Retro album feature (April): “Fun Day 2”

I would like to try to make these albums make sense. Therefore, each month we’ll feature a retro album that took place in the past of that month. This way, it won’t be too random and I won’t run the risk of repeating myself or hitting to close to present day. The point is to share old stuff you might not have seen or would seek out yourself. Enjoy!

fd2It was senior year of high school.

Eight. Years. Ago.


Following the unexpected success of Fun Day, we decided to host another impromptu bash at the school. I think during the original Fun Day, Keenan and I decided to do this again in the Spring. Well, Spring came and the weather was expected to be really nice, and we once again felt that pang of high school angst which begged for an in-school cleansing. We had big ambitions, and a bit of hilarious high school drama with this event.

Shortly before we planned to do this, the principal of the school called me out of class over the loudspeaker. I met him in his office, and discovered shortly that he wanted to talk about “Fun Day.” He asked its origins and why it was so successful, while school-sponsored days like “Field Day,” and “Spirit Week” were largely unsuccessful. The conversation went to a proposal for a school-sponsored “Fun Day,” which would have regimented activities and events for kids to unwind. I explained that part of the allure of Fun Day was its unscheduled nature, and its inherent freedom for participants to come and go, and do what they please. He wasn’t amused, but I did promise to tell him when Fun Day 2 would take place, in exchange for permission to use a grill during this event. He agreed, provided I get a faculty member to supervise the proceedings. I asked then-Vice Principal Joe Moran to perform the honors, to which he dutifully agreed. He was a class-act, and understood how harmless our actions and intentions were. Cool guy, and probably in a much better place right now.

The planning of this event felt much more stressful than the last one. Keenan and I went to Costco and grabbed supplies. We spent more that day than the previous event, and I think we both thought a donation box would be a good idea. With hindsight, I think that was kind of tacky.

I remember Keenan was really interested/concerned with the grill, and he wanted us to get our own. He grabbed one for something like $12 at the Drug Fair in Boonton, an item I thought was way too small and way too lame to cook on. It was the kind of grill you bring to a crappy tailgate party. Keenan insisted that the administration would never allow a real grill (which was, as it turned out, not the case, unfortunately). I didn’t care too much, intent on making the day fun, and not work.

This time around, we grabbed lawn chairs, a boom box, and the grill. I brought a few videos along in the event anyone wanted to watch something, and of course the standard cooler full of Simply Soda came along.

We set up shop exclusively in the courtyard outside the cafeteria. After very little time, we requested Mr. Moran come and supervise the hot dog cooking on the live, firey grill.

I recall there being many more girls around this time, which was always welcome when you’re having a BBQ.

The younger grades, consisting of folk like Joe and Pete and Chris and many more, were really excited about this. On one hand, I’m sure they hadn’t seen anything like this before. On another, I think they were really excited about the prospect of one day hosting their very own Fun Day.

The assistance/participation of the VP pretty much cemented the fact that, while we did this in direct reaction to the regimented bullshit of high school, on one hand the school endorsed our behavior. It was nice to be validated while at the same time carefully rebelling within the rules.

Additionally, I recall Keenan was the official fire-starter. He controlled the cooking and hot dog maintenance. Mr. Moran’s face during that process was hilarious.

Chris opted to try the first hot dog. In spite of them being undercooked, he soldiered on and ate the whole damn thing anyway (and another, I think).

Ben pointed out an intriguing cloud formation, which looked suspiciously like an eye. We took it as a sign that even God Himself took notice at the awesome stuff we were doing. While that’s incredibly arrogant and teenager-y, it was still a great shot.

When the fact became apparent that Keenan’s hot dogs weren’t working out so well, I think someone went out and picked up a pizza. This pizza stayed in the shade, next to a TV which I think was showing Predator or Ghostbusters. Either way, this was where “the cool people” sat. Of course, the sun glare made watching almost impossible.

Back then, Ska music was retardedly popular among those of the “alternate cigarette” smoking variety. Since there was a fair amount of kids in younger grades who embodied that demographic, they insisted on playing demo tapes, personal recording sessions, and other musical favorites while they jammed out. For about half an hour or so, Fun Day 2 kind of became a Ska concert, which I remember at the time annoyed the hell out of me.

In retrospect, I feel like if we had included live cooking and sharing of food in the first Fun Day, we may not have needed another one. On another, it was kind of cool to be endorsed by the admins we were ducking to sneak out and get McDonald’s. Also, I think it inspired hope and ideas to the younger grades to follow along with this tradition. As I understand it, it was even followed by another event after we graduated. Sadly, the tradition died, murdered in the dark by a band of traveling ninjas. Don’t ask.

The events that took place herein transpired sometime in April of 2001.

~ by Crivelliman on April 13, 2009.

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