Monday, February 19, 2018

Not My God

What kind of god would tell me to kill?
And send their families the funeral bill?
What kind of god would tell me to hate?
Believe every sinner gets a hellish fate?
What kind of god would promise me heaven?
Use fear as a conqueror, the ultimate weapon?
Never will I kneel down and pray to the skies
You’d never save me, not even if you tried

You’re not my god! You’re not my kind!
You’re not the answer that I have to find!
You’re not my king! You’re not my master!
You’re not my priest! You’re not my pastor!
You’re! Not! My! God!

A prophet’s word is a false prediction
A prophet’s book is science fiction
A prophet’s orders fall on deaf ears
A prophet’s stuck in medieval years

You’re not my god! You’re not my kind!
You’re not the answer that I have to find!
You’re not my king! You’re not my master!
You’re not my priest! You’re not my pastor!
You’re! Not! My! God!

A theomancer is a free man’s cancer
A theocrat lives off stolen cash
A theocosm has nothing in common
With our three worlds and our problems
The bottom level is home to the devil
I call bullshit so you should just quit
I don’t need your thoughts or prayers
In the fucking end, you just don’t care

You’re not my god! You’re not my kind!
You’re not the answer that I have to find!
You’re not my king! You’re not my master!
You’re not my priest! You’re not my pastor!
You’re not my savior! You’re not my flavor!
You won’t punish my sinful behavior!
I’m not your slave! I’m not your zealot!
My soul is not yours, you cannot sell it!

You’re! Not! My! God!

Don't Wake the Baby

Dreaming of scratches behind her ears
Sleeping on my bed for the rest of her years
Such a sweet little fuzzy lady
Shh! Don’t wake the baby!

Dreaming of a buffet table of tuna fish
A quart of milk in her favorite dish
Is this reality? Well, just maybe
Shh! Don’t wake the baby!

Dreaming of gentle warmth from the heater
Drooling like a fountain, her dreams get sweeter
A kitty kiss on the cheek is what she gave me
Shh! Don’t wake the baby!

Waking up to a brand new day
Only to fall asleep again anyways
She needs every hour of beauty rest
Her forever home is truly the best
She gives me the biggest goofy grin
Every time I scratch her under the chin
She purrs like the sweetest kitty lady

Shh! Don’t wake the baby!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Thunder Eagles


How about we take a break from the high school drama known as Silent Warrior so that I can tell you a little story about my childhood. I promise you we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled program after these messages. Although, chapter thirteen will contain graphic sexual content, so if you want to look for it when it’s up, go to Wattpad. Until the day I write that chapter, you’re getting a story from my past.

In spite of the fact that I was raised on WWF, WCW, and ECW, I didn’t have much love for sports or exercise of any kind growing up. I’m paying for it now that I’m north of three hundred pounds, but even back when I was a skinny little string bean, athletic competition was hard for me. I’d gas out after the first few minutes. Imagine this kind of negative attitude applied to elementary school-level soccer.

In the early to mid-90’s, I lived in Elk Grove, California and achieved success in my third, fourth, and fifth grade academics. Athletic achievements? Not so much. My parents signed me and my brother James up for soccer, albeit different teams. James’s team, the Laguna Lasers, was successful and happy to be so. My team, The Thunder Eagles (not to be confused with the Thunderbirds), were an intergalactic disaster. We only won two games out of god knows how many and one of those two games was against a team of children who were much younger and smaller than us. For all of you wrestling nerds out there, it’s basically Bone Soldier beating the shit out of James Ellsworth.

As a child, I’ve always been a sore loser no matter what the game was. When I brother beat me at Connect Four, I threw a hissyfit like no other. When I played Hero Quest and my barbarian was killed, I threw game pieces across the living room in frustration. When the Thunder Eagles lost over and over again, I wanted to beat something up. It didn’t help matters that I was always getting knocked down (accidentally) or hit with the ball (accidentally) by the other players. Whenever one of them would hit me, I’d chase after them and throw hammer fists until I was benched for the rest of the game. And then when both of our teams formed lines to high five each other, I withdrew my hand. Hell, as angry as I was, I might as well have flipped them off instead. Vinny Jones would be so proud of me.

