Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The Very Pleasant Nap
Hello. How are you today? I am fine. It is very, very nice to see you. I'm so glad you're here.
I'm talking to you like I would a nursing home resident because I am trying to keep you from committing suicide as this is February, the worst month of the year, and I know you are likely in a delicate mental state. No, don't argue with me. We both know you aren't "fine." You're cold and unhappy and surrounded by the forces of darkness. But I'm here to help by telling you a jolly, cheerful story that will definitely make you feel less like hacking into your wrists with a bread knife to let the blood out and more like hacking into a rainbow with the sharp edge of a Hallmark card to let the sparkles out. Just don't do anything drastic until you've had a chance to read on.
The Very Pleasant Nap
Once upon a time, there was a happy and well-adjusted young person named Lulu. There was absolutely nothing wrong in Lulu's life. She had nice parents who were also very well-adjusted and wealthy. She had a dog, a cat, and a pony all in good health. At school, where she excelled in her classes, Lulu had many, many friends. Her teachers all thought she was bright and kind and positively giggled as they wrote A's on all of her papers. Lulu said no to drugs and yes to being nominated for class president, an honor that she went on to win in a landslide victory. All in all, Lulu was perfect in every way.
Now, right about now you are thinking that Lulu must be the boringest person of all time and I am the worst writer ever because my story doesn't even have any conflict. But you are wrong because I am getting ready to add some right now.
The only person who hated Lulu was the school principal, Mr. Baxter. He hated her because everyone liked Lulu and didn't like him, despite the cheesy jokes he told at every pep rally. Mr. Baxter had discovered that no one liked him because he had sent around a survey in homeroom one day that asked students to please mark YES or NO to the question, "Do you like Mr. Baxter?" And everyone marked no, including all of the teachers, the janitors, the students, and even Mr. Baxter's wife who was dropping off his lunch that day. Mr. Baxter, as a result, was very depressed.
One day, while Lulu was in the cafeteria petitioning to make Friday macaroni and cheese day, causing all the students to love and adore her all the more, Mr. Baxter sat in his office, which was the only air conditioned room in the entire building and picked his nose and wiped it under the rim of his desk, which every single person hates unless they are as disgusting as Mr. Baxter. Which, if you are, please cease and desist for the sake of us all.
Mr. Baxter should have been hard at work alphabetizing the list of students who had detention that week, but instead he was trying to decide how to destroy Lulu once and for all. But that was very challenging for him because it said right in the school handbook that destroying a student once and for all was against school policy and would result in suspension and a failing grade. So he had to figure out how to destroy Lulu without breaking any rules in the school handbook. He could ill afford a failing grade at principaling. They would kick him off the faculty softball team.
"Eureka!" he cried, but not because he had found an answer to his problems. Eureka was the name of the school secretary who preferred to be called an office assistant. Eureka immediately came to see what Mr. Baxter wanted.
"Eureka, I've been plotting all afternoon, and I can't think of a thing to do to that stupid Lulu to ruin her life once and for all," said Mr. Baxter, who was very distressed.
"Mr. Baxter. You're a school principal," said Eureka. "Maybe instead of plotting against students, you should work on sending out memos to the teachers and working on the budget proposal for the school board meeting on Monday."
"Nonsense!" said Mr. Baxter. "This is far more important" and made Eureka sit down and take notes while he dictated an angry letter to his mother for not holding him more as a baby.
It was then that Lulu arrived at his office with her petition in hand.
"654 signatures, Mr. Baxter. Every single student in school signed, even the ones who were home sick because I went to their houses to take them soup," said Lulu cheerily. "Macaroni and cheese Fridays is a go!"
"Not so fast!" said Mr. Baxter, who suddenly realized what he needed to do. With a flourish of his pen, Mr. Baxter scribbled "DENIED" in black ink on the petition. And with another flourish, he wrote a note to the school cooks ordering them to make meatloaf every Friday until eternity. No school rules were broken, and Mr. Baxter had his victory.
Lulu was completely destroyed and went home weeping, for which she received a week's suspension and was automatically disqualified for the perfect school attendance award, which she had previously won every year. Mr. Baxter laughed and laughed and went around after school that day wiping his nose pickings under the rim of every desk in some kind of deranged school victory lap. He realized that although no one liked him, he was still an authority figure. The realization made him very happy until the end of his days, which happened a week after he retired at the age of 65. He died of a heat stroke because his house wasn't air conditioned like his office had been, and his body couldn't take the adjustment.
Well? How was your nap? I wrote this story extremely boring on purpose so that you could get some much-needed shuteye. The answer to winter depression is hibernation. Have you ever seen a depressed bear? I didn't think so.