12 January 2011

Billy Ditke and His Filthy, Snotty Hoodie

It was 1980, and I was staring at a filthy thirteen-year-old boy who was wearing what twenty five years later the world would commonly call a "hoodie".   We just called them "hooded sweatshirts."  Anyhow, this particular hoodie had two unique features - the right sleeve and the left sleeve.  Not unique, you say?  These two sleeves were filthy and snotty.

Poor Billy Ditke - he had a runny nose most of the year.  I don't know if it was a perpetual cold, allergies or some sinus condition, but the poor kid had clear mucous running down his upper lip all the time.  What does a thirteen year-old kid do in 1980?  I would normally say "blow his nose," but this would be the wrong answer for Billy Ditke.  Billy would just wipe his nose on his sleeve, and for much of the winter he wore this navy blue hooded sweatshirt.  As you can imagine, the result was a pair of very noticeable sleeves.

Poor Billy Ditke - as he stood there before our junior high English teacher, she surveyed his filthy, snotty hoodie.  "Billy," she said, "your sleeves are filthy.  Is that glue?"

"No," replied Billy Ditke, "it's from my nose."

"Billy!  That's awful!"  Our English teacher was not too happy with this, and she let him know about it. "You need to get that sweatshirt into the laundry when you get home."

"No, it's OK," replied Billy Ditke, "I'll take care of it when I get home."

"What do you do with it?" She asked.

"I wait for it to dry.  Then I scrape it off.  With a butter knife."

Our English teacher asked Billy Ditke no further questions about his filthy, snotty hoodie.

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