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.


zanne said...

I love this story. I can't believe there's no ending, though! Barfoh!

The speeches were great. I laughed so hard at some of them. Hilarious. I love the descriptions of the people, esp. their outfits.

Did Jan not know about those best friends necklaces where each friend gets half? Maybe not, since she was just a substitute friend and probably never got one. I had the worst luck with those necklaces--any time I got one with a friend, we eventually ended up fighting & not being friends anymore.

Did you & your sister both like the name Teresa? I have a friend named Teresa now (who is my age), but I don't think I ever knew anyone by that name when I was younger.

Did your sister write any other stuff? This story was great!

carey said...

BREAD DOUGH. that's...really all i have to say.

Ellie said...

This was so excellent!

Sada said...

I'm not sure what else my sister has, as I only ransacked my own boxes back at the folks' house. This one was with my stuff because I had rediscovered it in 7th grade, decided it had "real potential," and was going to rewrite it. (Because I didn't have enough of my own unfinished books to contend with?) The manila folder also contains my rewrite, but it's not that different. I did, however, shorten the "sooooooooo"s to "soo."

BadKat said...

Ha! I thought at first that the NO! was Jan’s response.

What the heck is late Christmas?

"hi, my name is Burt, but don't call me that. Call me Steve”

Oh, I cant wait to see if people think I was as weird of a child as I think I was…

Linley said...

Making jewelry out of old jewelry. Heh. That rules.

gollygee said...

Rita Cophr is my favorite. She had the best outfit. And I'm still reeling over the whole illness over the girl who liked to "have fun." What does Jan have against having fun??? So confusing! :D

Anonymous said...

This is great! Jan's character is so strange (very quick to judge on little details) but I love her for that. I can see why Jan doesn't have a real friend; she hates having fun so she must love being bored. Who wants that?

Deathycat said...

That was awesome! I love how she judges each potential friend so harshly. Great stuff. ^_^