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 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."
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
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!