I picked "To the Extreme" as a title
'cause that's what Vanilla Ice has always been about.
by Francine DuBois
for Josh A.
They tell me that you married your ex-girlfriend's sister,
And I can't get the image of you in sixth grade out of my head,
The way you'd strip off that hideous earth-brown sweater
The instant you got to school--or a block before--
Slightly messing up your perfect skater haircut as you peeled off
The shackles of your mother and conflict avoidance.
Extreme is what you've always been, and it's why I loved
Sitting next to you in eighth grade science during the sex chapter.
We'd sit side by side, finish each other's sentences,
And scribble notes to each other about everyone else.
Back then, back in the days of "Ice Ice Baby"
Just knowing the words to the sexually explicit songs,
As we did, meant we were hardcore.
No one knew what we were talking about,
But we were the badasses of the honors class and that was all that mattered.
In high school, you became a cowboy for some reason,
Exchanged your hiphop for hillbilly, and your baggy pants
For boot-cut Wranglers. I didn't know you then--the gods
That make seating charts and class assignments separated us--
But I knew that I couldn't understand your language anymore.
Then you go and marry your ex-girlfriend's sister
And I know you succumbed to the whiskey-breathed
Murmurs of Conway Twitty or nasal twangs of Garth Brooks.
You're somewhere in Oklahoma, truck caked with red dirt,
Thriving in some bar that's advertised as "extreme country,"
Kissing your wife (or her sister, depending on how much you've had to
We should have run off somewhere together for a day
In eighth grade, gypped and gone to some R-rated movie,
And really been extreme, but we were really just sissies,
Rebelling in words only, words some marketing team manufactured
Just like the country craze that swallowed you whole.
Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's
Version -- Inspiration
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