Confessions logo

The Yellow Rose


By Dennis HumphreysPublished 2 years ago 7 min read

The Yellow Rose

by: Dennis R. Humphreys

There come a time in life when you're older, you look at life's events and you can classify the off beat occurrences in one of two ways. They're either embarrassing or funny as hell. You also have the tendency not to bring them up until your parents have passed away, or they're so old you know they just don't give a crap anymore. But then most major occurrences don't seem so major anymore as time mounts, and you have less time in front of you, than what you left behind.

I was brought up catholic and went to twelve years of private school with nuns. As mischievous as I was, I never really did anything as wild as some of the more unruly kids. The one talent I had was the ability of copying another person's hand writing. I collected money from other classmates for forging their parent's signatures on report cards and disciplinary notes sent home. Private schools requested a parent's signature on such notes to prove it was taken home and read. I helped circumvent further disciplinary action by the parents. I provided a service. Give me a sample of their signature and a sentence or two, not only would I sign the name, I would write a short note about the punishment they were going to get. It added credibility.

I had only used my ability personally several times on test papers that were marginal. All test papers had to be returned to class with a sign off by one parent.

Every so often one of my classmates skipped a day of school. If you didn't have a note somewhere the teacher would get hold of a parent, and if they hadn't given you permission to take off, you were in trouble. I had never done anything like that but decided it was time for me to take charge and do it. It was the ultimate in rebellion requiring tact, tenacity and a good note from home.

My note was a familial emergency excuse where the school would know ahead of time I wasn't going to be in class. This preempted my paranoia about an excuse after my absence, imagining something would go wrong and my mother would get a call from a teacher saying, 'did you know your son wasn't in school today?'

I delivered my excuse, a real masterpiece, 'written and signed' by my mother. Nothing more was said, and the following day my mother dropped me off at the corner of school. As I walked up the hill to the building, I turned around to make sure my mother had driven her Oldsmobile around the corner and out of sight. Certain she was gone and no teacher had spotted me, I turned around to walk the four blocks to the bus stop. I was going downtown for the day. My idea of hooking was to take the bus downtown and then walk the several blocks to the Enoch Pratt Free Library, a three story building, occupying a full city clock. It was what was on the third floor that enticed me to skip school. It was the Academy of Sciences. There I could sit in the planetarium, conduct numerous preset experiments, and buy rock samples for my collection. The place was nirvana to me.

The few blocks I had to walk from the bus stop to the library was along a road of department stores. It was where all the women from the suburbs would go twice a year to shop for clothes. They were quality clothes at good prices. The same suburban stores were costlier with less of a selection.

I got off the bus with the large part of my excursion to town, past. I was walking along the north side of the street, past the department stores when I heard a commotion. There was yelling and clapping which got louder and was getting closer behind me. I didn't pay attention to it until it was almost on top of me, and then my curiosity got the best of me, and I turned. Up the street came a yellow convertible Cadillac driving slowly with its top down. Seated on the back, where the top folded down into its compartment, was a woman in a yellow sequined dress, very low cut with her ample breasts trying to leave their confinement. She had slits on the side of her long dress exposing a great pair of legs. She sat next to a pile of yellow roses which she was throwing out to the men on the sidewalk as the car drove along. Now this particular woman was Blaze Starr, a famous stripper. There had even been a movie about her with Paul Newman playing the governor of Alabama which in real life, Blaze Starr, had an affair with for quite some years. At fifteen I found her to be pretty hot myself.

However, when I turned around to look and saw who it was, I had to stare a little while. For some reason she looked at me and our eyes briefly locked. I stood there watching her grab a single rose and she leaped off the car. Somehow I instinctively knew she was headed my way so I began walking again.

“Hold on there you pretty thing,” I heard her say as she grabbed my shoulder. That was one thing I hated to hear women say to me at that age, but coming from Blaze Starr it didn't annoy me as much.

She handed me the rose as I saw the Evening Sun Newspaper, the largest one in Baltimore, reporter come up along side of us with his camera. I guess he considered it a photo opportunity but I didn't. I saw him getting ready to snap a picture. I knew what it photo showing up in the newspaper in a place I wasn't supposed to be. I turned my head, looking at him with the awfullest look on my face, frozen in an open mouth 'O' as I was saying 'no' to him. There was this horrified look too as Blaze Starr, expecting to give me a peck on the lips before I turned, ended up sticking her tongue in my ear. I thought it was going to come out the other side.

“Listen honey. If you can make it to one of my shows, come see me in the back, I'll get you in and I'll do something special for you,” she told me. There was no way at fifteen I could get to 'The Block” downtown to see her show, and I wasn't about to try. I didn't even keep the rose she gave me, which was her calling card. Where would I have gotten that at school? I could see my mom picking me up at four in front of the school, like she always did, and inquire where I got the yellow rose. It so happened yellow roses were her favorite too but mom wasn't a hot, sexy stripper.

I went home that afternoon with my mom, wondering when the picture would show in the paper. My father read the paper from front to back religiously every night which wasn't good. My mother did the same, looking for good buys in the advertising. That also wasn't good. The photographer wanted my name when he snapped the pic but I refused to give it to him, which in hindsight was a really good move.

My dad sat on the sofa in his normal spot at the end of it next to the lamp on the end table where he could read it. I was laying on the floor where I normally was watching television. He was holding the paper up and open obscuring the television, when I turned to say something and there on the front page was my stupid looking oval mouthed picture with Blaze Starr's tongue sticking in my ear. Looking back it's hilarious but it was much more serious at the time. I wanted to yank the paper from my dad and shove it down my throat to destroy the evidence of my day of hooky. However, I thought it might look questionable and they would run up to the store to purchase another copy to suspiciously look it over closely, since I destroyed their home delivered one.

I patted myself a dozen times over that I hadn't given the reporter/photographer my name. My face was in that stupid pose, so I was less recognizable, I guess. Neither my father or my mother noticed it was me and I breathed relief by the time I went to bed. I had also worried someone else like a neighbor might recognize me and call, 'I see your son's picture was in the paper with that stripper'. That's all I needed. I figured if my parent's didn't recognize their own son with that idiotic face caught on film no one else would, and I was right. After a few days, I finally felt that uncomfortable moment of discovery followed by an explanation, had passed.

I graduated from high school without ever having played hooky again.


About the Creator

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.