Having been a “closet metalhead” in nerds clothing myself in middle and high school I completely relate with Jim Shearer’s years of torment at the hands of “burnouts” or what we in the Northeast called “metalheads” or “potheads”. These guys were usually the kids that often developed facial hair in 8th grade (often due to having repeated a grade or two), wore a different metal band shirt every day (not to mention the matching jean jacket), excelled in “shop class” or “vo-tech” and not anything else, beat on every nerdy kid they could find and decreed the back of the bus their domain…and it was!
Oh how I wanted to be accepted by them at that time…looking back I’m glad I didn’t. Most of them dropped out and became “baby daddies” at 16 and rarely completed their GED if they were lucky!
If you weren’t tormented by this group of teenage Neanderthal’s you won’t relate, but man does Shearer’s comment on “industrial strength slingshots” bring back the memories! I had to laugh (after I got a chill) remembering how terrifying it really was to get shot at while riding my Schwinn Stingray home from school. Getting tagged in the back with a BB gun from woods was so painful.
But hey, it was part of being a teenager in high school in the mid 80’s. At least the one thing I can say they had going for them was their taste in music…
Read Jim Shearer’s opinion editorial about ‘burnouts” here, hilarious.