Dream Deck

August 15, 2013

Linking up with MamaKat today answering the prompt: Tell us about a time when you wanted to punch someone.


I’m not a violent person by nature–I am a card-carrying member of the passive/aggressive club–but in my dreams, my sweet, sweet dreams–I’m back in 4th grade, smashing a mean right hook directly in Kevin Gasvoda’s kisser.

Kevin Gasvoda was incredibly, impossibly popular.

Let me put it this way. Kevin Gasvoda was so popular that, in the entire four years I knew him, not ONCE did I hear a kid tease him about his last name.

I mean, come on!

Gasvoda? That’s just begging for some serious ribbing, right there.

My shitty last name–Hagmeyer–earned me Grade-A torment on the playground.  How could you not mess with a kid named after farts?

But nobody ever messed with Kevin.

Kevin was golden-boy handsome, with a tawny mane of wavy hair and piercing green eyes and impossibly white teeth. He reminded me of a sexy wolverine.

He also had the annoying capability to ace every test, in every subject. Kids like that suck. Where’s the dang Achilles heel? It’s not fair to the rest of us mortals.

He carried himself with confident grace that bordered on cocky. But nobody called him cocky. We were too busy dropping our jaws in awe.

The final nail in my coffin was that Kevin Gasvoda possessed the most beautiful penmanship of any human being I’ve ever known. Boys aren’t supposed to have immaculate penmanship, but Kevin’s cursive letters were works of art. Mine were scraggly and untidy and wandered off the lines, but Kevin’s was perfect.

Another detail?

Kevin could be a monumental dick.

Not only was he a dick, he was the worst kind of dick. The Capricious Dick.

The Capricious Dick is a menace.

People who are Regular Dicks or Evil Dicks make life easy because they are almost always engaging in dickish behavior, which leads you to the realization that, “Hey, this kid is a dick.”

Capricious Dicks have the element of surprise on their side, because they’re not always dicks. Sometimes they’re charming or funny or kind of borderline nice. But then, when you begin to relax and think the coast is clear? BAM! They sucker-punch you with dick.

Dangerous stuff, man.

Kevin was particularly dangerous because he was so cute and so smart that teachers loved him. Even when he was being a dick, they’d love him, which was karmic injustice at its finest.

Example of Dick Behavior that Teachers Found Charming: In sixth grade, we did math circles. Basically, you were grouped with 5 other kids and when it was time to check math homework, you sat in a circle and did troubleshooting. Our teacher, Mrs. Johnson, would wander around, answering questions and explaining things when certain group members didn’t understand (which in my case, was a lot).

Kevin was in my group, which blew big-time because he learned very quickly that I suckity-sucked at math. One afternoon, after several attempts to explain to me why I kept making the same error over and over, Kevin rolled his beautiful eyes and gnashed his beautiful teeth and threw up his beautiful hands. “Aw, Hell with it,” he said. “You’re never going to get this right.”

Mrs. Johnson, who was within earshot, whirled around and skewered Kevin with a gaze. “What. Did. You. Just. Say?”

I almost peed myself just looking at her.

Kevin grinned (did I mention that the little cretin had a dimple? So unfair.) Without missing a beat he replied, “Halibut. It’s a fish. Have you ever eaten it? It’s delicious.”


She thought that was about the most adorable thing ever and burst into laughter.

This same teacher who kept me in from recess for three whole days because a kid flipped me the bird on a field trip and I responded in kind.

Injustice! Bald-faced injustice!!!


Back to the real story. Re-wind to 4th grade. Now the fact that this incident occurred in the 4th grade does not absolve me of blame. I’d been attending school with Kevin since second grade, so prior dickishness had already been witnessed. It’s not that I didn’t know any better.

But I’m stupid.

That year, the universe had blessed me with Terrible Mrs. Tannehill for a teacher. And, even luckier! Terrible Mrs. Tannehill was retiring at the end of the school year, so that wizened old bag didn’t give a rip how mean she was to us. And she was m-e-a-n.

Because I’m a human watering pot and burst into tears if anyone just looks at me wrong, I was one of her most treasured targets. I went through an arsenal of Kleenex that year.

That bottle-orange, balding bee-yotch had it out for me. She’d curl her lips back in a sneer, flashing her yellow Mr. Ed teeth, and drawl, “Could your skull be any thicker?” during math time.

