The Bowling Alley

Rock and Jacob walked into the bowling alley and looked around.

“Why are we in a bowling alley?” Rock asked.  “It seems like a weird place for high school kids to go on a Friday night.”

“What are you talking about?  We’re here to hang out.”

“Why?”

Jacob shrugged.  “That’s what all cool high school kids do on Friday night.  They go down to the bowling alley and meet their friends.  Hang out.  Eat nachos and crappy hot dogs.  Play arcade games.  Maybe bowl.”

“I’m like 90% sure that isn’t the case.”

“What?  You mean hanging out at the bowling alley isn’t a thing anymore?”

“I don’t think it ever was a thing,” Rock said, looking around uncomfortably, as he should have, because I’m pretty sure bowling alleys have a pretty high per capita proportion of rapists.  “I’m not even sure bowling alleys are still a thing.”

“What? Really, dude?”

“Maybe in the 1950s.  Wait, there’s Lucy.  And a bunch of other people,” Rock said.  He looked confused for a moment.  “I guess this is a thing.  Not sure why, but let’s roll with it.”

“Hey, guys,” Lucy said, walking up and greeting Rock and Jacob.

“You know, you don’t have to say hi to us every time we happen to be in the same place at the same time,” Jacob said.  “We can both just be somewhere.  What’s this song, by the way? It’s awful.”

“It’s Meghan Trainor.”

“Ugh.  Doesn’t she have a black guy to go fuck?”

Rock and Lucy stared at Jacob.

“You know, because she’s fat and white.”

They kept staring.

“And, stereotypically speaking, black guys tend to be attracted to fat white girls.”

Lucy and Rock continued to stare, before Rock spoke, saving Jacob from himself.  “I actually kind of like her.”

“Really?” Jacob asked.

Rock shrugged.  “Like, I know all her songs are incredibly stupid, and the lyrics are entitled and obnoxious, but they’re catchy.”

“I think they’re manufactured to be that way,” Lucy said. “I think professionals or whatever draw them up specifically to appeal to our brains in a way that makes us enjoy them.  You just have to find a way to ignore the lyrics.”

“Is that what they do with Lady Gaga?” Rock asked.

“I don’t know,” said Lucy.

“Lady Gaga I actually respect,” Jacob said.  “It takes a real artist to wear a meat suit to prove…something.”

“Hey, does anyone want to go get some nachos?” Lucy asked.  “I’m thinking that’s what we do in a bowling alley.”

“Actually, I was thinking about going and playing some crappy arcade games,” Rock said.  “Man, this is so much better than being at home with our high-tech video games and smart TVs, or in a park drinking.  No wonder all the kids these days are hanging at bowling alleys.”

“I know,” Lucy exclaimed excitedly.  “If we were at a football game or something, I might be able to walk ten fucking steps without getting ogled by some creepy pedophile.  And can you imagine interacting with someone at a concession stand who isn’t drunk or stoned?”

“Truly, the bowling alley is the Mecca of high school kid hangouts,” Jacob said.  “Just as it always has been and always will be.”

As Rock and Jacob broke apart and started moving toward the arcade games, Jade Pelfert walked in and caught Jacob’s eye.  He tapped Rock and nodded toward her.

“Hey, what do you know about that girl?” Jacob asked.

“Some sophomore,” Rock shrugged.  “Pretty hot.  Why?”

“Well, don’t tell anyone, but I think we’re meant to be together.  Someday, I’m going to marry that woman.  It’s destiny.”

“Marry her?  Aren’t you getting, like, three steps ahead of yourself?” Rock said.  “Who is she?”

“Jade…something.  Pelfert, I think.”

“Don’t you think you should know her name before you start making wedding plans?  Have you talked to her?”

“Not yet,” Jacob said.  “Back off my ass.  I’m slow playing this.”

“Yeah, I mean, it looks like you’re missing just a few preliminary steps between now and marriage.”

Jacob sighed.  “Maybe.  But I have this crazy pipe dream where something actually works out and life doesn’t completely suck.”

“You may be asking for too much there.”

“I know.”

Rock sighed.  “Is this going to be another extended series of you obsessing after a girl you hardly know.”

“Probably.”

“Don’t you think that plot point is a little tired?  That you’re kind of turning into a one-trick pony?”

Jacob shrugged.  “I don’t know.  There was that one timeline where I ran for President.  Besides, we’ll throw a lot of time travel and other shit in there to break up the monotony.  The love angle is just one thing we’ll do.  Sort of an underlying baseline, if you will.”

“I just think you should be more creative, is all.”

Jacob shrugged.  “Maybe.  But I’ve never really been much for plot structure.  It’s just kind of…boring.”

Time Travel III- The Aftermath

“So, how was it?  What happened?” Tyson asked Jacob as he removed the helmet back in the present.

“They raped me and killed my pa,” Jacob cried out, melodramatically, though I suppose it’s tough to overreact to rape and pa-murder.

“What? Really?” Tyson said, putting his arm around Jacob.  “What happened?”

Jacob shrugged.  “No.  Nothing happened.”

“Are you sure?” Rock asked.  “It certainly looked like something happened.”

“I think I’d remember going back in time, Rock,” Jacob said condescendingly.

“Hmm,” Tyson said, grabbing the helmet and looking at it.  “It looked like the helmet worked.  You should have gone right where we planned to send you.”

