The Triumphant Tales of Jay Beeman
The sight of an intimidating figure in chainmail and helmet during assemblies and tug-of-war competitions is an oddity, to be sure. After all, we seldom have the opportunity to witness medieval costumes or take part in crazy experiences. But for junior Jay Beeman, this is his normal.
March 2, 2019
Part One: Of Armor and Weaponry
“I got my first weapons when I went to Europe. I asked my parents as a joke if I could buy swords, because in Rome there are sword shops everywhere. Every other shop you see has real swords and gladiator helmets. They’re sword replicas, but they would break if you hit something because they’re still sharp and metal. These swords can cut you. They’ve cut me. I started getting them in Europe when I realized that I could get them pretty cheap on Amazon. I found my chainmail at a renaissance fair. I think the medieval era is pretty cool because that’s my favorite time in history, there was such a big variety of weapons compared to modern day, where we just have guns that shoot people. I also have axes, spears, a big pole arm, a native American bludgeon, a shark-tooth axe, a little tiny crossbow, a little obsidian Mayan dagger, and a big spiked mace.
“Can I use all of them? Yes. Do I know how to use them well? No. I can swing them around, but that’s it.”
Part Two: Of Adventurous Foods
“In pit orchestra, I started eating raw eggplants. I just had two and I started taking bites out of it every now and then. I was walking in the hallway after a performance and pass Tanner. I look him straight in the eye and take a huge bite and start chewing. It tasted like grass, except a little better.
“After the assembly where I wore Spartan armor, Dan Noble offered me a bite of his drumstick that he’d been eating. It only had a little bit of meat on the end. He asked if I wanted a bite and I said sure. I took it and crunched the bone. Tanner sees me doing this and said, “Uh, watch for bones, Jay.” I said “Okay” but there was shards of bones sticking out of my mouth.
“I made this catapult out of scissors in Kruzich’s class, and there was an apple stuck in the scissors that acted as a counterweight so I could propel things a few feet. I took the apple out—it was really mealy—and started stabbing it with the scissors. I put it on my desk. At this point, people are staring at me. So I slam my forehead down and the apple just spews outwards. There are a few chunks, but it’s mostly just mealy apple juice. I called it applesauce and started eating it. Kruzich asked what I did and I told her I was eating applesauce, and said, “I don’t know what the problem is.” And that was that.”
Part Three: Of Pickaxes and Coal
“I live on Tiger Mountain near an old coal mine, so there’s a lot of coal up there. I thought it’d be funny if, for Christmas, I gave a big chunk of coal to a teacher and told them, ‘You’ve been naughty this year.’ That’s exactly what I did to Kennedy—I gave him a 150-pound piece of coal. I took a wheelbarrow two
miles up the mountain, got the coal from a river, and hauled it back down. I put it in my car and brought it to Liberty, then Carter Cole and some other guys helped me carry it through the hallways and put it on Kennedy’s table. Carter also brought Kennedy a diamond Minecraft pickaxe to go with the coal. Kennedy wasn’t very happy. We squabbled for a while, then finally agreed on taking it out if Kennedy hung the pickaxe up in his room. A little while later some girl took it out of his class and sold the thing for $100, even though it was only worth about $1.50.
“As for getting in trouble, just remember the consequences for doing weird things. Ask yourself, “Am I really going to care about these things in a year or two years?” I do actually think before I do things. I do analyze the consequences, but if it’s worth it, I don’t really care.”