Oct 11, 2013

I Foil the Kissing Bandit

When I was in sixth grade at Denkmann Elementary School, the girls were being terrorized by "The Kissing Bandit."  His real name was Dave (not the same Dave from the post Corrupting a Mean Boy).  He was a fifth grader, tall and slim with a blond crewcut.

His modus operandi was simple: he would approach a girl and grab something of hers -- a doll or purse at recess, a sandwich or apple at lunchtime -- and hold it hostage until she submitted to a kiss.  On the cheek at first, but as he became bolder, the mouth.

As the fall turned into spring, he became bolder still, and didn't didn't bother with the theft.  He just ran up, planted a kiss on the girl's mouth, and ran away.

Something had to be done about this menace!  But teachers wouldn't intervene: "Boys like to kiss girls!  It's a fact of life!"  Apparently girls had to resign themselves to a future of nonconsensual intimacies.

Dave didn't bother boys, which was a pity, since I wouldn't mind kissing a cute boy one bit. I had only gotten one real kiss before, from Greg the boy vampire, back last year.   He never tried again, and my boyfriend Bill just wanted to hug and hold hands.  

My friend Terry was particularly upset about the Kissing Bandit.

"It's not fair!" she said one day at lunch. "You should only kiss if it's true love!  My first kiss should be with the boy I'm going to marry!"  I glanced at Bill; he smiled.

So far she had managed to evade Dave's clutches, but it was just a matter of time before their lips met, and her magical first kiss was lost forever.

So we took matters into our own hands, and devised a plan to discourage the Kissing Bandit.

The former lilac bushes outside my house
One day at recess, Terry sat by herself by the big lilac bushes that lay between the schoolyard and my house, pretending to read a book.  No teacher could see her, and there were no kids around to protect her -- a perfect victim!

The lilac bushes are gone now.  I don't know what these things are.

Sure enough, after a few minutes Dave came running up.

He didn't realize that I was hiding in the bushes.

As he came close, I leaped out and blocked his way.  He stopped, confused.  I grabbed his hands so he couldn't resist, drew him close, and kissed him.  On the mouth.  Not a little peck, either -- long and deep and passionate, like in the movies.  He made "mphf!" sounds, but otherwise didn't struggle.

After a long movie-style kiss, I released Dave.  He stood there, wide-eyed, staring at me for a long time.  Then he turned and slowly walked away.

The Kissing Bandit's Reign of Terror was over!  He never kissed a girl again, that I know of.

Dave was a year younger than me, so we didn't have any classes together and never hung out.  I saw him occasionally in the hallways of Washington, but we never spoke.

But he and Bill became friends. The last time I went to Bill's house, for a Halloween party in tenth grade, he was there.  Maybe they were kissing.

I ran into Dave again around 1981 or 1982, at Black Hawk State Park.  He was buffed, in that striated way thin guys get, and he was with an equally buffed male friend. Maybe he was gay?

I wondered if my kiss made him realize that he was into guys.

I was afraid to ask.

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