“One fine young Lady’s horse refused the fence to clear. . .” from the song, Hunting Girl, by Jethro Tull. Songs from the Wood, 1976.
At sixteen I could walk into any liquor store in Early County and buy as much of anything I wanted. Legally? No, but at the same time I was a very good and very dependable customer. One day I walked in and bought two pints of eighty proof vodka, and slipped one into each of my boots.
I wore cowboy boots, the slip on kind, for that reason. We were going on a three day high school field trip and that would cover one day’s worth of drinking for me. This was going to be interesting by anyone’s measure. This was a field trip, not only out of town, but in a hotel, with about thirty students, some of whom had never stepped foot out of Blakely. I was loaded for bear; I had vodka and pot.
Our teacher, Anne Sinclair, was from Montgomery Alabama, our destination, and she was going to give us a tour of the waste treatment plant her father had designed. Sinclair had taken a job teaching biology in Early County and thought of its population as dull witted hick folk, unworthy of her efforts, yet she would deign, she would stoop to reach out, and possibly but not likely, bring light into the darkness, and maybe salvage one or two who might be intelligent enough to understand her.
Her first serious mistake was when she was trying to describe evolution to teenagers who didn’t have the educational background to understand that evolution is a bundle of knowledge, not a single idea. My best friend, Curt, who was as laid back and anyone alive, and mellow to the point of distraction, told her that his mama has told him evolution wasn’t true. Sinclair said, and I remember it perfectly, “Anyone who believes that is stupid.” The room fell into a hush and Curt replied, “Bitch, if you ever call my mama stupid again I’ll slap you.”
Sinclair fled the room, and eventually, the principal came to fetch Curt, and class was cancelled. All in all, I agreed with what Sinclair had said, one hundred percent, but damn, chick, that delivery was more than a little off target. She made an enemy of Curt, and from that point forward, there would be no peace. I was the self appointed Angel of Revenge, and this time, unlike so many other of my missions, I had more than enough back up from students who knew Curt’s mom, and in her name we preyed.
The school bus we were in got pulled over after we had been on the interstate for a while. The bus driver wasn’t speeding much, and the bus was clearly from a school, so… what the hell? The trooper said that some students in the back were holding up a sign that read, “Honk if you got some last night!” That explained why so many cars were laying on their horns when they passed.
Anne Sinclair was NOT amused. The trooper, clearly, was having marital issues.
Meanwhile, at the threat of the trip being cancelled, Sinclair noticed that there was a group of students singing a very bawdy Jethro Tull song. There was no internet, no way she could have discovered just how kinky the song might have been, but the lyrics had been changed.
“One fine young lady’s horse refused the Anne Sinclair,” was what we were singing now, albeit it unintelligibly.
But the mood of the trip was set. Even the kids not interested in avenging the slight were into the fight, and singing the song.
This, I told Curt, would be a trip to remember.
End part one.