A cool nickname! That’s what we all wanted. In my neighborhood, we had Stringbean, The Big Shoe, King Phlegm, Ollie, The Great Luigi, Melvin, Duck, Monty, Punkinhead, and Booger Flansberg. There were probably many more, but my memory ain’t what it used to be. In this installment, I shall recount the eventful life of one Booger Flansberg, AKA The Boog.
Booger was a skinny little kid with a Moe Howard haircut. I have no idea how The Boog got his nickname, as that is the way he was introduced. I think it might have been one of the Hennessy brothers that brought him around to play baseball with us. Booger was one of those peripheral kids that was neither a bully nor a normal member of the gang of friends that I hung out with. He had somehow managed to get himself wedged into that twilight zone of existence in which he was not close friends with anyone. I have no idea what his real name was, perhaps his parents in a fit of angst, had actually named him Booger, I dunno.
Booger was in the unique position of NOT being hated by our gang and NOT being the target of a beat down by the bullies. So even though he did not have close friends, he was able to live a sort of Swiss Diplomat’s existence in that he was able to coexist with all of the warring parties in the hood. I never did find out where Booger lived, as he seemed to be an immigrant from some other nearby neighborhood.
The most notable thing that happened to the Boog was that he got arrested. Now how, you might ask, could a 10 year old kid get arrested? Seems like he would have had to really do something heinous to actually get handcuffed and hauled away, doncha think? The worst thing I remember doing was stealing a candy bar from Lawrence’s Market. In that case, they called my parents and I got my ass kicked, end of story. No, Booger Flansberg’s crime was pigeon abuse. The story was passed around that Booger had been caught in the act of sodomizing a pigeon. I can’t even begin to think of how one might sodomize a pigeon, but apparently the Boog had mastered it.
That is actually the last I ever heard of Booger and I wonder where he might be today. I want to believe that he grew to become an animal advocate, perhaps working for PETA or the SPCA. Hell, he may be the head of the Pigeon Lovers of America for all I know. I think I would like to believe that, being an optimist n’ all.