Down the street from my high school was a strip mall where all the students used to hang out on lunch. There were a few un notable businesses there that I'll mention anyways such as a bank, a carpet store, a flower shop and a dry cleaners. The rest of the businesses there were all worth mentioning and all held their own as far as a cool place to hang out went. There was Hasty Market which was convenient for the junk food fanatics, smokers and porn aficionados. There was a donut shop which seemed to be more of the rock on/skid hangout, people we referred to as "yeah mans" and "Molten rivet heads" There was a greasy spoon restaurant called "Kelly's" which was usually also full of the above mentioned rockers. There was another food place called "smoke & spice" which specialized in chicken, fries & wedgies. They also had some cool video games like Karate Champ, Sprint & Super Mario. The only other option for food was Pizzaville which had my favourite video game TWA Wrestling.
And then there was my favourite place to hang out, "The Friendly Neighbourhood Comic Shop" yes that was literally the name of the place. They had two kick ass arcade machines in there, Gauntlet & Xenophobe. When we weren't playing video games or browsing the comic bins, we were usually placing prank calls to the sears pickup window in the back of the shop. When the clerk left the counter unmanned to go answer the Sears phone, we would grab boxes of Garbage Pail Kids trading cards off the counter and make a run for it, the clerk oblivious to our actions each time.
There was a group of older thrashers that used to be there every day either hanging out in Smoke & Spice or Pizzaville. These guys ranged from grade ten to twelve and all seemed very cool to me. Most of them had long hair, leather jackets, and cool band shirts that I always made note of for future record shopping references. They also hung out with some punkers and skaters as well as the occasional skinhead. As far as I was concerned these guys were the coolest dudes in the school and I looked up to them in awe.
I had somewhat of an in with them seeing as my old school mate John McCuish was apart of their group. As my style started changing from metal head to thrasher, I noticed some of them starting to notice me and even complimenting me on some of my shirts and schwag. I took this opportunity to communicate with them and talk music. I'm sure some of them may have considered me a poseur as I was going through this transitional stage, but I was just a kid who loved music and was evolving.
I started deciding where to eat lunch each day depending on where they were eating lunch so I could have more opportunity to talk to them and attempt to befriend them. One of them was even in my math class so I made a point of trying to talk to him each day. Most of them didn't really have the time for me, but some of them humoured me with small talk and chit chat. I had a new goal now in my new school, I was determined to become apart of their circle before the school year ended...
|the type of "cool guys" I was trying to befriend|