I hate Thor Magnus.
I think his family is related to some royalty from Norway. Like kings or queens or whatever they have over there. They’re rich and decided to send Thor to the United States to go to high school. Why they chose Wisconsin, and more specifically, Moon Lake is beyond me. Actually, I kind of have an idea why Thor ended up here. I’ll get to that.
He started here in ninth grade when I was in the ninth grade; just in time to spoil my plans for Melanie Hero.
Of course, Thor is “perfect.” He’s tall, about 6’3″ and very athletic. He’s got wavy blond hair past his ears and blue eyes. He’s got muscles where muscles don’t even belong. I think Fat is allergic to him. Every girl in school is in love with him. They say he’s gorgeous. Actually, he kind of is. I think even some of the boys are in love with him he’s so good-looking.
At first I tried walking next to him all the time since the girls go out of their way to see him, I figured one or two might actually look down and see me. Well, that idea sucked. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’d be walking next to Mister Wonderful and a group of girls would walk by, all smiling and giggling as they got closer. They’d be so busy looking up at him they’d bump into me.
“Look out, Solomon!” they’d yell. Gee, sorry to bother you while you’re drooling over Joe Cool. Of course since Melanie is a girl she’s infatuated with Norway’s Dream Child.
And, naturally, Thor Magnus is perfect at every sport. Christ, I think he’s probably perfect at croquet.
I hate him.
And Mister Quayle, the gym teacher and basketball coach, is in love with him. Thor made the ‘A” team as a freshman. Mister Warren, the football coach has a crush on him, too. Just because Thor can throw the football farther than anyone ever has in the history of Moon Lake High School. Big Deal.
Thor is staying with a family in Moon Lake, the Olsens. I guess they put him there because the Olsens are Norwegian, too. I imagine they sit around and talk Norwegian to each other or something. The Olsens have two sons, one of them is Eric and he’s the same age as Thor. Lucky guy. All the girls are hanging around Eric hoping to get a look at Thor.
One day Marion said, “Guess who’s coming to dinner?”
Me: “Sidney Poitier?”
Marion: “Of course not.”
Arnold: “Really? He’s not?”
Me: “I didn’t even know that you knew Sidney Poitier.”
Marion: “I don’t know him.”
Arnold: “Then who invited him to dinner? Surely not Gamma!”
Marion(a little flustered): “Thor Magnum is coming to dinner!”
We had been at the dinner table, devouring Marion’s famous Meatloaf a la Bologna. You can actually see the chunks of bologna floating amongst the real meat.
When she made the dramatic announcement I spit a mouthful of the Mixed Meat onto my plate and yelled, “What?!”
Marion: “Yes. I spoke with Doris Olsen and we arranged that Thor Magnum will dine with us on Saturday. She said Thor really likes fish.”
Me: “Marion, we can’t have him for dinner.”
Arnold was attempting to say something but he was also trying to separate the bologna from the real meat in his mouth so he said, “Whimmph nunmph?”
Marion and Me: “What?”
Arnold, after a dramatic swallow and a big gulp of whole milk from Edison’s Family Dairy: “Why not?”
Me, trying to think fast which usually works but of all times for that to fail me: “I think he’s got the mumps or measles or something.”
Marion: “Doris didn’t mention that. I think we’ll have fish sticks.”
Then I had an idea: “I heard Thor really likes pig’s feet and sauerkraut.”
Marion: “Doris said fish.”
Me: “He told some kids at school that he’s getting tired of fish and would love some good ol’ pig’s feet. He doesn’t want to hurt Mrs. Olsen’s feelings so he didn’t tell her.”
Marion: “Oh, what a delightful young man.”
Me, trying not to puke(and not from the Meatloaf): “Yeah, he’s a real Gem.”
I couldn’t wait to watch The Impeccable One trying to consume Marion’s Nasty Entree.
So two days later, our Family Unit was seated at the table with our guests, Gamma and Thor the Wonder Child. I noticed that he hadn’t even made funny faces while smelling the rancid sauerkraut. Then I found out why.
It looked like Thor, Gamma and Kenny were competing in the Moon Lake Pig’s Feet Eating Contest. They were shoveling it in like cheetahs attacking a gazelle.
Marion: “Thor, you can thank Solomon for suggesting pig’s feet. I’m so glad you like it.”
Thor the Adorned One didn’t really say anything, he just looked up and grunted, not wanting Gamma or Kenny to overtake him.
There must have been a few dozen footless pigs hobbling around Moon Lake that night.
Hours later, after Arnold had left to drive Thor back to the Olsens and deliver Gamma back to the Broken Hip Home for the Everlasting Elderly, Marion said, “That Thor Magnum sure is a cute boy.”
I retired to my room. Have you ever tried to kill yourself by burrying your face into a big pillow? It doesn’t work all that well.
It’s common knowledge around school that I detest Mister Magnificent. Everyone is asking me why I don’t like him. I’d rather not tell them. Even Captain Fantastic himself is aware of my contempt for him. When he sees me walking in the hallway he purposely runs into me, knocking me into the lockers.
I think I got back at him during gym class, though. One day we were scheduled to play basketball. Thor came into the gymnasium in his short shorts and tight t-shirt and I saw all the other boys staring at him. It was like he just sashayed into a Gay Sauna.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against gay people. One of my friends who shall remain nameless is gay. I confided in him my adoration for Melanie Hero and he said if he were straight he’d probably be in love with her, too. But since he’s not, he’s madly in love with Thor Magnus.
