© Copyright 2020 by Jerry Crenshaw
Kent said. “Don’t say nothing when I’m concentrating”. I never had that problem myself.
I was Kent’s roommate at UT in Knoxville while mom was tending his quail business back home. Kent would fly home from Knoxville every other weekend to Memphis. He was majoring in Engineering Physics, “Slide rule Pool”. Engineering Physics (rocket science) as we called it today was probably one of the hardest curriculum at Knoxville. Even with the quail business I think he graduated Lordy Come Louder. He made almost all A’s. Cousin Joe Gordon Grumme has some of that type brainpower also. It must have been in the Crenshaw Family somewhere. Ruffus Crenshaw had developed the non-formal self education of “Leverage and loquatious flow” a generation before them. He was a rocket scientist at heart. Oh yes, I graduated too. It was Lordy how come with me.
Kent’s study habits were to attend the classes, and the night before the test he would work through all the example questions at the beginning of the chapter and then sleep on them. He said, “Letting it work itself as he slept. He didn’t do or turn in any home work. So this was his only shot.
One morning about 2 or 3 am in the morning I eased out of my study room (the Kitchen) and slipped in to bed without making a sound, you could hear a feather when it hit the floor it was so quiet. We had a system. Before I could drop off to sleep I heard Kent moving toward his bed. I watched him hold the heavy book, easing the pages over one by one holding the book to the flickering light as the ever so slowly maneuvered under his covers. I could hear breathing getting slower and slower as he reached up and clicked off the light. I could hear his mind clicking shut. Click, Click, Click.
I waited till he had laid the book down and I said softly “Good night Kent. Well DUH, wooooooooooa………
Have you ever wished you hadn’t said something right as it is coming out of your mouth.”Bad Timing”. Really Bad Timing ooooh shooooot.
I mean, “give me a break”, we had been studing for 6 hours non-stop without food, water, coughing, grunting, exclaiming or either swollering with a ump. We had even trained the cockroaches and grand daddy longlegs to tiptoe while we were studying.
You know that spontaneous flush of blood rushing to your head and the adrenaline pumping in that flight of fight mode. You just made the “The Big Guy Mad” feeling.
There I was, helpless, max-ed out, with him between me and the door. Running was not an option. Passing out was. Passing anything was. Remember, I’m not confrontational by nature. No one, but maybe his wife Betty knows when not to speak to Kent, better than I. ( Remind me to tell you about the time he shot me in the Temple with a BB Gun later). He had not told me that this was the hardest course in quantitative Physics he was studing. Nor did I know that this teacher was what they called the hatchet man or the eliminator. It was the one teacher Kent had to get through praying, hanging on to maybe made an F+ or D- just to get into the upper stages of Rocket Classes. Where was my brain, I knew the system. He was a third year roommate, I should have known. If it moves it dies. The slightest move or sound called for a row of frogs up and down my arm. This was even worse. I pulled the covers over my head in the dark. Now I am thinking that was a mistake too. My life was passing before me there in the dark. Has Kent ever explained something to you and you forgot? Well I got the T-Shirt that reminds me. Laying there I could count to ten between each tick of my Quartz watch.
I heard him pickup the 20 pound physic book. I was thinking I should have gone to the bathroom before coming to bed. I knew the system. I wasn’t real smart, I wasn’t a rocket scientist, remember. At this point I was a budding horticulturist, with symptoms of root and brain rot, drought mouth and limp wilt. You don’t have to know much about Physics at this point, at this point, at this point. I am really thinking Real Estate, Location, Location and Location. Where is he going to put this big book. DUH, Leverage, DUH fulcrum, DUH Equilibrium, DUH pain.
I was thinking I wanted to protect the most valuable part of me. If I turned over he might hit me in the back of my head. If I didn’t I wouldn’t need my brain anyhow. I couldn’t hear him getting out of bed. I can’t remember anything after that. My bed was soaking wet the next morning. Cold Clammy Sweat. I didn’t mention anything the next morning nor did I venture a “good morning Kent”. One of the rules is that you don’t speak the next morning before the test either. That’s the System. Don’t ask Kent about this because I don’t think he let his mind de focus enough to remember that night. I did ask him later how the test went. He said it was the hardest test ever given, I think I flunked it. That was his standard answer. I found out later that he aced it. DUH.