The First Cut Is The Deepest

by Ron Collins

That’s just not good enough!’

In 1974, the University of Arkansas campus was beginning the beautiful blossoming of its annual spring transformation. The yellow jonquils were pompously peeking over the landscape. The red buds were proudly producing their magenta heart-shaped flowers, adding the perfect ambiance to the already gorgeous campus scenery. The ruby red cardinals began whistling a different song and the bees? Well, their buzz was, to some extent higher than normal.

The two young college roommates began sensing a wind of change as they cruised the campus in their beat-up car. It was built into their DNA. What was this strange phenomenon that was occurring, they wondered?

“Hey, is that what I think it is?” I said to my roomie, as our eyes zoomed in like an eagle stalking their prey.

Why yes, it is, they both proclaimed, rubbing their unbelieving eyes to ensure it was not a mirage. Young ladies were lying on the sorority house lawn in their tiny bikinis, soaking up rays of sunlight, while carrying out their main goal; gaining the undivided attention of the two second semester freshmen. The roomies, with the exact same mission in mind, looked at each other in disbelief, as newfound hope began to brighten their otherwise humdrum day. Spring was shaping up to be their favorite season of all. But then, reality sunk in. Spring football practice was about to begin, ruining their prospective afternoon frolics.

Spring practice! Ah the wonderful pungent smell of the locker room. The coaches yelling, helmets banging, brains rattling, whistles blowing. Living the dream! This was what the two aspiring athletes had wanted all their lives. Where else would two young nineteen- year-old males, with raging hormones want to be?

Yep. You guessed it. On that blanket with those yellow bikini clad girls!

“It’s just not fair,” said my roomie. “All those non-jocks are out there frolicking with our sexy girls while we are getting our brains smashed. I have to figure a way to get out of practice, so I can be where I belong… with those gorgeous girls. They need me,” he surmised, far more serious than the roomie I thought I knew. He clearly was showing early signs of catching the fever…campus spring fever that is.

The next day at breakfast, a mischievous but satisfying smile cast a spell over his face. He had devised a plan. “Meet me at the park tonight after practice, he said. I need a favor from you.” As I reluctantly rolled up to the park that evening, I could see that steadfast smile on my roomie’s face from afar. My car lights glanced off a shiny object in his hand. Was that what I thought it was? It looked like a scalpel. No, that was not a scalpel was it? It was a scalpel.

“Whatch got there, Roomie?” I asked, afraid to hear the answer. The all-star running back, now fully consumed with spring fever, had lost all his reasoning skills.

“My meal ticket out of practice and onto the blanket of those bikini girls,” he said with a smirk.

“How ya figure?” I asked, terrified of the answer.

“Well, here is the plan, he said. You will take this scalpel I borrowed from the biology lab and slice the bottom of my foot. You will then take me to the hospital emergency room, just up the hill. We will tell them I cut my foot on some rocks while we were tossing a Frisbee in the park. They will stitch my foot, and tomorrow, I’ll be smooching a bikini girl while you and your fool buddies will be banging heads at practice.”

As I began to process these words and try to make some semblance of sense out of them, I said what any red-blooded female deprived young male would say.

“That is a brilliant plan, my man,” cursing under my breath for not thinking of it first. “Give me that scalpel,” I said, words that had never been spoken from my mouth. I can do it!

I could not do it. The closer that scalpel came to that God given talented foot, the more my bear paws became lobster claws.

“I can’t do it! Those feet earned you an all-expense paid four-year scholarship. They are meant to run a football and entertain thousands of screaming fans,” I said.   

“You are a wimp!” my roomie said, as my manhood took a direct hit. “You can do this!” he said, stroking my wounded confidence. I have faith in you,” as his fever was beginning to permeate my body and soul.

Inspired by my friends encouraging words, I took a deep breath and inserted the shaky scalpel into the calloused flesh of that talented foot. Blood gushed from his foot like a freshly tapped oil gusher, as fast as my blood rushed to my head.

 “This ain’t right,” my brain told my head.

“AWUUUUUUUUUUUU,” shouted roomie, as I continued to penetrate the virgin flesh of his foot.

My roomie wiped the massive amounts of blood off his foot with his shirt, as excessive crimson red gore pooled on the ground next to me. Both of us anxiously examined the concocted “rock wound” with curiosity, followed at once with disappointment.

“That’s just not good enough,” my friend properly proclaimed. “I want you to cut at least a quarter inch gap, so it has to be stitched,” he said. 

My roomie, whom I had only known since the previous summer, was sadly transforming into a demonic person! Images of the Texas Chain Saw Murderer flashed across my eyes. Both our minds had completely left what small brains we had, before they clearly became affected by the fever.

With a newfound motivation, I placed the scalpel back in my hands. This time I proceeded with the precision and confidence of a skilled surgeon. I did the job. Quarter inch gap cut. Mission accomplished!

Next, we raced to the hospital to finish the plan.

” What happened?” asked the nurse.

“I stepped on a rock while we were tossing a Frisbee in the park. I was barefooted, and I cut my foot,” Roomie lied, staying precisely on script.

The nurse looked at me for a sign of confirmation. Me? Let’s just say I have never really been good at fibbing. I looked away, guilt spreading over my body like a swarm of ants, glad I was not hooked up to one of those hospital thingies, because guilty alarms would have been flashing and beeping wildly.  Beep! Liar! Beep! Guilty!

“Funny,” the nurse responded. “It looks like a series of razor blade cuts to me. You say you stepped on a rock?”

Roomie, ignoring her question, asked how many stitches he would need.

“Oh, you don’t need any stitches,” Nurse Ratched replied. “I’ll just put a Band-Aid on it and you guys can be on your way.”        

  The following day on the beautiful campus of the University of Arkansas, trees continued to bud. Birds sang their beautiful mating songs. Bees buzzed their magical buzzes. The bikini clad girls soaked up the rays. The non-jocks provided our girls with undivided attention. Me and my roomie? We were banging our fool heads off at spring football practice. If one looked closely, they might detect my roomie had a slight limp. We were living the dream! Where else would two nineteen-year-old males with raging hormones possibly want to be?

4 thoughts on “The First Cut Is The Deepest

  1. Love this! Scene is much the same this week in Fayetteville in front of the sorority houses. Flowers blooming, green lawns again and sorority girls hanging in front of the houses..minus the bikinis😊What fun memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ron, beautifully written. Brings back memories of campus life. U of A. Loved seeing the spring blooms signaling warmer weather. Thank you for the vivid trip down memory lane.

    Liked by 1 person

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