"Hi I'm Rodney."
"Ronnie," I obliviously asked.
"No, Rodney," he responded as though he had heard this just over a million times.
"Ronnie?" apparently I never heard Rodney Dangerfield before but I had heard Ronnie the Limo Driver...or something.
"Rod, like a fishing pole and knee," pointing.
"Oh Rod-Knee, I get it." The name remained more two thoughts than two syllables for a long time - much more quickly he became the coolest mother fucker I'd ever met.
He was from Denver, or Colorado, he was willing to fight for no apparent reason and he knew all of these wonderful words that I had never before heard but wanted so badly to know, understand and hopefully use properly at some point. Bitch was for women, bastard for men. Who knew?!
Kids were joining into the act, suddenly Jarrod brought a boom box to school, we listened to The Fat Boys rap about their respective pussy's getting fatter. By that point (about a month into school) I had learned the word cunt even though I thought it was a contraction - the one time I wrote it out, I spelled it "cun't." I wasn't sure what that word meant, it seemed to mean weakling or wimp, it seemed interchangeable with 'pussy.' It was all too much for me, but I was so loving it.
Every other word became a cuss, the entire class would openly, and jokingly, call each other dicks, pricks, assholes, and worse. I even got into a fight for calling a kid 'leatherneck' which in retrospect doesn't seem all that bad. He was the class bully, until I punched him in the nose and basically laid him out, after that he was knocked down a peg. I mean shit, the kid with suspenders just knocked you out.
I wasn't allowed to wear jeans, shorts, or shirts without collars because my mother found all three to be a sign of disrespect, yet, when she wasn't around I would regularly say things like; "did you see In Living Color last night? Fucking funny as shit wasn't it?"
Rodney was funny, charismatic, and handsome...all through school. He was always a decent friend, we peaked in 2nd grade but we remained buddies throughout school. He's now a NYC police officer now, married to his high school sweetheart, a very pretty girl who was also a friend of mine. I think she's a buyer for some large department store, or something like that.
What's really important is that I can now use almost any swear word in context but I'm a little sad that I never got the chance to thank him.