Sunday, August 31, 2008

Club meeting now in session!

Note: As you read the following, please imagine that I am sitting in a director's chair.

Now that everyone is chowing down on contraband ring-dings pulled from hollow books and whatnot, let's get to our first order of business: The votes have been tabulated (BTW, I nominate Blogger for club treasurer), and our club name and colors have been determined! We are officially the Heartbreakers, and you can break out the embroidery floss and start weaving the club friendship bracelets in pink and purple.

I know, I know, it was a close race. I'm fully aware that if we ever have a falling out, some of you will start a rival club known as the Rocksies, and you will purchase extremely fashionable pink and green slouch socks.

Five of you naysayers even voted for the Rinkets just to spite me! But fortunately most of us wanted a club name that, you know, actually made sense of some kind.

Speaking of which, Brooksies came in dead last. It received a single vote, and whoever cast it, I applaud you. You are truly an individual, and I don't mean that in a Dawn Schafer kind of way. The club colors of yellow and green were also big losers, because, hi, we're not BOYS.

...Well, okay, some of us are boys, but until those of you with Y chromosomes start commenting with some regularity, it's extremely easy to pretend you're not here. La la la, la la la la.

Where was I? Oh yeah, my mom said that for the next meeting she can buy us puffy paint and we can make club T-shirts. All in favor? My design is going to be a broken heart surrounded by many double F "friends forever" symbols. You guys can copy if you want. I'm sure the shirts will come out looking super professional and store-bought, as that is the nature of puffy paint.

Also for next time: Please bring your proposals for a club code language. This business of passing notes in plain English is unacceptable!

Remember, the meeting is Tuesday after school at 3:45. See you then!

p.s. Part 4 of the Living With(out) Boys saga is forthcoming, I promise! But it will require some serious suspension of disbelief on your part. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, August 25, 2008

We Can Live Without Boys... Can't We?,
part 3

LAST TIME: The We Can Live Without Boys club was at last born—and quickly doubled its membership thanks to the addition of a new kid (Sam) and a smoker (Kelly). The club's main initiatives seemed to be:
1) Debating at great length the comparative hotness of Kirk Cameron and George Michael;
2) Making fun of the preposterously named Laurie Terd;
3) Complaining about Kelly's "troublemaker" cousin Emmy; and of course
4) Scheming to dress up as 10-year-old prostitutes on Halloween.

The day of Halloween. Hooker day.

Hooker day! It really says that!!!

The butterflies in my stomach were doing the jitterbug. I wasn't in the least bit hungry. Or the greatest bit for that matter. I decided to call Sherry.

"Hello. May I ask who's calling?"
"Hi, Sherry."
"Good morning, Maggie."
"I feel terrible. I'm so nervous. How are you?"
"I know the feeling."
"I gotta go eat breakfast. See ya later."

In reality, I knew that you could never get away with dressing up as a hooker in fourth grade (I'm pretty sure my costume that year was "fairy princess"), but my friends and I thought that if you could, it would be the Awesomest! Costume! Ever!

I went into my mom's room and peered into the full-length mirror. I was wearing a bikini; in between the top and bottom was something warm and see-thru
that I had Hilda sew on [think ice-skating prostitute]. Also, I wore my Jean-Jacket. Then, I wore my pink glow-in-the-dark tights. Some extremely high-heeled purple high-heels with straps were on my feet. Hot, huh?

At 31 I can just barely walk in heels, so I'm not quite sure how these girls managed to master it by age 10.

Breakfast was disgusting. Patrick threw his blueberry muffin at Steph. She ducked. Cassie was splattered in the face with blueberry muffin. Mitch cracked up at the sight of that. Then, in came Hilda. OH NO, NOT HILDA.

The House Cleaner will gladly help you fashion a streetwalker costume, but she does not tolerate airborne muffins!

Pat was the only one who got in trouble. Unless you count Mitch who was yelled at for laughing at Cassie. Actually, Cassie looked hilarious; I just kept it inside myself.

Sherry looked great. She wore too much eye make-up and was wearing bright red lipstick. She also had a fake beauty mark right where Madonna has her own. Her tank-top was white with pink polka dots. Her tight black mini-skirt was more than mini. Underneath were those tights that look like pants
[uh, footless tights?] in purple. Her black suede boots were perfect.

"Lookin' good." I complimented.
"Hubba hubba." she complimented back.

On the bus, Alex whistled. Sherry threated to punch him. My threat was Mitch. (alias the itch) Alex also got something from Jenni when he started to get deseperate. Good for Jenni. Foo foo on Alex.

Marsha, still my enemy, soon got on the bus from sleeping over at Daphne's house.

I am up on the latest gossip from going to Jenni's place, which I had done the day before. Like: Robby's new girlfriend is a gorgeous Blondie. And: Marsha is writing and Robby isn't writing back. Clubs: Ours is the most secret. One more: Girls hate Emmy. Boys love her. TOTALLY SICK.

Before I knew it, the bus stopped in the school parking lot. Sherry tapped me. "C'mon," she said "I see Sam."

"Hiya, Sam."
"Good morning, Miss Trainline."
"Hi, Maggie. Hi, Sherry."

Sam's outfit was definitely hooker-style............. a tight bathing suit with high-cut sides. Underneath, fish-net stockings. As smooth as a duck's down was her fake fur jacket. Just a snow-white spring-type jacket. Then, to top it off, she wore high-heeled and hot pink leather boots. Gorgeous.

"Gorgeous" and "hooker" are not two words I generally associate with one another, but okay. Please note: Sam is not wearing any pants. And unlike Maggie, she's barely even wearing tights.

"I wonder what Emmy is? A blob, I hope. Or something more detailed and related to fine art, maybe?" said Sam.
Like what, 'The Mona Lisa'?, I thought.
"You mean herself? A dog? She wouldn't have to dress up for that one." Sherry commented.

I'm don't think that made sense to me even when I wrote it.

"Look," I said "Here comes Kelly."

It was indeed Kelly. She was rolling her eyes. Behind her was Emmy, looking royal and stately. She was dressed as a princess, as you probably guessed. Oh, Lord, I thought.

Kelly was wearing extremely tight pants-jeans. They were accompanied by a pair of flouresant yellow anklets (you might call them short socks). A tight piece of purple material was around the top part of her chest. I don't feel like calling this part of her body by name.
And don't worry she wore a jean jacket and beautiful lavendar high heeled shoes. Way to go, Kelly.

I don't know if you gals were aware, but referring to another girl's breasts technically makes you a lesbian. Just an FYI.

"The bell didn't ring?" Kelly asked us, concerned.
"NO WAY." said Sam, sure of herself.

"YOU JERK," Kelly cried. "YOU'RE GONNA GET IT." She dug her lavendar heel into Emmy's leg. Then she hit Emmy over the head with a book. Last but, definitely not least she pushed Emmy down and ripped her baby blue dress. We cheered.

"Ow, you idiot, that really hurt." said Emmy.
"Well I sure hope it did." said Kelly.
"Yeah, you report-on-Maine stealer." Sherry added.
"hmph." Emmy mumbled softly, walking away.
"Did those animals hurt you, baby?" Alex asked Emmy.
"Mmm-hmm." Emmy whispered.
"It's okay, honey. Alex is here." He said smiling.

Alex is ridiculously creepy. I love it!

"I'm sure he is." she said giving him the sad eye treatment. "Now leave me alone." And she stomped off.

In the classroom Emmy sat down majestically. James hit Sam on the but and she kicked him with her beautiful hot pink boot. I hooted. James sure deserved at least that much. I hate 'im. Honest ta god I hate 'im. He oughta get a good lickin' now, that no good turkey eye. Do you like my western imitation?

Add in a couple "cocksucker"s and it's like we walked right onto the set of Deadwood! ...Well, they've got the whore part down anyway.

"Class." said Mrs. Melnick "We have yet another new student. Hopefully it will be our last."

Hallelujah, Mrs. M.! For those of you not keeping track, this is their fourth new student in two months. If you haven't noticed, my strategy was much like that of a staff writer for 7th Heaven: When I ran out of ideas plot-wise, I'd just add a new character. Problem solved!

