Circa the summer of 1970 or so... My life's dream was to be a secret agent like Ephrem Zimbalist Jr. (God bless him; he died just this month) on the TV series The F.B.I. I knew that being a federal investigator would really impress the girls so I designed my own secret agent communications panel fashioned from a wooden cigar box, a microphone from an old reel to reel tape recorder, a bevy of switches connected to nothing, all mounted to the big wire basket on my balloon tired single speed bike. I'd ride past said young lady's house a few times a day, slowly, pretending to be calling in some kind of emergency report to secret headquarters. I don't believe my heartthrob ever noticed me riding past her house in my quest to win her heart. Thank God, or she might've posted a reminder of it to Facebook by now.
I remember how resentful I was when I first learned that girls in junior high are far more mature than their male classmates, but in working every day for the past 31 years with kids who are as old now as I was then, the truth is as apparent as the nose on my face. I watch the boys trying to impress the girls and shake my head in amazement at how they're utterly clueless in thinking that their Billy Madison type antics will make them prime dating material. I look back in pride to my time on the bike with the secret agent communicator in my basket. At least I wasn't trying to be like Adam Sandler! I can picture Zimbalist Jr. on a stylish Vespa, and I sit back with a smug sense of satisfaction in enjoying being who I've become since the sixth grade, riding along on my scooter and trying to impress precisely nobody at all.