Sunday, August 3, 2008

Janet Started the Fire, Part 1

Almost as soon as I had the idea for this blog, I called my sister, Genie, and begged her to let me publish this story. Seriously. I hadn't read it in years and I hadn't even started the freaking blog, but I had vivid, vivid memories of this story—and nearly all of them induced pee-your-pants-type laughter.

Genie was a year behind me in school, and this was written when she was in fourth grade, making the year either 1988 or 1989. As I said last time, it's untitled, but that does not detract even a millimeter from its hilarity.

Hi, all you people! I'm Janet Smith. I have 2 adorable bunnies. They're dutch. (We think) One is tanish brown, the other is lighter. I used to have like 98 fish, when I was 7½, but, when we moved here mom said, "We shouldn't risk the chance of them dying, why don't we give them to your teacher? She'd love them for a school pet. Don't you think?" I really didn't want to give them up. I had one since I was 3 or 4. I finally agreed to let them take the fish as a school pet. Those fish were my life long friends.

Do you see what I mean? We're only one paragraph in and already it's amazing! Oh, and don't worry, we're going to get the plot in a jiff:

Speaking of friends, I'm an on-off friend for almost everybody. Like, if somebody gets in a fight I'm their friend until they make up, or if somebody's friend went on vacation I play with that person until they come back. No one has ever been my true friend since I was 7, before I moved here. Her name was Susan Kroferman. Sometimes she sends me postcards in the summer from California (That's where she spends her vacation) The only friend I've had for more than a week was Staci Montgomery. We were friends for a month and 9 days. [Not that anyone's counting.] She moved away. Now, I don't have any at all, but there's hope. Tomorrow we're getting a lot of new students because their school had a fire. I can't wait.

She seems a bit gleeful over the other school's misfortune, doesn't she? Genie says she was always super excited when there would be a new kid at school (due to the true friendship potential), so what better than a plot contrivance that creates, like, a JILLION new kids?

Also, I think the substitute friend thing is pretty cute. Mad fourth grade props, Genie!

Today, I woke up real nervous. Mom said I should think about how the new kids feel. I ignored her and put on my new faded jeans, a tee-shirt with black letters that reads:


then, I took it off because they'd probably think I had a bad sense of humor, so I put on my tee-shirt that reads:

What A Kid!

I hope I put on this shirt for a reason. Before the bell rings every day we talk, play or you know, WHATEVER! I usually swing on the swing on the left. The farthest to the left. I swing for about 30 minutes every day in the morning. I come to school early with my little sister, Shannon, who is in 2nd grade. She's pretty nice, SOMETIMES.

But, one time when Stacy slept over and she put peanut butter and jelly all over our hairbrushes because I always come into the bathroom and 10:00 or 11:00 at night to brush my hair.

Uh, I know her name is Jan, but that just screams Marcia.

The bell just rang. No one looks NEW. Betsy just walked over. "HI!" I smiled. "So, ya think any rad-lookin' guys are gonna come? I truly hope so, I mean, I'm not going with anyone now, so somebody can ask ME to the dance" she squeaked. "oh, I hope somebody'll ask me to go with them."

We were always hoping there would be a dance in elementary school, but there never was.

"Nobody asked you yet? Boy, I thought you were gonna get asked first I mean you're SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO pretty but, Sara McClaw got asked by Joe Federer. He's sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo CUTE! I thought he was gonna ask you, BYE!" she smiled and walked to her homeroom class swaying her hips from side to side. I was impressed!

BWAH!!! By the way, Joe Federer is like this story's Jordan Catalano. As in, he's hot (uh, fourth grade hot) and usually referred to by his full name. (Actually, for all we know, Joe Federer could also be dyslexic and in a band called Frozen Embryos—he's somewhat of a mystery really.)

I have had a crush on Joe since I started this school. I bet some nerd is going to ask me. Probably Stephen Kinderkofferman. Mrs. Kinderkofferman. GET OUT! He's sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, etc. UGLY!

Just so you know, I did not add in the "etc."; it is actually in the manuscript. And I'm counting out the exact number of o's in each sooooooooooooooo. I'm a slave to authenticity.

Oh, god, I'm late for homeroom. GOTTA GO! Mrs. Slater will introduce our new students in Reading at 1:00, a little after lunch in the all-purpose room for an assembly, each student that was chosen will read their speach about our school, next the new students will come on stage and do their speach, time to go to MATH! I didn't know the new kids were going to have to give a speach about themselves, if I had to do that I'd be so shy! I'm usually not shy AT ALL! except when I'm new or something like that. But, if you were really shy you'd be even shyer, I mean in front of a whole grade (4th). I can't wait until after lunch I hope I find my true-friend, SOON!

I love how they have to give speeches. Like, oh, your school burned down, and not only do you have to start over at a new school, you have to stand up in front of the entire grade and give a SPEECH ABOUT YOURSELF. As a terminally shy child, that would have been my nightmare. I had to go to a new school in second grade, and although I didn't have to give any speeches on my first day, someone did steal my lunch, which was quite enough trauma for me, thanks.

