Rollin' with Rolando
In high school I was friends with this kid named Rolando.
Rolando was a Special Ed kid. Now, don't worry, this isn't gonna' be one of those stories where I befriend a Special Ed kid after picking on him for years only to learn the err of my ways and the true meaaning of friendship being that we're all different, blah, blah....
Rolando just rocked. Basically he was the only kid in school who wasn't a fucking asshole, myself included.
Rolando was this tall, latino kid with unbelievable grand posture. The guy was stiffer than Al Gore. He very rarely spoke, but when he did, he'd speak with this sexy Spainish bravado accent. Not unlike Antonio Banderas.
Anyways, the thing with Rolando was that despite that he was 6'3" he'd be able to just appear without anyone knowing.
You could be in an empty class with just one other person having a private conversation when you'd look to your left to see Rolando about 2 feet away.
Anyways, one day some doctor got the bright idea to put the kid on some anti-depressants. Since then, Rolando was a riot. His demeanor didn't change all that much except for the fact that he was always trying to stiffle this grin.
Here was a usual scene. A bunch of us would be sitting at a table. Rolando would be standing behind us. He hated sitting. Anyways, someone would say something funny, and the group of us would crack up. Rolando would just stand there like he was trying out for some world record for being a statue. If his eyes weren't rolling around, pigeons would shit on him.
Anyways, after they put him on meds, he'd just burst out after a joke.
We'd all look back and be like "Rolando, are you laughing?" to which he'd reply in that sexy Spainish accent "Kinda'"
We thought that was the funniest thing. The kid was totally stoned.
Anyways, to get to the point of the story. The school was having it's annual elections for school president and I was planning on running.
Basically we were plotting about how far "The Man" was gonna' let me go. I ran the year before and the administration all but took my name off the ballot. Granted I had a reputaion for being an idiot, but they could have given me a chance! Before a debate one time, after my opponents got a chance to give their opening remarks, the moderator/vice principal scolded me on how I "better be appropriate."
I took my candidacy seriously, but how the hell was anybody gonna take me serious if that's how I get introduced?
So I was talking with my friends about making another run, but I knew it was hopeless. I've given every teacher so much shit that my name was mud, and they'd do everything they could to discredit me.
As I finished saying that I turned around to see Rolando cover his mouth from laughing.
That's when it hit me! Rolando will run. Why didn't I think of this before? Rolando will run and I'll coach him. Everybody loves Rolando. Plus, the teachers love seeing Special Ed kids getting involved in these type of things. It brings a tear to their eye.
So the nect thing I knew I was filling out the paperwork for him to run. Me and my friends were coming up with catchy campaign slogans, and how exactly we were gonna' get this boy elected.
All this before I even asked him if he would run. He was still standing their with his hand over his mouth.
So I invited myself over to his house after school to prepare him to run his campaign.
I met his mom and his sister who both looked and acted just like him. It was like a family of robots.
Anyways, Rolando wasn't a natural politician. Which is exactly the angle I wanted him to attack with.
"Rolando, try saying things like 'Forgive me for my lack of debating skills. I am not a natural politician. I'm a natural friend, and human being.'
Rolando would tried repeatiing what I said in his deep, sexy Spainiard voice with "I am....not....a natural." Followed by his drug enduced giggling.
This was gonna' take a while.
The contest began with the candidates holding rallys in the hall between classes.
We had decorated our corner with red, white, and blue ribbon, and a giant sign that read "ROLANDO IS PROFOUNDO!"
Right when people were gathering around, Rolando pulls me aside and says "Jon, I don't vaunt' to do dees."
With all his profoundness, he was an extremely shy guy. I started to feel terribly bad for the him because he was obviously nervous, and just playing along up until now just to be accepted with the group.
So that's when I told Rolando not to worry, that I'll do all the talking for him.
When people started gathering I went into my spiel with Rolando at my side.
"Hi everybody, my name's Jon and I just wanted to talk to you all a little bit about what's important to you being a student here at Bulkley High. Ever ask yourself if your needs are being accurately represented by the current administration? (The current president was running for re-election) Do you think the interest in the common student is the motivation behind the desire to represent you in the office of student president? Or do you think it has more to do with self-interest type factors? Such as getting into college.
~Crowd starts to mumble~
Well what if I told you there was a canadate out there that wasn't planning on going to college?
"Right on!" Someone yelled.
"What if I told you there was a canadate out there that has never had a history of sucking up to the administration, and has no plans of starting now?
"Whooo!" Someone else yelled.
"What if I were to tell you that the office of student president has been made a mockery by certain people who think that it's designed to be put on their college application, and has little other use?"
"I'd like you all to meet a very angry man." I said putting my hands on his shoulders.
"I'd like for you to meet a man who is sick and tired of all of you being used as a ticket to college."
"YAY!" Two girls shreeked
"I'd like for you to meet a man who knows the common student because HE IS a common student."
"Rolando fucking rules!!" Screamed my friend.
"I'd like for you to meet a man who wants to fight for your interests from the inside the corrupt system. His name.....is Rolando."
At that point most of the high school was around us. The excitment was running wild. We were handing out homemade "Rolando is Profoundo" T-shirts and stickers and people were tripping over themselves to get them. Even the jocks beat a few kids out of their way to get some.
Rolando was grinning like a Vegas whore. He was loving this, the little ham.
So the next thing we had to do, a few weeks later, was go class to class and spend a little time with each homeroom and plead our case on why we (he, actually) wanted to be president, and then take a couple of questions.
I got special permission to go with him and "help" him with his dialog. The powers that be saw a possitive change in him, and wanted to keep him in in this. They understood that he was hopelessly shy, and didn't honestly think he could win.
So like before, I did all the talking while Rolando stood next to me, proudly wearing his "Rolando is Profoundo" t-shirt, and covering his smile with his right hand.
I'd state Rolando's case. Saying that he's the guy to pull this high school out of the gutter. That for too long we've been settling for people who were under-qualified for the position, and we should accept that no longer.(To Be Continued...)