March 27, 2017
Syringes in Pepsi Cans and David Kavatek
What kind of people put syringes in Pepsi cans or cyanide in Tylenol capsules? The psychotic? The megalomaniacal? Nasty diabetics out for revenge? One thing we can probably assume about them is that they have access to syringes and cans of Pepsi that haven't been sealed. But other than that, who are these people? Did you sit next to them in grade school? Was it something that you said or did that turned them to the dark side?

If I had to guess which one of my grade school classmates could have turned out to be a social menace, I would say David Kavatek. He had an awkward, gangly body with a head that looked more like a cartoon head than a real head- big top, teeny chin. Highlighting his head's peculiar shape was an already receding hairline at the age of nine. All the boys were trying to look like the Beatles but David's forehead was beating out his hair in the fight for space on his noggin.

In addition to his odd physical appearance, his farmer parents dressed him like an Amish Cowboy. Then there was David's very unique odor, a combination of thrift-store mustiness and manure. All of this of course was beyond his control and had nothing to do with his worth as an individual but try to tell that to a class full of nine year olds. So a horrible game called "Kavatek's germs/no returns" evolved. For some reason my classmates believed David's appearance was caused by germs and you could contract Kavatek's germs by just brushing up against him. The only way to rid yourself of Kavatekitis was by touching someone else within five seconds and saying "Kavatek's germs, no returns." Thus that individual passed the germs on before being infected, and adding the words "no returns" meant they had immunity against being re-infected this round of the game.

For some reason this all made perfect sense to a lot of my fellow classmates. Some of us didn't play along with Kavatek's germs/no returns but nearly every girl in class would run in a blind, screaming panic if a boy even tried to pass the germs to them. Catholic girls are very germ adverse. When threatened with Kavatek's germs they would squawk like a gaggle of geese, screaming in hysteria, scattering throughout the playground.

Imagine how this made Kavatek feel. How much psychic damage was done and what happens to the person that had this childhood? I hope the fates have been kind to him and the world turned his way and every road that he took was the high road but somehow I suspect that the guy putting syringes in the Pepsi cans is a Kavatek. What's the moral of the story? Be nice. Teach your kids to be nice. Drink Pepsi out of a glass instead of the can. And air out your clothes and be tolerant of those that don't.