Thursday, February 02, 2006


Ok, if my count is correct, I've now done 56 biogrpahies thus far - about 25% of my goal. Jesus, there's still so many...

Anyway, I've painted some people in a positive light. I've painted some people in a negative light. Either way, I've been as honest as I possibly can be. My memory's not perfect. But it's pretty good. I have made a mistake or two. But I have never purposely written anything false.

So now it's your turn. Tell me what you remember about ME. And don't hold back. If I can dish it out, it would be hypocritcal of me not to be able to take it as well. It's all water under the bridge anyway. Was I cool? Was I a dork? Was I scary? Was I someone to be avoided? Was I misunderstood? Did you not "get" me? Did you like me? Did you hate me? Was I cocky? Was I obnoxious? Let's hear it. Take yourself back 30 days (pre-blog). Now put my name in your head. What do you remember about me? Let's hear some incidents!

In the meantime, here's a little story to tide you over. I'd love to write about it within someone's entry. But no one but me was involved in this one. It's already been alluded to twice in this blog already. And like my incident with Brad Strouf's porch, this one was also a bit of a legend. Did Burt really do this? Let's talk about the shit in the microwave.

Those of you who remember early cable, may remember a film called "The Hollywood Knights." That film introduced me to the concept of taking a bag of dogshit, starting it on fire on someone's porch, then ringing the doorbell. Well in all my wisdom, I wanted to do something more.

I'd love to tell you I did this when I was 10. But no, I was in eighth grade. So I was 13. It was February. I wanted to do something nasty to my next door neighbor. That's when I hatched my plan. Instead of the burning bag, what if I could somehow get a hold of some liquid shit? Then I could splatter it on their window. It would freeze up and be a nasty thing to try and clean up. My plan was set. Now all I had to do was pull it off.

My first problem was that I didn't know how to get liquid shit. Then it dawned on me - the microwave! I could melt it down!

My second problem was that I didn't have a dog at that time. So if I wanted a turd, I had to do it myself. I got a cereal bowl from the cupboard, removed my pants and underwear, got a baggie to cover my front - just in case I couldn't hold back a little pee, then I squated down and let it go.

NOTE - There's a reason why toilets have water in them. It masks the smell. An open-air turd reeks.

Anyway, I took the bowl over to the microwave, set it inside, then turned it on. I peered through the glass and watched it spin. Hmm... it wasn't melting. Perhaps it's going to take a few minutes. So I left the room for a bit.

Imagine my horror when I came back in the kitchen, only to find some small clouds of smoke creeping out through the cracks in the microwave. What had I done? I turned it off, opened the door, and was met with a thick black cloud of the most putrid stench you can possibly imagine. It enveloped my head, as well as the whole kitchen. I grabbed the bowl, and coughed my way to the backdoor, where I promptly threw the offending mass into the snowbank. It immediately sank right to the ground. That sucker was hot!

I learned a valuable lesson that day. Shit doesn't melt. It burns. Don't try it yourself. Please, for the love of God, just trust me on this one.

I opened a few windows and cleaned up whatever needed to be. About an hour later my dad came home. When he walked in the kitchen, he grimaced. Then he said the following lines, "Jesus Christ! ... Jesus Christ! ... I gotta clean that catbox!" I just about died from holding in my laughter.

So there you go. That's the story. Was I fucked-up, or what? Needless to say, I have changed quite a bit from those days. That sort of behavior left me many, many years ago.

So now that I've brought you back to the "me" that you might remember, let's hear what you have to say. Pull no punches! Who was I?


At Thu Feb 02, 01:42:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Awesome! Thanks Brad. Anyone else?

Jason, Meff, Drew, Gus, Jenny, Greg, Jen, Joe...?

At Thu Feb 02, 08:38:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Like I said, I'd have known Burt better if Richard wasn't there. Richard had a real mean streak. I don't know where it came from. I don't think his uncles raped him or anything, but who knows. We hung out a lot in 1st Grade, but he always made it clear that I was his THIRD best friend, after John Kern and, I think, Drew Konop.

One time in 8th grade, Richard and Burt were sitting next to Dean Lichterman during lunch and were just torturing him. I mean... really torturing him. I'm sure dean cried for hours when he got home. Richard was more guilty than Burt, but the fact that he'd hang with a guy like Richard made him a bit scary to me. Richard could be genuinely vile.

But... back to Burt. Burt and Co. approached High School social life the way Warhol approached art. It wasn't the content that mattered, it was what it did to the audience. WE became their medium. "Let's make everyone think we're Satanists. See what they do." The student body was their plaything.

The funniest thing I remember about Burt was in Sapa's creative writing class. I won't deprive Burt of the fun of telling the whole story (which I hope he does), but we once had to write questions that we wanted to ask someone in a letter that we were composing as a class, and Burt's suggestion was, "How many cucumbers can you fit up your ass?" I still crack up every time I remember that.

Burt -- tell them about that class. I think everyone here was in it, pretty much. And in the back row and Burt and Richard would be eating live snakes out of a Fondue pot or sopmething and they'd just look at you like, "Problem? Want some?"

At Fri Feb 03, 05:51:00 AM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

He was a Warhol with an Andy Kaufman chaser...

At Fri Feb 03, 06:09:00 AM PST, Blogger drew konop said...

burt, i haven't read this all (but most). i need to know, do you still have the piece of notebook paper that you colored blue in sapa's creative writing class? it smelled so dilicious.

At Fri Feb 03, 06:23:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

It was blue ink on one side, and black ink on the other. And yes, I still have it. Perhaps I'll scan it in one of these days.

