I was a teenage preppie wannabe: … I was busted in my freshman English class by my teacher, Mr. Steptoe, for hiding reading material behind my textbook. (Telltale signs: I didn’t answer him when I was called on, and I was sitting in the front row of class — and I was one of those Hands of Perpetual Levitation students.)

The material in question? Lisa Birnbach’s The Official Preppie Handbook.”

Of course, this was 16 years ago. I believe the statute of limitations has expired. But on certain still nights, I can hear the laughter of my classmates ringing in the air before me and see the single raised eyebrow of Mr. Steptoe, a Roscoe Lee Browne manque if ever there was one.

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