What was the craziest thing you ever did in high school?

Mudassir Ali
Jan 21, 2020 04:09 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Jan 21, 2020 04:10 PM

I Took a Violin Case to School….with a machine gun inside.

The reason I don’t tell these stories, is that unless you have similar stories to tell, you will think I am a liar. For those of you who lived similar lives, here is a little memory you may find deliciously familiar:

1962. I was at a really wonderful prep school where we all wore coat and tie every day without fail. We addressed our remarkable teachers as Sir. The students represented the upper crust families of the area plus refined boys from many parts of the world as boarding students. Nice guys, brilliant, but many were clueless about the larger world.

I came from an outlying area. My friends were public school kids who were a whole world away from the prep school reality. Preppies had short hair. My after school friends and myself wore waterfalls shiny with Brylcream. We started drinking when we were 13 and knew much older girls by the time we were 14. It was Detroit in the 1960’s. I was the only kid in the school who worked construction in summers and one of the few in the school with a real job. The school kids called me a ‘hood’ because I did not fit in socially.

Actually, some had little idea of what things were like outside the gates of their yacht and ski clubs. We cruised Woodward Ave in home built cars, got in brawls, sold booze, and were drinking in bars with fake ID by the time we were 15. Some of our friends were prostitutes….really friends. We hung with musicians who in those days were supposed to be kept apart as “colored people”.

We rode illegal motorcycles before we were old enuf to drive, and got Boy Scouts permanently banned from two state parks after our ‘Troop 1741’ spent a weekend there testing our pipe bombs and homemade pistols. (Did you know a homemade cannon will send a flashlight battery through both sides of a Volkswagen?) We moulded our own brass knuckle imitations by melting down lead toothpaste tubes. We never used them mind you, but they were cool to have.

Sometimes the prep school boys would rib me a bit, something that they did not realize would get them beat up immediately anywhere out in the real world. They would say things like, “OK Mr. Hoodlum you are just pretending, right?”

So… I started carrying a violin case to school every day and made a show of carefully putting it in my locker. I carefully took it out each night and took it home. As there was no music program at the school, I knew this would eventually attract attention.

Finally, one sarcastic upperclassman kidded me about it, “Ok Mr. Hood, I suppose you have a machine gun in that violin case.”

It was the moment I had waited for.

I opened the case and showed him the Sten Gun I had inside. I had it disassembled into 3 pieces, the hollow metal stock, the middle with the cooling sleeve with the really neat looking holes, and the long horizontal clip. I snapped the whole thing together and handed him the heavy piece of iron. He hefted it. The real thing.

Nobody ever made fun of me again.

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