I was walking along the street today and saw one tennis shoe in the road, which got me to thinking about George Carlin and his thing about the one shoe in the road, which got me to thinking about tennis shoes flung around wires above the road and hanging by their shoelaces, which in turn got me to thinking about the time I was walking home from school and my friend's balled up gym uniform got stuck way up in a tree. How did her gym uniform get stuck in a tree? And see how my mind wanders? It's a wonder I ever get anything accomplished.
Okay, first off, back in the late sixties/early seventies they had this thing called Junior High School, which usually consisted of grades 7 thru 9. Nowadays, they call it Middle School, which just doesn't have quite the same ring to it as Junior High, which is almost like High School, which is just the coolest thing ever to a Junior High Schooler, and we all couldn't wait until we got to High School. And, second, back in those days they made everybody take Physical Education classes every day of the week, something that I don't think even exists any more in these modern budget cutting times. Every day, just like any other class, we all had to go into the locker rooms and change into PE uniforms and go out and do whatever our gym teacher said to do. This class was quite traumatic for a lot of us-we had to UNDRESS IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE AND ALSO TAKE A SHOWER IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE!!! And, not only did we have to be naked in a big smelly locker room with thirty other girls, we had to wear the most unflattering uncomfortable stupid looking gym outfits that were ever created. Whoever thought that girls would enjoy gym class in this mortifyingly horrible outfit must have secretly hated young girls and found it uproaringly funny to design this outfit.
This is what the uniform looked like-an all in one suit with snaps down the front and elastic bloomer legs. Made out of the scratchiest woven cotton fabric ever made-fabric with absolutely no stretch or sweat soaking up abilities to it whatsoever. This thing was a pain in the ass to get in or out of, and for those of us with chubby thighs, the elastic was torturous to have cutting into said chubby thighs and you would always end up looking like you were wearing baggy underwear or loaded diapers after the elastic rode up all the way into your crotch area.
Yes, they really made us wear these!
This girl looks perky and cute in her gym uniform only because she is thin and the elastic in the legs is not cutting off all circulation to her lower extremities and SHE WAS PAID TO MODEL THIS OUTFIT!
Okay, so how did the gym uniform get up into the tree? Well, on Fridays we were supposed to remember to take our uniforms and gym socks home to be washed so that you could start out the new week of gym class not having to wear stiffened sweat encrusted uniforms and socks. The only good thing about the elastic legs was that you could ball up your uniform with the socks inside it and kind of stick it all in one leg of the uniform and stretch the elastic around the whole mess, making a ball shape out of it. A ball shape that you could toss around on the long walk home from school. A ball shape that my friend was tossing up into the air and catching it. A ball shape that she tossed up into the air while we were walking under a tree. A ball shape that got stuck up in the branches of the tree.
I don't really remember exactly how we got the uniform down from the tree, I think some other kids came along and we either shook the tree or threw rocks at the uniform or something, but we finally did get the uniform back out of the tree. I know her mother would have been really mad at her if she'd had to go buy another ugly uniform.