by adam mathes
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I Don't Know Anybody

One of the games Hammad and I used to play near the end of high school and after we graduated was “who knows less people we go to school with.” This caused heated debates.

“You know the newspaper and theater people, you have to know more.”

“But you have that whole Indo-Pak connection and Koran study. Also, I am basically unconscious for half of the school day.”

This was only partially our faults for being antisocial, since we took all honors and AP classes we ended up having the same 30 kids in them all the time. Being forced to take physical education every day for four years with a random cross section of students didn’t seem to make much of a difference, likely because I was too busy being in a state of unmitigated rage at being 17 years old and told to “run a mile” or “play scooterball” or “do a jump rope routine while we videotape it.” (The jump rope one was one where I said they could fail me in the class if they had to, but there was absolutely no way I’d ever jump rope on video. They backed down, probably because they knew failing me would probably end up causing them paperwork and headaches than it was worth, and really, jump rope routine on video? What were they thinking?)

We would take the yearbook, and count how many people we recognized of our graduating class. Despite having a graduating class of somewhere around 500 students, this didn’t take us very long.

We would supervise each other and challenge “don’t know” claims.

“No way, you definitely know who she is.”

“No I don’t.”

“She sits next to my sister in homeroom.”


“My sister sits behind you in homeroom.”

“Really? Your sister is in Cock’s (1) homeroom? Seriously?”

I decided to quickly play the “who do I know that is graduating with me” game to see if I knew any of my fellow Masters students. I actually surprised myself, knowing 21 out of 47 graduating with me. That’s 44%, nearly half!

In the original high school version, I think my score was around 10% or 15%.

  1. His name was pronounced “cook,” as he reminded people constantly who called him “coch.” It was spelled another way, but he was a dick, so I decided “cock” was more appropriate. I’d like to say this was a product of my teenage humor, but, honestly, my sense of humor clearly hasn’t advanced much because I still kind of think it’s funny.

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