Girls Have Cooties

Disclaimer: I don't own RENT


When we were kids, Roger and I, didn't always like being told what to do. We were a tag team, he was the troublemaker and I was his conscious. He wanted to be spontaneous and liked to pick on the girls.

'Girls have cooties,' he'd say.

It was his reasoning for why he had to be so mean to them. Roger thought that he had to be the big man, and we were only eight. Girls have cooties and if a boy had any friends who were girls they also had cooties. Moms were safe from it, teachers were too, but big sisters no matter how nice, weren't. So Cindy also had cooties.

When we'd go to my house, we'd sit in the kitchen doing our homework and munching on some kind of snack, usually popcorn or cookies. As soon as Cindy came in, Roger would kind of leap from his chair and stay away from Cindy.

'Stop it, Cindy doesn't have cooties,' I'd say.

'She does,' he'd state in this oddly rude voice.

He was no better at school. Roger would pull on the hair of any girl with her hair in a ponytail and flip her skirt. And somehow he hadn't gotten caught. That all changed when a new girl name to our school.

'Class, this is April,' the teacher, Mrs. Katz, said. She then squatted down to April's height, 'You can sit in the empty seat in front of Roger.'

And April nodded and went to the seat where a boy named, Mike, sat before he moved. Roger snickered as she sat down, her hair was in a ponytail and she wore a dress. April turned around and said a quiet hello to both Roger and I.

'Mark, watch,' Roger said as he took out a piece of gum, chewed it for a moment and stuck it on the back of his pencil.

He then poked the back of April's neck with it. She squirmed and swatted the pencil away without looking. Roger then snickered and did it again, this time he pressed the chewed gum hard into her neck.

'Stop it,' April whined, but Roger wouldn't, even though I whispered to him, telling him to stop. It just caused the girl to whine more.

'Is there a problem back there?' the teacher asked.

As if on instinct, the three of us sat up straight and tall, like nothing had happened. Roger was holding his breath expecting April to rat him out, but she just shook her head. I eyed Roger, who had slowly released his breath.

All through the morning, Roger had picked on April. When he could he pulled on her ponytail, but feigned innocence when she looked at him. Mrs. Katz was starting to get suspicious every time from April's little squeaks and cries.

At recess as Roger and I ran outside, April ran after us, when no one was looking, she punched Roger right in the jaw. It was a pretty hard punch. Roger stumbled back, clutching his jaw, as his lip bled a little.

I guess Roger learned his lesson, never pick on a girl. She will punch just as hard as a boy.