By Eddy Grant
I thought I would post this song from my playlist because a friend of mine liked it and I was surprised he liked it, and then I started listening to it more and realized it’s a great song.
We had a class in junior high school, I forget what the class was called, where kids from Grades 7 to 9 would take the same class.
Rocketry was one of those classes and Mr. Baker was our teacher.
In rocketry we made model rockets from scratch, building the nose cones and fins out of balsa wood.
One Grade-9 kid taught a few of us in Grade-7 how to move like a robot. I became pretty good at doing the robot. I can’t do it now though.
The difference between me now and me in Grade-7, is that the me in Grade-7 was willing to act like a total and absolute idiot to get attention. I’m not like that any more. Plus doing the robot, believe it or not, requires speed and flexibility and I’m no longer fast or flexible.
Back to rocketry:
Once we got our rockets built we were bused to a field outside of Calgary. When we got to the field we stepped off the bus, donned our hard hats, and hooked our rockets to the launch pad, which held about 10 rockets at a time.
One of my Grade-9 classmates, he was a military-type kid, built the most incredible rocket that ever existed. It was engineered and painted to perfection and it was head-and-shoulders above any other rocket in the class.
The nose cone was perfect, the painting was perfect, and the fins were perfect.
Actually, the fins were shaped like arrowheads, giving it a very aggressive look, and everybody thought his rocket would go higher than anybody else’s.
It didn’t work out that way.
As a matter of fact it went about 50 feet in the air, did a U-turn, and slammed straight into the ground at full throttle.
Mr. Baker explained that the wind must have hit the corner of the arrow-shaped fins, kicking it straight into the ground.
Anyway, after one of the rocket launchings the launch pad buckled and toppled to the ground, and one of the fins on my rocket ended up breaking.
I was sort of apprehensive about launching my rocket with a broken fin but Mr. Baker said we would launch it anyway and assured me everything would be ok.
When it was launched it went spiraling up into the sky leaving huge circular trails of smoke in its wake. Everybody in the class started hooting and hollering like it was the greatest thing they’d ever seen.
It felt awesome that my rocket got the biggest reaction.
One of the Grade-9 students in my class became a pretty good friend of mine, and one time he got punched in the face while playing softball in our class.
There was this big fellow up at bat when my friend, who was playing on first base, started to taunt him. He said something to the effect that he needed to wash his gym shorts because his skid marks were starting to show through.
I have no idea why he said that because it wasn’t true.
Anyway, this big fellow dropped his bat, walked straight up to first base and punched my friend in the face. My friend sort of half-laughed, and quietly told the aggressor that he was only joking.
The big fellow walked back to home plate, picked up his bat and started playing ball again.
Sometimes I would go to my Grade-9 friends house for lunch. He owned one of the first microwave ovens I ever saw.
One time when he was thawing chicken in the microwave I got very close to it and watched as the food thawed. He said, “Don’t get too close, you’ll go sterile.” I didn’t know if I should have laughed or not and decided to step back.
We also went to the Calgary Stampede together a few times.
One thing my Grade-7 mind did notice about my Grade-9 friend was that when we were at the Stampede he had to beat the girls off with a stick.
Girls went absolutely bonkers over him. It was quite an eye opener to see how normally reserved girls would start yipping and yopping and hopping about like a pack of rabid she-wolves to get his attention. It was insanity. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but not by much. (That’s the way people sometimes act at the Stampede. It’s a free-for-all.)
Anyway, I chose Electric Avenue because my friend liked the song.
We were playing foosball at the arcade in our neighbourhood when he played the song on the jukebox. I was into rock and roll at the time, bands like AC/DC and Ted Nugent, and I made fun of him for liking the song but I eventually came to see the error of my ways.
It’s a great song.
Here’s Eddy Grant singing Electric Avenue:
Me and my Grade-9 friend were pretty evenly matched when it came to foosball.
I had a style where I passed the ball a lot to try to confuse my opponent, and just when I saw an opening I’d blast the ball into the back of the net.
Some people hated my technique but I had to use it because I didn’t have the fastest shot in the world.
People with a super fast shot are very hard to defend against and had a huge advantage over me because I wasn’t able to move my defencemen and goaltender fast enough to counter their speedy forwards.
We often played foosball for money but I eventually learned not to bet people with fast shots. There was actually one kid in high school with a fast shot that I lost a lot of money to. I kept playing him because he was cocky and obnoxious and he wouldn’t play unless it was for money. I’d beat him the odd time but I wasn’t able to stop one of his shots and that was my downfall.