Standing there was a gorgeous boy. His skin was slightly tanned. Oh he probably lived in California. [These girls are really creaming their hooker-style panties for California, aren't they?] Baby blue eyes are great on guys and his were the best. I thought I would die on the spot. His cute and wavy blond hair looked great next to his tan. Oh god, I thought.

"This is Brian." continued Mrs. Melnick "Now children Brian didn't bring any costume for our Halloween parade which I might remind you is at 10:30 this morning." She pointed to the clock.

"Mrs. Melnick." cried Tiffanie "Brian can use some of my hair spray." She held up a bottle. "No harm done." she added and pointed to her hair.
"Thank you, Tiffanie. Would you bring it up here."
"Sure, Mrs. Melnick." said Tiffanie.

I watched in horror and Brian's beautiful blond hair turned a harsh purple. RUINED.

"Brian how about sitting there." Mrs. Melnick pointed to the seat next to Daphne. Daphne patted the seat comfortably. She looked at me and smiled wickedly. Tiffanie scowled.

At the club meeting I started talking first. "Did you see that Brian. He was a hunk until his hair turned purple. Gosh."
"Oh I guess he was ok." said Sam eyeing me.

"Ok? He was better than Kirk Cameron." They all stared at me like I'd just said I was gay or something.

I find this analogy particularly hilarious since she, in fact, sounds extremely hetero.

"Ok maybe I was exaggerating a little." No change of expression. "A lot. I was wrong." Sherry smiled and said "Now remember we can live without 'em. Got it?" This is gonna be harder than I expected.

"Oh just listen to his sexy voice." said Cassie, smiling. She had her headphones on, listening to a tape. I wondered what tape it was. Cassie read my mind. "Richard Marx is a babe." she added. Richard Marx, I thought. Figures.

As in "Sexy voice; figures it's Richard Marx" or "Cassie thinks the music at the dentist's office rocks; figures it's Richard Marx"? (Sidenote: Richard Marx was totally playing at my dentist's the other day. Oh yeah.)

"This new boy in our class is a babe. Almost better than Kirk Cameron."

Again with the Kirk worship! I ask you, is he really all that great?

Hmmm... a fedora, a Cosby sweater, and just a hint of mullet. Yeah, I guess that is pretty tough to beat.

Cassie pulled her headphones off. "Are you crazy? What does he look like? Tell all."
"Chad Allen only better. Baby blue eyes and gorgeous wavy blond hair. Only Tiffanie colored his hair purple. GRODY."
"Who's Tiffanie?" Cassie asked.
"This dorky girl in my class. If she laughs she gets the hiccups."

"Weird. Now get out because I want to hear 'Endless Summer Nights'."

I made a face at her. Cassie picked up a pillow. On the floor there was an open nail polish bottle. I pointed. Cassie scowled. Before I left I said "Don't act like Tiffanie."

"I found this note in my desk." said Kelly. "Here, Maggie, take a look."

The note read:

Sorry, I don't know how to make that any bigger. For those of you with poor eyesight, the gist is that Brian likes his pants-jeans hooker-style (kinda pervy, no?) and as such is head-over-lavender-high-heels in love with Kelly. (Yes, yes, I know the high heels were Kelly's, not Brian's, but I couldn't resist.) Now he desperately needs to know whether Kelly likes him, loves him, hates him, or finds him strictly so-so. And of course, whether she wants to "go with him." He has wisely given her no "MAYBE" cop-out, so she must circle either "YES" or "NO." What will it be? What will it be?

Then I got a terrible stomach ache. "Kelly, I feel sick. I think I should go home." God, I thought, It hurts to talk.

"Maggie, I'm so sorry. I know you really liked him but I like him too. And he likes me. So I'm gonna do what I want and go with him. You might not like it but I'm doing what's right for me. I'm sorry if it makes you angry with me but if I had my way we'd still be friends. By the way, they're taking Rags To Riches off the air." Then Kelly walked off.

Oh my God, LOW BLOW, Kelly! It's not enough to rub it in Maggie's face that hunky Brian wants to get into your hooker pants (metaphorically; they are only 10, after all), you have to announce the universe-altering Rags to Riches cancellation news in the same breath??? Way to kick a girl when she's down!

NEXT TIME: Kelly's decision has a drastic impact on the club's mission, and Maggie pukes a lot.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We Can Live Without Boys... Can't We?,
part 2

LAST TIME: Maggie and her BFF, Sherry, decided to give up boys... because their friend Marsha got asked on a date and they didn't. I'm still not sure about that logic. The twosome then talked a load of crap behind Marsha's back, giggled evilly because she didn't know that her crush was moving, and avoided her the entire week before her date. Marsha totally called them on their jealousy, and they tried to turn it around like, "NO, you're a SHOW-OFF!" (Ooooooh!) I, for one, wasn't buying it.

Sherry and I didn't talk to Marsha anymore. Our lives seemed a lot better. When I told Sherry that she started laughing uncontrollably. Then she told me I was such a tease. Why do people think I'm a tease?

In science our teacher handed back our scores on dissecting worms. I got an F. I hope this doesn't go on our record. I slipped Sherry a note. It said: WHAT DID YOU GET? She answered: A. HOW ABOUT YOU? I answered: F. BUT YOU WEREN'T HERE. She answered: HOW DO YOU THINK I GOT AN A. I stifled a giggle. Sherry made a face.

Does that make sense to anyone? No? Moving on then...

Sherry and I were down at Study Hall
[in fourth grade???] when Timmy walked up to me and put his hand on my shoulder. My heart was pounding. I swiveled around in my seat. "Yeah." I said.
"Well," said Timmy "Drake and I were sorry we couldn't show up last week for the movie last week."
I stifled a giggle. "Uh-huh." I said.
"Well," he said. "We were wondering if you'd like to go to a movie on Fri."
"Fri.?" I asked.
"Friday." he answered.

I love this imaginary world where 10-year-old boys ask you out on dates. And use awkward day-of-the-week slang.

Sherry cut me off. "We're much too busy." she said.
"OK" said Timmy. He shrugged his shoulders as he left. Boy, I thought, he sure is cute. Sherry's voice brought me back to the real world.
"Sorry," she said. "I thought we'd given up boys."
"We have." I lied. "I was gonna dog him out."
"Well, you had that starry look in your eyes."
"Don't you trust me?"
"Yeah. Let's just forget about it."
"OK" And we went to McDonald's.

Did they just cut class? In FOURTH GRADE?

"Class," said Mrs. Melnick. "We have 2 new students. Samantha Trainline." Samantha was beautiful. Her long blonde hair reached almost to her waist. Her big green eyes shone with pure delight. She was tall and slim. "Call me Sam." she said. I liked her.

"Laurie Terd." The class went WILD. James snorted, Daphne honked, Robby fell out of his chair, and Tiffanie got the hiccups. The only ones who weren't laughing were Laurie, Mrs. Melnick, and Jon. I hope he likes her now instead.

Mrs. Melnick went through a lot of garbage over Laurie's name. Laurie looked as if she were on the verge of tears. Serves the fat hog right, I thought.

Wait just a goddamn minute. She deserves to be ridiculed to the point of tears—on her first day at a new school, no less—because she's chubby and has the misfortune of having a last name that sounds just like a word for poo? I don't know what to say, you guys. Clearly the point of Blubber was lost on me. Instead of thinking, "Bullying is really horrible; I will never treat anyone that way," my reaction appears to have been, "BLUBBER! What a hilarious nickname!"

Jon explained, "It's a perfectly normal name for-"
"A turd." exclaimed Mitzi, a broad smile on her face.
Laurie stood up. She sure looks hefty, I thought.
[Um, screw you, Maggie.]
Laurie said, "I come from a long line of-"
"Turds." proclaimed Drake.
Mrs. Melnick gave the whole class detention, except for Jon and Laurie.

Serves those tall and slim bitches right!

I would like to make it clear that the character of Laurie Terd is entirely fictional. I did not actually harass any unfortunately named girls in the fourth grade. Apparently I just had a secret desire to IN MY MIND. (Is that better or worse? Good God.)

