Druggies & Preps & What Came Later…

There is a new movie out, based on a wildly popular tween-age book series, “Diary of A Wimpy Kid”. While I haven’t seen it, Aidan has given me the gist of it.

It apparently revolves around some kid’s experiences as a Middle Schooler. Ahh Middle School. Remember those days? I sure do.

Middle School, for me anyway, is when clicks started to form. In Litchfield there were two very distinct clicks:

The Druggies and The Preps.

As a member of one of these groups, your role was clearly defined.

The Druggies wore stone-washed jeans with rips at the knees. A Druggies trademark clothing was a black T-shirt with a popular rock band on the front. Some of the more popular Ts were Poison, Def Leppard, Skid Row, Warrant, Motley Crue, Aerosmith and the “hardcore” druggies fashioned Metallica and Megadeth T-shirts.

 The Preps wore Khakis, polo shirts and sweaters. Their trademark attire were Skidz. Remember those? Colorful baggy pants that the druggies called “MC Hammer Pants”.

While Druggies listened to mostly the rock bands featured on their T-shirts, Preps musical tastes could be defined, by today’s standards, as cheesy. (yeah and Poison and Skid Row were cool)

A Prep listened to Millie Vanilli, Jesus Jones, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Boyz To Men and stuff like that. Safe music.

The Preps got good grades and more often than not, came from money. Druggies got average grades, at best, and usually came from broken homes.

In case you are wondering, I ran with the Druggies.

But, the funny thing is, none of us did drugs. (except for maybe Bush Marcantonio)

I know I didn’t smoke pot till I was 17. I tried coke once in college and hated it while shrooms and acid didn’t come until my late teens/early 20s.

You see, the preps nicknamed us the druggies because, in the late 80s and early 90s only someone who used drugs would listen to hard rock music, do poorly in school and dress the way we dressed.

And to be fair, us “drug users” coined the name “Preps” because only a preppie wuss would dress the way they dressed, think it was cool to kiss ass and get good grades and listen to (gulp) Vanilla Ice.

At lunch we Druggies sat at our table while the preps sat at theirs. At school dances Druggies sat out when “U Can’t Touch This” played while The Preps cleared the dance floor during “Youth Gone Wild”.

The only time we really came together was during recess -when we played football on the soccer field. Everyday it was the Druggies vs The Preps in touch football.

No one click had the advantage. When it came to athletics the druggies and the preps were on even footing. Looking back on it, if we played 100 games of football during middle school, I’d say the druggies and preps probably split ’em 50/50.

There was also another group -The Tweeners. Nobody called em Tweeners but that’s just what they were. Not quite a druggie. Not quite a prep. A tweener was embraced, somewhat, by both groups and his role was never clearly defined.

A perfect example of a tweener was someone who wore the rock and roll T-shirts, but managed to get good grades. Or someone who got bad grades but listened to both MC HAMMER and Slaughter. Some tweeners wore stone-washed jeans and a turtleneck.

Below is a list of the clicks as I remember them.

DRUGGIES:

  • Me
  • Tai
  • Jesse Paulo
  • Chris Marcantonio
  • Jermiah Manning
  • Jared Biggos
  • Luke Chappius
  • Jason Bronick
  • Tim Sharr

PREPS

  • Bub
  • Cooter
  • Alden Boynton
  • Tony Pasquierello
  • PJ Zeller
  • Goat
  • Andy Torrant
  • Scott Arenz
  • Steve Cebik
  • Ed Federovich

TWEENERS

  • Joe
  • Stahj
  • Ads
  • Mattie O
  • John Farabee
  • Rich Decker
  • Ethan Antanucci

When high school started things slowly began to change. A lot of the druggies either moved away, went to Oliver Wolcott Tech or dropped out while some of the preps went away to private school.

During the first two years of High School we were so busy trying to fit in and not get beat up by the older kids we kind of forget that we were from different clicks. We found solidarity through our fear of such a big scary place called Litchfield High School.

During sophomore year, I became great friends with Adam and Tai. While we were just “buddies” in middle school, the three of us became like family in 10th grade. “Where there’s one there’s three ,” people used to say.

