Green River Star -

By Jack H. Smith
Staff Writer 

Reliving some youthful, insane nonsense


Here is yet another column that begins with me at the grocery store.

I’m pretty sure that I should just hire someone to go grocery shopping for me to avoid all the unnecessary shenanigans, but if it gives me stuff to write about, then it’s probably worth it.

I was walking out of the store when I saw a guy going to get a cart when he was almost run into by somebody else with a cart.

The man did not take it well. He turned red, shook his head and spent the next few seconds cursing about how nobody knows how to drive carts. In an instant, his day was ruined by the younger guy who almost ran into him. He probably is still upset about it now as he pops another blood pressure pill and thinks of what he should have done to the poor kid.

I thought to myself, with all the moaning and groaning I’ve been doing lately about younger people, I’m going to turn into that guy and that’s not really something I want.

So I decided to take a long look at all the stupid stuff I did when I was young, and this should give me a much better appreciation for the younger generation.

I could probably fill a book with the insane nonsense I pulled, but these are some of the ones that stood out. Most of the really crazy ones took place at the University of Wyoming and those I probably won’t share. I don’t want my mom to get out a wooden spoon.

The summer after ninth grade I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a five-day trip to Washington D.C. It was a fantastic trip, and I still remember the landmarks like it was yesterday.

I remember more vividly almost catching an entire Embassy Suites in Virginia on fire.

I was never one for fire escapades growing up, truth be told it scared me. The one time I did, it happened to be with the fire chiefs son and we came close to lighting my dad’s garage on fire.

I had went to East Junior High School and on the trip back East, there were also kids who attended White Mountain. Me and my cousin Zac met two on the bus ride to Salt Lake City and we hit it off instantly. So, we decided to room together. I had heard of the kids, and knew they were smart, I just didn’t know how destructive they could be.

We had made a trip to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, when one of the kids picked up a package of some sort of replica of space shuttle fuel.

I thought he really enjoyed NASA, so I didn’t think anything of it till we got back to the room and pulled it out.

He put it into the ash tray and said we all needed to go find as many matchbooks as we could.

He poured the powdery substance into an ash try and we put match heads in with it. We then proceeded to throw a few lit matches in.

What happened next was chaos. While I’m sure it was not the real fuel they used, it sure-fire was flammable and it sent out a spark of fire into the air. The phonebook was on fire and we were all shocked. I’m pretty sure none of us had eyebrows anymore and a small fire started to spread. We finally were able to stop the fire before we did any real damage, but the smoke was unreal.

We didn’t know what to do. I jumped on my bed and pulled off the smoke detector. When I did this, a strange alarm went off. We opened the door to our room and smoke filled the hallway.

Within moments hotel staff was there and we were in trouble. Luckily, no one was hurt and they took it easy on us. But it sure was stupid.

Fast forward a few years, and me and some of my friends would just like to drive around endlessly. We would listen to music and look for girls, but after a while it got old so we’d always come up with some sort of stupid idea.

One of our better, or maybe you could say worse ideas was called “the beat up” game.

For some reason, I was always the one who would get beat up, but at a young age, it seemed fun.

Back in the day in Rock Springs, people would cruise back and fourth from K-Mart to the old City Market parking lot. On any given weekend or summer night, the lots would be full of people planning a party or catching up.

I would wear some “gangster” type clothing and my friends would drop me off behind K-Mart. I would walk towards the crowd when my friends would drive by.

I would start to yell at them, and they would yell back. They would than pull the car over. Three or four of them would get out and we would have an argument.

They would then pretend to beat me up. In this chaos, I would often time get kicked and punched, but I thought it was funny.

As soon as we had the crowds attention, they would pick me up and throw me in the trunk of the car and speed off.

People did not know what to do. Some would scream. Some would laugh. And of course, some would call the cops.

That’s not an easy thing to explain to an officer. Why is there a guy in the trunk? Why did you beat him up? Why is he smiling?

As I got older, slowly but surely, the nonsense would dissipate, but I still made youthful decisions that were probably not the best.

In my 20s I was dating a girl, and she got pregnant. I was so happy to have Julian in my life, but like a lot of relationships, I split up with my girlfriend and I took it hard.

I would just sit in my apartment and pout and one day I decided I was done with American women and I would go find myself a nice Russian bride. I’d seen it on television and it seemed like a grand idea.

I started to talking to various Russian women on the internet and finally made plans to make the long voyage.

Rather than make a nice summer trip, I instead decided I wanted to go right away which just so happened to be in February.

I had heard a lot of horror stories, about the women not being real. For all I knew, I could have been talking to some 400-pound women named Olga who just wanted my money.

Fortunately, the girl I was supposed to meet was at the airport, but as soon as I walked outside I knew it was a bad idea. I have never experienced cold like that in my life.

It chilled me to my bones, and I don’t think I officially warmed up until 2012, some four years later.

The communication barrier was difficult and I was trying to figure out how to get a taxi to the hotel.

A man came out of nowhere and asked if we needed a ride.

She talked to him and said he would give us a ride. I agreed and we were on our way.

What was I thinking? It very well could have been a plan to rob me and I would have ended up in the trunk, and this time I wouldn’t be smiling.

Turns out everything ended up OK and I made it the hotel for what was one of the strangest trips of my life.

It was just another in a long line of stupid ideas.

We all do stupid things, hopefully not to many as we get older.


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