“It didn’t.”

“Are you sure you can’t tell us anything about your experience?”

“I can tell you they were all horrible people.”

“Were they?”

Jacob shrugged.  “I assume so.  Most people are.”

Tyson sighed.  “So, you really don’t remember anything?”

Jacob shook his head.  “Nope.  Sorry.”

“Alright, let me take a look at it.  Watch the door,” Tyson said, taking the helmet over to his corner with a bunch of science stuff.

“Why do we have to watch the door?” Rock asked.

“To make sure teachers aren’t coming.”

Rock laughed.  “Dude, we’re doing science stuff.  Not smoking weed.  I think we’ll be alright.”

“Rock, this whole time-travel helmet thing isn’t exactly OSHA-friendly, so we only work on it when people aren’t looking.  Just watch the door and stop being a tool, alright?”

“Damn, Tyson,” Jacob said, approaching the door.  “You never struck me as much of a rebel.  You’re a lot cooler than I thought.”

“Yeah, well, a crime committed in the pursuit of knowledge is no crime at all,” Tyson said, his focus still primarily on the helmet.

“Never mind.  You’re right back down to baseline,” Jacob said, shaking his head and looking at Rock.  “You try to give a guy a compliment and he has to go and ruin it with pretentious shit like that.”

“The quote doesn’t even make sense.  He says it’s a crime right there in the quote.  By definition, it’s a crime,” Rock said.  “I mean, if he’d said it isn’t wrong, or is honorable or noble, then the quote would make sense.  But it’d still be a crime.”

“Eureka,” Tyson said, because that seems like something a science bitch would say when they figure something out.  “I think I’ve figured it out.”

“Alright,” Jacob said.  “Explain it to me.”

“Well, your thoughts, perceptions, and most importantly, your memories, are nothing more than the function of electrical impulses in your brain that are the result of your current biological makeup.  It looks like the helmet did send you back in time.  However, when you returned to the present, you have your current body at the current moment in time, which only has experienced what you’ve experienced up to this point in your life.  Therefore, the memories from the past that you experienced aren’t imprinted in your brain. That’s why you can’t remember them.”

“Uh, what?”

“Because your body is an object, it couldn’t be moved through time.  Therefore, it never gained the memory of what you experienced,” Tyson said.  “Of course, this whole thing presupposes the fallacy of the soul, the idea that we have some permanent, absolute consciousness, but I’m still working that part out.  The point is that you can’t remember because the memories never got imprinted on your brain.”

“So, what exactly went back in time?” Jacob asked.  “My perception?”

Tyson shook his head.  “No, that doesn’t make sense.  Your perception and personality is nothing more than a manifestation of your physical being.  I haven’t quite worked this part out, but somehow you went back in time without taking your physical body with you.  It doesn’t really make sense to me.”

“Alright, so what now?”

“Tell you what,” Tyson said.  “I’ll keep working on this.  Figure out what’s going on.  You go do, well, whatever it is you popular kids do in the meantime.”

“Drink, do drugs, and have sex?” Jacob asked.

“Whatever.  I’ll let you know when I figure this out.”

“Alright, Rock.  Come on.  Let’s go drink and have sex,” Jacob said.  He paused, turned around and looked at Tyson.  “Uh, not with each other, if that was unclear.”

Time Travel II-The Cadaver Synod

So, Jacob went back in time to the year 897, but everybody was speaking Latin or Italian or some shit and he couldn’t understand what anyone was saying, so he left before he was accused of being a witch for his modern dress.  Hell, even if they’d been speaking English, he wouldn’t have been able to understand them.  The dialect would have been too different.  Have you ever tried to read Chaucer?  Yeah, like that.  So, anyway, I guess I’ll write this story about the Cadaver Synod, since he went there, couldn’t understand what was going on and left is a shitty story, but you have to meet me halfway with the willing suspension of disbelief.  Just pretend that everyone spoke English, or Jacob magically spoke Latin, or whatever floats your boat to smooth over the aspects of this time travel thing that really don’t make any sense.

“Holy shit, I think it worked,” Jacob said, looking around as a crowd entered a nearby building.  He grabbed some random dude by the arm.  “Excuse me, random dude, is that where the trial of Pope Bernie is being held?”

“The trial of Pope Formosus?  Yes, friend, it is.  Would you care to join me?” random dude asked, since Jacob is going to need someone to bounce shit off of, Rock not being here and all.

“I sure do.  So, what’s this pope on trial for?  Banging 12-year old boys?” Jacob asked inappropriately as the two entered the papal court, because apparently this trial is open to the public, at least in this version of history.  I have no idea if it actually was or not, but standing around Rome would be boring, so here we are.

“Excuse me?” random dude asked.

“Hey, it’s the pope.  I’m sure he’s banging hot, top-notch 12-year old boys, am I right?  Well, hot by Catholic standards, anyway.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Oh, right, that hasn’t happened yet,” Jacob said, remembering that this was over a thousand years ago and he should probably ease up on the contemporary references.  “Well, I mean, I’m sure it’s happened, you just don’t know about it.  In the future, priests bang little boys, by the way.”

“Right,” said random dude uncomfortably.  “We’re in the Holy See, so, uh, let’s try to keep the blasphemy to a minimum.”