Sam, Sherry, and I are good friends. Sam can live without boys, too. Laurie's name is now, The Turd. At lunch, Sam came up to us and said, "There's a rumor going around that, embrace yourself, The Turd digs up her rear and eats it." Sherry gagged herself with her spoon. I pretended to barf.

First of all, no way is that rumor true. Who would do that? Second, I remember my mom's friend Linda read this book back in the day and said she thought it was "mean." At the time I was all, "Mean? Please, woman, it's LIFE." Now I'm thinking that mean doesn't even begin to describe it...

Sam, Sherry, and I formed a club called, WE CAN LIVE WITHOUT BOYS. One day we wore white tank tops and tight black shorts. Timmy, Drake, and James whistled at us. We giggled. I felt so evil.

Remember how Maggie kept wondering why everyone was calling her a tease? That could be why. Oh, or this:

Sam, Sherry, and I are going to be hookers for Halloween. We have some really great costumes. The boys' eyes will pop out their heads.
We can't wait for Halloween. We are all going trick-or-treating together. That's how I build up my candy stash.

That's right, HOOKERS. Apparently "living without boys" translates to "taunting boys with your sexy fourth grade whore-wear."

Sam says I'm a tease, too. So, I have come to believe that I, Maggie Kertz, am a genuine tease. I told Sherry. She said, "It's not bad." Mitch said, "You sure are." Cassie said, "It's one of your better qualities." Sam said, "I was only kidding."

The club has meetings 3 times a week. Monday, 3:30, Sam. Wednesday, 4:00, Sherry. Friday
[don't you mean Fri.?], 3:45, Me.

"Yo." said Daphne. She walked up to the club with Mitzi close behind. I wondered what they wanted.

"Yo." said Sherry, her mouth full of food. Daphne turned up her nose. I gave her a look that meant, WE ARE EATING. CAN'T YOU SEE? Mitzi had a blank look on her face. Daphne shot me a dirty one.

"So," Daphne propped herself up on her elbow. "I hear you gals started up a club. Can I join? Mitz and I were so TERRIBLY bored. Weren't we?"

Daphne wisped her hand through the air. "There's a draft in here." she announced. When she realized no one was listening, she went on. "So I went to get advice on all the newest clubs and which to choose. Down at Jenni's place. Mitz, remember you came, too."

Jenni is some sort of gossip-mongering goddess. She's like the fourth grade equivalent of Perez Hilton.

Mitzi nodded her head furiously, while Daphne sat proudly in her seat. I wish I could've video taped it.

I said, "Can you li-"
"No way can join, man." Sam broke in.
There was a look of pure displeasure on Mitzi's face. Daphne looked as if in a state of shock.
"That's right." Sherry agreed "Ya have to be... uh... qualified."
"And I'm NOT?" asked Daphne, shaking her bottom in the process. On purpose, too.
"Sorry." I said in a small voice, shaking my head.
Daphne trudged off, her skirt swaying side to side. Mitzi followed, a limp sack of potatoes.

Sam told all of us the lasted 'Turd' rumors. One day she came up to us and said, "The latest.
[As opposed to the lasted.] Jenni says, 'Do ya gotta boyfriend.' Turd says, 'Yes, ma'am.' MA'AM? Can you believe it? Jenni gives her 'the look' and says, 'Who, what, when, where, and why?' All of the 5 W's. Didn't forget even 1. Turd says, "Who; you don't know him-John horowitz. What: a male human being. When; last year. Where: Snow White, the movie. Why: I gave him my popcorn."

Poor Laurie Terd cannot catch a break. But I really wish she would "dog them out" instead of calling them "ma'am."

Robby's last day. Marsha was in tears. He walked up to the front of the room to The Turd's desk. "You" he said pointing at The Turd "Are the only one for me."

The whole entire class stared up in disbelief at the front of the room as Jon made his way up there.

"You leave h-h-h-her a-a-alone." said Jon, stuttering as he claimed his thank-god-it-wasn't-me woman. Jon can't take a joke.

"You like Maggie. You always look at her." said Marsha. "Why aren't I the one for you. All I did." (At the last part she was speaking to Robby.)

"I like Maggie." said Steph coming in the door. "Hilda had me bring your lunch. You forgot it. Marsha, you're stuck-up. Robby? 'Bye." I love my little sister.

She's a chip off the old block of obnoxiousness, all right.

"Jenni," Sam called "Wait up."
"Huh?" asked Jenni, looking very impatient.
"Hi." Sherry and I said in turn, as if rehearsed.

"Cut the phony act. I gotta run." Jenni glanced nervously at her watch. "I ain't go all day you know." she reminded us. "What do you want?"

These shy, overweight girls are not going to slander themselves, you know!

"Data." said Sam.
Data, I thought, what kind of data?
"On clubs."
"On competition." sighed Sherry, agreeing fully.
"Yep." I said "Uh-huh."

Competition? What the... ?

Lunch break, bathroom break. Sam, Sherry, and I walked into the bathroom. There at the sink sat Kelly Ann Marie, smoking a cigarette. In my mind I changed "Smokin' in the Boys' Room" to "Smokin' in the Girls' Room".

I sang, "Smokin' in the girls' room."
"Boom bop boom." sang Sam and Sherry.
"Yeaaaaah. Smokin' in the girls' room."
"Whoaaaaa yeaaaaah."

Holy crap! They just broke into song!

"Ugh." said Kelly.

Kelly is the newest member of the club. She respects boys but, can live without them. Kelly has problems at home, that's why she smoked. Her cousin, Emmy, said smoking could cure your worst problems. Emmy, it just so happens, is the family troublemaker. Kelly's parents are divorced and, her dad's new wife is a pain. What's new?

Wait, wait, smoking CAN'T cure your problems?

"Get this." called Kelly, her red hair in a tight knot on the top of her head. "Emmy's switched schools and she'll be coming here. Oh god, I swear the school will have a false fire alarm some kid set the first day she comes here. I'll bet the kid who set it's initials are E.M. I hate Emmy."

That might be the most awkwardly phrased paragraph ever written.

"This is Emmy Martinson, class." said Mrs. Melnick. Emmy was gorgeous. Her curly red hair bounced around on her shoulders, glistening in the morning sun. Her sharp green eyes twinkled like shiny glass marbles. Everyone stared.

"Omigod." muttered Kelly.
"Whatcha mean? THAT is a priceless piece of art." said James. "HOT STUFF."

Wow, it's like I had never heard a boy speak. EVER.

"THAT, Lizard-breath, is my cousin."
"You're related? I see no resemblance."
"Color blind. Look, we both have red hair."
"Ya do? Oh, yeah, right."
"Look," said Kelly, yanking the rubber band out of her hair. "See?" she said as her red curls tumbled onto her shoulders.

"Kelly. James. Stop. Emmy, sit there." said Mrs. Melnick, pointing to a panic-stricken....... oh no.... SHERRY.

"Kirk Cameron is the most gorgeous person I have ever seen in my entire life." said Sam handing us a picture.

"Really," said Kelly "How about George Michael? I want your sex."

"Well," said Sam, ignoring Kelly's remark "This summer I'm going to Los Angeles, California to get Kirk's autograph."
"Neat" said Sherry.

"Did you know that George Michael comes from Austrailia Europe? Accent and all." said Kelly, changing the subject.

Ah yes, the distinctive "European" accent.

"Neat" said Sherry.

That was a section of Monday's meeting.

Way to live without boys, club! Well done! Oh, wait a second...

"I can't believe that Emmy." Sherry stomped angrily over to the table. "Ya know what she did? She took my report on Maine out of my desk while I was at my flute lesson. Then, she threw it in the garbage. She makes me sick."

"I hate Ms. Amano. Na, na. Hol ze fingas like dis. I really don't care how the heck I hold my fingers. Paying ze fute is vewy deficoat. And I don't care how I play 'ze fute'. I swear. God, I hate her." Sam walked over carelessly.

Apparently all Sam heard was "flute lesson." Either that or "Give us your worst French accent starting... NOW!"