It also didn’t help matters that my own teammates were conspiring against me most of the time. I remember during practice how they would play keep away with a soccer ball I brought myself. I never could get the ball back from them, but every time someone kicked it away, I’d either shove them to the ground or kick them in the legs. I also remember a time when a fellow teammate named Jorge kept bouncing the ball off my legs, so I ran up to him, kicked him in the asshole, and made him cry. I’d later recall these stories as an adult to James, who kept asking me why I took everything so personally back then. I’d jokingly respond with, “They tried to kill me!”

If I had been an adult and committed these violent and vengeful acts against other players, I’d probably be in jail right now. But as a kid, you can get away with pretty much anything and the worst you’ll get is detention or a suspension (which is really just a nice vacation away from the stresses of school). In the case of soccer, my mom bribed me with a trip to McDonald’s after each game on the condition that I didn’t clobber anybody who accidentally bumped me down. One particular game, I got smacked in the thigh with the ball and it stung like hell. But instead of beating the shit out of another kid, I cried my eyes out. Needless to say, I earned my Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese that day.

The lesson I learned from all of this soccer immersion was that if at first you don’t succeed, cry and cry again. As I said before, the Thunder Eagles lost every game except for two. Plus, I was getting sick and tired of being smashed around and gassing out after only a few seconds of activity. While my brother James continues to enjoy an athletic lifestyle, I’ve resigned myself to a life of videogames and have remained injury free since then. That reminds me of another lesson I learned from soccer: if you get hit in what’s supposed to be a no-contact sport, the admins might as well make it as violent as possible. I would have loved to bring steel chairs and kendo sticks onto the soccer field with me, maybe even a barbed wire bat. Extreme Championship Soccer! ECS! ECS! ECS! ECS!

I’d like to think that this is why I continue to watch wrestling and MMA as an adult: because violent sports don’t try to hide behind the fa├žade of being safe and conscientious about self-esteem. I guess football could be considered violent because of all the concussions the players get, but I have yet to see any of them whip out some martial arts moves on the gridiron, so football doesn’t count in the end. And now that we’re on the topic of violent sports, when, oh when are the Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards going to come out already?! That Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic award is ripe for the picking this year! Come on, Meltzer! I’m Garrison Kelly and I’ll see you next time!


“I’ll hypnotize you like a vampire. Bite your neck and set your head on fire. Shoot me with silver bullets, okay. I’ll pull ‘em out, pawn ‘em, and get paid!”

-Violent J from Insane Clown Posse rapping “Bring It On”-

"Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties" by Dav Pilkey

BOOK TITLE: Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties
AUTHOR: Dav Pilkey
YEAR: 2017
GENRE: Graphic Novel
SUBGENRE: Children’s Adventure

An anthropomorphic dog cop aptly named Dog Man has been assigned to protect a laboratory housing a psychomantic fish, who was rebuilt using mechanical parts so that the scientists could sufficiently study his brain. Elsewhere in the city, another scientific experiment takes place as escaped convict Petey the Kitty creates a miniature clone of himself and struggles to raise it like a real kid. Soon the two stories hit a crossroads in a cutely written adventure involving buildings coming to life, a mechanical cat suit capable of superhuman feats, and a gigantic truck full of French salad dressing. It’s a silly story, but one worth enjoying.

While it is true that this graphic novel was intended for small children, you can also enjoy it if you’re an avid pet lover like me. The Petey clone’s innocent antics, Dog Man’s cheerful nature, and even the minor role characters bring out the warm and fuzzy feelings you’d expect from animal literature. My favorite cute moments from the book include putting Lil’ Petey to bed, giving him a bath, and Dog Man bouncing all over the police chief like a real dog. You know what? Why don’t we just give the entire cast of this graphic novel one big cuddle-huggle. Good or evil, they’ve all earned a special place in my heart for the sweetness they bring!

