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  • John buys a mountain bike at Big Lake, AK. 
  • John goes to a swimming party at Big Lake in a brown tuxedo, drinking whisky from a milk bottle. He steals everyone’s shoes. 
    • Why don’t more people want to talk about LBJ? 
  • The benefits of starting school a year later. 
  • What makes cool kids cool? 
  • Young Merlin's problem to solve: why aren't all girls into me?
    • "I have lots of trading cards, I'm really cool..." -MM
  • John needed to learn to "shhhhhhh. Shh shh shh shh."
  • ~40:00- geek vs. nerd 
  • 42:00- John tells the story of the debate team girl. Anchorage in full bloom. Disastrous relationship with a charming young girl. (Ed.- love this story). 
    • Self conscious about whether or not he belonged in Debbie Smith's scene, he got drunk at her party and made a scene.
    • 1988 was an awful year. 
  • 55:00- No Morgan Freeman ever deigned to give John advice in school. He was starved for it. 
    • Every single God character in his story was busy talking to another kid. 
    • Even the good teachers misunderstood the advice he needed. 
      • The teachers were talking amongst themselves how much tail John got. He was still a virgin. They misread his bluster. 
    • The idea of being the big man on campus. 
    • They saw John's flailing. But they saw the projection and not what he really was. 
    • What he wanted his teachers to say was, “Hey look, this game we’re playing, this thing that you’re in. This school, these people. This is small beer. Life is not actually anything like this. There is a place for you in the world.” 
  • Kids
    • Treat them like cats. They are vulnerable, and they know they’re vulnerable. 
    • And an asshole is not what you call someone you want to reform. It suggests that any effort would be wasted.