Oh, little high schoolers - young, innocent, annoying as hell...
As a reporter and photographer in a small town, I find myself traipsing the halls of the high school more often than I would like. Only my badge, giant camera and lack of high pitched valley girl voice and leggings tucked into Ugg boots (when will this atrocity stop by the way?) distinguish me from the young female students. Even with this distinction, I have been mistaken for a high schooler by teachers and security officers more than once - until I open my mouth of course.
I'm a quote junky. I'm not sure if I've always had this addiction or if it comes with the career, but a good quote from a conversation or interview - whether it's out of character or classic - just rings in my ears and I remember it. They're the cornerstone of a newspaper article, so they're obviously important. A quotable person is every reporter's dream because it makes your job easier and your story better.
I do have to say that interviewing high school students, with only a few exceptions, has made me a better writer because I have to compensate for the one word sullen teenager answers or the same response to every question: "It was soooo awesome." Now there's a quotable quote. Too bad I can't actually publish the extra "Os" in the newspaper...
While I'm prepared for the attitudes and the shitty interview, I wasn't exactly ready for the sight I saw on Tuesday afternoon - although it was slightly entertaining.
It was a slow news day (in a town of 3,500 - NEVER!) and I was sort of scrambling last minute to get a photo, so I headed up to the high school to take a few pictures of the guy/girl cheerleader practice. I thought, this will be good...and hilarious because I remember the good old high school drill team days when the boys formed their own "cheerleading squad" and I taught them dances. I'm not sure what was more of a riot, them attempting to pirouette or the fact that they wore old girls cheerleading uniforms that were too small for them.
I was disappointed at the lack of boys running around in cheerleading skirts and botched choreography since the girls danced with them and the guys just sort of milled around between them or behind them. However, very scary things started to happen when they began practicing stunts.
I noticed it when they were marking the stunts in between practicing the dance, trying to figure out which count in the music to cradle and what not. I thought, if that girl raises her leg any higher in those tiny ass shortest-shorts-I've-ever-seen, made-for-an-infant shorts, something WILL fall out. Yes, boys, balls are not the only things that can come out of shorts.
It reminded me of a little story from college right when the mini jean skirts became the must haves. A few of my sorority sisters went to a nursing home to deliver philanthropy information with at least one of them wearing one of these short skirts. While I have several of them, it's not exactly something I would choose to wear to a nursing home, so I sort of understood when one of the old ladies screeched, "That girl's skirt is so short, I can see her asshole!" True story. No lie.
Well, I felt like that old lady on Tuesday. I mean, short shorts - cool, I wear them too, but where do you draw the line? I wasn't aware that 16-year-old cheerleaders prancing around in their underwear during practice, in front of their horny little male counterparts adhered to the school dress code. I mean, here I am, trying to take photos of these girls and everytime they go up into a stunt...mega ultron wedgie. This one girl in particular kept going up into the stunt and her teammates were forced to grab her bare ass to support her without even thinking a thing of it. At one point I said to myself, Oh JESUS! I'm pretty sure I just saw labia...and that was just from my angle. Those poor boys spotting the stunt, and I say poor because I'm not sure how they were hiding their boners, surely saw much more. Those obvious, but I'm-trying-to-act-like-I-don't-notice drooly smirks told me they were thinking, "uhhhhh...VAGINA!" Though I'm sure that's not exactly the word that was flashing in their little brains.
And, no, I'm not a pervy, lesbian paparazzi, nor is my camera that fabulous, so I was not zooming in trying to catch that nasty Britney Spears beaver shot. I was just sitting there, wincing, hoping the train wreck would end soon - for theirs and my sake. Didn't she feel a draft or something?
So, high school students, next time you encounter a reporter, try your hardest to speak with even the slightest conviction and intelligence and, most importantly, for god sakes, ladies, cover your vag!
And, from the quote junky, I have the perfect quote to go with this blog:
"...and for fuck's sake, keep your legs together. Nobody wants to see the bride's (or cheerleader's) beaver!"
- Anthony to Charlotte in an episode of Sex and the City.