As happy-go-lucky as this book is, it’s not without the occasional sad moment. I can pinpoint three different parts of this book that strike me as heartbreaking: Dog Man’s sad expressions when the police chief tells him he’s a “bad dog”, Petey becoming frustrated with his “kid” and leaving him in a box alone on the streets, and Lil’ Petey drawing picture books for his special friends. Don’t be too turned off by these tear-jerking scenes, because they’ll easily renew your love for animals everywhere. If you’ve got a little kitty or puppy at home, give him or her extra cuddles and pettings to show them how much you care.

Enough with the tears of sadness. How about some tears of happiness for a change? The mechanical cat suit Petey builds for his son is called the 80 Hexatron Droid. If you shorten that name to an acronym, it’s called 80-HD. Say that ten times fast and clap your hands like an audience at a golf tournament. Oh, and one of the buildings that comes to life? It’s an oatmeal factory called Holland Oats. Kids today might not understand that reference, but an older member of their family will. The jokes and puns in this story won’t make you hee-haw with laughter, but they’ll bring the world’s goofiest grin to your face.

If you like cute and cuddly stories with happy endings and golf clap humor, buy a copy of this graphic novel. Whether you have children of your own, you are a child, or you’re just a guy who loves sweetness, you’ll love what the pages have to offer. Don’t let anybody tell you you’re too old for this kind of material. What matters most is what you love, not what anybody else’s standards dictate. I love this story and that’s why it deserves a passing grade.

Friday, February 16, 2018

"The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" by Max Allan Collins

BOOK TITLE: The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
AUTHOR: Max Allan Collins
YEAR: 2008
GENRE: Fiction
SUBGENRE: Urban Fantasy

In the year 200 BC, China’s Dragon Emperor conquered his country with an iron fist and compassion for nobody. Karma would take the form of a sorceress’s curse, which covered him and his army in terra-cotta and banished them in suspended animation for eternity. Fast forward two millenniums and the Dragon Emperor is awakened from his curse by the greedy and zealous General Yang. The globetrotting O’Connell family must now put the mummy back into the ground by stabbing him in the heart with a mystical blade that was guarded for many generations. With an endless supply of firepower and unmatched martial arts skills, the O’Connells truly are the world’s last hope.

Even though this book earned its passing grade (four out of five stars), it’s not without its glaring flaws, particularly in the cheese department. The narrator constantly complimenting the female characters’ beauty, the gratuitous explosions, the sometimes off-color use of similes and metaphors, the instant chemistry between Alex O’Connell (the son) and Lin (Chinese tomb guardian), and the most obvious cheese of all, Alex and his father Rick using penis analogies to describe their submachine guns and pistols. Considering this was once a poorly received movie, I don’t doubt that these cheesy elements turned off plenty of viewers.

But that’s not to say that this book doesn’t deserve the praise it gets. All in all, it’s a fun little book filled with action, adventure, and opportunities for young authors to learn how to write in a fast-paced manner. It turns out that describing every punch and kick within a Jackie Chan-style fight isn’t one hundred percent necessary. In fact, that would take forever and impatient readers like me don’t have forever. We like hard-hitting action. We like hailstorms of bullets. We like tooth and nail struggles that bring the warriors to the edge of death and back again. Although the O’Connell family is blessed with martial arts skills and expensive firearms, they’re no doubt going to earn whatever victories they get. To put it in Rick’s terms, this struggle is going to make them HATE mummies!

The wild imagination of this story is something I also want to praise. Magical elements, bloodthirsty three-headed dragons, barbaric yetis, immortal Chinese warriors, a pool of eternal life, mystical artifacts, this urban fantasy has everything you need in order to get those inner wheels turning. While some of the magical occurrences come off as random at times, they don’t take away from the action or drama of the book and actually make sense in hindsight. Look at it this way: how else is a mere mortal named Rick O’Connell going to beat the crap out of a warrior mummy who won’t stay down? Anybody? Hello? Yes, the dragon dagger comes off as a McGuffin and McGuffins are considered literary sins, but if you’ve got a better way to kill off this seemingly immortal Dragon Emperor, I’d like to hear it.