From behind us there was a loud, clear giggle. Kelly rolled her eyes and covered her face with her hands. Sherry gagged herself. She knew that laugh, too. Sam just stood there with her eyes wide and her mouth hanging open. It could only be....... EMMY. Ooooops.

"God," said Emmy "You look like an earthquake hit. I, myself, would prefer to be where the earthquake is hitting. California is a dream. Mom and dad said they'd take me. I hear it's like murder in the summertime. Like heat wave city. I have a major crush on Chad Allen. Ever seen his sister, or should I say twin, Charity? Big nose alert. She's real good at gymnastics, though? Gimme a break. Well, what about you?" At least Emmy was being herself.

Does Emmy have ADHD, or has she switched from nicotine to speed? Also, this story spares no one—not even Chad Allen's not-famous twin sister, who I'm sure was quite good at gymnastics.

By the way, is anyone else amused that of the three "hot" celebrities mentioned so far, two are gay and the third is a freaky televangelist?

On Thursday I found myself at Kelly's house for a club meeting. Sherry was saying, "Kirk Cameron is not a boy. He's a man. I CAN'T live without HIM.
[Well, at least we cleared that up. Boys, off-limits. MEN, however, fair game.] Kelly, you should have told us what a showoff Emmy is. Big mouth, too. I thought she would never stop. Sam, you must feel terrible. Talking so mean about California in the summer when that's when you're going. I hate her."

In Emmy's defense, I don't think she was aware of Sam's vacation plans when she made the infamous "heat wave city" comments. And anyway, it was obviously the caffeine pills talking. I hear they can cure your worst problems. Even PROBLEMS AT HOME.

"Let's talk about Halloween. It's tomorrow. I want to see what Emmy is." contributed Sam.

NEXT TIME: Embrace yourselves, because Halloween arrives in all its prostitute-tastic glory, and the outfits are described right down to the hot pink leather boots!

Monday, August 18, 2008

We Can Live Without Boys... Can't We?,
part 1

The following story probably would not have been written had I not discovered Linda Lewis's We Hate Everything But Boys. My friend Katie and I were OBSESSED with this book. We were always wanting to reread it, but it seemed to be perennially checked out from the library, and B. Dalton at the mall so did not stock it. Of course, this only added to its mystique.

My memory of this book was that three boy-gaga friends form a club called—you guessed it!—We Hate Everything But Boys, and basically spend the rest of the book trying to figure out if their crushes actually like them back. Mostly I remembered that one of the characters got "felt up," which Katie and I thought was scaaaaandalous at the time. So I decided—ahem, for the sake of the blog, that is—to hunt it down and reread it. Turns out the sordid boobie-touching doesn't even happen in this book! It must be in the next one, Is There Life After Boys? So I suppose my story was influenced by the pair—of books, that is, not Darlene's ta-tas. But don't worry! No prepubescent breasts will be fondled on my watch.

I have to say that on the reread, We Hate Everything But Boys is kind of... weird. When you think about it, even the club name is hilariously mind-boggling. They hate EVERYTHING but boys? Seriously? And the whole book has an autobiographical feel to it, and not just because the tomboy protagonist's name is Linda. It was published in 1985 and does not purport to be from an earlier era, but the girls do things like get club sailor hats (inside which they write the names of their "true loves"—the boys will surely never see that!) and purchase autograph books for the last day of sixth grade. And of course "everyone knows" the sixteenth page of your autograph book is for the one you love! ...Except that I was only a few years younger than these characters in 1985 and I had no clue what an autograph book was (we had this new-fangled thing called a "yearbook" in sixth grade), much less the significance of the sixteenth page.

Plus, there are all manner of irritating subplots that act as roadblocks to the real plot. Losing your teacher's subway tokens? Boooring! I don't care whether that happened to you in real life, Linda Lewis! Get back to the boy chasing! On the other hand, she uses the word "sexy" a lot, which is mildly creepy, as her characters are 11 years old.

However, I can see the appeal it had in fourth grade. In one book, Linda gets her period, buys a bra, AND kisses a boy! Actually, two boys!!! This last bit happens via a kissing game called Post Office, in which couples go in the bedroom to "deliver the mail." Sexy! Recipients can select either the regular (kiss on the cheek) or special delivery (kiss on the lips, whooooooo!).

Nothing at all similar happens in my book; mostly I just plagiarized the general idea of a boy-centric club—but in reverse. My characters hate BOYS but are cool with everything else. Well, not really, but they make at least a half-hearted attempt.

And check it out—this one has promo material! Though I'll warn you, it contains some spoilers:


Maggie and her friend, Sherry, make up the club, "WE CAN LIVE WITHOUT BOYS" to get back at the 2 boys they like and their nosy friend, Marsha. Soon they team up with Samantha and Kelly. Then Kelly's trouble making cousin, Emmy, comes to their school. Nothing could be better except Emmy dying. Then Brian moves in and Maggie falls in love, but Brian doesn't feel the same way. Maggie sees everything that's wrong in her life. She hates Kelly and feels like she's losing her best friend, Sherry. She feels left out of her family, and decides to run away. Nothing is going right.

Yes, you read that right: Nothing could be better except Emmy dying. Ahh, just like the marketing professionals.

[the telling ...CAN'T WE? was appended later]

The day started out pretty bad. Sherry, my best friend, had the 24-hour-flu. Then, rushing to catch my bus, I forgot to eat breakfast. I missed the bus anyway.

When I finally got to school my mom kissed me in front of the whole class (she had to give me a ride to school). Even Timmy Crane, the boy I have a gigantic crush on. Talk about embarassment.

In science, our teacher felt we were mature enough to dissect worms. YUCK. Just when I felt I totally was going to barf, Marsha slipped me a note. I gave her a grateful smile. She raised her eyebrows. I opened it. It said: HE'S LOOKING AT YOU. I swiveled around to find Jon Peterson staring at me. Then, he pushed his glasses up on his nose and pretended to be interested in his worm. I looked at Marsha and we rolled our eyes. What a nerd, I mouthed.

The bell rang. In the back of the room, Robby Mandel let out a shriek of delight. Marsha giggled. She likes Robby. Why she does is beyond me. In my opinion, Robby is totally GROSS.

I thought I was going to miss the bus on the way home, too. Everyone was pushing and shoving. Robby and Marcus Kramer were fighting and Marsha was at Robby's side through the whole thing shouting, "GO, ROBBY, GO". At least I didn't miss the bus this time.

This day doesn't really sound that horrible. I mean, it sounds like a bad day for Sherry, what with the puking and all.

When I got home I grabbed some cookies and rushed to Sherry's. Mrs. Marks let me in. I bowed. She said, "Sherry's in her room."
"Thank you, madame."
"Am I that old?"
"Old enough to be my mother."
She laughed. "GET" she said.

I opened Sherry's door. Rock stars were all over her bed.

I believe this means her bed is covered with issues of BOP and Tiger Beat, not that George Michael and Simon LeBon are her nursemaids.

I cleared a space.

24-hour flu be damned! These girls need to gossip!

"Is this seat taken?" I asked.
"Only by you."
"Jon was looking at me again."
"Boy," she said "he really has a thing for you."
"Ha ha. Robby and Mark were fighting."
Sherry gasped. "What did Marsha say?"
"She should be a cheerleader."
"Only if Robby's there to cheer for. I hear he's moving."
"What did Marsha say?"
"I didn't tell her."
"Oh, it'll break her heart."
"Who'll be class clown?"
"Don't look at me."
"Maggie, your ma wants you home." called Mrs. Marks.
"OK" Sherry yelled for me.
"Are you coming to school tomorrow? You seem well to me." I told Sherry, getting up off the bed.
"Well," she said "If ma'll let me."
"See you tomorrow, Sherry." I shrieked, running downstairs.
"Oh, Maggie, you are such a tease." Sherry yelled back.

Back at home, Cassie was painting her toenails. I groaned. I hate it when she does that. It takes up too much space.

Seriously, how much space can that possibly take up?

"Not again" I yelled.
"Shut up, you over-grown twirp." Cassie threw a pillow at me.
"Oh," I shouted "The joys of having an older sister."