In truth, I longed to punch Terrible Tannehill in the pie-hole, too, but this is a Kevin story, so I’ll get to it.

Once in a blue fucking moon while, we’d finish our work early and have 5 or so minutes until the bell rang, ending the day. Then Terrible Tannehill would ask if anyone had any jokes or funny stories or interesting things that they’d like to share with the class.

Never, ever, did I share. Because when you shared, you had to stand up in front of your desk and pitch your little story, and I was definitely not up for that kind of scrutiny.

But one day, in late April, I shared. Not one peep from August to April had spilled from my person, but that day I shared.

We’d had a friend of Daddy’s over for dinner the day prior, and he’d told a joke that we all thought was smash-up funny. We howled around the table, hands smacking the wood surface and wiping our eyes.

A joke that funny was worth the risk. So I tentatively raised an arm.

I stood on my scrawny, trembling legs and told a joke that, unfortunately, a few blokes in the room had heard before. Even worse, it was one of those question-and-answer jokes, where the jokester poses a question, counts on someone from the peanut gallery to blurt out an answer and then BAM! Hits them with the punchline.

I reached the “pregnant pause” stage of the joke and Kevin Gasvoda jumped to his feet, held out a hand and hollered, “Nobody answer her!”

And everyone complied.

I stood there, face blazing, trying very hard not to cry. I couldn’t even look at him, because I knew I’d go to puddle.


I stood there. And stood there. And stood.

I looked at Terrible Tannehill. Surely, she would intervene and tell Kevin that this was dickery?

That bitch was grinning. Fondly. At Kevin.

I sank back into my seat.

Point taken, Kevin.

Some people are destined to win, and the others eat their dust.

But Kevin? In my dreams, it is you who gets squashed.


{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby August 15, 2013 at 5:37 am

Pardon my language, but what a dick. And the teacher? Not much better. They both deserve to be stuck in an elevator together with nothing but a Taylor Swift/John Tesh soundtrack in the background and a case of explosive diarrhea.


TKW August 15, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Abby, I raise you a Taylor Swift and give you a John Mayer. Love you, girl.


Anonymous August 15, 2013 at 5:46 am

Ok. That is just so awful. I hate Kevin and Terrible Tannehill. Abby ^ has the right idea. Is Kevin on Facebook or twitter by any chance? Is TT still alive. Because it would be fun to post this post on Kevin’s wall about 500 times……And TT we could mail it to her over and over and over again.


TKW August 15, 2013 at 6:24 pm


Nah, I think he wouldn’t remember one single thing about that incident. That’s the privilege the beautiful people have. And I a pretty sure TT is being served virgin margaritas in Hell. At least I hope so.


Jamie August 15, 2013 at 6:11 am

Punch to the face? Too kind. A dick of that degree deserves a punch in the…


Biz August 15, 2013 at 8:36 am

Isn’t it the weirdest things our brains remember from grammar school? You are such an awesome writer Dana – and if I were there I would have held Kevin down for you to take a few punches! :D


TKW August 15, 2013 at 6:25 pm


Between you and me? We could do damage. Especially with those Insanity workouts you have been doing. :)


Jennifer August 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I couldn’t resist. I had to Google him. And I bet he’s the same Kevin Gasvoda that worked for Goldman Sachs in their mortgage division. Looks like he stayed a dick.


TKW August 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm


Holy fuck to the fuck! You Googled him? THIS is why you are one of my favorite people on the planet. My husband and I are laughing our butts off. You are a treasure. I love you, sassy girl.


Heidi August 16, 2013 at 10:21 am

It totally is him. Linked In says he went to CU Boulder. I wonder if people like that remember that they were such jerks in school?


Velva August 15, 2013 at 5:38 pm

He probably is still one today…


TKW August 15, 2013 at 6:29 pm


Count on it. It’s a given. xoxo


elizabeth August 15, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Michael and I, no lie, were having a conversation/debate about Sheryl Sandberg and Lean In and how she’s looking for an unpaid intern to do some schlubby work, and while we had arguments the other disagreed with, we both came to the same conclusion: people who are enormously successful are rarely good people.

In any case, no matter what he grew up to become, it’s pretty safe to say that in elementary school, he was That Asshole. (swear jar)


TKW August 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm

You would have loved Sandberg’s talk at BlogHer. I left within 10 minutes to do something I cared about–packing my suitcase.