(I think) Math was boring, as usual, long division the whole time. BORING! And long division homework. Ms. Parker is my homeroom teacher, Mrs. Long is my math teacher, Ms. Slater for social studies, science and health, and Mrs. Long is also my language Arts teacher. Ms. Slater is nice, (but talks too fast) has LONG brown hair that's curly and the prettiest eyes. Mrs. Long is the perfect teacher except she gives out too much HOMEWORK! Ms. Slater can be nice and sometimes she can be REAL MEAN! She has stringy blondish-brownish hair and hazel eyes. Ms. Long is into poetry. Reading poetry, writing poems, stuff like that. In reading I'll tell you a poem I wrote Monday (today is Wednesday) OH MY GOD! Joe Federer just walked up to me! Oh nevermind, I'm imagining it. DARN! Ms. Slater has a sub it's a man, he's ugly! He has black hair and a big nose. GREAT, he'll have to announce the new students. They'll think all the teachers look like that. GROSS! His name is Mr. Bennett. He just wrote it on the chalkboard with pink chalk in excellent cursive. oh god, Nina, the over developed slob who everybody likes is back from California, she has a great tan. "Hi Nina!" I yelled to her.

So I broke it up, but starting with "I have had a crush on Joe..." that was all ONE PARAGRAPH. (My favorite part: imaginary Joe Federer!) Genie kind of had a stream-of-consciousness style that was ahead of her time. Or at least her age group. But back to Nina, the overdeveloped slob who everybody likes:

"Hi Jan, did I miss anything?" she said in her kind of voice she has when she's talking to boys.

"Yea, we're still doing poetry in Language Arts" - just then somebody pushed in front of me.

"Oh gosh, that was Tony Refter, he's really CUTE" We both said at almost the same time.

"BYE!" she yelled, chasing after him. She's getting better, but she's too popular for me. If I were to hang out with her my legs would hurt so much, because she chases the boys around all the time. I have to go to lunch, I stay. My lunch teacher is Mrs. Gold. She has the best hair to mess around with. First we go outside, then eat. Usually I mess with her hair when we're outside, because 1 time I messed with her hair while I was eating and her hair went all over my whole lunch and I was starving because I didn't want to eat hair. But (this is the only time I'll say this) I can't wait until lunch is over!

Eating hair! Hope I didn't ruin your lunch.

"Hi Janet", Ms. Long said "would you like to guide 1 of our new students around the building? We really need your help."

"Sure! I can't wait!" I said smiling my head off. Ms. Long handed me a sheet of paper with names all over it. But at the top it read:


The jillion new students are also an excellent excuse to come up with a buttload of character names.

[Sorry, there's no #1]
#2. Marissa Jintar
#3. Rita Cophr
#4. Lynn Spencer
#5. Burt Gold
#6. Connie Fredricks
#7. Jeff Coburn
#8. Sheriece Penn
#9. Jennifer Moore
#10. Lindsay Cooperman
#11. Micheal Shick
#12. Jason Blackfield
#13. Jeremy Blackfield
#14. Mark Smith
#15. Gary Stone
#16. Patrick Jaffee
#17. Tarrence Turner
#18. Amber Bennett
#19. Mandi Berg

I'll take around-um, I'll look at it again. Sheriece, I'll take around Sheriece Penn. It seems like a nice name. Indoor recess today. It's better than outside. I'll do races. I'm really good at track and running. The last time we had indoor recess I beat Nina, Joe, Teresa, Carla, Mike and Lucy. There's some people you need to meet. First Teresa, I used to sit next to her in Language Arts and Math. She has black hair and brown eyes, she's really funny and is always goofing off. Suzy, who is my patient now. Her best friend Valerie is on vacation until January 21, (today is January 18.) Suzy and Valerie LOVE boys! And always wear matching outfits. Mike is one of those boys that you can only be friends with. I mean we've been friends since I moved here in 2nd grade and I'll tell ya he is so generous. On his birthday he brought in cake and gave me, only me 2 pieces. [So, actually not generous at all...] Somebody told and Mike hit them. He was protecting me. Poor LITTLE me.

Next, Lucy, she's little and thin, very thin! She loves to draw and is good at it, too.

Tammy, oh boy is she a trouble maker. I'll tell ya in 3rd grade on the last day of school she took the cake and put it on our teacher's seat and BOY DID SHE GET IN TROUBLE! She couldn't have any sweets or cake or candy or anything like that.

Technically, I don't think anyone could have cake after that.

Now, Carla, I took gymnastics with her in the summer last year. Also, we took swimming and pottery together in that same summer. My mother & her mother were good friends in that summer. Whenever we were at a class they'd sit at either of our houses and talk about $mOnEy$ or school or boring stuff like that.

Jimmy and Jodi are twins, sometimes on Halloween Jimmy dresses up as Jodi and Jodi dresses up like Jimmy. Jodi is tall, but very pretty. Jimmy looks the same as her except he's cute. They're both REAL TALL, have blonde hair and brown eyes.

And last but not LEAST Ray. Ray has tan hair and a great sense of humor, and is really nice. But usually I don't show that I like him.