Sometimes all a reader wants to do is have some fun and you’ll get that with this third installment of The Mummy series. You could also consider seeing the movie this book was adapted from, but diehard readers will want to choose the book instead. The writing style is cinematic in and of itself, so what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy of this four-star book today! Don’t be too turned off by the fact that this story has more cheese than a Domino’s pizza. After all, this kind of cheese would make even a vegan hungry.

Silent Warrior, Chapter 12

If there was ever a time for the genre of robot-zombie apocalypse, it was right after lunch period. Everybody’s faces blended together. Scott George’s brain numbed out to where he couldn’t think straight. And the apocalypse part? That was an easy one: his world crashed all around him. Every once and a while, he would look up at the digital clocks of his respective classrooms waiting impatiently for the day to be over. His incessant foot tapping and jittery fingers made him easier to read than a baby’s first book.

After hours and hours of having Novocain rubbed on his brain, the final buzzer sounded and Scott’s wobbly legs brought him to an upright position and out the front door in a slow death march. He couldn’t even remember what day it was, but even his explosive mind could tell that Saturday was just around the corner. Saturday was supposed to be an exciting time in an overworked student’s life. A time to party. A time to play videogames. A time to hang out with friends. Scott might as well have walked straight to the gallows instead of home that day.

He needed a new song on his MP3 player. “After the Rain” by Nickelback? Nah, too positive. How about “Lullaby” from that same group? Nope, hits too close to home with its themes of suicide. Considering Scott’s brain was a scarier place to be than a battlefield full of dead bodies, maybe music wasn’t what he needed at the moment. Not even the hard rock guitars and golden voice of Chad Kroeger would be enough to wake up the corpses in his mind.

“Scott!” called out a familiar feminine voice. “Scott! Over here!” Still no response from the creature whose diet consisted only of brains healthier than his own. And then his world went black with a pair of soft, silky hands covering his eyes. “Guess who, sweetie pie!” Not even the perky voice of his own girlfriend could snap Scott out of his depressive slouch. “Come on, Scott! Rise and shine!”

With the energy of someone who just got out of an apnea-induced slumber, Scott wrapped Adrienne’s arm around his own neck and absentmindedly kissed her on the cheek. “Sorry, babe. Today’s been a massive bucket of suck. I just want to go home.”

“Every day is a massive bucket of suck for you,” said Adrienne as the two lovers walked down the street together. “But something’s really getting to you, isn’t it? You can tell me what it is. I won’t judge you.”

“It’s…it’s your goddamn father again.”

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised,” said Adrienne flatly. “He has that kind of effect on people. What did he do this time?”

Scott sighed deeply as a way of clearing the clutter in his head. “He gave me an hour detention to serve on Saturday morning. I guess that’s his way of getting back at me for bailing on him.”

“Saturday morning? That’s tomorrow!”

The realization hit Scott like a cannonball to the gut. He crouched down on the ground and coughed violently while Adrienne comforted him with pats and rubs on the shoulders. “Sorry,” he said while breathing heavily. “I completely forgot today was Friday. Holy shit…I’m dead…I’m fucking dead! He wants me to clean the desks in his classroom for him. All that nasty shit that’s under there…just thinking about it killed my appetite…I’m so hungry, damn it!”

Adrienne hugged him around his upper arms and said, “It’ll be alright, Scott. It’s just an hour of your life. After that, you’ll have a fresh start. My dad may be the world’s biggest asshole, but he’s not going to do anything to you that you can’t handle.”

“Where were you, Adrienne?” asked Scott in a raspy voice. “I looked everywhere for you and you didn’t show up to school today.”

“I would have been there to walk with you, but I had a panic attack this morning. I don’t know what triggered it, but it probably means I’m going to be spending longer than usual in my therapist’s office on Sunday. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there, Scott. I really am. Come on, let’s walk you home.” The two of them stood up and proceeded to do just that.

Upon standing up, a piece of paper fell out of Scott’s backpack and Adrienne bent over to pick it up. She stared at it with wide-eyed amazement and an angelic smile. “Scott, did you draw this? It’s beautiful! Gee, I wonder who that lovely girl in the middle could be!” She kissed him on the cheek and his face lit up like a neon sign. Then Adrienne’s smile turned to a confused frown when she saw the oral stain on the bottom of the picture. “Scott, did you…?”