Alison August 15, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Kevin GASvoda clearly deserves a throat punch and kick up the you know where. What an asshat.


Tiffany August 16, 2013 at 4:37 am

First? Those teachers suck. Second? I hope Kevin grew up to be a total loser. And if he didn’t? Hopefully he has a micropenis.


TKW August 16, 2013 at 8:03 am


Guys like Kevin almost always come out on top, so I’m rooting for the micropenis. You make me laugh!


Mary Lee August 16, 2013 at 6:07 am

Had one of those little bastards in my 7th grade class. His name was Larry. I don’t remember his last name. Should have been Asshat. He loved to do impressions of his classmates as entertainment. Some were amusing. For mine–the skinny, shy kid in the corner– he held his fingers to his eyes as imaginary glasses and did an exaggerated overbite with his mouth. Oh, he was a funny one, that Larry!


TKW August 16, 2013 at 8:03 am


I wish Larry a lifetime of bunions and hemorrhoids.


Renee August 16, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I enjoyed your very funny story. I left a longer comment yesterday but it disappeared.


TKW August 17, 2013 at 7:28 am

Thanks for letting me know, Renee! I’ll look for your comment–they do disappear sometimes. ARGH. Glad you came by!


ReneeJay August 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I will definitely be back. I love your writing style. I had to use a different E-mail address to leave my new comment because for some reason my other one was treated like spam. I tried several times to use it here but couldn’t get past the CAPTCHA code. See you around Mama Kat’s for some future writing prompts. :-)


Kat August 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I’m google searching him and ordering pizza anonymously to his home TONIGHT.

And that’s for 4th grade Kevin GASSYSMELLYVODA!!

And no I’m not going to pay for it over the phone!


TKW August 19, 2013 at 7:01 am


Make sure the pizza has extra anchovies! And I hope it gives him GAS!


Kel August 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I too, knew right from wrong in 4th grade. However, due to some circumstances at home and at school, any bullying I faced was met with my fists. I was in a tiny little Catholic School, and was a tomboy anyhow, so I was pitifully inept at the covert bullying of girls. No, I was a fighter.

But I was also protective of other kids who were being bullied. If you and I were in school together? I can guarantee, with 100% certainty, that Kevin Assvoda would’ve met with a face full of thornbush, extremely bruised shins, and a sore cheekbone where my own knuckles got bruised.


TKW August 20, 2013 at 7:44 pm


Much to the dismay of my Southern-bred mother, I am a firm disbeliever of “turn-the-other-cheek.”

No way. Only turned cheek is waiting for my daughter’s fist.

I was bullied for years, and my girls know well and clear that they can cry or they can ball a fist.


Liz August 20, 2013 at 2:45 am

UGH. You know who I hate more than Capricious Dick, RIGHT? RIGHT? Yep, you know me: that damned teacher Tannehill. Seriously. WTF?
That story was fuckin’ painful. True assholes…the two of them. But as a teacher…GOOD GOD, what was wrong with that woman?!?


TKW August 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm


She has a special place in a really, really hot sauna. I love you.xo


Contemporary Troubadour August 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm

“When you begin to relax and think the coast is clear? BAM! They sucker-punch you with dick.”

I pictured this in a literal fashion and laughed. I don’t think I’ve met Capricious Dick in my life yet, but I have had the unfortunate displeasure of knowing his cousin, Best Platonic Guy Friend Turned Capricious Asshat. Long story. Short conclusion: I don’t think I’d like to punch said cousin, but I would like to call him on all his bullshit. Must locate guts first.


Chris Doherty December 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Thanks for this story Kat. I know I’m late to read and comment on this story, it was posted over 3 years ago. The “Kevin” in this post is a great metaphor/stand-in for any capricious dick in the history of your lives.
But for me, this same guy, Kevin Gasvoda, continued to be a capricious dick through Junior High and High School.
I’m not sure why I google-searched for his name yesterday, but I think I was wanting to see if he wound up a great fabulous success or a ridiculous full-blown narcissist. Turns out that the news stories from Goldman Sachs kind of proved he grew up to be both. As happy as I was to see that Kevin had a public come-uppance, it was this blog story that brought a full closure for me.
Kat, I’m sorry I didn’t know you in grades 2-5. But I feel, and validate, your pain. I hope you have been able to grow through it. I did just a bit more reading your story. Thanks.


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