Chapter Two: I hate school
Lunch was great. Oh, math was OK. Mr. Matthews was so nervous. He kept glancing at the clock and saying "um" and "ah" too much. We have Lokkins for Science, Social Studies, and Health. Back to lunch.
We have the whole table to ourselves. "We" is me, Adria, Jackie Mendol, Rain, Lorraine, Nori, Barry, Danni, Silvie, Heather Dobbins, Michelle, Ivy, and Carole.
That must be one huge table.
Well, Adria and I met at the flying saucer for recess. We talked teachers. She has Ms. Dunn.
"Ms. Dunn thinks she owns the world." explained Adria. "It's so dull, you know?"
Adria has the apathy of at least a seventh grader! Also, "owning the world" is hilarious.
"Yeah." I answered.
"I hate school. I always have and I always will." said Adria.
"Always." I agreed.
Then recess was over.
"Hey," whispered Barry. "Let's start a food fight."
Wait, they had lunch, then recess, then lunch again? What are they, hobbits?
"Oh, grow up." said Heather.
"How will it make us look?" asked Michelle.
"Real good." said Danni.
"Like scum." answered Heather.
"Which is what we are." agreed Barry. "So come on."
Dude! Barry thinks they're scum! And wants to prove it with a food fight! I might love her.
"Well, Barry," said Nori. "I'm not so sure."
"Oh, live a little." urged Jackie.
"Do I look like I'm dead?" questioned Carole.
"Wellll..." began Jackie.
Jackie is kinda cruising for a bruising, eh?
"Oh, let's vote." interrupted Adria.
"I agree." agreed Rain. Adria's eyes were shining.
"I just had an idea." squealed Adria.
"What?" I wanted to know.
Yes, ol' Light Bulb Eyes is at it again. Hopefully she can come up with something better than "let's promise to be friends forever."
"Well...who here hates school?" she asked.
"MEEEE." shouted all 13 of us.
"Well, here's what we could do." Adria whispered. "Bring some food you don't like in your lunch. Then, well, I guess you could bring it later. Then, we can meet later back here and smear it on the building so it says, 'I hate school'."
WATERED-DOWN PLAGIARISM ALERT! In the book Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You, Barthe DeClements' character "Bad Helen" spray-paints SCHOOL MAK ME PUK on her school. (Um, Helen has a learning disability, so don't make fun. Read all about it here. Or here.) But because I was way too much of a goody-goody to let my characters do anything actually bad, instead of spray paint Adria suggests they use, like, rotten bananas and pb & j with the crust still on as the tools of their "vandalism." (Because crust? GRODY!) What will queen bee Eleanor "Call Me Nori" Jefferson think of such a half-assed scheme?
"Adrianne Tyler, you are a GENIUS." shouted Nori. Adria's eyes were shining bright as ever as we decided what to do.
"When are we doing this, today or tomorrow?" asked Carole.
"Today." said Lorraine.
"I have piano today." Silvie announced.
"Tomorrow it is." said Ivy.
Well, Language Arts was OK. We have Miss Kudje. Adria was in my class. So were the rest of the girls from lunch. I like the afternoons, but Miss Kudje is bossy. YECH.
The boys were bugging us to death. Especially David and Ryan. David gave Rain this note:
We all had to admit it was pretty funny. It looked just like Angie. It really did.
I had serious doubts that Angie could really resemble that drawing. And then I found this:
Apparently poor Angie has a rat's nest of a hairdo and suffers from some sort of birth defect that left her with giant, three-toed webbed feet. Everyone, please contribute to the March of Dimes so we can end the blight of duck foot-ism once and for all!
Then Ryan started in. He was sitting behind me and he started to pull my hair. I slapped his hands, but really I liked it. Nori said he likes me. I hope so. Ryan's cute.
Oh, fifth grade flirting.
Rich started to bug Ivy. He kicked her chair and she kicked [him] where it counts. I think Rich liked it, though. BARF*O*RAMA.
Nothing a 10-year-old boy likes more than a foot in the nuts, surely.
Well, Thursday was a lot like Wednesday except we had homework. Lunch was great. We all had great things for our 'I hate school' job. We agreed to meet at 7:30. It was late [7:30 = late!], after dinner, and not real dark. Perfect.
Because I'm sure no one will notice 13 girls smearing a bunch of food on the school at dusk. Nope, that won't draw attention AT ALL.
It was 7:15. "Mom," I said. "I'm going to the playground. I'll be back by 8:00. Bye."