There are lots of relics in those two trapper keeprs of mine. As to the cucumber thing, the guy's name was Neil Sitenga. I still have the article. Does anyone remember that I looked him and called him? I brought the tape in for the class, and Ms. Sapa gave me extra credit for it.

As to the incident torturing Dean, I have no memory of that. Honestly, I don't think that was me. Richard and I didn't really align ourselves in any way until sophomore year. Plus, I never had a cruel streak in me. But I suppose it's possible.

Great synopsis Greg. You may have nailed me perfectly.

At Fri Feb 03, 08:07:00 AM PST, Blogger Joe Antonie said...

Burt our circles didn't cross much in Middle school. I heard many of these stories like being nude with Doug and being in trouble occassionally. At the time, I thought the stories to be too outlandish, impossible... I am mean think about it, Burt and Doug Wall nude on top of a gargage roof? Come on. But maybe.....

High School came and the legendary "Creative Writing" class with Miss Sapa. (My second favorite class in H.S.) Here is were I discovered the dark genius of Burt. The stories, the pickle guy, the Walrus and the Egg-man in the back of the room with their penchant for the twisted. Most of us strived in vain to reach your level of creativity. (and Richard's) I remember you and Rich being quite a combination together.

Greg was right, 'we' were your playground.

You were always polite to me. We were in slightly closer circles toward the end of H.S. I will remember you as a creative and esoteric person.

At Fri Feb 03, 08:08:00 AM PST, Blogger drew konop said...

burt, i don't remember what year we had saps's creative writing, but i think it was 88. one of my strongest high school memeories is you and richard in that class. you were pretty intimidating in your 'don't give a shit, fuck you' style. if i remember correctly, you guys sat directly to my right, richard sitting on his right leg and you laid back in your chair coloring that paper. i'm not sure if it was a rumor, but there was 'suicide day' talk surrounding you. even a countdown. i wasn't too concerned because i hadn't seen 'bowling for columbine' yet, but i'm glad you didn't go thru with it. keep up the good work.

At Fri Feb 03, 08:22:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Yes Drew, the suicide rumor existed. Go to the January archives and read the entry I made about Richard. The suicide thing is mentioned in there.

We had Sapa in the fall of 1987 - first semester of our junior year.

I may need to have a post dedicated to the events of that class. It was legendary. When I spoke to Jen Andersen on the phone the other day, she said that the only people she'd be interested in seeing again would be her friends in band - or the members of our creative writing class.

At Fri Feb 03, 09:30:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Naked with Doug Wall? Jenny mentioned seeing us as well. My wife laughed her ass off at that. But alas, that rumor is not really true.

Yes, I was on my garage roof. And yes, Doug Wall was naked. But the other naked person was Chris Storlie. My neighbor (who called the cops) can vouch for me that I was fully clothed. Actually, Brian Belongia witnessed the tail end of that incident as well. For the life of me, I don't know why they disrobed. Chris was running around with a boner too.

Trust me. If that rumor were true, I'd fully admit it. I've been outside nude many times. But I was never naked with Doug Wall. Why would I want to be for that matter? I wasn't interested in anything that Doug had to offer.

At Fri Feb 03, 01:21:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

I think Burt should just do a post on Neil Sitenga. Not the real one. The mythological one who existed only in that class.

At Sat Feb 04, 10:07:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

WHAT??? Neil Sitenga wasn't real???

I'm at a loss for words...man.

At Sat Feb 04, 11:52:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Neil Sitenga was very much real. I have the article to prove it. Do an internet search for him. You'll find thathe still lives in Wisconsin.

At Wed Apr 19, 04:39:00 PM PDT, Blogger Chick On A Broom said...

I remember Burt (too bad he doesn't remember me) It seems like I am the only one he has not written about. I always thought Burt was nice and even though he was EXTREMEMLY quiet, I knew there was a wild side. Peace!

At Fri Dec 03, 09:02:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...


Who is Burt?

Some might suggest that this could take years to uncover and psychoanalyze, but I don't think it's all that terribly complicated actually.

Let me preface this by saying, I have no formal training in psychology or psychiatry. I have simply walked a very different type of path (career wise anyway) than most of the graduates of this fine class and have had opportunities to meet many personality types, ranging from juvenile delinquents up to cold blooded killers.

That being said, my opinion is that Burt does not really fit any type of true criminal profile. In all fairness, I do not really know the "true" story behind the ceiling tile vandalism or the stage curtain event. But, apart from those two comparitively minor criminal acts, I don't think much more sinister lurks.

Burt was, in essence, just another teenage kid trying to find his way. He didn't necessarily need attention, or really seek it out, but he enjoyed shocking people and getting that "shock value" attention nonetheless.

Did I think he was a Satanist? No. Did I think he was heavily involved in drugs? No. Did some people think both were true? Without question, yes. Did Burt really give a shit either way? Who knows...that was the beauty.

What clique or circle did Burt fit in...I don't really know. It seems to me that the circles were less defined and much more blurred back then. Maybe that's my own nostalgia coming out, but it's how I remember it.

Burt, and ultimately Richard and Dave, and hell all of us were simply trying to find our niche in society. Burt took an unorthodox approach to it, no doubt, but eventually turned out as normal, if not more normal, than many of us that thought we were back then.

Looking back, I wish I would have spent more time talking to Burt and appreciating the creative genius that obviously existed but went unnoticed by so many of us. But then again, he put poop on my porch...hard to get past that one.

The existence of this blog has made me reach back and reexamine some of my thinking. I have concluded that we were really not all that different perhaps, we just took different approaches in trying to get to the same place.

This is as profound as I get, I apologize to Meff if I posted prior to his certain response to this profile. I'm looking forward to the final seventy five percent or so profiles that are left.


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