Cassie aimed another pillow at me. Her aim is not that good. She knocked a bottle of nail polish over. She screamed. I jumped. Patrick walked in. His eyes were wide and full of amusement.

In this book, most emotions are conveyed strictly through the eyes.

Following Patrick was Steph. Following Steph was Mitchell. Mitch whistled. Following Mitch was Hilda, THE HOUSE CLEANER.

Remember when I talked about Marilyn Gould's book Friends True and Periwinkle Blue? Yeah, that book features a housekeeper named Hilde. Coincidence? I highly doubt it.

"OK" said Hilda "Cassie, clean up this mess. How many times do I have to tell ya." She shook her head shamefully.

As Cassie picked up her stuff I thought I heard her mumble something about a house full of cuckoos. Cassie is so DUMB. Hilda stopped her before she got upstairs. She made her wipe it up with a wet rag. Her nail job got ruined.

Mua ah ah ah ah!

"HEY" called Mitch "PHONE"
"THANKS, MITCH THE ITCH" I called back.
It was Marsha. "Listen," she said. "Robby invited me to the movies. Isn't that great? I just can't wait. He said he had something serious to tell me."
"You're lucky." Poor Marsha. She's so excited.
"I'm so excited. I thought maybe we could go on a triple date. You know, Me-Robby, You-Timmy, Sherry-Drake. Timmy and Drake were busy. Robby said it was for the better."
"Maybe," I said "This is the beginning of a heavy relationship."
Heavy, yes. Long, no.
Marsha giggled. "Maggie," she said "You are such a tease."
Why do people keep calling me a tease, I wondered.
"Look, Mags, I gotta go, OK? 'Bye."

I told Sherry the whole conversation with Marsha.
"Ya know what I think? I think Timmy an' Drake are chicken."
"I think they hate us." I answered.
"We'll get 'em."
"I don't like Drake anymore." said Sherry.
"I don't like Timmy either." I said.
"Why did we ever like them?" Sherry asked me.
"I dunno. But, I can live without BOYS."
"Me too." agreed Sherry.
"WE CAN LIVE WITHOUT BOYS." we shouted in unison as we ran down the street toward the bus stop.

Well, that was an abrupt about-face. Also, can we pause for a second here? Because... DRAKE? I named Sherry's (anti)love interest DRAKE? The hell?

The bus smelled faintly of grapefruit and rotten eggs.

Oh, the memories...

Sherry and I held our noses as we walked down the aisle toward our regular seat. I sat down by the window because if Sherry does she will get sick to her stomach. I get sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

It probably has more to do with the grapefruit and rotten eggs than her proximity to a window.

Sherry and I are glad Marsha doesn't ride the bus. If she did, we wouldn't be able to talk about her. That would be terrible because we do it a lot.

This is our first major clue that these are Not-So-Nice Girls.

"How come Marsha was the first to get a guy and a date?" Sherry questioned. Sherry looked puzzled by the puzzled look on my face.

"I thought we could live without them."

Her face brightened. She smiled a big, warm smile. "Oh, we most certainly can." I could tell Sherry had something up her sleeve. I tried to drag it out of her but, the only thing I suceeded in doing was changing the big, warm smile into a small, deep frown.

At school we tried to dodge Marsha but, somehow she always popped up when not wanted. Sherry and I were getting pretty mad. Fed up, too. All Marsha talked about was her, Robby, and their everlasting relationship. Sherry and I tried hard to hide our smirks.

The day of Marsha' big date. UGH. Sometimes it is hard to be friends with Marsha. I don't know how I do it myself. It's really that hard. Hey, maybe it's even harder than that. I just don't know.

I'm sure sainthood is riiiiiiight around the corner, Mags.

"GUYS, WAIT UP." called Marsha. She finally reached us. She stopped to catch her breath. "Ya know," she continued "It seems like you guys have been avoiding me all week." Sherry and I stifled our giggles and tried to put looks of innocece on our faces. Marsha's face was mad.
"I KNEW IT." Marsha cried. "WHY? YOU'RE JUST JEALOUS."

Amen, Marsha. A-freaking-men.

"ARE NOT. AND YOU KNOW IT." Sherry yelled back.
"OH," she screamed. "IS THAT WHAT I AM?"
"YEAH." agreed Sherry. "SPOILED ROTTEN BRAT."
Marsha narrowed her eyes into slits and yelled out, "I'LL GET YOU IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO."

You tell 'em, Marsha!

So I'm realizing that this one starts off a little slow. But I promise you, it becomes entirely ridiculous. Sit tight.

NEXT TIME: New kids, smoking, and a truly horrifying Halloween costume idea. Oh yeah, and somewhere along the line the club gets formed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Soon we're going to delve into fourth grade's magnum opus, We Can Live Without Boys... Can't We?, a tale about a group of boy-crazy gals of varying hair shades who form a club to stave off their testosterone addiction. Since we're going to be, uh, "in da club," as it were, for quite a few posts—the story is 24 pages typed, and most of that is single spaced, egad!—I thought it would behoove us to first discuss the grave, grave importance of clubs to the elementary schooler. And also because I have some club paraphernalia that's just begging to get on the Internets...

Half of the allure of the club was the sense of community/common bond, or at least co-conspiracy. I don't know about you guys, but most of my clubs tended to involve an element of secrecy—and then, of course, lording those secrets over people who were NOT in the club. Because the other half of a club's allure—let's admit it—was the fun of excluding other people. Kids are kind of jerks that way.

The first—and definitely most embarrassing—club I can recall being a member of was in third grade, and... well, I'll just let these Club Notes speak for themselves:

Name: USA crushers
What: Crush something on a boy's midsection (balls) or kill people (beat them up.)
Leader: Katie
Assistant: Sada
Slave: Yoav
Member: Dana
Member: Jessica
Slave: Michael

Meet at benches
Katie Talk.
Beat up.
Talk beat up T.M.
[I believe this is shorthand for "Talk about who we're going to beat up tomorrow."]
Girl stuff [I guess the "slaves" got to cut out early.]

I would like to stress that no balls were actually harmed during the brief lifespan of the USA Crushers (prematurely cut short—dare I say, neutered?—when Jessica's mom found out about it and nearly had a nervous breakdown). We did subject the "slaves" to a hazing ritual in which they were supposed to crush their own balls, but I believe we let them get away with some light taps to the "midsection." Michael had a crush on Jessica, so I think he may have gone at it with a bit more gusto in an attempt to impress her. Yes, by hitting himself in the nuts.

Seriously, the USA Crushers were all talk. Most of that talk was about who deserved to have their balls crushed, hypothetically. I think we thought of ourselves as vigilantes. Hypothetical testicle-maiming vigilantes. Or something. Oh, what do I know? I was only an assistant.

Our next club, in fourth grade, was strictly for the ladies—no balls allowed, crushed or otherwise. Check out this club ballot written up by Jessica:

Club names: VOTE:

1. Heartbreakers
2. Dreamgirls
3. Rocksies
4. Brooksie's
5. Rinkets
[I'm pretty sure that's what it says; I have no idea what it means.]
6. Vibrations [Uh, ew?]
7. T.G.'s
[If I'm not mistaken, that stands for Tough Girls.]

Club colors: VOTE:

1. Pink purple
2. Purple & Blue
3. Yellow & Green
4. Pink Green

Club symbals

For those of you not of age in 1988, that's Friends Forever for the girls and True Love Always for the boys. Our official club name and colors, though, I have no memory of. It's quite possible we never voted, as most of our elementary school plans came to little, if any, fruition. But thanks to this magical time machine called the Internet, you can ALL cast your club vote! (See polls—but if the Rinkets wins, I might demand a recount.)

I did, however, find this list of proposed club activities for the Heartbreaking Brooksie Vibrations.


I. boy books
I don't know why I felt I needed this, as my diary was pretty much a boy book already.

2. list faults
Pointing out your friends' flaws? Always a great idea!

3. write rags to riches

4. secret names
5. code letters
These kind of go without saying, don't they?

6. share secrets
Um, duh.

7. dream books

8. diary
See #1.

9. record book
Not quite sure what we were recording...

I0. make-up EX.
Does that stand for makeup EXPERIMENTS? I think it does!