"Just one minute, young lady. Hold it right there." said mom. "What do you think you're doing? I'm not running a circus here, you know. Why are you going to the playground at this hour? What are you planning to do, miss?"
"I'm going to a meeting for a secret club." I lied. "Are you happy you forced it out of me?"
"Be back by 8:00 or I'm coming to get you." mom shouted as I left.
Oh my God, you guys, WHAT IS THIS? Parents who are involved in their children's lives?! Does this mean that if Kim decided to stay all weekend in an underground treehouse, someone would actually notice she was gone? Let's hope this isn't a trend. This could be disastrous for all of us!
I wasn't the last to arrive. Heather was. We had almost started without her.
"Is everyone ready?" asked Nori.
"Then let's go for it." shouted Barry.
And go for it we did. It took a while. We had to decide who did which parts. Not everything stuck at first. It was nearly 8 when we finished, but it was worth it. My arms were sore, my hands were slimy, and my eyes were tired, but it was worth it.
I really wish there were more details on the food, but all we get is "slimy." Maybe someone brought okra? Jell-o? Oysters? I'll bet Nori brought seaweed!
On the side of the building, in putrid shades read:
Chapter Three: T.G.I.F. (Thank God It's Friday)
On Friday, everyone was talking about our 'I hate school' job. Of course, we couldn't confess because some geek could rat on us.
"Some geek could rat on us?" It's like they're already in a juvenile detention center. And they've barely committed a crime!
At lunch, we couldn't really talk about it. This is a part of our conversation:
Yes, they have an entire conversation where they pretend like they don't know who was behind the expression of school hatred, for the sake of... I'm not quite sure who.
"So," began Lorraine. "Who do you think did that 'I hate school' thing?"
"Well, I bet you it was a boy." said Rain.
Way to throw the bloodhounds off the scent, Rain!
"Probably." agreed Nori.
"Well, I thought it was cool." said Barry.
"Yeah." said Jackie and Danni.
"They'll probably catch whoever did it." Heather said.
"Probably not." I said.
"Yeah." agreed Adria. "No one looked guilty."
"I agree with you two." said Ivy.
"Heather does have a point, though." admitted Carole.
"Here we go again." muttered Kristen.
"I wonder what they used." said Michelle.
Me too, Michelle. ME TOO.
All this time Silvie said nothing. She just looked like she was going to burst.
Silvie is totally the weak link. Hope you don't get shivved on the way to your next piano lesson, Silvs.
When we got to Language Arts, we saw that Miss Kudje had been using the board. In huge letters across the board it read, "T.G.I.F."
"Thank god it's Friday." whispered Barry. Of course, we all knew it was Thank Goodness It's Friday.
Bwa ha. How cute.
Miss Kudje looked like she really meant it.
"So, Kim," Ryan said, yanking my hair to get my attention. I
What was I supposed to say? I thought it was cool, of course, but what if he didn't.
Rubbing nasty scraps of old food on a building? Who wouldn't think that's cool?
"It was cool." I finally said. "What did you think of it."
"I think it's cool, too." answered Ryan.
"Everyone, FREEZE." shouted Miss Kudje. "NOW COME QUIETLY TO THE FRONT OF THE ROOM." Look who's talking, I mean screaming. "We have to have a talk. Honestly, how many of you hate school here?"
Whoa, Miss Kudje, laying it on the line! Time for a good "rap session" with the youngsters.
Everyone except about 5 people raised their hands. "OK, hands down. We need to have a discussion about our little 'I hate school' thing out there. We took a close look and saw that it was made of food so there's no damage done really. It will wash away when it rains. Still, it doesn't make our school look very good. What if there were visitors or something coming or..." Miss Kudje blew her nose.
Wait, wait, wait! They've ascertained that the "graffiti" is actually foodstuffs (I wonder if they brought in a forensics expert...?), but they're going to leave "I HATE SCHOOL" up there until it happens to rain? What about utilizing, I don't know, a HOSE? A few buckets of water? I'm just brainstorming here. But back to Miss Kudje and her runny nose...
"Miss Kudje, why are you crying?" asked Rain.
"You see, Noraina,"
"Rain." said Rain.
The woman is in tears, but Rain still takes a moment to insist on being addressed by nickname.
"Rain," said Miss Kudje. "It reminds me of when I was in 5th grade. Me, my friends, Sarah and Maria, my boyfriend, Tim, and his friend Jon, we did almost the same thing."