At the same time, Bub, Cooter and Goat had remained great friends since Middle School.

Then, throw in eternal Tweeners, Joe and Stahj, best friends since middle school. Joe had become close with Goat through a lot of their “smarty classes” while Goat had also become close with Adam because they worked together at Toll Gate Golf.

Yes, Goat has always taken credit for bridging the gap between the three factions.

It wasn’t long before the 8 of us started hanging out. We met mostly at Stahj’s house at Tannery Brook. Cooter also lived there.

By senior year, some girl, who shall remain nameless, said this during Art Class.

“Everywhere I look I see the 8 of them hanging out. They think they are so great.”

Unbenounced to her, one of us was eavesdropping in that same art class. He reported back to the group what this girl had said, about the 8 of us thinking we were so great, and a nickname was born.

Druggies, Preps and Tweeners had eroded and what remained was molded and twisted and shaped into “The Great 8”.

There was a very distinct line in the sand when it came to The Great 8.

If you didn’t party with us on the weekends you hated us and we probably hated you too. If you were a female who partied with and hooked up with us, you were dubbed a “Great 8 Girl” and if you weren’t, you most likely loathed our existence.

I admit, we were very clicky as a group of friends. And truth be told I may have missed out on a lot of good friendships because of it. My attitude back then was kind of short sighted. All of ours were.

Each guy in the group had 7 best friends. Most people were lucky to have one. So who needed any more.

While high school was more fun for us than it ever should have been,  I kind of regret thinking that way sometimes.

As Garth Algar once said, “We fear change.”

I am amazed that I still consider all 7 of those guys my best friends. Even Joe who doesn’t call me.

Amazed because it’s been nearly 20 years since we left high school and we’re all relatively close.

My dad used to say when I was younger, “At your graduation take a good look around the room, that may be the last time you ever see those people.”

Lucky for me that didn’t happen.

Yeah  a lot of us have families and kids of our own now but just this week I texted back and forth with Goat and would have gone out with Bub tonight if I wasn’t feeling ill.

Sometimes, when things aren’t going my way, I ask myself if I’m being punished at this stage of my life. Punished by some cosmic force for all the fun I had when I was younger.

Maybe I had too much of a good time back in the day and when things go bad in adulthood, it’s because I’m paying back some cosmic debt in order to balance the scales.

I think that could be the case. I think sometimes I think too much. I think iCarly is a good show even though it’s for pre-teens.

And there is one Preppie I always wondered about:

What the hell ever happened to Steve Cebik?

DRUGGIE MIX TAPE:

  1. Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
  2. Dr Feelgood by Motley Crue
  3. 18 and Life by Skid Row
  4. Heaven by Warrant
  5. One by Metallica
  6. Up All Night by Slaughter
  7. Love in an Elevator by Aerosmith
  8. Every Rose Has it’s Thorn by Poison
  9. Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth
  10. Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N Roses

PREP MIX TAPE

  1. Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
  2. U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer
  3. I Wanna Sex U Up by Color Me Badd
  4. Girl U Know It’s True by Milli Vanilli
  5. Right Here Right Now by Jesus Jones
  6. The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground
  7. Bust A Move by Young MC
  8. Wild Wild West by Escape Club
  9. Straight Up by Paula Abdul
  10. Every Little Step by Bobby Brown

GREAT 8 MIX TAPE:

  1. Walk on The Ocean by Toad the Wet Sprocket
  2. Alive Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam
  3. I Alone by Live
  4. Everything Zen by Bush
  5. Plush by Stone Temple Pilots
  6. Hey Jealousy by The Gin Blossoms
  7. Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
  8. Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band
  9. December by Collective Soul
  10. End of The World As We Know it by REM

And I must say, while putting the finishing touches on this post, End of the World As We Know It just came on over Pandora Radio.

Cosmic Forces at work indeed.

“Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline!”

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2 Responses to “Druggies & Preps & What Came Later…”

  1. Loved this post Walt!!!

  2. […] Baldy A few week’s back a wrote a post about our junior high clicks, The druggies and The Preps. […]

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