II. make clothes
I was really excited for us to fashion some, uh, fashions until my mom burst my bubble with the concept of "seam allowance." We probably had to settle for puffy painted Hanes. Again.

I2. held at members houses
As opposed to the playground, I suppose.

In fifth grade we had two clubs. The first, the K.I.D.S. Club (whose acronym meaning has long been forgotten by me), was spearheaded by my friend Sherron and had an actual point—which was (shockingly!) NOT to detail our obsessions with 10-year-old boys! Instead, its aim was to petition the U.S. government to declare a national Kids' Day. Oh, yes it was. I remember having at least one meeting, but I don't think our petition was ever signature-ready.

The other club was, of course, the requisite Baby-sitters Club ripoff, because who doesn't want to leave their children in the hands of an elementary schooler?

A Baby-Sitting Club

1. Names:
Kids Company
United Kids and Sitters

2. Members:

Newspaper ad?
Phone calling

I was serious as a heart attack. Or at least Stacey's diabetes.

4. Officers:
President - Katie
Vice President - Jessica
Secretary - Sada
[Appropriate, because although the self-righteous, ahem, "individual" Dawn was inexplicably my favorite BSC-er, I was in actuality more like Mary Anne. Sans Logan.]
Treasurer - Casey
Alternate Officer - Maggie

And if the alternate officer wasn't enough in-your-face BSC poaching, there was also this:

5. Other ideas:
Kid-Kits (boxes filled with toys, books, and games to take on jobs)

Actually, maybe I was the Kristy in this scenario. Frightening. Naturally, this club was doomed as well. Too many logistics and, oh yeah, turns out we had very little experience actually watching children while unsupervised. Go figure.

NEXT TIME: Can they live without boys? Here's a clue: The book was originally titled simply We Can Live Without Boys. And then I added the ...Can't We?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Guest authors: On crafty horses and smelly brothers

As promised, more guest authors! First up is obie119, whose all-consuming horse obsession led her to turn a school assignment about Valentine's Day into horse-tastic historical fiction about a pair of globe-trotting animals.

Says obie119: This story of mine from second grade is very, very odd. And yes, I did indeed write “copyright Feb 1984” at the top. I was obsessed with horses so the subject of the story is not a surprise. In fact, 1984 was the year that my art teacher declared a moratorium on my drawing/painting/sculpting horses (no joke!). I will note that after the word “tornado,” I drew a little tornado right on the page. Allendale is where I grew up. I am assuming that our assignment was to write a story about Valentine’s Day.

Copyright Feb 1984 / My Valentine Horse / Creative Writing

My Valentine Horse's name was Hardy. And he always ate Valentine's Day candy. You know, I didn't own him. It's like this. In 1817, a man named Mr. Mean owned him except his name was It. And Mr. Mean lived in England.

Anyway, a jaguar named Jaggy was in a circus. He was trained, but he hated the climate. But a year later, in 1818, something happened. A small tornado came onto the circus, but Jaggy got away. Now Hardy made a can that could float. So Jaggy and Hardy went to
South America. Jaggy held a sign that said: From Allendale, New Jersey. So they went to New Jersey. There were 18 storms! At Allendale, they found Jaggy's owner, and she liked Hardy. That was February 14, 1823, and with all the loving, it was Valentine's Day. The End.

I kind of feel like I need the CliffsNotes version of this! Let's attempt to review, shall we? It's like this: In 1817, Hardy, a horse with a penchant for Valentine's Day candy, is residing in England with Mr. Mean, but as Mr. Mean refers to him as "It" (MEAN!), that's clearly a crap living situation. So Hardy (somehow) hooks up with a rain-hating, circus-performing jaguar who—in the midst of the great tornado of 1818!—is able to escape from the circus.

Luckily for Jaggy, Hardy is like the Thomas fucking Jefferson of horses and invents a "floating can" in which the two set sail from Britain to South America. But Jaggy is so goddamn picky (what, he doesn't like the climate in South America either?), he will be satisfied with no location short of Allendale, NJ.

Getting there, however, takes five years—I'm assuming in part because of the 18 storms they encounter along the way. How exactly do they travel from South America to the Jerse, though? Jaggy's sign evokes visions of hitchhiking, but was it even possible to hitchhike in 1818? On a wagon? If you're a HORSE? I'm guessing that wouldn't really fly with the settlers, so maybe they walk (which would certainly explain the five-year timeline) or even bust out the ol' floating can again. Can you imagine being stuck out at sea in a can with a jaguar for five years, eating nothing but conversation hearts? Harrowing!

In any case, they eventually arrive in Allendale on February 14, 1823, and promptly find Jaggy's long-lost owner, and everyone is so freaking psyched that President Monroe (yeah, I just looked that up) has no choice but to create a national holiday of luuuuuv. (And candy, 'cause Hardy likes that shit.)

At some point Hardy comes to be owned by obie119 in 1984. That part I'm not so sure about unless Hardy is immortal. Which would be awesome!

Next up is BadKat, who has sent us an array of elementary school goodies. First, some school writing assignments from third grade:

About Me

I have blond hair and green eyes. My favorite friend is Rachael and Jennifer. I like Ryan C. to. We ride our bikes together to the park some times. I have one sister, Alea. We are good sisters. I have two brothers, Jett and Bradley. They are O.K. I have one dad, Tom one mom, Rachel one step-mom, Brenna. I'm 8½.

(Teacher's comment: Write more about you)

What Makes Me happy

Our class created a Chienese play called "The Shirt of Happyness"!! I learned that you don't have to have a shirt to be happy. The play was fun, exciteing to!

(Teacher's comment: I'd liked to have read more about this!)

I don't know about you guys, but I'd be pretty bummed if I didn't have a shirt. I'd also be cold.

I am a cigarette

When you smoke me you can get very bad breth. I am made with nicotene and tar. Tar can hurt your lungs and nicotine speeds up the heart and that is not good for you! I can cause tooth decay and when you start smoking me you just cant stop. I am very bad for you health.

(Teacher's comment: Very good! You made some great statements!)

Wow, I really feet like I AM that cigarette. Stay away! When you start smoking me—much like when you pop the top off a can of Pringles—YOU JUST CAN'T STOP! And I'll give you bad breth! BE FOREWARNED!

We also have some of BadKat's school journal entries from fourth grade.

Says BadKat:
My creative writing booklet from the fourth grade contained daily journal entries where I was forced to record my thoughts or short creative stories. From March until June of 1992, I chose to bitch about the weather every day. I even have a barometer scale scribbled on the inside of the back cover. Because then, like now, I was obsessed with the weather. I have always enjoyed observing the weather and then bitching and complaining about said weather, while living in one of the most meteorologically volatile states in the country [that'd be Minnesota]. You can also tell how impatient I am and how I wished I could be doing anything but writing in this damn booklet.

March 30, 1992: The weather is sunny. I'm excited that the weather is sunny and I'm going to my uncle's house to dinner. I'm going bye myself and with my sister and not my brothers. My brothers smell bad.

I'll bet that's why they weren't invited to dinner.

March 31, 1992: The weather is partly sunny. The high and low are '35 and '20. I'm not happy it is Tuesday and I'm in school. I'm happy I do not have girl scouts becuase me and Rachael hate Heather.

April 2, 1992: The weather is sunny and warm. I'm happy the rollar skateing party is tonight. The birds, like Robbens, are coming back.

Remember how great roller-skating parties were? We used to go to United Skates of America, which had maybe the best roller-rink name ever!

April 3 1992: The weather is sunny and warm. I'm sad that my step-mom cut her thumb with my dad's razor blade (it was a utility knife) and I'm happy that the carnival is tonight.

April 7, 1992: The weather is couldy and mild I'm happy we are doing the book badge in girl scouts tonight. ("me and Rachael" must have made up with Heather by this point)

April 21, 1992: It is cloudy and rainey. I'm releved that my glass were fond because, I didn't zip my bag up at home and my glasses fell out and someone fond them for me! I'm happy that my sister is going to kindergarden conection tonight and grandma is comeing.