If you haven't realized it yet, Jan is kind of a ass.

I had to tell you those names because they'll be in this story later, alright? I think instead of races today I'll talk to Teresa. When you talk to her the time passes quickly. Quicker than when you stand in line to race.

"Hello, Ms. Teresa, what's the matter? Why are you crying?" I asked calmly.

"I just wanted to trick somebody and it worked. HA! I thought you'd know I was faking" she laughed, "Why aren't you racing? You always race and you beat almost everybody that's playing, That's why I never race, because if I lost everybody would make fun of me and then my whole reputation would be ruined,"

"That's not true at all and you know it" I exclaimed

"But last year Mike made fun of me cause I couldn't run as fast as Joe Federer" she said.

"Mike can't even run as fast as Joe and you know that, too!" I almost yelled at Teresa.

"But you can run faster, you can run faster than anybody and YOU know that," she YELLED at me.

"But we're not talking about me and that doesn't matter anyways you can make every body laugh, even when Ms. Slater's in a bad mood you can make her form a smile and sometimes a laugh in seconds" I said, smiling.

The whistle blew
[because time flies when you're arguing with Teresa] and Teresa said "Sorry I yelled at you. I'll see you in Language Arts."

"Oh, Sorry I'm not going to be in Language Arts, I'm walking a new student around,"

"Oh, I forgot, too. I'm walking around um Lindsay Cooperman. I'll walk with you and your person. O.K?"

"O.K. BYE!" I ran to my line and walked to the classroom and sat down with Suzy, pulled out my lunch bag and examined a tuna sandwich, doritos, salami and thermos of applejuice. Not the best lunch at all! Oh yea SILENT LUNCH UNTIL NEXT MONDAY, Barfoh! Silent lunch is really DUMB all you do is eat and you can't even mess with Mrs. Gold's hair! Mrs. Slater made silent lunch up. Most of the time Suzy and I make faces at Mrs. Slater. Now Ms. Parker is doing Ms. Slater's job with silent lunch.

You can't even mess with Mrs. Gold's hair?
BARFOH! Screw you, silent lunch! Actually, silent lunch only happened if you were baaaaaaaaad, so I wonder what they did. My second grade class drove our lunch monitor, Mrs. Lauderdale, to outright QUIT. I don't recall all of our terror tactics, but I definitely remember one boy "surfing" his desk, and there may have been some taunting songs as well.

"Um, the people that are taking around new students Ms. Long wants to have a speech
[I think this correct spelling is actually a typo!] about what places you're going to show them" Ms. Gold explained to us.

Geez, Ms. Long, cool it with the speeches already!

Suzy took Sheriece before I did, the only people left were Amber Bennett and Micheal Shick. I took Amber Bennett. I hope she really is better than Micheal Shick.

I think I'll leave you with that crazy cliffhanger.

NEXT TIME: The results of the Amber Bennett/Michael Shick showdown! Plus, all the kids make their speaches. And if you think this story couldn't get any better, you are SO WRONG!


Bridget Locke said...

I'll have to find and email you the story I wrote about...I'm not sure what. I know it had a werewolf in it. I think I was in 7th grade. It's horrible.

Ironically, I'm a writer now. Yeah, go figure. :-P

Sada said...

Oh my gosh, yes, please! If this blog needs anything, it's MORE WEREWOLVES!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Woo! Any opportunity to make up names should definitely be taken. Hmm, I'm going home for a bit soon...maybe I should dig up some of the preposterous crap I wrote :)I have some BSC fanfic where I'm *pretty* sure I invented grills before they were even a twinkle in Nelly and Snoop Dogg's erm, teeth.

Linley said...



carey said...

hee! you know, we did have a dance in elementary school--the fifth grade valentine's day dance--and i can assure you that by not having an elementary school dance, you missed absolutely nothing. except the chance to show off your girl scout troop's dance routine to "walk like an egyptian." if. you know. that was something you did.

zanne said...

I love the story so far! The part about Joe Federer being this story's Jordan Catalano was hilarious! (I just finally started watching "My So-Called Life" thanks to Netflix. Not sure how I missed out on it when it was actually on tv!) I also like the idea of substitute friends. ha!

Can't wait to read the rest!

BadKat said...

I love the concern that the new kids will get the impression that the school is full of ugly people since the sub is fug.

I also LOVE the transvestite twins! Totally awesome!

I am emailing my 3rd grade stuff in a minute. I wish I could find my really good stuff, but I did find an awesome poem I wrote about leaves and my daily weather-inspired journal from fourth grade. I think my boyfriend may have accidentally thrown away my 5th grade poetry book with the carbon nonoxide poem. Damn him!!

Sada said...

BSC members + grills?! That's an unholy union if ever I've heard of one. Meaning, I can't wait! Please tell me Jackie Rodowsky is somehow involved.

halle said...

My favorite parts so far in Genie's story are:
1. Where she ignores her mom's words of advice about how the new kids feel and goes on to select her clothing for the day.
2. I looooooooove the way she extends her vowels for emphasis.
Am anxious for Part Two.