I went to Centennial High School from 1996 to 2000. The student demographics were almost entirely split between privileged white mormons and at-risk chicanos.
I hung out with the chicanos.
Freshman year I’d have lunch with the boys from PE: Ronnie, Anthony, Tony, Ruben, Macariom, Marco, Roman, and Chris (the only other white dude in the group). We’d cram together around one table and shoot the shit while we ate. Sometimes the girlfriends (sass-mouthed little latinas, every one of ’em) would join us if there was any room.
One day during lunch, Tony brought an exciting surprise: a butane lighter with a picture of a sexy supermodel in a black bikini on one side. The picture was unique in that, when another flame was applied to it, the bikini would temporarily vanish! To a flock of fifteen-year-old boys, this was the holy grail of awesome. We eagerly goaded Tony to demonstrate.
That’s when Tony realized that, in his juvenile excitement, he’d forgotten to bring an extra lighter.
As nobody else at our table smoked, nobody else had a lighter to loan to the cause…and as luck would have it, neither did anyone else at the surrounding tables. What we did have was Ruben, who was batshit crazy, especially when it came to the prospect of seeing a naked lady, real or not.
“Give it,” said Ruben. “I’ll use my thumb.”
“What?” said the rest of us.
“You know how when you rub two sticks together fast enough it generates enough heat to make a fire? If I rub it with my thumb, maybe I can make it hot enough to vanish the bikini.”
We gave him the lighter, and he set to work, gripping the lighter in one vice-like hand and feverishly rubbing the length of the bikini lady with the thumb of his other hand. He did this for the entire half-hour lunch period while the rest of us continued chatting — he seemed to forget we were even there as he slaved away at that magic bikini.
Just as the bell rang and everyone stood to return to class, Ruben’s efforts bore fruit: we all erupted into idiotic cheers as the bikini vanished before our eyes! It actually worked! We couldn’t believe it worked!
We believed Ruben’s trip to the nurse’s office, though, to treat the first-degree burns on his thumb.