So, now you get to see what I did after being restricted by the confines of an ongoing miniseries for three weeks in a row. That’s right; I wrote an extremely long, extremely silly story that was so much fun that I still think about the writing of it to this day. This is the first time I ever went back to my introduction and wrote an “editor’s note” to warn my readers that the story was so long. I guess that’s all that’s iconic about it in the world of SotWC, but it does deserve mention that I had multiple friends at the time who were studying to be teachers (most notably Lisa Fernandez, who actually became a character in the story at one point!), and that undoubtedly informed the writing of this tale. Also, I have never showed this story to a teacher who did not find it extremely entertaining. Not tooting my own horn, just hoping the streak continues…
It also needs to be noted that, while membership in this little email story club was growing at this point, I still didn’t have a single male member yet. As a matter of fact, this club never had any male members unless you count my friend Mark, who used to read hard copies rather than receive the emails. That counts, right?
Subject: . . . IMMOGENE AND OLIVER (story #13)
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 94 14:29:49 EDT
BRO-MAN’S STORY OF THE WEEK
Well, hi there boys and girls! Ah, who am I kidding, this club doesn’t have any male members.
So, here we are back for another story, and this week, we’re not continuing anything, so NOBODY knows what to expect!
Let’s get to it, shall we?
(ed. note: Put on your seatbelts, I got a little carried away this week. . . )
THE STORY OF IMMOGENE AND OLIVER
Once upon a time, there was a young boy named Oliver. He lived with his mother and father in Beverly Hills. (I would give you the exact address, but I can’t remember their zip-code right now.) Anyway, Oliver was a happy, well-adjusted boy, except for the fact that he didn’t have a head. This made eating, seeing, talking, smelling, and hearing slightly more difficult for Oliver, but he was no quitter! No, sir, (sorry; ma’am. No male members and all. . . ), Oliver had the essential ingredient for survival: SPIRIT! He had enough positive outlook for ten boys his age (he was twelve. He only had enough positive outlook for eight boys of any other age, they did a study). His parents, too, had a positive outlook, and gave him nothing but love. except for those days when they would dress him funny just because they woke up on the wrong side of the bed (they always slept on the left side of the bed, and when they woke up on the right side, well that was the wrong side, if you take my meaning).
It was kind of funny to watch Oliver’s teachers on the first day of class each year, because for some reason, nobody ever thought to warn them that he didn’t have a head. Oh, sure, all the kids in the school had gotten to know who Oliver was over the years, but the teachers never did, because teachers never really pay attention to the kids, you know. That’s why nobody likes teachers. Anybody who wants to be a teacher should be prepared for the fact that they will be universally disliked by sheer virtue of their profession.
But I digress.
So, on the first day of classes every year, the teacher would be calling roll, and she (not that one should naturally assume that any teacher is a woman, I just happen to know that all of Oliver’s teachers WERE women, because, well, I just made them up.) would inevitably get to Oliver’s name and call out “Oliver Pitsby? Oliver Pitsby? Is Oliver Pitsby here?” but Oliver wouldn’t answer because he couldn’t hear her. All the other kids would just giggle because they KNEW Oliver was there, but they weren’t going to tell, because all children are inherently evil.
So, then, when the teacher finished roll, she would always look around and say “Now, who’s the boy in the back with no head?” and all the children would say “why, that’s Oliver, Miss Fernandez!” and the teacher would say, “well, why didn’t you tell me that when I called his name?” and all the children would say “because we are inherently evil.” The teacher would then generally go “rats.” and decide not to pay any attention to the kids all year. See, school’s just alot of give and take.
Anyway, when Oliver was twelve (that’s when the story takes place, that’s why I mentioned that being twelve thing once before), he got quite a shock on the first day of school. All the kids did, really, but it was more of a shock for Oliver. Oh, yes.
When the children arrived at school on that balmy Thursday, there was no teacher in the room. They all found their seats and just sat there. Once all of the children had arrived, the principal came in. “Class,” he said, “I have an announcement to make. In the spirit of passionate experimentation, I’m changing my name to Nuanda. No wait, I mean we’re bringing in a student teacher this year.” There was a collective gasp from the class. Except Oliver, he couldn’t gasp cuz he didn’t have a mouth. He didn’t hear the principal anyway, cuz he didn’t have any ears.
