BREA, California – I have been asked why it seems that I can never sit still for any length of time. I shall explain.
I am the firstborn son in my family and when I was but a lad of 16 my father died of an infection brought on by a severe case of gout in the great toe of his right foot. By the rules of primogeniture I inherited my father’s estate, Bentknee Manor, and title, becoming Sir William rather than the more informal Billy. My mother began investigating colleges to send me off to because she was unable to bend me to her will. She settled on Clovenhoof due to its remote location at Aberystwyth and reputation for iron discipline.
Upon my arrival I was interviewed by Chancellor Cheapsborough. He said that a letter from my mother reported that I lacked respect for authority and should be watched closely. I was assigned to a freshman dormitory that had thick stone walls and bars on the windows. The doors were locked from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am. I found this confinement to be quite abhorrent. In a few weeks, with the assistance of two fellow students, I devised a way to release and swing the window bars out of the way, allowing ingress and egress from my room to the outside. (This talent led me to a degree in Engineering.) Hah! The prison was no longer secure.
I made the acquaintance of Griselda, the Dean of Students’ 15 year old daughter. At age 16 my bloodstream was approximately 90% testosterone and I wooed her unremittingly. At last I convinced her to meet me at midnight behind the hedges of the school chapel.
I had my way with Griselda repeatedly that night. All too soon it was after 4:00 am and we were both too exhausted to continue. She asked that I escort her back to her home and of
course I couldn’t refuse. I believed I had successfully maneuvered us back through a window into her room. To my horror, the Dean was waiting in the darkened room, holding an enormous double barreled rifle, the former purpose of which was to dispatch African elephants. Gazing into the muzzle of the device made me think I was poised at the very gates of Hell. I heard the hammers cock.
As I dived through the window, the Dean fired one barrel and the massive .577 calibre slug ploughed a furrow across my right buttock. The recoil knocked the Dean to the floor, precluding his firing the second barrel and I made good my escape. Thank goodness the darkness prevented his identifying me and his daughter would say nothing. I made it back to the dormitory and bandaged my bleeding bottom. I should have sought medical care but that was out of the question. It was an incredible performance on my part to act as if I weren’t wounded in the following weeks. To this day I bear the scar and it is painful to sit too long.
P. S. Alas, poor Griselda was banished to an Irish convent.