team. Iz could have died from this type of attack. Admonishment. Embarrassment.
Lessons learned? (At least at GCHS. Twenty years later, when Brian was a coach, boys on his team did it to another one of their teammates. Same results, except Brian did not find out about it ’til later ).
So, there you have it. A little peek into what really goes on in locker rooms across the country, safe from the prying eyes of parents, teachers, administrators and girlfriends. I left out goosing and towel snapping and maybe a few other things. Hope you enjoyed it.
Bruce Mastracchio grew up in East Greenwich, where he experienced those 28-hour days and 8-day weeks that contained the magic that made his hometown so special. Included in all that were the numerous characters that added color to the local life and produced many of Bruce’s remarkable stories.