“I puked up my breakfast and lunch when your dad brought up the fact that there were gummy worms stuck to the bottom of the desks….among other disgusting things. That’s why I said I was hungry earlier.” He lifted up his shirt and ran his own fingers across his visible ribcage. “This isn’t working, Adrienne. This needs to change.”

“I think I might have a package of Oreos in my backpack, hang on,” said Adrienne as she rifled through her belongings. Sure enough, there was a small bag of double-stuffed Oreo cookies, which she licked her lips over. “Go ahead, Scott. Eat up!”

His fingers convulsed as he struggled to open the package. He almost dropped one of the cookies, but caught it just in time. As he stared at the frosty treat, he wondered if the cream filling had been stuck under those desks too. He stuck his tongue out in disgust and shivered violently before Adrienne patted him on the back to assure him it was okay.

Scott breathed deeply and settled down some knowing his girlfriend loved him despite his obvious flaws. She cared enough about him that she wanted him to eat everyday. She cared about his pain. She wanted to protect him from the evils of her own bloodline. Scott’s inside warmed up at these positive thoughts as he took a smile bite of the Oreo cookie.

The sweetness of the treat and the sweetness of Adrienne’s love were powerful enough to counteract the visions of boogers and chewed bubblegum underneath the desks. Scott took another bite. And another. And another. His stomach didn’t care about his psychological traumas; it wanted food and it wanted it now. Scott devoured the entire bag and licked his fingers afterwards.

“Not the most nutritious thing you could be eating, but it’s a damn good start,” said Adrienne with a cute grin. Scott couldn’t help but get a goofy grin on his own face as well, that was until his girlfriend looked down at his trousers and…it happened again. “Uh, Scott? You’ve got a…little problem…down there.”

Scott snapped out of his romanticized trance long enough to see that little Scotty was standing at attention once more. With both hands covering his groin, he profusely apologized to his girlfriend and tried to run away in shame. But then she grabbed hold of his arm and said, “It’s okay, honey-bunny! There’s nobody here to see you.”

“You mean…you’re not offended? You don’t want to get a restraining order against me or some shit like that?”

Adrienne sighed and shook her head with a smile, “No, Scott, I’m not going to file a sexual harassment claim just because you got a little…overzealous. As a matter of fact, I think the two of us should go somewhere a little more intimate and…do something about your little problem.”

Scott swallowed hard as he figured out what his girlfriend meant by that. They’d only known each other for a few days at best and she already wanted to have sex with him. It came with the territory of being a hormone-driven teenager, sure, but something about all of this didn’t feel right to him. “I don’t know, babe, I just…”

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” said Adrienne while resting her chin on his shoulder and hugging him around his waist. “I just thought maybe you’d like to…you know…Heh! Sorry, I’m not the best at this kind of thing. It’s just that, if we did do…well, that…it would be my first time. Have you ever made love before, Scott?”

“Um…yeah, sure…I guess…if you want to call it that…”

Adrienne giggled, “Wow, this is awkward as fuck. Looks like we’re both going to have to go easy on each other. Do you still want to?”

“Well…uh…where would we go? I can’t go back to my place because my mom’s a fucking bitch. We can’t go to your place either, though I don’t know your mom very well. She probably wouldn’t like it if we…did that in her house.”

Adrienne held Scott’s hand and skipped away with him. “I know of a place where we can get some privacy.” Scott’s eyes widened with horror when he realized that they were heading into the forest. Adrienne giggled some more and said, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to take you to my Cabin in the Woods. And I’m not going to take you to my cottage in the forest, either, though that sounds more cozy and less creepy, oddly enough. It’s all about context, right?”

“So…where are we going exactly?”

“You’ll find out soon enough. Hell, I’ll even make it a nice surprise for you,” she said while covering Scott’s eyes with her hands like she did before. “You trust me, right? Well, don’t worry, we’re not going to bump into any trees. I’ll take you to where we’re going in just a minute.”

