Valentine's Shmalentine's.

Mrs G told us to split up into three groups.  "You guys have one hour," she said.  "In your group, come up with a creative way to present the idea of Valentine's Day to the rest of us."

I was group up with Kam, Rika, and Amanda.  As the lone male in our group, Kam instantly came up with an idea.

"Let's have a foursome."


"Not like a real foursome.  Like, a foursome of rhetoric."

He grabbed a pen and started jotting down notes while the other girls and I read over his shoulder.  "It's Valentine's, and as you see, the thing these ladies love is me..." it began.  What formed over the next twenty minutes was basically an ode to Kam's own awesome masculinity.  The other girls and I were each given a couple of lines to recite, and with a half-hour left to go we finished planning our presentation and just started chatting.

The clock ticked by, and eventually Mrs G asked another group to start.  I'm sure they did something amusing, but I can't remember what it is.  The second group was likewise forgettable.  As they were finishing up, though, I looked around and realized Kam wasn't in the room.

Mrs G called our group up.  "We need just a minute, I think Kam's in the bathroom," I said.

"No, I'm here, go ahead and start," came a muffled voice.  All eyes turned toward a large orange cabinet in the back of the room, one that normally housed textbooks but was presently empty except, apparently, for Kam.

"Kam, what are you doing?"

"Trust me, just go up front and I'll join you.  It'll be awesome."

With confused looks at each other, the other girls and I took our places at the front of the classroom.  Everyone else looked just as perplexed as I felt as I said my first line.  "What's the matter, Amanda?"

"Oh, it's Valentine's Day," she moaned.  "I hate Valentine's Day."

"Me, too," chimed in Rika.  "If only I had the perfect boyfriend."

*Dramatic collective sigh.*

"It's Valentine's, and as you see," came Kam's muffled voice from the cabinet, "the thing these ladies love-"

The cabinet door swung open and Kam stepped out, looking quite dashing in a red tie.

Also his tighty-whities.

Also one sock.

Three guesses where the other sock was.

"- is me."

He sashayed up to the front of the room, whipped around, and just took a moment to let us all admire him and his near-nakedness.  Then we finished the poem, the three girls taking turns stroking various parts of Kam's body as he rhymed about how perfect he was.

We were Vanna White, and his body was covered in vowels.

This was hardly the first time Kam had stripped down during class, and it wouldn't be the last.  But it was by far the funniest.

A few years later, up at the U, I decided to pop into the food court between classes for quick bite.  It was lunchtime, and the room was crowded.  I finally spotted what appeared to be an empty table next to a pillar, but as I walked around to it I realized there was some guy sitting there.

Too tired and hungry to search for an alternative, I boldy (for me) asked if I could take the empty seat across from him.  He said sure.  He continued eating and reading his book, and I started on my sandwich.  About three minutes later we both realized that we were sitting across from someone we knew.


"I thought that was you, but I didn't think you recognized me!"

We got to chatting, catching up on the highlights of each other's lives since we parted in high school.  We shared a few laughs, reminisced a bit, had some fun.  He flattered me by saying he still occasionally thought about some story I had written back in our LitMag days, and I told him that every now and then a poem he wrote called "Chair" would pop into my head and make me chuckle.

It was a good time, and highly unfortunate that we each had to rush out to our respective classes after only about a half-hour.  We said good-bye without making false promises that we would get together soon, because I think we both knew our impromptu lunch date was a chance encounter that wasn't likely to repeat.

It wasn't until I was walking to class later that I realized it was Valentine's Day.

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