(While on vacation Art Buchwald received limited immunity, and the special prosecutor has allowed him to reprint some of his favorite columns.)
News Item -- Dr. Jack Sparacino, a psychologist, says the difference between people who attend school reunions and those who do not isn't based on the status they hold today, but the status they held while in school.
"Herman, darling, are you going to your high school's 30-year reunion?"
"Why should I? They'll only start calling me 'Inky Squid.' "
"Is that what they called you in school?"
"Yeah, except for George Hankoff. He called me 'Squishy Squid.' "
"But that was years ago. You now own the largest land development company in the United States."
"That won't cut any ice with Billy Mahler. He'll still step on my foot and say it was an accident."
"You know you're exaggerating. I'm sure they'd love to see you. After all, you're the chairman of the board of a Hollywood motion picture company, and you're probably the only one who married a movie star."
"Maybe so, but I'll bet you Audrey Zoeller still won't dance with me."
"Who is Audrey Zoeller?"
"She was our high school's leading pompon girl. She used to stand on Jack Minderman's shoulders and yell 'DEEEEEEE-FENSE' whenever the other team was threatening to score. One time I asked her to go to a prom with me and she said, 'I don't dance with Inky Squids.' "
"Maybe she'll change her tune when you arrive at the airport in your private Lear jet."
"Milton Stevens will just laugh and say, 'Who would have thought that stupid Inky, with his shirttail always out, would own his own airplane? It shows you what a mess this country is really in!' "
"You're making those things up, Herman. After all, I'm sure you are the only one in your class who has a university library named after him."
"Milton never forgave me for dropping a fly ball in the ninth inning to rob him of a no-hit game."
"I never knew you played baseball on the high school team."
"I didn't. It was a sandlot game in Hollis Woods, around the corner from where I lived."
"But now you own a National League baseball team. Milton will certainly be impressed with that."
"It won't give him back his no-hit ball game."
"Well, it's no big deal to me if you go or not. I won't know anybody anyway."
"You're lucky -- you don't know what they're really like."
"Isn't there someone in the class that was nice?"
"Fern Haggerty never called me Squid."
"Well, you'll be glad to see her."
"Yeah, but she was built like the Goodyear blimp."
"Maybe Fern went to Weight Watchers. She may be a very beautiful woman now."
"If she is, she won't talk to me, and if she does, she'll probably call me Squid."
"So I take it you're not going to the reunion."
"Not if Arnie Krasner is there."
"All right, what was your relationship with Arnie Krasner?"
"He was my best friend until he told everyone in class I slept on a rubber sheet."
1987, Los Angeles Times Syndicate