“Yes,” the principal continued, “we’re bringing in a student teacher. Her name is Immogene Rotgut, and she’s from. . . well, right next door in the other sixth grade class. I told you she was a student teacher. But hey, she’s pretty darn smart, okay?”
And with that, in trotted little eleven year old Immogene Rotgut, lesson plan in hand. Needless to say, this shocked the whole class. See? I told you. But it shocked Oliver most of all, because as soon as she entered the classroom, he grew a head. Sure, it was a small head, and sort of off to one side, and actually it was a goat’s head, not a people head, but when you’ve been headless your whole life, any head is a good head. More or less.
Suddenly being able to see and hear and smell and all that type of stuff that your head does was very exciting for Oliver, and he let out an excited “Mbaaaaa!”
Well, at this, the whole class turned around and looked at him. And then they laughed. They laughed and laughed and laughed. Heck, even the principal laughed. But Immogene did not laugh.
When the laughter died down (and it took a while, let me tell you), Immogene quietly asked “Now, who is the boy in the back with the goat’s head?”
And all the children answered “why that’s Oliver, Miss Rotgut!”
“And why were you laughing at him?” she asked coldly.
“Because we’re inherently. . .” And with that, all of the children stopped at once. They had all realized the same thing at the same time. Immogene was eleven years old. By God, she should have KNOWN that they were inherently evil! And yet, she had asked. What kind of sick game was she playing, anyway? they all wondered. Except Oliver. He knew.
Immogene. . . . . was NOT inherently evil.
He smiled sheepishly (yeah, I know, but “goatishly” isn’t a word), and rose from his seat. Immogene smiled back at him. It was a smile filled with kindness. It frightened all the children.
Oliver walked to the front of the classroom and took Immogene’s hand. The principal fainted. A boy named Spoonbread who was sitting in the front row and pointed accusingly at Immogene. “You’re not inherently evil!” he shouted, trembling all over, “that goes against all laws of childhood AND womanhood!” (I realize this is going out on a limb for an all female audience, but, hey, it’s just a story, not an editorial or anything, I’m taking alot of creative licenses, here, and besides this kid was really pissed off, and keep in mind that he is a boy, and therefore must have pig-headed notions about women or else his character would be unrealistic.)
“Yes, that’s right, bucko,” said Immogene icily, walking towards the boy, but never letting go of Oliver’s hand, “and you keep that in mind, because I’m going to be your teacher ALL YEAR.” She stopped right in front of him. “Do we have an understanding?” she almost whispered.
Spoonbread hesitated a moment, then said “yes, ma’am,” and sat down. He didn’t speak another word all year, either.
As Spoonbread sat down, a girl named Ricky Ricardo stood up and said “You know what? I never noticed before, since he didn’t have a head and all, but I don’t think Oliver is inherently evil, either.” The class gasped. Oliver smiled and squeezed Immogene’s hand.
“Well, shit,” said Ricky Ricardo, “if they can do it, I can too.” And with that, she walked to the front of the class to join them. Before long, there was a line of seventeen kids all holding hands in the front of the room. The others stoicly sat in their seats, refusing to give in to peer pressure. Of course, someone eventually pointed out that giving in to peer pressure was generally recognized as a bad thing to do, and NOT giving in to peer pressure was generally a good thing to do, and this presented all the children with quite a cunundrum.
Just then, the pricipal woke up and saw Immogene and Oliver holding hands. “Uh! Uh, you know that, uh, teachers and students aren’t allowed to have, uh, er, relationships!” he blustered.
Oliver turned around to face the principal and spoke for the first time in his life. “Ah, blow it out yer ass.” he said.
“Never mind.” said Ricky Ricardo, and all the children sat down again.
Just like a kid with a goat’s head to go and disillusion everyone, huh?
Well, there you have it. Pretty impressive, huh? Well, hey, what can I say, I’ve got alot of time on my hands.