In elementary school I was in a club with 3 other boys. I guess I was in several clubs in elementary school, probably as many rock bands as I've been a part of as an 'adult' but anyway, I was in a club called "R.A.T.S!" which stood for "Running Around The School."

What this meant, was that during recess, when everyone else was outside on the playground, we would sneak back into the school and see how long we could dart around the hallways without being spotted by a teacher. Usually, we could do this either till recess was over or until we came up with a cooler idea that required being outside again. We felt like spies sneaking around. Every day I forgot to bring my plastic periscope in from home and every day I kicked myself for it.

We were all sworn to secrecy, as R.A.T.S. probably broke more school rules than anything any of us had ever done. No teacher could ever know what R.A.T.S. stood for. If so, word would get out that we needed to be watched and we would never be able to sneak away from the playground unnoticed again.

In the end, a kid who's name I can't remember, who may very well be listed as my 'friend' on facebook today, pried out of me what our name stood for. I had written the acronym on various different shapes and sizes of paper and taped them down to my desk till it was covered. He wanted to know how he could be a part of whatever it was, and he wouldn't stop asking. I think I finally told him thinking that the truth would frighten him away. As if to say "Look, we're the BAD kids, you don't want to get mixed up with us." But it didn't work. When he learned what it was, and that I didn't want him involved, he promptly stood up, stomped up to the front of the class, and told the teacher on us. She stood up and repeated it to the whole class, what this kid had said, and asked if it was true.

I raced to come up with some good academic pursuit that R.A.T.S. could be an acronym for (We were the kids that wanted to wRite Awesome Textbooks Someday! or Recite Arithmetic Tables Spontaneously!) but sadly I'm 25 years late with those answers.

Our awesome logos came off our desks, recess became about siting tires on 1/2 buried in wood-chips and watching others play kickball. We were no longer super cool, and we never would have fun again. Well, not until the day that I had the local sports shop print up t-shirts for our awesome new club called "The Tigers."

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