“Pope Formosus,” a man in papal vestments began.  This was actually Pope Stephen VI, but Jacob didn’t know this because, well, why would he?  It’s not like he researched the trial he was about to go see before he left.  Hell, I’m just pulling information off a Wikipedia page myself.  Being well-informed is overrated.  “When you were bishop of Porto, why did you usurp the universal Roman See in such a spirit of ambition?”

The crowd started to yell, and Jacob yelled along with them. “Yeah, convict him.  He’s a bad pope.  Bad pope.”

The corpse started to raise his hands, which were attached by string to the deacon behind him.  “Oooh, I’m a spooky pope ghost.  I did it because I’m a wicked, bad sinner.  Or was a wicked, bad sinner.  You should totally convict me, and also cut off three of my fingers and bury me in a foreigners’ graveyard.”

Jacob leaned over to random dude next to him.  “I’m beginning to think this trial may not fully incorporate all due process concerns.”

“Lies.  Pope Formosus was duly elected.  He never usurped anything,” came a shout from the crowd, followed by more yelling.

“Yeah.  He’s innocent.  Pope Formosus is the greatest pope ever,” Jacob yelled.

“Dude, which side are you on?” asked random dude.

“Whichever side is yelling the loudest.  Now, shut up, I’m trying to join the riot.”

“Silence,” Pope Stephen, the pope who was still alive, yelled.  “Pope Formosus, I find you guilty of all the bad shit I’m accusing you of.  (It was violating canon law, perjury, and serving as bishop while a layman, if you care) I nullify your papacy, and will cut off three of your fingers then bury you in a graveyard for foreigners, since it’s like 900 AD and we still hate foreigners, so that’s a disgrace.”

“Yeah, foreigners suck,” the crowd yelled as they followed the two popes to the graveyard for the interment.

“Dude, we can be openly xenophobic here? Sweet,” Jacob said.  “Can we be openly racist too?”

“Sure,” said random dude as they put the corpse in a foreigner’s tomb.  “It’s 897.  You can be whatever you want.  Racist, xenophobic, sexist.  Hell, we downright demand you discriminate based on religion.”

“There,” Pope Stephen VI said, wiping his hands clean.  “Your papacy has been nullified and you’ve been buried in a place of degradation.  I think my work here is done.  Time to go take a nice pope bath, and get a good night’s sleep in my pope bed.”

“Dig him up and throw him in the river,” Jacob yelled.

“What?  Who said that?” the live pope asked.

“We all did,” Jacob said in a different voice.

“Is that what you all really want?”

“Yes, it is,” Jacob yelled in a third voice.

Pope Stephen VI sighed.  “Fine, if that’s what you want.  Get to it, boys.”

“What are you doing?” random dude asked Jacob.

Jacob shrugged.  “What? I thought it’d be funny.”

“This stopped being funny a long time ago.  Now it’s just sad.”

“Hello? Did you not get the Weekend at Bernie’s references?”

“The what?”

“Oh, right, you still don’t get future references,” Jacob said, resting his hands on the small of his back and stretching.  “Well, I think I’ve gotten my fill of xenophobia and corpse desecration, and since that’s pretty much all there is to do in the past, I should be heading home.  Unless…do you think asking the living pope to rape the dead pope is going too far?”

Random dude gave Jacob a look.  I’m not going to describe it.  You can imagine what the look was.

“Right.  Too far.  Well, see you, random dude who wasn’t worth naming.”

Time Travel-Part I

“What’s up, nerdatron?” Rock asked as he and Jacob walked into the room where the science club was being held.

“Hey, guys,” Tyson said, still tinkering at the time-travel helmet that will become central to this episode.  You would have thought he would have finished that up by now, given that he offered Rock and Jacob to check it out, but whatever.  “Go ahead and have a seat.  We’ll be starting up shortly.”

“Oh, no, no, nerd-dinger.  We’re here for the time-travel you promised, not to learn something,” Rock said.  “Now, make with it, needle-dick.”

“You know, you really should be nicer to him if he’s doing you a favor,” Jacob said, employing common sense and decency.  “It’s not like he has to let you use, well, whatever his time-travel dealy is.  Keep being a dick and he might tell you to piss off.”

“No, it’s okay.  As a science nerd, I’m thankful for any human contact.  As long as he’s paying attention to me and acting somewhat like my friend, I’ll mentally justify any abuse,” Tyson said, falling back onto easy stereotypes because it makes writing easier.

“Really? You mean you don’t plan your life around minimizing human contact?  Interesting,” Jacob said.  He shrugged.  “To each their own, I guess.  Now, what do you have for us?”

“This,” Tyson said, proudly holding up his time-travel helmet.

“What’s this?  Is this one of your LARPing costumes?” Jacob asked.  In his defense, the helmet did look as goofy as you’d expect a time-travel helmet to look.  “Damn it, Tyson, you promised us time-travel.  I didn’t come here to look at your LARPing costume.”

“That’s what this is.  The time-travel thing, not the LARPing thing,” Tyson said.  “You put this helmet on, and it allows you to walk through time.”

“A helmet?  That’s different.  I expected a machine or something,” Jacob said, taking the helmet from Tyson and looking it over.  “How’s it work?”