Gee, what a surprise.
So anyway, we were playing basketball and I was under the basket when Mike Whitman shot the ball. I knew I could never get the rebound, but Thor was next to me and he jumped up so I jumped, too. I stuck my foot out just as Prince Charming was coming down and I guess my foot just sort of kicked him in the crotch. He went down and couldn’t really break his fall since both hands were holding his Family Jewels. He was rolling on the floor in pain as I just stood there. Mister Quayle ran over to him and held him in his arms like he was cradling Baby Jesus.
Mister Quayle: “Quick, what did you do?”
Me: “It was an accident.”
Mister Quayle was comforting The Adorable One and was actually stroking his perfect blond hair and cooing, “It’s ok.”
I wanted to say, “Gee, why don’t you kiss it and make it all better.” I knew damn well that would have definitley gotten me expelled so I just tried to put a sad look on my face and I said, “Is he going to be okay?” hoping for a negative answer.
Mister Quayle: “Never mind, Quick! Start running laps, now!”
So I slowly ran around the gym. All of the other kids in the gym were huddled around Thor, as if their Superstar had just fallen. Mister Quayle gave me a look like I just shot his dog.
Fortunately the class was almost over so we got to retire to the locker room. Mister Quayle helped Thor to his feet. I think I saw tears in Thor’s eyes.
I have to say, it took me a long time to perfect that Ball-Breaking Move. One day I was in our driveway at the basketball hoop Arnold had put up above our garage door. I didn’t even have a basketball with me; I was just jumping up, practicing my leg kick move. Arnold saw me and came out.
Arnold: “Solomon, what in the Hell are you doing?”
Me: “Just practicing my jumps.”
Arnold: “So what’s with your leg sticking out like that? Do you realize how that looks? The neighbors probabaly think you’re going to try out for the ballet. Stop it this instant.”
That was okay. By the time Arnold stopped my behavior I’d had the move down pretty well.
But that plan may have backfired. After the Nut Crushing Scheme every girl wanted to console the Darling Norwegian. And I got tons of mean looks from the girls.
If Bad Luck were a burglar I’d be its favorite victim.
To be honest, Thor isn’t the brightest guy, however. He’s got Dumb he hasn’t even used yet. That fact doesn’t seem to resonate with the girls, though. They still get red and giggly when they see him.
One day we were in Miss Monroe’s class. Her first name is Marilyn. Can you believe it? Her name is Marilyn Monroe. Of course, we have to call her Miss Monroe. That’s okay, she doesn’t look anything like the Real Marilyn Monroe. In fact, she’s the antithesis(is that a word?)of the Beautiful Marilyn Monroe. As often as I try to picture the Real Marilyn Monroe naked I try to imagine Our Marilyn Monroe with more clothes on. Our Miss Monroe is as short as I am and rotund. She wears black horned rimmed pointy glasses that look quite scary. Her hair is thinning and she always smells like cigarette smoke. I think maybe she hangs out in the Teacher’s Lounge and puffs away. Her teeth-if you can call them that-are skinny and brown. She teaches Science.
So we were in her class and Norway’s Boy Wonder raised his hand and asked: “Does the sun rise in the East everywhere or just certain places?”
Me: “It depends on which way you’re facing. Now you are facing West, right?”
Genius Thor: “Yeah.”
Me: “And this morning the sun is in back of you, right?”
Brainiac Thor: “Yeah.”
Me: “So today it rose in the East. Now tomorrow if you face South, the sun will rise in the North.”
Miss Monroe: “Solomon, don’t confuse Thor.”
Me: “It’s sort of hard not to.”
Miss Monroe: “Be nice or you’ll be going to the Principal’s Office.”
Me: “Well, he is a little slow.”
Miss Monroe: “Solomon, tell Thor you’re sorry.”
Me: “Thor, I’m sorry you’re slow.”
Marilyn Monroe trusted me to find the Principal’s Office on my own that day.
One day, in tenth grade, I was chatting with Eric Olsen. He told me that Thor mentioned that his family tried to get him into schools in Wauwatosa and Green Bay. They realized Thor wouldn’t even make any of the teams in those larger schools so they zeroed in on quaint little Moon Lake. Whenever I would mention that fact to other kids they would say, “Oh, Solomon, you’re just jealous. Leave Thor alone.”
I really do dislike Thor Magnus.
So now Thor is a Senior and since he invaded Moon Lake four years ago he’s made All-Conference in basketball, football, baseball and track all four years. He and Melanie have been Homecoming King and Queen three years in a row.
Coach Quayle and Coach Warren had to beg some of the teachers to give Thor passing grades so he could stay on their teams. I begged them to pass me, too but it didn’t do much good. I’m barely passing. I guess if I were Mister Universe like Thor it would be easy. It would probably help if I kept my mouth shut during class I suppose………naaah.
But of course the worst part is, Melanie Hero is in love with him. I’ve seen her get all goofy when he’s around. Her face turns red and she giggles a lot, just like all the dopey girls.
In fact, Thor and Melanie are dating. They’ve been dating since the Freshman Year. She’s wearing his stupid class ring around her sexy neck.
Everyone says they’re the Perfect Couple and they’ll get married and have a bunch of beautiful children. If Thor can figure out how to do that.
See, I knew there was a good reason I hate him.