This is where it starts to get a little inappropriate.
"YOU HAD A BOYFRIEND?" screamed Heather.
"Yes, Heather, I had a boyfriend." said Miss Kudje.
What grown woman seriously refers to someone she "dated" in fifth grade as her boyfriend? Miss Kudje is majorly creeping me out.
"Was he cute?" asked Ivy.
"Yes, Ivy, he was cute."
"Gee." said Angie Duck Feet McCall.
"Can I finish the story now?" asked Miss Kudje. "Thank you. Except we spray painted. On the black top playground. There it was right there in big huge letters on our school playground, 'I HATE SCHOOL'." Miss Kudje reached for a tissue.
Yes, this totally sounds like a person who would grow up to become a fifth grade teacher. Right?
"Is that all? That's the end?" asked Ryan.
"No," said Miss Kudje. "We got caught."
"What happened to you?" asked Barry.
"We got in trouble." answered Miss Kudje.
"DUH." said Rich.
"Oh, shut up, Rich." said Kristen.
"We were suspended for a week. Our parents made us pay them since they would have to pay extra taxes. Except then they just gave the school the right a mount. It was awful." said Miss Kudje. "All right, back to your seats, I have some fun sheets. No home work on Friday."
In Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You, Helen finds out that it will cost $6 in paint to cover up the SCHOOL MAK ME PUK graffiti. Apparently I didn't realize that $6 does not a heavy tax burden make.
Also, I like how Miss Kudje goes directly from the tear-laced tale of woe into Friday fun sheets. She so made up that story to get a confession.
I felt really guilty and I knew what we would have to do.
"Let's confess." I said. We were standing outside afterschool.
"No way." said Barry.
"I agree." said Heather.
"Only to Miss Kudje." said Nori. "She'll understand."
"So I see." said Miss Kudje. "Well, it was very clever, Adria. Much better than a food fight. You do know that it was wrong."
"Yes." we answered.
Miss Kudje burst out laughing. "Go home. Don't worry, I won't tell a soul." She got her things and left.
Miss Kudje is definitely getting fired before the school year is out.
"I really like Miss Kudje." said Adria.
"Yeah." agreed Ivy.
"Do you guys have an umbrella?" asked Nori. "It's going to rain."
"No." we all answered.
"Great." said Nori. Just then there was a huge clap of thunder and lightning filled the sky. We were soaked in a second. IT WAS POURING.
Good thing, since the janitor is too lazy to soap up a frigging mop and wipe that crap off the building.
"Thank god it's Friday." muttered Carole.
"Thank god I'm getting my hair done tomorrow." said Heather.
"There goes 'I hate school'." said Adria.
"THANK GOD." I said.
Um, Heather's getting her hair done? Is she 60?
Soon we all got home, soaking messes.
"Thank god it's Friday." I said to mom.
Chapter Four: You can only take so many practical jokes
"You're soaked." exclaimed mom. She ran to get a towel. "Go dry off." I went into the bathroom. "It wasn't Roger, was it?" mom called through the door.
I came out. "No, but what do you mean?"
"MOM." yelled Tiger. Tiger's real name is Philip, but he's only 3 so we call him Tiger.
Excuse me, but whaaa? That's scoring a zero in the sense-making department.
I threw on my sweat pants and a T-shirt and rushed down the stairs after mom. She had to answer some questions for me. What was Roger doing that could get me soaked. I had to know.
"ROGER ELSON, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" screamed mom. Roger is 15 but he looked younger all hunched up against the counter. Small. "I asked you to fix your brother a snack."
Roger snickered. "I did." he said.
"Yeah, you really look like Mr. Innocent." I told him. He crossed his [eyes, I'm assuming, though it doesn't specify what]. I stuck out my tongue.
"Stay out of this Kimberly." warned mom. I sat down at the table. "There has been entirely too much practical joking going on, young man. I want an explanation and I want it now."
"I gave him milk and an ice cream sundae." said Roger.
"AND." said mom.
"And I put the milk in a dribble glass. That's why there's milk on his shirt. And I made the sundae out of, well, the ice cream scoops were raquet balls and the whipped cream was shaving cream."
KILL HIM MOM, I thought.
And that's where the story ends. It was just not going to get any better than a racquet ball sundae topped with shaving cream!
NEXT TIME: Another ludicrous scheme involving fake midgets, the long-awaited Def Leppard haiku, and much, much more when we meet the rest of Adria's wacky family.