“Think of it like a rocket pack, or anti-gravity boots,” Tyson said.  “In the same way those things allow you to move up and down in addition to forward and back and side to side, this will allow you to move along the fourth dimension.  You’ll be able to move forward and backward in time, the same way you move through space.”

“Is that supposed to make sense to me?”

“To you, no.  If I say something that makes sense to you, it was probably an accident,” Tyson said.  “This is complicated stuff, but the user interface should be relatively simple.  Why don’t you take it for a whirl?”

“Hold on a minute, there, pokey,” Rock interjected.  “Why are you letting Jacob use this?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean why aren’t you using this yourself?  What are the side effects you aren’t telling us about?”

“Side effects, none,” Tyson said.  “The risks, however, are substantial and unpredictable.  Nobody’s ever attempted anything like this before.  There’s no telling what could happen.”

“Yeah, I’m not so sure…” Jacob said.

“On the other hand, time-travel.”

“That’s all I needed to hear to go ahead and do this.”

“Great.  Where do you want to go?”

Jacob looked at Rock and shrugged.  “What do you think, Rock?”

Rock thought for a minute.  “So, I heard Pee Wee Herman has a new show.”

“What?  What the fuck does that have to do with anything?”

“Are you sure it’s a show?” Tyson asked.  “Are you sure it isn’t just an episode of To Catch a Predator?”

“No, I’m pretty sure it’s his own show,” Rock said.

“Still, how is that relevant?” Jacob asked.  “Are you just spouting off random facts again?”

“No, I was thinking you could go back to the nineties and watch old Pee Wee Herman shows.  Kind of to get ready for the new one.”

“I can watch old Pee Wee Herman shows now.  I’m not wasting a time-travel helmet to go back and watch old kiddy diddler shows when they first came out.  I want to see something cool.”

“If I may,” Tyson said, even though nobody asked him to speak.  “That may not be such a bad idea.  Not the Pee Wee Herman thing, per se, but something mundane.  After all, we don’t know a lot about how things may go down.  Controlling the variables may be smart, as opposed to jumping right into something major.”

“Nah, fuck that.  I want to see cool shit,” Jacob said.  “So, suggestions?  D-Day, American Revolution, Renaissance?”

Tyson shrugged.  “There’s the time the pope dug up another pope, put him on trial, reburied him, then dug him up again and threw him in the river.”

“Wait, what?”

“Yeah, look it up.  History is weird.”

“Alright, pope trial it is.  How do I use this thing?”

“Just put the helmet on like this,” Tyson said, showing Jacob how to put the helmet on.  “Then it should become obvious.”

Machine Gun Jesus

June 29, 2017

“But doesn’t the Constitution guarantee the right to own a gun?” asked Jillian Hyde, raising her hand but not waiting to be called upon.

“What does that have to do with the Louisiana Purchase?” asked Mrs. Adams.  Jillian shrugged.

“I don’t know.  I heard you say Constitution, and took it as an opportunity to shoehorn my pet issue into the conversation, because I’m one of those people,” Jillian said.  She may not have said it exactly like this, but instead of transcribing whatever bullshit justification she gave for changing the topic, I decided to just dispense with pretenses and write what she really meant.

Mrs. Adams sighed and suddenly became very tired, as we all do when dealing with people who have opinions.  “That’s basically right, though there is some controversy on what it means.  The Constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.  Does anyone know what part of the Constitution says this?”

“The Second Commandment?” Jacob said.

“You mean Amendment?”

“Oh, right.”

“Yeah, dude, the second commandment is a religious thing.  I think it’s about Machine Gun Jesus,” Rock said.

“Anyway, returning to the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson was conflicted.  He recognized the opportunity before him, but didn’t think the Constitution gave him the power to make the decision.  He was torn between principle and pragmatism,” Mrs. Adams began, before continuing on to talk about more history stuff.

“Dude, what’s wrong?” Jacob asked Rock.  “You look dejected.” Rock looked dejected, by the way.

“Nobody laughed at my joke.”

“You told a joke?”

“Machine Gun Jesus, dude.  You don’t think that’s hilarious?”

Jacob shrugged.  “As a concept, maybe, but it doesn’t really play out when put into practice.  It seems a little forced.”

“Whatever, bro.  You know how demoralizing it is to tell a joke and not get laughs?  Even Jeff Dunham gets laughs.  You don’t even need to be funny.”

“You just have to let it flow organically.  You can’t shoehorn the joke in.  It sounds forced.  Speaking of shoehorning, why the fuck are we talking about abortion now?”

“Carrie Grant brought it up,” Tyson Dechert said, joining Rock and Jacob’s conversation, likely in an attempt to avoid the class conversation where everyone who’s never read the Constitution decides it means whatever the fuck is most convenient for them at the moment.

“What the hell?  Is it National Asshole Day?” Jacob said.  “Why does every discussion of the Constitution have to turn into a fight?”

“I think it’s because the Constitution is an ambiguous document with several legitimate, differing interpretations,” Tyson said, listening briefly to the class conversation going on behind them.  “And a lot of really stupid ones.”

“It’d be nice if we could just go back in time to figure out what the founding fathers were thinking when they drafted it,” Rock said.

Jacob shrugged.  “It wouldn’t matter.  The fact is, they probably didn’t all agree on what it means either.  Those were just the broad principles that they agreed on.  If you asked Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to interpret the Constitution, you’d probably get responses as different as those of Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

“I know.  I was setting up a plot line.”