Though he didn’t have to worry about other people despite his covered eyes, Scott still felt the need to hide his erection during this trek into the forest. No matter how hard he pushed down on it, it wouldn’t go away. Adrienne slapped his hands and said, “Don’t do that; that’s a good way to break it.”

“Yes, mother.”

“Don’t call me mother. That’s creepy as hell.”

“Yes, dear.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Silent Warrior, Chapter 11

A clear mind was all Scott George ever wanted. Clear of Mr. Simpson’s condescension. Clear of Alan Young’s brand of “humor”. Clear of worms that had no business being there in the first place. While his brainwaves weren’t a complete heavenly paradise, he was able to dry his eyes long enough to get through art class in one piece. The whispers of his classmates weren’t obtrusive enough to hold his attention. Instead his focus was pinpointed on a drawing he had been working on since the opening buzzer.

Rainbow colored flowers decorated the borders of Scott’s drawing. Pink clouds filled the negative spaces in between with a crisp golden sunshine lingering in the background. In the center of this latest masterpiece was heaven’s most beautiful angel. Instead of a radiating golden light, she brightened the picture with green flames and a purple haze. Rather than looking at the subject, her face turned slightly away with shyness, her hair down to her chest and her face a brilliant shade of red.

Unfortunately for the cloud nine-residing Scott, his one true love wouldn’t be in English class to see this marvelous masterpiece he created. Her desk remained empty throughout the entire hour and that brought a disappointed frown to his face. Where could she be? Did somebody figure out that she and Scott were dating? He hid his face as much as he could that day, fearing the absolute worst. It could have been a simple case of her coming down with a fever, but Scott’s mind wasn’t a place where rational adult thinking took place.

By the time lunch period rolled around, Scott still tried looking for Adrienne, even going back to the spot they sat at yesterday. He even visited the salad bar, which was slightly better than the spongy chicken nuggets, but not by much. He wanted to follow her advice as much as humanly possible and not worry about some stupid worms crawling in his meal. He took his Caesar dressing-covered greenery and sat at the same empty spot he took yesterday, hoping Adrienne would miraculously show up.

A few nibbles of spinach later, nothing. A few more nibbles, still nothing. A half hour of rabbit bites and Adrienne still hadn’t shown up. With nobody coming to save him this time, Scott’s stomach began to ache and flare up as he felt funny little creatures crawling around in his intestines. He felt as though an alien was going to pop out of his body and latch onto his face at any moment. And then an oddly comforting hand touched his shoulders and he was back to reality. When he saw who the hand belonged to, Scott’s comfort died down like a wounded animal.

“How long have you been standing there?” he asked.

“Long enough to see you writhe around in pain for whatever reason. My history class isn’t that bad, you know,” said Mr. Simpson with an unfunny smirk. “Mind if I sit here? Of course you don’t. We have much to discuss.” The history teacher took a seat across from Scott and folded his hands across the table. “I’m assuming that the reason you didn’t show up to my class today was because Miss Williams had a little chat with you.”

“Where’s Adrienne?” asked Scott pointblank before covering his mouth quickly.

“That’s none of your business,” said Mr. Simpson. “Besides, I wouldn’t know her whereabouts anyways. We haven’t talked in such a long time. Kind of like the way you and I never talk anymore except to breathe fire down each other’s necks. Actually, you’re the one who insists on not talking, which is why your grade is currently standing at a C- when it could be much higher.”

“if you came here to make fun of my introversion, then I’m going to go sit somewhere else,” said Scott, who tried to stand up only to have Mr. Simpson grab him by the wrist and sit him down again.

“Trust me, Scott, I didn’t come here for amateur comedy night. We really do have a lot to talk about, especially as it pertains to your punishment for not showing up to after-school detention. You didn’t think there’d be an easy way out, did you? There never is, my little silent warrior. But you should at least be thankful that this wasn’t a court appearance instead. If it had been, you’d be in jail. At least with school, some of the harsh punishment is easy to serve.”

Scott leaned his face closer to his teacher’s as a way to suppress his deepest fears. “Principal Williams basically told me that my fate was in your hands. If that’s the case, then stop wasting my goddamn time and tell me what’s going on.”

