When I was barely into my teens, all the girls were screaming about the Beatles. The fuss appalled me and I soon rebelled by listening to nothing but classical.

I went with a friend Colleen Creeghan to see the movie Help. The theater was crowded and the audience was mostly girls. The screaming started as soon as the curtain parted and the film began to roll. My cheeks turned red and burned. The reaction of the crowd embarrassed me. I slid down in my seat and finally hid in despair.

That embarrassed Colleen. She was a tall, lanky girl with no sign of developing yet. I already had tits and was much shorter than she was. Her family had immigrated from Ireland when her oldest sister Bernadette, whom we called Bernie, was still in diapers.

She had not noticed that I was crouched on the floor until the spot in the movie where Ringo gets his finger stuck with the ring that causes all the trouble. Colleen turned to share a bit of “Wow!” with me and I was doomed.

Her Irish temper flared and she berated me back into my seat.

With great reluctance, I watched the movie and enjoyed it. I liked the songs. I thought that Ringo was really cute.

I spent many afternoons at the Creeghans. The family had four girls. Their father had died young and the mother supported the family. We used to sit at the dining table and play games. Colleen was a nice sort, although she refused to play dolls with me because I preferred to pretend that the barbie dolls were terrorists inspired by the Red Army Faction. Drove her nuts.

I wanted to be a terrorist when I grew up so that I could blow up buildings. It all seemed exciting and vaguely romantic. Fortunately I outgrew that phase.

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