The Nun whacked me.
A moment before this 4th grade photo was snapped (click picture, it opens up), Sister Adrianne slugged me off the top of my forehead with her open hand. See my face? It's still red (second row, last on the right). I think she was telling me, I should have had a V-8. The good news? She hit Pierre, too. That's why he has a rosy puss (top row, second from the left).
Why'd she hit us? We were fighting over who'd sit next to Barbara O'Dea, the prettiest girl in our zip code (second row, fourth from the right).
Pierre had me in a full-nelson wrestling hold and I was biting his stomach. We worked our way to the top of the bleachers where we were lining up for our class picture. We thought the bleachers kept going, but after the fourth row, we stepped into thin air. No fifth row. We hugged and fell to the wooden floor. The nun ran around the bleachers and picked us up like a hockey fight referee. After wringing us out, she gave us a look of enormous disgust and said, "I'll have none of your shenanigans," she slapped Pierre, then tried to hit me. I ducked. That's when I got the pop off the forehead.
I've always found it oddly exciting to duck and avoid that first shot. After you acquire "getting hit experience," you know the second shot's going to be a harder, more accurate blow, but you can't resist the instinct to duck the first one.
Pierre was banished to the top row, far away from Barbara. To torture me, the Nun put me in the same row as Barbara but three seats away sitting next to Olga Goulash. To move the knife around, Sister Adrianne placed the best-looking guy in the class; Jean Paul Piccolo, to Barbara's left. Look at Jean Paul, new to our country from Milan, Italy, right next to Barbara. The dummy isn't even sitting heinie to heinie ~ there's no contact ~ Jean Paul's giving her space! I'd have made sure our apples were nestled together, cheek to cheek.
He was so cute it made me sick. Even Paul McCartney would look ugly sitting next to him. The final twist of the blade, everyone called him "John Paul." Not only named after a Beatle, he was named after two Beatles!
It was April 1964. Things looked grim.