“the story” (creative title, eh?)

In the past few days I’ve taken to looking through old documents, notebooks, sketchbooks, songbooks, etc. I do this tri-monthly, and I’ve decided to share a rather … exposing story about my third-grade self’s true feelings.


“Ping! Ping-Pong! Pong!”

The pinball machine in the arcade corner could not get any louder. Everyone was staring at me. It’s like that at home too. Everyone’s staring at me because I dress different, staring because I eat in a different way then they do, staring because I sleep on the outside of my covers, not the inside.

By the way, I’m Ashley Quartez. Oh, yeah. People also stare at me because my last name is weird. Quartez. I mean, what kind of name is that? Quartez. Where did that even come from? I think my parents just made it up to be different. Wel,, they sure did that well. Everyone else’s names are normal: Brendon, Murphey, John, Gilman, Schaefer. But no, my parents just had to pick Quartez. Out of all the names that ever exist, that would be the last one that I would have picked.

“Game over! Game over! You lost! You lost! Game over!”

I reached in my bag. One quarter left. I looked around the arcade. Everyone had stopped staring, probably because I already lost. I kept looking around. Alyssa Brendon had just won a game, and a $10 bill popped out of the machine. All the guys that could never beat it went up to her. Alex Gilman was one of them. He’s the most popular boy in school. Guess who’s the most popular girl? Yup. You guessed right. Alyssa Brendon. Do you knoe how many times the nerds have asked her out and she turned them down? I’m not keeping track, but I think it’s about a gazillion. Is that really a number? My little sister, Adi – who’s real name is Adrianna – said that a trilion is actually a number. Is it? I’ll look it up some time.

Anyway, I don’t want to waste my quarter. I’ll keep it in my pocket.

The boys are still going, “Hey how’d you get past that door?” and “Hey, how’d you get that power mushroom?” to Alyssa. I’m getting so bored of this. I’m just going to go.

As I’m walking along South Park Avenue, I just can’t help but notice that I am different from everyone else. I know that people say that everyone is different from everyone else in their own special way, but that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that I’m really different. I’m super-different. Adi says that’s a word; super-different. I’m super-different because I do dress differently from everyone selse. I do eat in a different way. I do sleep on the outside of my covers. But so what? Does it really matter? Well, obviously to everyone else. Because if they didn’t care, why do they stare? I made that up to try and cheer myself up. I hope that someone quotes me on that someday.

Now I’m on Simpson Avenue. Two blocks away from Bill John. I only know this because when I was 3 years old, he used to live next to me. My house number was 62, and his was 64. We started to hang out a lot all through elementary school, but in the beginning of 6th grade he met Jimmy Jones. It was totally by accident, actually:

Bill and I were playing on the jungle-gym. All of a sudden, Jimmy comes up. He calls Bill to the side. I say, “If there’s something you gotta say, say it to the both of us.” He says, “It’s personal, meaning NONE OF YOUR BEESWAX!” and yanks Bill’s neck on his shirt. I don’t really care what he says, so I get off the jungle gym and sneak up by the wall behind them. This is what I hear.

Jimmy: “Hey, you wanna make a deal?”

Bill: “No, not really.”

Jimmy: “Why not? Cuz it won’t include your little girlfriend?”

Bill: “No, just cuz I don’t want to, and that would be hiding something behind Ashley’s back.”

Jimmy: “Yeah. Okay. I knew you’d chicken out anyway.”

Bill: “I am not a chicken.”

Jimmy: “Prove it.”

Bill: “Um, er…”

Jimmy: “See?”

Bill: “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

Jimmy: “Oh! I heard your grades were low. Getting D-s in Science.”

Bill: Yeah, so? What about it?

Jimmy: Here’s my deal: I help you with your grades, you be my buddy until we graduate.”

Bill: “Graduate from middle school?”

Jimmy: “No, stupid! Graduate from college!”

By then they had already shook hands and made a deal. Nothing I could do.


I know that it doesn’t sound that bad. Being buddies with a kid until college ends. But it’s a big deal when your being buddies with the bully of the school.

Yup. You heard right. BULLY OF THE SCHOOL.

Now it’s my third year of Middle School. Guess who’s still Best Buddies? Yup. You guessed right. Bill John and Jimmy Jones. Oh, and guess who’s school, for the past 2 1/2 years, has had 2 bullies of the school? Yup. You guessed right. Mine.

For the past 2 1/2 years, my school has had two bullies of the school. For the past 2 1/2 yeras, Jimmy and Bill have been best buds.

