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Monologue by Philip T. Champion

Champion, Philip T
Huss, Jennifer
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places; Stories and Storytellers; Childhood Adventures; Then and Now; Tolerance and Respect
Philip Champion talks about childhood altercations he was involved in.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Jennifer Huss interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
PC (Philip Champion): OK. So the story I'm telling is when I was around 10 years old. I lived in a neighborhood with a bunch of kids that I hung out with and the neighborhood kid down the block had a tree house. So, usually every day after school we would go to the tree house and hang out around the tree house in this one kid's back yard, played in his tree house, different games, such and such. Well, one kid in the neighborhood always had the reputation of starting trouble. So, uh, one afternoon we discovered that the bee, that the, uh, tree house had a bees' nest in it. So all afternoon we tried to figure out how to get it out, with a rake, spraying stuff on it, nothing would work, so. We tried several different things and after every one of them failed we decided to, uh, squirt the bees' nest with a hosepipe. So we had to, uh, the one, the original hosepipe was not long enough, so we had to get another one and attach the two together to reach all the way back to the backyard and then up in the tree house. After doing all, doing all this, the, uh, we finally got the hose to the correct length. The whole purpose of getting the, uh, bees' nest out of the tree house is because we had a litter of kittens that were staying in the tree house. And we had to rescue the kittens, of course. So we take the hosepipe, me and another kid, take the hosepipe up the ladder, its probably 25 feet off the ground, 20 feet or so, and the one kid is in the front and I'm following right behind him, we're pulling the hose pipe up the, uh, up the ladder. So we get to the top, one kid goes in, I'm right behind him, I hand the hosepipe to him, and not thinking when we squirted the bees' nest that the bees were going to go everywhere and attack us. So, the kid turned the water on, and we blasted the bees' nest with the water, totally soaking it. Well, at that time more bees than we could imagine came out of the bees' nest. The kid in front turned around, uh, to run out, and when he did, kicked me out of the way. I fell all the way down the ladder, head first, all the way to the ground, hitting the ground headfirst. Ended up with a mouth full of mud, bruised and bloody face. The other kid got stung by a couple of bees. I also got stung by a couple of bees. And, uh, eventually after that all the bees died and, we saved the kittens. [Break] And we did save the kittens. Everything went well, but, after, the whole, my friend pushing me down the stairs, it created a big tension for us throughout, for, many years to come, actually. We, uh, after that, the next day, um, came home from school, of course rode the bus, and uh, the bus dropped me off at home. And, I'd healed a little bit from falling, from getting pushed down the stairs, landing on my face. And I, um, we basically [pause] feuded for a couple of years to come, but that day, after coming home, I just got mad, still mad about the day before about getting pushed down the stairs, so I go down to the guy's, to the guy's house, who, he, uh, he lived right down the road from me. So I go down to his house, everything's fine, at first. I was kind of blowing it off, not worrying about it that much. But then, we, uh, something, something happened that day, don't remember what it was, but we got in an argument, so we got in an argument and we uh, actually got in a fight, fist fight, we, uh, beat each other up. And [pause] pretty much couldn't really, there was really no winner to the story but we, uh, we fought, fought that day, friends broke us up, went home that night, and, uh, really didn't see him for about another month. Another month comes along, I'm over at my friend's house. I'm sitting on, uh, there were, he had some stairs going down the back, uh, out his backdoor of his house. I was sitting on the stairs, they were wooden stairs, and, uh, sitting there with my legs hanging off and, he, uh, the same guy by the tree house, his name is, uh, DJ, he, uh, came up, my legs hanging off, thought it'd be funny to just grab my legs and pull me off the porch. Well, when he did that, I had on shorts and, uh, it was kind of a rough, rough edge, rough wood edge to the stairs. So he did that, my shorts came up and it skinned the back of my legs, the, um, the stairs did. So, after that, he, of course I was laying on the ground hurting for a little bit. And I just got mad, couldn't take this dude anymore. He ran off, of course, and I just went looking for him throughout the neighborhood. So I caught him over in, in, uh, behind somebody's house. He was sitting in a chair, didn't see me come up behind him. So I came up behind him, uh, punched the guy in the side of the head, and we began to fight and I was mad. I pretty much beat him up pretty bad. And uh, then I went home and his mom called my grandmother and was complaining about 'cause I beat the guy up. So then it came to bear that we couldn't hang out anymore. So we did not hang out for a while, a good while after that. We, uh, a couple years later we ended up becoming friends again, and uh, the same thing happened after couple months of hanging out with no incidents. We fought again over, uh, some comic books, something, he had stolen, or he had said they were his but they were really my comic books. And anyway, he took them, and I proceeded to fight him again over these comic books. So we got in another fight and after that his mom said to my grandmother again, you, that, uh, they didn't think that we needed to hang out again. So after that we really didn't hang out that much. We'd always, me and my friends would always see him out in the neighborhood and we would never hang out with the kid. Um, it was basically just a, it was always trouble when we hung out so we really didn't hang out that much after that. But, um, [long pause] probably ten or five, five or six years later we actually became friends again and never really had any incidents after that where we, had any arguments or got in a fight or anything like that. We were, just became good friends after that and, uh, that's how [pause] I guess, we kind of learned our lessons, uh, from the times before that, from all the, all the things that, all the run-ins that we had. But, no more fights later [pause] in our friendship.