“You know, we could go back in time,” Tyson Dechert said.  “Come by the science club sometime.”

“Wait, really?” Rock said excitedly.

“Yeah, really?  We’re really doing a time travel bit?  Isn’t that a little worn out?” Jacob objected.

Tyson shrugged.  “Not a bit so much as a convenient way to shoehorn in various bits at different parts of history.”

“You can really do that?” Rock said.  “You can really travel through time?”

“Sure.  It’s just another dimension, like space.  People used to travel all the time through space, time, you know, whatever.  But then people started making all these stupid time paradox movies, so NASA cut the funding.  A couple of Congressmen went to see Interstellar some Friday night and were like, ‘nope, fuck this.’  They cut the funding for it the next day, but the fact is you can move through time as easily as you can move through any dimension of space.”

“Really?” Jacob said.  “Then why can’t I just step back two seconds like I can move two feet to the right?”

Tyson shrugged, which seems to be his go to move.  “Same reason you can’t move higher or lower at will.  You are being pulled through time the same way you are being pulled to the earth.”

“But you have a way of breaking that?”

“Sure.  Stop by sometime.  I’ll show you.”

“Yeah, we will,” Jacob said.  “Sometime.  You know, when it’s convenient.”

Conway’s Cured

June 11, 2017

“Hey, Rock, it sure is a Monday morning,” Jacob said as we walked into the school, as high school students are wont to do on Monday mornings, which I believe I’ve already mentioned this was.

“Yes, it is, Jacob.  What an astute, insightful, and accurate observation that was by you.  You sure are a genius, you, to figure that out all on your own” Rock said.  I may be paraphrasing, but who gives a shit.  The point is they were standing around talking about the dumb shit people talk about when nothing’s going on.

“Hey, guys.  Guess what?” Lucy said, walking up to them, bouncing with the excitement that comes with being able to introduce the plot.

“What?” Jacob asked.  “Is this going to piss me off?”

“No.  This is good,” Lucy said, either unaware of or ignoring the fact that most things pissed Jacob off, and her news would in all likelihood do the same.  “Sarah Conway’s back!”*

“Who’s Sarah Conway?”

Lucy stared at Jacob.  “Jacob, you know who Sarah is.”

“No, I don’t.”

“You’ve gone to school with her since kindergarten.”

Jacob shrugged.  “I try not to pay attention or become attached to the people around me.  Ignoring their drama makes my life less stressful.”

Lucy sighed.  “She’s the girl who left at the end of last year.  She had to seek help for her mental health issues.  You seriously don’t remember her?”

“I make it a point to forget about people as soon as they exit from my life.  Hell, half the time I forget my parents exist while I’m at school.  It happens.”

“So, if I left for some reason, you’d forget about me in a week?”

“No, no.  We’re close.  I’d remember you.”

“Dude, that’s what you said about Sarah,” Rock said.

“I know.  I lied to her too.”

“Guys, I’m serious,” Lucy said, not joking.  “This is her first day back.  I need you to be super supportive.”

“Ugh, you know I can’t deal with people’s emotions.  It’s like, ‘ooh, I’m upset because I’m a person and I have feelings’.  Come on.  Fuck off.”

“Jacob, I’m serious,” Lucy said repetitively, repeating this assertion.  Again.  “We’re having a big party for her at lunch, and I need everyone to be there to show they care.”

“I care every bit as much about her wellbeing as I do for any of my other classmates.  Which is to say, not at all,” Jacob said.  “I’m not going to act like suddenly she’s my best friend and I’m super concerned just to show everyone what a great person I am.”

“You’re an asshole.  You can’t treat her differently just because she had mental health issues.”

“Has mental health issues,” Rock interjected.  “These things don’t just go away.  She’s been treated, not cured.”

“Whatever.  The point is that you need to treat her the same as everyone else.”

“That’s what I’m doing.  You’re the one throwing a ‘look at the mentally retarded’ person’ party.”

“Don’t say mentally retarded.  One, it’s not the correct thing to say.  Now we say, well, I forget what the sugar-coated term du jour is, but it’s not retarded.  Two, she’s not retarded, she’s just depressed.  Her intellectual capacity isn’t diminished, she just has difficulty regulating her emotions.”

“Whatever.  The point is that you’re the one drawing attention to her disability.  I don’t remember you throwing the wheelchair kid who doesn’t have a name because he probably won’t get mentioned again a ‘look at the physical retard’ party for his disability.”

“It’s not a disability.  It’s a difference that should be celebrated because it makes him a unique person.”

“I think he’d rather be able to walk.”

“What I’m saying is all I’m doing for Sarah is what I’d do for any of my classmates.”

“No, you wouldn’t.  When was the last time you threw Jeremy a party?”

Lucy shrugged.  “Who’s Jeremy?”

“He’s the weird, quiet kid.  The one who always sits in the back and keeps to himself.  He might actually be suicidal.”

“Nobody cares about Jeremy.  Besides, he’s not suicidal.”

“How do you know?  Have you asked him?”

“Eww, no.  I don’t want to talk to him.  You ask him.”

“No, because I don’t care.  Which is my point.  You don’t care either, you’re just pretending to care because it makes you feel better about yourself and everyone is watching.”

