Year Books are commemorative books that came out at the end of each school year, which you paid seventy-five dollars for, flipped through once, got the hottest girl to sign, and then put behind your bookshelf to collect dust.
"Oh boy, the yearbooks are in!" Kids start shoving you to get to the boxes. Finally you get your yearbook, careful not to let your bleeding nose stain the cover.
"Jessica! Jessica, will you sign my yearbook?" You have searched all over the building for her, and finally caught her. She's surrounded by other boys just like you hoping to get her coveted signature (If this is High School, she's the most popular, prettiest girl in school. If it's Junior High, she's the first of girls your age to sprout breasts. If it's elementary school, you're a pedophile who has stolen a yearbook. Enjoy prison, you sick bastard). You grin sheepishly as Beautiful Girl scrawls her name.
You find the guy you suspect [Jessica] has a crush on and ask to sign his yearbook, just so you can see what she wrote in it. "Jessica wrote Ben a whole message... And dotted her 'i' with a heart." Yeah, there's always Popular Guy that matches up perfectly with Beautiful Girl. It's not you. But damn it, she's signed your yearbook, that's got to mean something. Keep trying sport.
You flip through the year book. "Man, I'm not in it very much."
"Man, Ben's in here all the time."
Two girls who you don't like (they aren't [Jessica]) write lengthy messages declaring their love for you.
Junior-high love triangles. Weren't they the best?
One last flip through before bed. Go ahead and encircle [Jessica]'s name with a heart. No, no, it's not gay at all, that's like, really sweet. While you're at it scratch out [Ben]'s picture. He's such an ass.
It's moved twice all summer. Once, you actually looked at it (specifically, [Jessica]'s picture and her lovely highlighted signature) and the other because it was the hiding spot for your Penthouse for a very brief amount of time. Who knew mothers looked at Yearbooks?
"New Yearbook, oh awesome, look how much we've changed."
"Oh wow, my old yearbook has been behind the water heater this whole time? I wondered where it was." (No you didn't).
"Did I really put a heart around Jessica's name?" Realize that [Jessica] was a total bitch, and wonder why you ever liked her.
"Oh my God, Austin! Man, that kid was funny, I had almost forgotten about him."
Look at an old yearbook to get emotions required to write a Year Book topic page for a popular comedy website.
After the first reunion, you want to relive some of the memories. God, you guys were so young. And God, your piers are so worthless now. Check out the superlatives for your senior year. Notice that 'most attractive' is a hapless drunk and 'most athletic' works as a mechanic. Pat yourself on the back for staying mediocre instead of jumping the extremes.
"Why are so many of these signatures teacher's?" Because you were a loser, that's why.
Your spouse finds the yearbook in a storage box and gets it out.
"Who the hell is Austin and why did he write 'Butt-fuckers for life!'? Did I even know that guy?"
Realize you don't remember who half of those people were despite crying graduation night because you'd never see them again.
Also realize you were either much more successful in high school, or a complete failure. Grab tissues to cry for either reason.
Count the number of people you know who have died.
Wonder how so-and-so is doing. Make a mental note to call him/her. Forget to call.
Have your kids laugh at you for fashion styles in your golden era. Try to explain what it meant when that girl wrote 'I'll never forget prom night. It was such a good time. Hope we can do it again sometime.' Try not to feel guilty about that abortion she had.
Never look at it again.
As indicated, one of the most crucial parts of social life in school is the signing of yearbooks. Your cool status is directly dependent on how many people you have signing your yearbook. Now, generally the coolest, prettiest people don't ever have to ask. Other kids seek them out and ask if they can do a quick yearbook swap. By the end of the day, their John Hancock has spread like STDs in a 1970s college, and their signature page is hardly legible as each person who signed it wanted to make theirs the most noticeable, meaning they wrote in gigantic bubble letters and didn't give a damn whose name they wrote over.
But if you were like us, just the average student, you were frantically going from person to person and asking them to sign your yearbook. It didn't matter if you hadn't said six words to them all year, 'Dude, sign my yearbook!' you'll say as if he was the person you'd choose to go into a foxhole with.
Be sure that, in signing friend's yearbooks, you both write out inside jokes that won't make sense when you look back at them seven years from now. (What the hell was "Jell-O on my nips!" supposed to mean? You'll never know again).
ALWAYS carry a pen with you. You absolutely, positively, CANNOT ask someone for an extra writing utensil, because that writing utensil will be a highlighter. But YOU'D better have extras, because the coolest kids don't carry that stuff around, they are allowed to ask if they can borrow it from you. That's the pecking order, and there's nothing you can do about it.
There is one exception to the forgettable yearbook rule, and that is the yearbook you get in your graduating year. It's important because seniors are always displayed prominently, and because it's the final commemorative outing for your graduating class. The signatures won't just be signatures, they will be long treatises saying 'how awesome it's been' and how you'll be 'friends forever.' What you don't know at that point is that you'll 'lose touch with half of those people in the first six months of college.' But that doesn't mean it won't be fun to read later on, right?
Also, the senior yearbook often contains the incredibly awesome senior quote. This is a quotation you pick to display under your picture, so whenever people look at it that's what they'll see. In other words, make it good. If you're trying to be funny, it better be really funny. And if you're quoting yourself, it needs to so funny people are hospitalized with short term asthma from laughing so hard. Nothing looks douchier than people who quote themselves seriously.
Above: A total ass-hat.
Take some time to look at a senior yearbook (preferably yours, if you have on) and get a good laugh at all the stupid morons who have eternally embarrassed themselves by putting "Lotty Dotty, we's likes to party"-Snoop Dog, "That's hot,"-Paris Hilton, or "It's party time tonight,"-Missy Elliot, as their senior quote. Smile at your inspiring but wryly funny senior quote, and don't realize everybody considers you an arrogant, pompous jackass for it.