After this entry, my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Bitchface, wrote to "watch my sentences - add more detail - watch the writing." So the attempts to increase material begin:

April 23, 1992: The weaher is rainy and cold. I'm happy that it is Thursday and that tomorrow is the end of the week.

9:55am (only entry that is marked with a time): wemen wear komotos for spicel accations. Keiko lives in a huge house with a huge garden and the schools in Japan are very different then ours. (huh?)

April 24, 1992: I glad that today is Friday and it is almost saturday and I get to sleep in tomorrow. Keiko is very fun! (again, huh?)

April 27, 1992: The weather is sunny and warm. I'm happy that my Grandama is bringing me some new Christopher Pike books tomorrow. I liked fall in to darkness but Mrs. Ringlien says we can't read those books for quiet read time or for a book report. Emelia said that her mom would call our school.

BadKat, I love that your grandma bought you Christopher Pike. But look out, because it sounds like Emelia's mom wants to have a Christopher Pike book bonfire!

April 29, 1992: The weather is partly sunny and warm and I'm happy that it will be so nice today. We are beaginning about Japan (well that explains the Japan crap). Both men and wemen in Japan ware kimono and I hope my step-mom likes her birthday present.

May 6, 1992: It's cloudy and warm I'm happy that I don't have reading, or math, or anything today and that we go to the zoo. I'm happy that it is Twins Day (the baseball team) tommorrow and that we get to have a parad.

May 12, 1992: The weather is sunny and warm. If you went to Japan you would see mountony land and be spending time outdoors. I'm happy today is grandparents day. Rachael and I think that we want to read the Matchlock Gun for our book reports.

May 14, 1992: I'm in truble and I hope that my mom will let me go camping and I hope that the camping trip is not put off. I hope I don't get stuck with a coupl of people on the trip. (I wonder who I was avoiding at the Girl Scout Camp Out? And what, no weather today?)

Oooooooooooh, BadKat's in troooooooouble. Hope she didn't get stuck with Heather on the camping trip. Hate her!

May 18, 1992: The weather is sunny and warm. I'm going to tryouts for the disric cyor. I hope I get in to cyhor. Part one of the tryouts is today and part two of the tryouts are tomorrow. My aunt told me my voice was beutiful and that it made her cry.

I love the creative spelling of choir. LOVE it!

May 22, 1992: The weather is cloudy and very humed. I'm happy that there is only one week and a half of school left. I'm happy that I get to go up to the cabin in Grad Rapeds (Grand Rapids) for this weekend. Rachael and I like to play with my dog, Teako. Did you hear the Mount Pleasant fre departmant's siren? (I live nowhere near Mt. Pleasant).

May 29, 1992: It is sunny and pretty warm. I'm going to the beautician and I wish she would set my hair (this is not true because my mom was a cosmetologist. So, what? And setting my hair? WHAT?). I hope that every one this summer will Pledge Alleagiance on Saturday July 4, 1992. Rachael and I took Gary's apple and then hidden it in the tire swing. "Where did you put that apple, asked Gary. He was mad and he is going to put our rain coats under Rona's front pottch.

Stealing Gary's apple? You girls were OUT OF CONTROL! I'm taking away your Christopher Pike books!!! Actually, this might be my favorite entry because of the seemingly unrelated topics of BadKat's desire for old-lady hair; her earnest patriotism; and the wholesome pranks involving a tire swing and raincoats.

June 1, 1992: I'm happy it's warm and almost summer vacation. We set our books on Wes's desk and he siad it was all right. In July, Rachael is moving to Summer Green road. That is closer to me and makes me happy. Yesterday Teako, my dog, ran relly quickly after my cat Jezebel and she quickly climbed a tree. My dad got her down with his ladder but it took a long time. Clair, my other cat does not run away from Teako and once she scrached her on the nose.

June 3, 1992: It is very hot. I'm happy that we got our pass for the pool and that it is the last day of school. I'm not going to miss my teachers and I'm not sort of sad. I hope I get Mr. T. next year. Me and Rachael go to camp in 3 weeks! I am very happy and I wish this year she would do the Polar Bear swimming with me!

"I'm not going to miss my teachers and I'm not sort of sad" is hilarious. Way to stick it to Mrs. Bitchface!

That's it for this round of guest writing, but if you're soooooooooooo, etc., jealous and have some cringe-worthy works of your own that you'd like to share, for God's sake, e-mail me!:

NEXT TIME: A discussion of one of the key components of elementary school social life: the club.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Janet Started the Fire, Part 2

LAST TIME: Janet lost her 98 lifelong friends when she moved three years ago and has been desperate for true friendship ever since. However, that didn't stop her from introducing us to about half of the fourth grade, including the argumentative Teresa, who enjoys faking people out by pretending to cry, and popular Joe Federer (who is sooooooooooooooooooooo, etc., CUTE!). Serendipitously, a nearby elementary school just burned down, which meant Jan's class would be getting 18 new students! Jan agreed to show one of them around and ended up with Amber Bennett, who she hoped wouldn't suck. But first, all of the new kids have to introduce themselves via personal speech in a grade-wide assembly, conveniently allowing Jan to weed out any losers from the crop of potential "true friends."

We're going to the assembly with our Language Arts Social Studies class in 34 seconds Yea! The bell just rang (early) Everyone rushed to their seats until Mr. Bennett walked in. "Line up quickly without any talking" Mr. Bennett said in his deep voice. Everyone was silent and that was very unusual for OUR Language Arts Class. When we got down to the all-purpose room Ms. Parker was up in the front where there was a microphone waiting for her. All of the classes were seated and Ms. Parker started a long speach. Just then Teresa passed me a note. It read:

Can you read that? It asks Jan which route she's going to take with the new student (Route 1, Route 2, or Route 3) and whether she can come over on Friday after school for a sleepover. (I realize the giant NO is the most visible part of the note, but you should actually ignore that. Sorry.)

I filled in ROUTE 2 and passed it to Teresa. I mouthed "I'll ask my mom" she nodded and I smiled. You probably are wondering why she signed a heart at the bottom of the note. It's because I gave her that stamp last year in math. I gave it to her for Christmas. (late Christmas)

Teresa got in a little trouble but, none of the teachers took the note away. Teresa's friendship with me isn't going to last because we tried it before and it didn't work out right, like we don't have the same interests and sometimes I'm too serious for her. And I really DON'T want to be BEST FRIENDS, but, just friends.
I just won't ask my mom if I can sleepover.

Oh my God, finding a best friend in elementary school is like dating!

YES, Ms. Parker's speach is over. Nina made a pretty good speach about our school. (that's not her) Then, Jimmy made one. Suzy made 1, also, and then our princapal made one and it was time for Marissa Jintar.

Let the friend-scouting begin!

"Um, my namis Marissa Jintar and I'm 10 years old. I love to ice-skate and write letters to ALL my pen-pals. I hope this school is just like you said it is. Thank you for listening to my speach quietly",

"What a bozo!" I felt like yelling. She thinks she's little miss perfect. GET OUT! I sort of like ice-skating also, but that doesn't mean we're perfect friends. She looked pretty nice (and NEAT) Her hair was black in a pony tail with hazel eyes and a blue ribbon and a blue dress the exact color of her ribbon. YUCK!

I'm sorry, did I say "let the friend-scouting begin"? What I meant was "let the obnoxious, and quite possibly hypocritical, snap judgments begin."

Now, for um Rita Cophr. It sounds like a pretty O.K. name um but sort of, WELL, STRANGE.

"hi um well i'm rita cophr and um well there's really not much else to say, um well, my hobbies are playing with clay and um, well, that's all BYE!" she said and ran off.

Sort of UM, WELL, NERVOUS, VERY NERVOUS. But, we do have something in common, we both like pottery and clay. UM, WELL, she's better than Marissa. She looks cute, not pretty, but, cute she's sort of, well more short than tall. she's not real short, but more short than tall. She was wearing black streach pants and a black sweatshirt with designs all over it. GETTING BETTER!

Poor Rita Cophr. Her outfit sounds awesome, though.