“Whatever, Jacob,” Lucy said.  “I have to go to class.  See you this afternoon.”

Rock and Jacob watched as Lucy turned and walked away.  “You two should just fuck and get it over with,” Rock said.

“Shut up, Rock.”  Jacob turned and kept his glare on Lucy as she walked away.  “She does have a nice body, though.”

Rock laughed, and Jacob heard a small, muffled laugh beside him.  He turned to see Jeremy standing there, pretending not to be listening as he opened his locker.

“What’s up, Jeremy?” Jacob asked.

“Oh, uh, hi, Jacob.”

“What you been up to lately?”

“Nothing, really.  Just kind of, you know, stuff.”

“Considering suicide?” Jacob joked.

“Uh, actually, a little bit.” Jeremy finished closing his locker and turned to Jacob.

Jacob shrugged.  “Well, always good to keep your options open.”

 

 

 

*The exclamation point is the author’s way of showing that she was excited.  Though honestly, you probably could have figured out that she was excited from the context.  In fact, you probably didn’t need me to explain what an exclamation point is either, making this whole footnote superfluous.  Oh, well.

The Morning After

June 3, 2017

“Hey, mister, come on,” a tiny voice said as a little hand shook the passed-out Rock.  “Open your mouth.”

“No, daddy, I don’t like this game,” Rock mumbled, still mostly asleep.

“Brandon, what are you doing?” Lucy asked from across the room as she rubbed Jacob’s back while he took the ibuprofen and drank the water she’d brought to him.  Brandon laughed like a five-year-old idiot.  Not like a particularly stupid five-year-old, just in the way that all kids are stupid.

“I’m trying to put a bug in his mouth.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s funny.”

“That’s not funny,” Jacob said, swallowing a sip of water.  “If you really want to assert dominance, you ought to pee on him.  That’s like the gold standard of something being yours.  That and being able to jack off in comfort.”

“What’s jack off?” Brandon asked, because again, the kid is five.

“It’s when you pull on your penis repeatedly until white stuff comes out.”

“Why would you do that?”

“Typically because you don’t have a woman willing to let you stick it in her vagina.”

“What’s a vagina?”

Jacob sighed and started to explain, but Lucy cut him off.  “I’m going to have to stop you there.  You are not explaining the female reproductive system to a five-year-old.”

Jacob shrugged.  “Why not?  He’s got to learn it someday.”

“I would agree with you, Jacob, but given the men I’ve been with, that’s clearly not the case.”

“I guess it doesn’t matter,” Jacob said resignedly.  “The kid’s gay anyway.”

“What makes you say that?” Lucy said, sitting up in her seat, her voice suddenly gaining a new level of interest.

Jacob shrugged.  “He’s talking about peeing in some dude’s mouth.  Sounds pretty gay to me.”

“No, Jacob, you were talking about peeing in his mouth.  Brandon wanted to put a bug in it.”

“Oh, yeah,” Jacob said.  “Why would he do that?  That’s not a fetish thing.”

“I don’t know,” Lucy responded.  “Probably because he’s five.”

“So, five-year-old’s have weird fetishes, is what you’re saying?”

“No, I think they just like doing stupid crap.  Though, come to think of it, you were the one talking about peeing in Rock’s mouth, so what’s that make you?”

“Gay?” Jacob asked.  “So what if I am, Lucy, huh?  You got a problem with that?”

“No, it’s 2017.  I think that’d be awesome.  A gay best friend would do wonders for my cool kid score, though it wouldn’t earn me nearly as many points as a gay kid brother of whom I’m super supportive.  My problem is that you were talking about having a five-year old pee in the mouth of someone who’s incapacitated, so you’re not gay so much as…”

“Just drop it.”

“A vicarious pedophilic rapist with urolagnia.”

“Right.  I think it’s time for us to get going.  See you in school on Monday,” Jacob said, as Rock woke up fresh as a daisy just in time for the story to end.

The Party

May 22, 2017

“Man, this place is packed,” Jacob said, looking around Lucy’s house uncomfortably.

“I know, dude.  This party’s going to be the bomb,” Rock said.

“I was thinking the opposite.  Too many people.”

“No, dude.  Check it out.  That’s what makes a party fun.  Besides, it’s the first one of the year.  You know everyone is going to show up for it.  Let’s find little miss hostess.”

“Good idea,” Jacob said.  “Once we make our appearance, we can leave.”

“Haha, yeah.  Not what I was thinking.  I meant she can tell us where the booze is.”

They soon located the hostess, who was somewhere doing something.  Her flush face brightened when she saw the two approach.

“Jacob! It’s so cool that you’re here,” she said, leaning in for a hug.  “Rock, hi.  Thanks for coming.”

Rock clicked his tongue and nodded his head in a manner that was supposed to be cool.  “What up, Lucy?”

“Um, nothing.  Hosting a party.  Anyway, let’s get you two a drink.  What’s a party without alcohol, right?”

“I agree,” Jacob said.  “If I’m going to be surrounded by a bunch of people I don’t like, I’m going to need something to help loosen the tension.”