“I had no idea your ‘goddamn’ time was so valuable to you, Mr. George. You certainly didn’t feel that way about me when you left me hanging for thirty minutes straight. Isn’t my time valuable as well? Considering I’m several decades older than you, I’d say that’s the case. Well, you’re not going to waste my time anymore, buddy-boy. You want to learn your fate? Here it is. If you have any plans this weekend, cancel them. You’re going to serve an hour of detention bright and early Saturday morning.”


Cleaning his glasses with the waist of his shirt, Mr. Simpson said, “I believe I made myself abundantly clear. Since we’re spending an hour of quality time together, I’ll have to think of something for you to do other than clean off the desks, thought that can be pretty time consuming. Students love to leave unspeakable objects underneath the desks whether it’s chewed bubblegum, nose goblins, graffiti, god knows what else. One time I caught a student sticking gummy worms underneath the desk.”

The gummy worm trigger caused Scott to gag and lurch as he fought desperately to hold his salad down. He could feel the adrenaline sewage bubble up in his stomach…then to his chest…then to the back of his throat where he could taste it. He swallowed a massive tidal wave of saliva to keep the burst of bile down. He breathed heavily with his tongue hanging out, like a dog locked in a hot car.

“Listen,” said Mr. Simpson while holding his hands up in mock defense. “I know cleaning off dirty desks isn’t the most pleasant way to spend an hour of detention, but for the first time in your young life, it isn’t your fault, Scott. Kids today have no respect for public property. They think a desk is their own personal toilet.”

Scott’s violent breathing muffled most of his words when he said, “F…fuck this shit…I’m not coming.”

Mr. Simpson let out a sarcastic laugh and leaned in closer so that his diabolic eyes could shoot straight fire into Scott’s already burning pupils. “Oh, you’re going to show up alright. You’re not getting away with anything this time around. Eight o’clock in the morning sharp, not a second late. If you even think about bailing on me again, you might as well stay at home for the rest of your life, because you won’t be allowed back on school grounds. I’ll have you expelled from this place so fast your head will spin. And then what’ll you do with your life? Treat sewage? Clean toilets? Dig ditches? Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be a lot more fun than taking another history class from me. Compared to those disgusting jobs, cleaning off desks doesn’t seem so bad, does it?”

The teacher stood up and allowed Scott to keep choking down whatever was boiling in his throat. Mr. Simpson pointed a finger at his student and said, “Remember: eight o’clock on the dot. I’ll be waiting with a fresh cup of coffee, though you’ll probably won’t want to put anything in your mouth after the grungy work you’ll have to do. See you soon!” He gave a two finger salute and walked out of sight.

Scott’s mind raced with schizophrenic banter and a crippling headache. His stomach felt as though he had endured gyroscopic torture. His throat, eyes, and face burned worse than if he stuck his head in the same deep fryer the kitchen used to make those awful nuggets. Not being able to fight the good fight against his own body much longer, he rushed towards a garbage can and unleashed a waterfall of vomit that stunk to high hell. He could hear the other students backing away in a hurry. Some of them laughed. Some of them made disgusted “eww” sounds. A few of the girls gave off a shriek of horror. Scott didn’t care. He unloaded his weapon of mass disgust all over the inside of the garbage can.

He then slid down on the floor on his ass and breathed so heavily that the remaining students held their noses at his oral stench. If he had taken a diarrhea dump in that garbage can, it would have smelled like a bed of roses compared to this mess. Speaking of roses…

“Are you done, Mr. George?” asked Mr. Simpson while holding a piece of paper. “I wanted to give this to you before you forgot it. Nice work, if I do say so myself. It’s no history essay, but it’s still pretty good. You should be proud of yourself.” He handed Scott the drawing he made from art class and patted him on the shoulder before attempting once more to walk out of sight.

Scott gazed deeply into the drawing and wiped off a stream of chunky spittle that hit the page. He banged his own head backwards into the soft garbage can repeatedly while the buzzer for the next class echoed throughout his agonizing head. It might as well have been a room full of babies crying instead of a buzzer. He felt like he could be one of those babies right now. How simple life would have been at that moment.