Downright Good Thought: Whatever happened to … Michael “Squints” Palledorus??

The July 4th holiday has come and gone. Many of you may have spent the day grilling out, watching fireworks, or just plain old doing nothing. Hopefully you had some time to see family, friends, or some other significant people in your life. And if you want to count your dog or you cat in that mix, then by all means, do so.
For me, I’ve always looked forward to this holiday. The first reason being the time honored tradition of celebrating our great country. Much props to our ancestors for being nothing short of awesome and giving us the opportunities that we have now. Secondly, the 4th marks the peak of the summer; a time that’s literally smack dab in the middle of the year. That being said, I know I’m assured to get at least rain or sun come July 4th. No snow and no blizzards makes this Midwestern man a very happy individual. This year, my part of the world endured a day that had temperatures upwards of 90 degrees (can I getta ‘awesome’?)
So anyway, knowing that the weather was going to semi-agreeable, you hopefully wantede to be outside doing something. Antyhing. Just so long as it’s outside and not within the confines of your own home.

In my case, I decided that I would go to the pool. The public pool no less. Real shocker there, eh? Warm outside…day off from work…yes, I deserve a day by the pool. Sure, public pools are altogether gross and disgusting but there are some perks to be had. I’m either going to spend the day scoping out some potential Mrs. or furthering my chances of getting skin cancer. In the end, I’m doing both but the latter is easier to forget about when you see a lovely lady across the deep end.

But this brings me to my real reason for writing this: Wendy Peffercorn. Don’t know her? Well, to sum up, she was the object of lust, desire, and all that is ‘woman’ in the move the The Sandlot (one of my favorites of all time). She was a lifeguard in this movie, and a major babe by all accounts of the word. Wendy was a secondary character at best in the film, but she was placed opposite one of the main characters, a pre-pubescent baseball player aptly named “Squints”, during one of the movie’s more famous scenes. This young boy Squints, whose birth name in the movie is Michael Palledorus, decides that he’s going to fake drowning so he can get Wendy to save him. This idea is met with much confusion by his other friends, who can only stand by and watch as Squints jumps off the diving board and into the deep end (which just so happens to be a place he can’t go because well, the kid can’t even swim).

As you can surmise, or remember if you saw the film, Wendy jumps from atop her ivory tower to young Squints’ rescue, saving him from drowning. Then, just like any responsible  and highly attractive lifeguard would do, Wendy performs mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the now lifeless Squints. In the midst of all the drama, Squints reveals that he’s actually ‘ok’ with a big smile abnd then patiently waits for Wendy to come in again before grabbing her close for what was most likely his very first kiss.


What follows is a scream from Wendy stating “you little pervert!”, a comment from one of his friends (“oh man, he’s in deep s***) and finally, a musical cue from the Drifter’s famous song, “This Magic Moment.” The whole scene is amazing in its pace, execution and eventual payoff. Squints’ little body is then forcibly dragged by Wendy to the exit gates and tossed onto the grass. She then gives him the “And stay out!” to which means the boys are all banned from the pool forever. Despite their banishment, Squints’ friends are too caught in the moment to be angry, as they immediately begin congratulating their friend on his soon-to-be legendary conquest.

And yes, it’s just as legendary to a guy like me today. What courage, what determination, and let’s be honest here, what freakin’ balls. Yeah, it was just a movie and those kinds of things can be done in movies, but how cool would that have been to have been Squints in that very moment? To have put everything on the line, with no guarantee of reward, and literally hope for the best. I say these things because I must ask the question – where have all the Michael ‘Squints’ Palledorus’ gone?

Ok, so the name is a little wordy, but you hopefully can follow what I’m saying. With all the goofy online dating sites, set ups mixers and goofy movies where the nerdy guy has to be beaten into submission by his ultra hot girlfriend to make him believe that he’s good enough for her, I can’t help but ask that question. Where’s the bravery? Where’s the sense of confidence? And where’s the cojones that men (even as boys) are supposed to possess to do such bold actions?

This somewhat depressing thought came to me when I chose my chair across the way from a couple of beach-tanned cuties. And as I recounted the end of Squints’ story (married to Wendy with nine kids), I started to feel some real gusto to go over and at least make my presence known.

But when two overly large, tatted-up, and even tanner brutes came walking over, I began to rethink my strategy. And by rethink, I mean to back down until one of the following occurs: it becomes blatantly obvious that these other guys are gay or one falls in while the other jumps in and both drown.

Well, neither of those scenarios were going to happen, but I waited it out regardless. And waited. And waited. Until the foursome got up and left their coveted spots for some other group to take. On the pass by though, I did get that nice little ‘last look’ from both ladies, but that’s just a passing glance and nothing to write home about. The one solace I could take in this was knowing that both these dudes must have sensed another buck out to strut and thereby had to assert their territory. Ok, my hats off to you guys in that case. If I were you guys, I’d probably be doing the same if I had a pretty lady like that to call my own.

All things considered, I had a great 4th of July regardless. Played a lot of water volleyball, got some much needed sun, and am now dealing with arms that resemble neapolitan ice cream (white, brown and pink in case you needed that reference). Perhaps there will be another day for the “Squints” in me to appear, but it will sadly have to be another day. I’ll just make sure it’s not until the next 4th of July to make it happen. Our lives aren’t like the movies, but we can certainly take some lessons away when they are the right kind of lessons. And sure, showing the courage to put the moves on a lifeguard may just be one of the best ones out there.

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