Lucy walked over to the makeshift bar that was her kitchen counter as Rock and Jacob began to follow when something, or someone, caught Jacob’s attention out of the corner of his eye.  A girl that he’d never seen before, and it’s not sexist to say girl because I am referring to someone who’s in high school, walked by about twenty feet away.  She waved to some random guy that Jacob also didn’t know, the kind of seductive wave that teenage girls give when they know someone is attracted to them and they have control of the relationship.  Jacob craned his neck to try to keep his view but the girl soon disappeared into the crowd.

“Yo, Jacob,” Rock said, bringing him out of his daze.  “What do you want?”

“Uh,” Jacob said as he shrugged.  “Whiskey and coke, I guess.”

“So, you two looking forward to the new school year?” Lucy asked inanely as she poured the drinks, already knowing the answer, not that she cared.  She just wanted to feign interest in her two new guests before getting back to the people she actually cared about.

“Not really.  School blows monkey dick,” Rock said.

“Cool, cool.  I agree,” Lucy said, splitting her time evenly between looking at Rock and Jacob and glancing around the room.  She looked at the watch she wasn’t wearing.  “Well, I should be getting back to the party.”

“What do you mean?” Jacob asked.  “We’re at the party.”

“Right, I hear you.  What I meant was I need to get back to keeping an eye on Nate and Theresa.  She’s trying to seduce him, I think, and I can’t let that happen.”

“Are you sure you should be spying on people and meddling this early into the school year?” Jacob asked.

Lucy shrugged.  “Why not?  The Patriot Act says I can.”

“I don’t think the Patriot Act says that.  Have you even read the Patriot Act?”

“Of course not.  Nobody has.  Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

Lucy walked away as Rock and Jacob leaned against the counter.  Jacob turned his head to Rock.

“So, what do you want to do?”

Rock shrugged.  “Find some strange, I guess.”

“Are you saying that because you’re actually horny, or because you think it’s what you’re supposed to want to do?”

“Does it matter?  Some nice, young tail here.”

“Stop saying that.  You sound like a sixty-one-year-old pedophile,” Jacob said, shaking his head.  “Besides, these aren’t the girls we should be going after for one night stands.  Too many complications hooking up with people you know.  We should go find us some eighty-year-olds.”

“What? Dude, gross.”

“No, think about it.  They’re so senile that you don’t have to call the next day, because they won’t remember.”

“Oh, yeah.  And if you’re awful, who cares?  They’ll just forget anyway.”

“Right,” Jacob said.  “Weird that’s where you went with it, but right.  Also, no need for morning after pills.”

Rock shrugged.  “I don’t use them anyway.  I just wait three months and push them down a flight of stairs.”

“That’s, uh, pretty sure that’s not cool, Rock.”

“Since when is killing babies not cool?”

“Right,” Jacob said slowly, in a long drawn out manner.  “Look, I really don’t like where this is going, so I’m heading this way now.  I’ll meet up with you at the end of the night.  Good?”

Rock shrugged.  “Sure.”

English Class

April 30, 2017

Jacob walked into the first class of the day and took the first seat he could find, in front of Lucy Fontaine and next to David Starger.

“Heh, fancy seeing you here,” David said.

“Yeah, fancy that,” Jacob said, turning around to talk to Lucy.  “Hey, person who isn’t David.  How was your summer?”

“It was alright, I guess.  I don’t know.  You were there for a lot of it.”

“Oh, yeah.  That’s right.  We’re friends.”

“Right.  So why are you asking?”

Jacob shrugged.  “Seemed like a good segue.  So, who do we have for Mr. Garamna’s English class, which we’re currently in.”

“Mr. Garamna.  Which, again, you already knew.”

“Uh, no I didn’t.”

“His name is on the door, and it’s written again on the board.”

“I didn’t notice.”

“It’s also on your schedule, which you would have had to read to get to the right place.”

“Well, then, what do you know about him?”

“We had him last year.”

“I didn’t,” said Juan Conner, the large running back for the football team who had been sitting next to Lucy the whole time.  “What’s he like?”

Lucy shrugged.  “He’s alright, I guess.  He’s the moderator for the theater club, I think.”

Juan tapped David’s shoulder.  “Hey, David, you’re into fruity bullcrap, right?”

“We call it theater, and yes.”

“What’s this dude like?”

“Oh, he’s the best,” said David, turning around and joining the conversation.  “He’s the coolest, and he’s super funny.”

“Funny as in actually funny, or funny as in ‘when girls say their friends are funny’ funny?”

“I don’t follow.”

“Right, how can I explain this?” Juan said, trying to come up with a way to phrase his question without hurting David’s feeling.

“Would normal people think he’s funny, or is he some lamewad who’s only funny to people as lame and boring as he is?” asked Jacob, not giving a fuck about David’s feelings.

“Given that it’s David, I’m pretty sure lame,” Lucy said.

“He’s not lame.  He’s awesome.  You’ll see,” David said, defending his lamewad mentor.  “He plays guitar, and drives a Prius.”

“So what? Driving a Prius doesn’t make the guy Jesus,” Jacob said.  “First off, Jesus couldn’t drive, and secondly, he’s dead.  Well, kind of.  Maybe.  Actually, what is Jesus now?”

“What do you mean?” asked Lucy.  “Like is he alive or dead?  Um, dead, I guess.”

“I’d say alive,” Juan said.  “After the whole resurrection thing, anyway.”

“But is he really alive, or just walking as a dead man?”