Right now I’m on Bill’s street. Not my street. I don’t live right next to him anymore. After his little deal with Jimmy, he moved. He told his parents that me and him got in a big fight. He told them that I bit him on his forehead, cheeks, and left arm. He even had some bite marks to prove it. But it wasn’t really proof. I saw him and Jimmy to it themselves on the playground. Jimmy had the ketchup, and Bill had the teeth. I saw them in the corner by the oak tree. Jimmy was on a low branch in the tree, and Bill was standing up beneeath Jimmy. Once Bill had bitten himself in one place, Jimmy would squirt ketchup down on top of the bite. Trying to make it homemade “blood”.

By the end of the day, the “blood”had already dried on all his bitemarks. He went home and showed his parents. He told them that I did it, so his parents and my parents decided they didn’t want us to hang around with each other anymore. So they moved. Just like that. Bill didn’t transfer to another school, but he moved two blocks away. The movemen didn’t even bother to take a vann. They just took all the furniture over on foot.

I miss him, though. I miss him a lot.

And that’s all she wrote. Now, there are many things wrong with this story in continuity and … realistic occurences. Let’s review:

  • No one is actually named Quartez. I was always very bad at making up last names; they were always too out-of-this-world. Perhaps, for Ashley’s character, I spotted a quarter on the ground? Or perhaps it was simply a playoff of the pinball-ness and having one quarter left?
  • I don’t think anyone can PICK their last name, and no one would pick Quartez. Ever. EverevereverevereverEVER.
  • Arcade games do not give out $10 bills as prizes. They just don’t. My third grade self had never been to an arcade, and to this day I still haven’t (not a real one, anyways, just one of those at the movie theaters, but I don’t think those count).
  • When Ashley thinks to herself, “I don’t want to waste this quarter”, what do you think she spent it on? What really costs a quarter? What costed a quarter in 2002 or 2003 when I wrote this? Maybe a tic-tac. Perhaps Ashley’s breath stank, and she didn’t want “everyone else” to stare at her for that, either.
  • Third-grade me/Ashley says “Yup. You guessed it” an effing lot. Did I not know any other clever phrases? Don’t get me wrong,  “Yup. You guessed it” is a nice phrase … when used sparingly. Repitition of words or phrases in a small chunk of time really toots my horn in the wrong direction.
  • Apparently, I didn’t know any good street names either, for I named my streets after crude television shows I wasn’t even allowed to watch until the age of 12, long after the craze (South Park Avenue and Simpsons Avenue).
  • What middle schooler believes her little sister about crazy words like “super-different”. While super is an adjective and different is also an adjective, the two words mixed together with a hyphen will not appear in the standard dictionary.
  • I didn’t think of very creative last names with the other characters, either. In the beginning (with the last name rant), 3rd grade me/Ashley lists “normal” names: Brendon, Murphey, John, Gilman, Schaefer. Later I use those exact same last names for other characters. Wow. Originality up the butt, eh?
  • Would anyone really ditch a friend to befriend a bully and get better grades? I would’ve though with Bill’s remark, “Yeah, so? What about it?” about his grades, he didn’t care … but then he goes and dumps Ashley to hang out with Jimmy. Cray-cray, as the gangstas would say.
  • I obviously didn’t know how bullies acted, having no bullies myself. My knowledge on bullies was very slim, and that’s self-evident with the way Jimmy talked to Bill at the jungle gym scene. Hurmph.
  • WHAT THE HELL KIND OF PARENTS MOVE BECAUSE OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL FIGHT?! If my parents moved every time I got in a little catfight with some bitch, we’d live in fucking Austrailia by now. Ridiculous. My views on life and making decisions must’ve been twisted by all that damned Mountain Dew: Code Red I always used to chug. Oh, the lost brain cells.
  • How did Bill go about biting himself on the forehead and the cheek? “Jimmy had the ketchup and Bill had the teeth … Once Bill had bitten himself …” How is that possible? Can you really bite yourself on the cheek? /// Alright, I’ve just attempted to move my cheek over and bite it. Wonder what happened? “Yup. You guessed it.” It didn’t work.

    Well, that’s virtually all I could find to criticize my eight-year-old self and her god-awful writing. I realize that not all of us third graders could be L Frank Baums, but still … get some common sense, child!



    ~ by junkinmahcranium on April 11, 2009.

    One Response to ““the story” (creative title, eh?)”

    1. OH MY GOD. I am freaking rolling on the floor. This is amazing. Hilarious. The best thing ever.

      Will you be my best friend?

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