While Rusty’s on Summer Break,
We present a repost
Of our most popular pieces.
Which believe me
Weren’t too damn popular
In the first place.
But here it is!
One of Rusty’s scripts
From a live reading.
If you can call Rusty Pliers live.
Complete with stage directions
And down to the last word.
Proving perhaps he isn’t
Such a lazy no-good one-eyed drunken bastard
As he’s made out to be.
And have a safe summer!
“Love’s First Kiss” (v2)
In 1967 (when I was 14 years old)… the flutist of the Olive Vista Junior High School orchestra was Stephanie Poznanski.
I was in the orchestra too, playing second trumpet.
It may surprise you to learn that the second trumpet in a large junior high school orchestra doesn’t play his instrument constantly during a song. No, there are many times (in classical pieces particularly) where you just sit and wait.
It was then that I would look longingly at Stephanie Poznanski.
She sat across from the brass section, down at the front with the woodwinds.
Sigh… She was so beautiful!
With long blonde hair and a smile that was pure sunshine.
Stephanie lived on a ranch in the foothills of the San Fernando Valley… where on this day I was visiting her home for the first time.
My mom dropped me off and said “Be a good boy, Rusty.”
But that’s okay… she always said that.
We had a nice time, Stephanie and me, upstairs in her bedroom listening to records and talking about school. She had a great sense of humor that made me laugh.
After some milk and cookies with her mom in the kitchen, Stephanie and I excused ourselves and went outside.
“C’mon,” she said, taking my hand. “I’ll show you the horses!”
It was a warm afternoon.
Dusty light beamed through the eucalyptus trees that lined the way.
We strolled hand in hand beside an emerald pasture where prancing horses played in the sun.
To my amazement, they trotted over at Stephanie’s call.
“I thought only dogs could do that,” I said.
“Don’t be silly,” replied Stephanie. “Horses are way smarter than dogs.”
Now maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t… I’ve met people in the fifty years since who’ve argued it both ways… but on that day in 1967 I didn't care one bit because I was smitten all over with Stephanie Poznanski.
I had very different feelings for horses though.
“I love horses,” said Stephanie, and I just nodded.
In fact I was kinda afraid of horses, but I tried to hide this from Stephanie because I wanted to make a good impression. I did what uncounted boys since the beginning of time have done when trying to impress a girl… I lied.
“I like horses too,” I said.
“Really?” answered Stephanie. “Barbara from History class said you said you hated horses. ‘Big, stupid, smelly things,’ she said you said.”
That sounded like something I would say…
[Insistent, then trailing off]
“Not me!” I said. “I love horses! They’re so…so big and strong… You know … uh, horsepower and stuff…”
Stephanie laughed at my foolishness… as Eve must have laughed with Adam in the garden… and my young heart grew wings and flew away…
Then Stephanie stepped closer to me.
I looked into her eyes. They were so blue they were almost purple. Her long blonde hair played about her face in the warm California breeze.
Some strands of it caught in her mouth, and
With a laugh she reached up and hooked them away.
That’s when I asked if I could kiss her.
“Okay,” she said. “If you want to.”
She closed her eyes and lifted her chin. Her lips parted slightly. I could see her little pink tongue behind her strong white teeth, waiting.
“I want to!” I said.
I leaned forward and closed my eyes…
… and our lips touched.
“Love’s first kiss.”
Ah friends… kissing Stephanie Poznanski was like kissing an angel!
It was something else too, for as we kissed I began to feel a wonderful tingling sensation running up and down my body that eventually settled in my middle area.
[Looks down, then at audience]
Down in front.
“Mmmm-mmmm,” I said as I wrapped my arms around Stephanie and pulled her closer…
At this Stephanie sighed…
… whether from boredom or from love I’ll never know… for her father caught us kissing and boy, did he give me a chewing out!
“Go to your room, young lady!” he ordered Stephanie.
“Stay right where you are, buster!” he ordered me.
Stephanie started crying and ran upstairs.
Then her dad gave me a piece of his mind, you might call it, about Stephanie and her chastity, while I thought of Stephanie crying in her bedroom where we’d been laughing just an hour before.
“Keep away from my daughter!” he said.
Then he phoned my mother.
“You’re too young to be kissing anybody that way,” said my mom, driving me home.
“That comes later, honey, with love.”
Love! That was my mother’s cornball idea.
I wanted romance and adventure!
And let’s not forget the tingling sensation in my lower front, but I didn't mention that to my mom.
“We weren’t doing nothing wrong,” I said.
“You weren’t doing anything wrong,” corrected my mother.
“That’s what I said, mom! We weren’t doing anything wrong,” I repeated, hoping in my heart it wasn’t completely true.
Stephanie seemed to lose interest in me after that.
For which I mostly blame her father.
Although for a while I tortured myself wondering if maybe I was a faulty kisser or something…
As you can imagine Music class wasn’t as much fun anymore. All I could do was sigh and watch Stephanie from my place in the brass section, an impossible chasm yawning between us.
Geez, I thought, it was just like Romeo and Julie …
“Rusty!” barked Mr Olinski. He was the music teacher. “Wake up! Please pay attention.”
“I wasn’t asleep, sir,” I objected.
“You were giving a pretty good imitation of it,” quipped Mr O.
The class laughed. Everybody liked Mr Olinski.
“Now, young man,” he commanded. “Give me an f sharp!”
Alas, my tootling lips went wanting for warm human contact that semester and I had to make do with the cold, indifferent mouthpiece of my St Louis Brand b flat King Cleveland student trumpet.
I gave Mr Olinski an f sharp.
We moved to New Zealand at the end of the year and I never saw Stephanie again.
You made it fun!
I’m Rusty Pliers!