"My name is Lynn..........Spencer, I like to draw, play hand games, and listen to the radio all the time, and I LOVE BOYS, SEE YOU",

Lynn's almost perfect, except she talks too fast.
[Okay, Seinfeld.] She has blonde hair and blue eyes. She looks very popular. She's probably going to be in Nina's gang with Sara. Oh well, it was worth a try.

Burt Gold, A nerd a nerd, NERD ALERT! Well, that's before I saw him. He's about 3 inches taller than me and ever cuter than Joe Federer. Nina will get him for sure. Sara'll dump Joe for him. (any time) now he's probably the hit of the fourth grade. The PERFECT best friend for Joe Federer (OF COURSE)

"hi, my name is Burt, but don't call me that. Call me Steve. I have 2 sisters, their names are: Katie and Beth. Katie is 8 and Beth is 4
½. My mom and dad are divorced. I live with my dad, so do my sisters", Steve said. I see why he doesn't want to be called 'Burt'. He has on faded jeans and a tee-shirt that said "NANTUCKET"

CALL ME STEVE! Oh man, you guys...

"Hello, my name is Connie Fredericks. I love babysitting, collecting stickers and posters, and swimming."

PERFECT, she had on a tee-shirt that said 'FRIENDS FOREVER' and a skirt that went down a little past her knee. It was a jean skirt. If you looked real close there was a gold necklace and chain that had a broken heart, I think it read 'FRIENDS'.

How close are you looking, Jan? Yeesh.

A little boy, well not little, about my height or ½ an inch taller. He was o.k. he said "Hi, I'm Jeff Coburn, I like to read, ride on roller-coasters, and take pictures."

He's pretty, well, O.K. There's really not much else to say about him. He probably won't make it into Steve's gang.

The fourth grade social hierarchy is extremely important to Jan.

"hi you all, I am the 1 and only Sheriece Penn. I like to braid hair, listen and dance to the radio and have fun",

GROSS, she wants to have fun. SICK! I like braiding hair, listening to the radio, not dancing or having fun. NOT AT ALL.

Wow, good thing Suzy picked Sheriece first. Jan really dodged a bullet! She came THAT CLOSE to having fun! SICK!!!

"My name is Jennifer, I love rap music and hate reptiles, lizards, and all those slimy creatures", she said quietly.

I think lizards are NEAT, I hate RAP, some's O.K., but, I'd never LOVE rap. NO!

"Hi" Lindsay said cheerfully, "I like to make jewelry, out of old jewelry, I love chinese food, my dog, Scruffy, and beating up on my little sisters."

[the beating up on her sisters clinched it!], also, she was wearing a jean dress, had her hair up in a side ponytail [yesssss!] and had on some jewelry, (she made).

"Hi, I'm Micheal Shick. I love to make sculptures out of clay and bread dough and I love to go fishing," he said unsure.

Uh, you guys, the bread dough thing KILLS ME. Fucking bread dough! And he WILLINGLY TELLS THEM ABOUT IT!

He had on sweat pants and a shirt, I sure do hope he has on a shirt. He has brown hair and hazel eyes.

"Hi, our names are Jeremy and Jason. We're twins, we both like to play on our new nintendo", they said at the exact same time.

They both had on black socks, the same tennis shoes, shirts that say 'BROTHERS' and pants.

I sure do hope they have on pants. They could probably stand to lose the BROTHERS shirts though.

"Hi, I'm Mark Smith, I like to make collages out of messed up photography pictures and I love to talk about boglins" he practically yelled.

There's getting stranger and stranger by the second. Talking about boglins? There's nothing to talk about. They're outrageous creatures that come alive in your hands.

"Outrageous creatures that come alive in your hands" was, in fact, their tagline.

"My name is Gary ROCK, ha just kidding, my name's Gary STONE. HA, get it? I love making practical jokes on everybody", he laughed.

HOW STUPID! He thinks that's funny. It's funny because he sounds so DUMB!
[Welcome to the best kind of humor, Jan.] He has on cordoroy pants and a really strange and dumb-looking shirt. YUCK!

"I'm Patrick Jaffee, I like studying different animals, especially monkies, chimpanzees, and gorillas. I like pictures of chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys," he said sort of quiet.

O.K. I guess, he's sort of NERDY. I like the part about pictures of all those cute animals.

"I am Tarrence Turner call me T.T. better yet call me DOUBLE T or maybe even Mr. T. I love rap and nothin' else," He said trying to act COOL.

"I'm Amber, I like babysitting, collecting all kinds of stuffed animals and making friendship braceletes for money and I like to have little school carnivals, plays, bakes sales and stuff like that to raise money for new school stuff such as: Money for dances, and extra supplies and little things like that",

All the teachers clapped after Amber made her speach. Especially Mr. Bennett.
[Do you guys see where this was going? Mr. BENNETT? Amber BENNETT?] She was wearing her hair in a loose pony tail in the back, a pink sweat shirt and pink stretch pants, pink socks, and pink tennis shoes. PERFECT!

Uh, what? She wanted to yell "What a bozo!" at poor Marissa Jintar just because her ribbon matched her dress, but Amber Bennett is perfect? She wants to hold bake sales to buy school supplies! For FUN! To me that says a nerd, a nerd, NERD ALERT. And she's wearing an ENTIRELY PINK OUTFIT! I guess I just don't understand the criteria on Jan's friendship-o-meter.

"I'm Mandi Berg, I like reading, having parties, listening to the radio and talking on the phone," she said loud and clear.

She had on a 'FRIENDS FOREVER' shirt, a gold chain and necklace broke in half that read 'FOREVER', and she had on the exact same thing as Connie, a jean skirt that came a little past her knee. So, there goes Mandi and Connie.

Were the names Mandy and Teresa really that popular in the late '80s or were my sister and I just weird?

I'll go for Amber, Lindsay, and nobody else. Amber seems nicer and more, WELL, suitable for me. I have a perfect plan to ask her to come over today at ROUTE 2. I hope Teresa isn't really mad I'm inviting Amber over the first day I meet her. Oh well, if she doesn't like it that'll be her problem.

Um, EXACTLY LIKE DATING! Having her over the first day you meet her, bah ha!

By the time everyone's speach was over it was time to go home. ROUTE 2 will have to wait until tomorrow. That night, we had to clean the bunny cage. Shannon always hides in the cage while I do all the work. Their names are Fluffy and Bun-bun. I named Bun-bun and Shannon named Fluffy.

Genie and I were ever-so-slightly obsessed with rabbits in the elementary years. Though I must point out that in real life, MY rabbit's name was Bun-bun; Genie's rabbit was Cottontail. As you can tell, we got SUPER creative with the rabbit names.

I only had homework in math because we weren't in Language Arts to have homework. I forgot to tell you about Social Studies. I go to Social Studies this week. Health next week and Science the week after that. Mom said Amber seems like she's nice. Mom's stupid. She couldn't help me with long division when I got stuck one time. Sometimes she's really strange. Teresa is really getting on my nerves. After the bell rang she reminded me to ask my mom. I seriously hope she forgets to ask me tomorrow. I should just tell her straight forward I don't think our friendship is

...And that's it. I'm relieved to see I wasn't the only one who gave up on my stories mid-fucking-sentence. Although I think you can see what happened: All of the characters had been introduced—so, really, what's the point of continuing? To further the PLOT? B
arfoh! Way, WAY less fun.

So sad, though, that we're left with so many unanswered questions: Was Amber Bennett Jan's true friend? Even though the drastically unattractive Mr. Bennett was (obvs!) her dad? Or was Teresa her true friend after all, despite their bickering and lack of commonalities? (And must they consult eHarmony to get to the bottom of it?) Did Joe Federer ever walk up to Jan for real? Did anyone call Tarrance Turner Double T? Or even Mr. T? And did Jan ever end up having any fun? (SICK!)

I think there's one thing we can say with certainty, however: Amber Bennett was better than Michael Shick. How do we know? Two words: bread dough.

NEXT TIME: More guest authors! Why not? Learn about the origins of Valentine's Day via obie119's historical horse fiction (yeah, you heard me). Plus, discover what BadKat was like as a BadKitten—and also what the weather was like in Minneapolis in 1993.