Some kind of survival instinct, I reckon.
There's a bit of a setup here, but I'm sure you won't mind.
So, despite starting high school as a Band Knob (yes, I actually marched in the 1974 Grey Cup Parade
although that ain't what this is about) and budding stoner, I soon reoriented myself as a Drama Jock, and sort of remained there for the duration.
At the same time, one of my best friends was this guy we called Peach. Peach didn't go to my school, in fact he sort of worked his way through a long series of private boarding schools, ending up, IIRC, at the notorious St. John's School, which was only marginally less fearsome than Alcatraz circa 1940. Peach's old man, or The Doc, as I called him (one in a long line of surrogate father figures), was a pretty famous cancer surgeon, well known throughout the country.
Needless to say, Peach's folks had some fucking dough, he lived in a pretty shwank neighborhood.
NOT that you'd know it to meet him, quite far from it.
No matter how much his (lovely, warm, and eternally patient) Ma spent on "nice" clothes for him, he perpetually walked around looking like a homeless dude. Jeans hanging off his ass and all frayed at the bottom from dragging on the ground, raggdy-assed blown-out untied Adidas (12 months of the year), and some crap nylon hockey jacket, and perpetually about 4 days past the due date on a shave.
Peach didn't give a crap about pretty much ANYTHING except smokes, beer, hockey, poker, and, for some utterly bizarre reason, Watergate.
This was around the time that Watergate was actually happening, no exaggeration, it wasn't the 6 o'clock news if Sam Ervin wasn't on the tube.
Other than that, though, he couldn't give 2 shits about anything else at school, which was why he kept getting booted out of these high priced boarding schools and his folks kept bucking up to get him into the next one.
Of course the real kneeslapper in this whole deal was that his parents, in addition to being lovely and generous people, were, like, the fuck high society.
Peach would always come home for the weekend, and I would very regularly come over and we'd hang out in the basement, which was all furnished and everything and had been sort of given over to him as his domain.
So I'd come over with a case of beer and we'd drink and smoke and play poker and listen to music until one or the other passed out and I'd crash for the night.
It was pretty equitable, no one was driving anywhere, our folks knew where we were, and everyone was happy.
OK, here's where the story kind of starts tying in.
In addition to a large number of other associations and stuff, his Ma was the President of the Opera Guild. They were HUGE Opera fans.
This was sort of where my whole thing with Opera started, although I'd already been doing like concert singing since I was 7 or some fucking thing.
Anyways, in addition to having season tickets to the Opera, I was also privileged to be able to meet whomever was appearing in the current production, since Peach's Ma and Pa would have the entire company over for parties and stuff.
Me and Peach would get dragged up from The Hole, as his Ma called it, and meet whoever the guests were, hang out a little, maybe get a wee dram of The Doc's good Scotch if he was feeling benevolent, hit the hors d'ouvres, and then book back downstairs.
OK, so there's this one day, I'm going to make it like 1975-ish.
And I know that in Drama class, people are going to be doing scenes they've prepared, like monologues if you will.
And I've already done mine.
So I know I'll be looking forward to 90 minutes of sitting in a dark theatre in a cushy chair.
Now, as you well know, we do try on here to exercise a Zero Tolerance policy with respect to recreational abuse of any and all mind-altering substances.
So, you know, I'm not going to tell you I got high.
I'm not going to tell you that.
So anyways, we all go in, the teacher's telling us about having a special guest and us being on Best Behaviour and all.
Like that's a problem for me at that moment, given that if you asked me where my feet were I'd have to call my Ma to find out.
Anyways, just before the lights go down, I look over, and there, a few rows away, is sitting
Colonel Wilhelm Klink.
And trust me, I know my Klink, Hogan's Heroes was one of the old man's favourite shows, we watched it ALL the time.
Now, if this was a BS Hollywood movie, right about now I'd be shaking my head and swearing to never get high again, like the drunk guy in Bewitched.
But, you know, life ain't Hollywood.
So after the scenes are done, the lights come up and the teacher starts critting the scenes and all, and I keep sort of sneaking looks over, and yeah, it's him.
Colonel Klink is sitting in my drama class.