Lake Essay

ts. They drink ?gin and grape juice, Tango, Thunderbird, and Bali Hai, [sniff] glue, and ether and what somebody [claims] [is] cocaine.?(112) What starts out as a harmless prank on the third night of their summer vacation turns into a situation where they get into a fight, attempt to rape a girl, find a dead body and see first hand the destruction a bad character can do to an automobile. The night they lose their ?badness? is nothing special. After the requisite bad character activities: egging mailboxes and hitchhikers, driving up and down Main Street, eating, drinking, and smoking pot. They decide to go up to the local hangout, *u*Greasy */u*, to see if anything is going on. They cruise up to the lake with their ?lemon-flavored gin,? requisite pot and the itch for some action. There is no better place, for these three bad characters to hang out – *u*Greasy Lake*/u*, is an important place for bad characters to learn an important lesson. The lake, like the events about to unfold, is ?fetid and murky?mud banks glistened with broken glass [,] strewn with beer cans and the charred remains of bonfires.? (112) There are only two vehicles in the whole parking lot, ?the exoskeleton of some gaunt chrome insect, a chopper leaned against its kickstand.? (113) And a, ?57 Chevy, mint, metallic blue.? (113) No excitement, ?expect some junkie halfwit biker and a car freak pumping his girlfriend.? Whatever they are looking for they are not going to find it up at the lake. All of a sudden, they see a friend?s car. This is all the three need to know; now things will get interesting, maybe it is not a wasted trip after all. They flash the headlights and honk the horn, a harmless prank to pull on a friend, ?for all we [know] we might even catch a glimpse of some little fox?s tit. And then we [could] slap backs with red-faced Tony, roughhouse a little, and go on to new heights of adventure and daring.? (113) In their haste for a little excitement and adventure, they fail to realize it is not Tony?s car after all, but someone else?s car. This is the second mistake. The first is dropping the car keys in the grass. The owner of the car, a greasy booted character, does not find this childish prank funny. He comes out of the car, with fists flying, feet kicking. He is not about to let these guys get away with this so-called harmless prank. This guy is bad; he takes on all three of the friends, and thoroughly beats them up. Even after this, they still think they are bad. ?[He] [goes] for the tire iron under the car seat.? (114) The narrator still holds onto the idea he is bad, ?[He] [keeps] it there because bad characters always keep tire irons under the driver?s seat, for just such an occasion as this.? (114) Everything the narrator thinks is associated with the image of being bad. The reality is this guy has used the tire iron, not for other fights, but to change a flat tire. As for fighting, this bad character has been in only one other fight in his life ?in the 6th grade, when a kid with a sleepy eye and two streams of mucous [descending] from his nostrils hit me in the knee with a Louisville slugger.? (114) The situation is taking on a life of it’s own, a situation the narrator cannot stop.?[The] antagonist [is] shirtless? he [bends] forward to peel Jeff from his back like a wet over coat?Mother*censored*er, he [spits] over and over, and [the narrator] is aware in that instant that all four [of them] ? Digby, Jeff and [the narrator] included ? [are] chanting mother*censored*er, mother*censored*er as if it were a battle cry.? (114) The adrenaline is pumping, hearts racing; the smell of fear is in the air. They are actors in a play watching from the stage, they are bad. In the heat of the moment; ?[I] [go] at him like a kamikaze, mindless, raging, stung with humiliation ? the whole thing, from the initial boot in the shin to this murderous primal instinct.? (114) Logic was gone; the only thing that matters is survival, survival of the baddest. He hits the greasy character on the side of his head and he goes down, a tuff of hair hanging on the edge of the tire iron. They ?[are] are standing over him in a circle, gritting [their] teeth, jerking [their] necks, [their] limbs and hands and feet twitching.? (115) They are bad: they knocked out the greasy character. All of a sudden, they hea

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