All good things must come to an end, and when you're on the receiving side of a really good wedgie, you want the end to show up in a hurry, even if it means having your underwear ripped clean out of your shorts. To say it was just a good wedgie would be a serious understatement, though. My tighty-whities were so far up my back I could feel the Fruit of the Loom tag scratching my neck. My underwear stretched so much that you could've put Jeffrey in there with me. No, it wasn't just a good wedgie. I was the victim of one of the greatest wedgies of all time, one that deserved a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Not the sort of thing you want to be known for, but, if I'm being honest, I'd asked for it.
My claim to fame happened at the two-week summer wrestling camp that Jeffrey and I attended together. The camp was definitely the highlight of my vacation. Mr. T had told us that he'd gone to his first camp as a rising seventh grader, and since we were planning to join the school team in the winter, he encouraged us to do the same, and told our parents that it would be a good idea. Mr. T helped us pick the camp and even drove Jeffrey and me there on the day it started. It took place on a college campus I'd never heard of but featured some of the best coaches in the country.
After we were all checked in and settled in our room, Mr. T brought us back to his car and opened the trunk. "I've got something for each of you, now that you're officially wrestlers," he said. He pulled out a pair of his old wrestling shoes and handed them to me. "These babies aren't used to losing matches, so you'd best take care of them," he told me.
I couldn't even get a thank-you out of my mouth. I held those shoes like Jessica cradles her books.
He passed his old headgear on to Jeffrey, who couldn't manage to say anything, either.
"If you pay attention, I know you'll learn plenty," Mr. T promised us. "I discovered some of my best moves at camp. Have fun, work hard, and stick together. And stay out of trouble," he added, looking at me. He closed the trunk and climbed into his car. "I'll see you in ten days." Then he drove away.
I did a pretty good job of following his advice. I paid attention, worked hard, and stuck with Jeffrey. But I did manage to get myself in a little bit of trouble--I couldn't help it.
One of my favorite parts of camp was the dorm. I'd never been away from home like this before. It was great. There was no one harping on us to clean our room. Jeffrey and I kept the place as messy as we wanted. It was also really cool having other kids in the dorm with us. There were ten rooms in our hall, twenty boys total, and Jeffrey and I were the youngest. I used to think the bathroom at school was the best place for messing around, but the dorm was heaven. You could get away with murder.
We were at our morning session, sitting along the mats and changing into our wrestling shoes, when Max, one of the kids a few doors down from Jeffrey and me, started freaking out.
"Eww!" he yelled. "What the heck!" He yanked his shoe off and tipped it over. Shampoo dripped from inside it. Max tossed his sneaker aside, ripped his sock off, and chucked it at Matt, who was cracking up. Matt and his roommate, Josh, were the oldest kids on our floor, which made them the alpha males--or so they thought. I wouldn't say they were mean, but they definitely liked pulling pranks and picking on the younger kids in the pack. They slapped high five and kept laughing their heads off. Poor Max had no choice but to wrestle that session in his bare feet. By the end of practice, they were covered in so many mat burns he could hardly walk.
Let the wars begin, I thought. Jeffrey must've seen my wheels spinning. "Don't even think about it, Peter," he warned me. "Remember what Terupt told you." I might've taken his advice, but later that night, Matt left me with no choice but to get involved.
I had just finished in the shower and went to grab my towel, but it was gone. Someone had swiped it when I wasn't looking and had left me a tiny little washcloth in its place. I was soaking wet, but what could I do? I held the washcloth in front of my waist like a matador and booked it down the hall. My front was covered, but my naked butt shone like a full moon. I thought I was going to make it, but when I reached my room I found the door locked. I pounded on it.
"Jeffrey!" I yelled.
No answer. Then I heard a door at the end of the hall open and close. I didn't even have to look. I knew it was them.
"Hey, nice butt!" Josh yelled. "And cute towel. Perfect for a little guy like you."
I pulled the washcloth tight to my front. "Some jerk took mine and left me with this," I said.
"You don't say. And now you're locked out. Boy, that stinks," he teased.
"Shut up!" I said.
"Tough words from a naked boy."
"Out of my way, little man," Matt said, shoving me as the two of them passed by. "The ladies await. It's time for Matt's Gun Show." He flexed his biceps and strutted toward the exit.
There happened to be a field hockey camp also taking place at the college, so there were girls everywhere. One thing I know about girls is that they always go for the bigger, older-looking guys, and, for once, that was a relief. Thanks to the girls, Matt and Josh didn't have time to torture me at the moment.
Jeffrey showed up a few minutes later, carrying a bag of chips from the vending machine. "Whoa! Where's your towel?" he said.
"Just let me in." I'd gone from relieved to annoyed.
Copyright © 2015 by Robert W. Buyea. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.