“Look, it doesn’t matter,” Jacob said.  “The point I’m trying to make is that driving a hybrid car is like the least cool thing somebody can do.  Next to loving your neighbor.”

“Well, I disagree,” David said.  “Some of us think caring about the earth is pretty cool.”

“Well it isn’t.  Shit, I won’t even buy a notebook unless I have a guarantee that it was made by enslaved orphans of war, preferably to fund another war.  Fuck corporate responsibility.”

“Dude, why you got to be such a dick?” Juan asked.

“Same reason you play football, I guess,” Jacob said.  He shrugged.  “I’m good at it.”

Mr. Garamna walked in and the class began to quiet for some reason.  Out of respect, I guess, though that seems unlikely for high school students.  Jacob felt a tap on his shoulder.

“By the way, party at my place on Friday night,” Lucy said, ending the story.

The First Day

April 12, 2017

“Yo, Jacob, what’s up?” Rock asked, walking up and greeting Jacob by his locker.  It was their first day of the junior year in high school, and somehow both present day and twenty to thirty years before Jacob decided to run for president, despite the fact that the campaign occurred about half a year earlier.  The timeline is a little shaky and may also jump around depending on the needs of the author.  Also, everyone is eighteen so the sexual references won’t be creepy.  I’d make them twenty-one, but I don’t think anyone actually cares about underage drinking.

“Not much.  You check out this year’s freshman class?”

“Dude, you know that was the first thing I did.  Got some nice tail in there,” Rock said, ignoring the narrator’s comments about the whole eighteen-year-old thing and getting creepy with it anyway.

“Rock, don’t be a pedophile,” Jacob said, shaking his head in disgust.

“What do you mean?  We’re juniors.  They’re freshman.  They’re only, like, two years younger than us.”

“Sixteen doesn’t seem right for freshmen,” Jacob said, beginning to think about it before deciding it wasn’t worth trying to make sense of.  “Anyway, doesn’t matter.  You’re eighteen, they aren’t.  It’s illegal.”

“Yeah, but it’s not pedophilia.  At worst, it’s statutory rape.”

“Real convincing argument.  I’m sure the judge will let you go as soon as he hears that one,” Jacob said, shutting his locker.  “I’m not a pedophile, your honor.  I just raped the girl.”

“Raped statutorily,” Rock said.

“Doesn’t matter.  Still makes you a sex offender.”

“Hmm. True dat.  Anyway, who you got for homeroom?”

“Mrs. Dozier. You?”

“Same,” Rock said, because I didn’t want to create a new character for Jacob to talk to.  Then, to advance the plot, Rock said, “Should we get going?”

The two walked into the classroom and took a seat.  They started engaging in a conversation that was neither interesting nor relevant to the plot.  After a few moments, David Starger walked in and sat in front of them.  He turned around.

“Hey guys.  How was your summer?”

“It was good,” Jacob said, while Rock ignored him.  They sat in silence for a few moments while David continued to stare at them.  The awkwardness overpowered Jacob and he asked the question both he and Rock had been desperately trying to avoid.  “How was yours?”

“Oh, it was great,” David said, before launching into a full-blown story about his summer that nobody cared about.  Both Rock and Jacob, and me, quite frankly, zoned out, so I have no idea what was actually said during this verbal onslaught, except that he started talking about some stupid play he was in and ended it with, “I was at Walmart last night, but it didn’t go so well.”

“Hey, I was at Walmart too,” Rock blurted out before realizing that he’d made the mistake of engaging David.  Rock sat back in his seat trying to disengage, but David perked up, jumping at the opportunity to talk more.

“Oh, really?  Huh, guess I didn’t see you.  What were you doing there?”

“I was snorting coke off a hooker’s dick.  What the fuck do you think I was doing at Walmart?  I was picking up some snacks,” Rock said.  “What were you doing?”

“Heh.  I already told you,” David said, giving that sarcastic, friendly little laugh with undertones of being hurt, the way people do when they know people have been ignoring them but are trying to pretend it isn’t so.  Yeah, David was kind of a pathetic little bitch.  “I was trying to sell the rest of the raffle tickets to support my theater group.”

“Right.  I totally knew that because I was definitely listening to you and not thinking about whether groundhogs and woodchucks are the same thing.”  They are.  “Anyway, how did that go?  Because I totally care.”  Jacob and David weren’t sure whether Rock was being sarcastic at this point.  Neither was Rock.

“While as I was saying, not well.  I was there for about two hours, but nobody seemed to want to help me.”

“Of course, nobody wanted to help you,” Jacob said, inserting himself into the conversation for the first time.  “You have to remember that nobody cares about you.  Why would they?  People are mindless nobs who are focused on their own lives.  Nobody woke up this morning and wondered how they could help some random kid at Walmart support his theater group.”

“Hmm, I guess you make a good point,” David said, half-turning in his seat.  “Hey, I don’t suppose either of you would be interested in buying a few?  It would really help us out.”

“Oh, David, I’d love to, but I can’t because some polite excuse,” Jacob said, standing up from his seat.  “Anyway, there’s the bell.  We have to get to class.”

“There was no bell,” David said.

“Shit, you’re right.  Well, there was supposed to be.”

The bell rang, telling the students to get to class.

“There we go.  Anyway, we have to get to class.  Have a nice year, David.”