Cast of Thousands, chapter 14
Marcy drew a fanciful forest filled with hidden elves, and then a row of oddly-shaped musical instruments, and then began on a still-life drawing of the cat. Missy, sensing the attention, arranged herself in an even more picturesque fashion, one furry paw hanging delicately over the edge of her beanbag hollow. Marcy carefully did an entire series of Missy sketches, mostly from memory, to honor her new title of Zine Mascot.
"Hey." She poked Jessie with her toes. "Since it's the SECRET Lives of Junior Highschoolers, we shouldn't put our names on it!"
"Hmm." Jessie put her notebook down and stared at the wall, thinking. "But everyone will know it's ours."
"That's okay. People far away won't, and everyone else will just think it's cool or funny or something."
Jess pulled a strand of hair to her mouth and chewed on it. "Who would we say wrote it?"
"Missy! Cause she's the mascot!"
Jessie looked at the gleaming cat. "I think Missy's putting ideas in your head," she giggled. "Ok though. We should think of a last name for her. But later. I'm on a roll here!"
She picked up her pencil again, wrote a few more lines with a flourish, then stared down at the paper pensively. "Okay, I un-rolled," she admitted. "Lemme see what you have so far."
The Secret Lives of Junior Highschoolers
Things To Do Between Classes:
4. Run to the bathroom and then run
5. Run the wrong way
7. Be late someplace where they'll give you a note for your teacher so you don't get in trouble... like Ms.
Kennedy's office or... some other teacher you have to talk to.
8. When I say run, run.
Classes We Wish We Had At Emerson
3. Women's studies
4. Science fiction writing
5. Diamond cutting
6. Animal husbandry
8. Ancient Sanskrit
9. Driver's Ed.!
Classes We Wish We Didn't Have At Emerson
1. P.E. (required)
The President Should Be Chained Up
The President should be chained up and flogged with a wet sardine. He is a bad man. He thinks he can lie to
everyone, and steal things, and spray oil all over baby seals. He only got to be President because his Daddy
was, and even then he had to cheat. He cheated all over the place. He is a very bad role model for boys and
girls. He should be chained to a big rock in the middle of Niagara Falls so that every boy and girl in America
can learn not to steal and cheat and lie and kill people.
The President Should Not Be Chained Up
We should not chain the President up. He would not like it or learn anything except to want to chain up other
people. Soon everyone in jail would be chained up and that would be bad.
We should send him off in a spaceship that is run by people from the Green Party and never let him talk to any
democrat or republican ever again.
He should be replaced by a special super-advanced cyborg who is programmed to look like him and act like him by
never make any decisions. That way nobody will know that it is not him, and they will just think that he has a
regular boring government that never gets any stuff done. I bet that NASA would totally work on this because
then they would never have to worry about him cutting the space program and they could go to all kinds of
planets. And also, then they could use the President's spaceship to do all kinds of weird space tests. It would
be the perfect plan.
A Fine Place To Go
A fine place to go this issue is Emerson Junior High School. HA HA JUST KIDDING! A fine place to go is RAINBOW
Rainbow City is a special park in Davis. It is all made of wood and real people who live here built it together
like a barn-raising in an old book. There is a special wall with tiles that were decorated by kids here when the
park was built. Soon kids will be able to go see their parents' handprints and
painted pictures on it.
Rainbow City has a lot of cool stuff to play on. It has a bunch of tires to run through and a tire swing that a
lot of people can sit on. It has towers and tunnels and secret-seeming passages to run through when you're
playing hide and seek. It has a bridge to run across that bounces and swings, and a boat that you can pretend to
steer. It also has slides and regular swings. It is the best park.
The best thing about it besides all that stuff is its location. It is right next to the Art Center, where you
can take classes and see other peoples' art hanging around. It is also very close to two other parks - with
really big swings that go around - and some concrete slides that you can go down on flat cardboard boxes so you
don't burn your butt. All that stuff is so close on the green belt that you can walk to one park from another
without even taking your mom with you. And it even had picnic tables and a barbecue grill so you can have your
birthday party there!
Things That You Can Do With A Weepul
We win these by selling magazines for the school. They look like fluffy balls with faces and feet. They say you
should collect them but here's what is more fun:
1. Plug your ears with them when you have to go to a school rally. Throw the ones left over at the dumb
2. Put them all in a bucket on top of the front door and then go find someone and tell them to "Come quick! It's
3. Tie them to a string and train your cat to maul them.
4. Name them after your teachers and kids you don't like and then tear them apart into tiny tiny pieces. Or put
them down the garbage disposal, or put them where your mom's car will run them over. Or jump up and down on them
while you scream stuff.
5. Use them to clean up very tiny spills.
6. Use safety pins to put them on the back of your socks and pretend that you are a tennis superstar.
7. Tie them all together in a bunch and hang them from your belt with a big fake knife and a hat and tell
everyone that you are a Weepul Hunter for Halloween.
8. Take them to the bank and pretend you think you can trade them in for money.
9. Put them in the freezer and have snowball fights inside! Safe and clean!
10. What? There doesn't have to be 10 of everything! Go make up your own list!
Ask Missy Knowitall
I was recently abducted by aliens and now my butt hurts all the time. What should I do?
Signed, Smelly Cat
Dear Smelly Cat,
The first thing to remember is always make sure you are licking it enough. A licking a day keeps the doctor
away! Next, determine the cause of the problem. Is it alien related or just a coincidence? Finally, think about
a trip to the veterinarian. I know it is scary but can it be any worse than aliens? Actually they have a lot in
common - they both have big scary places to be, weird probey tools, and are far away and a whole other species
to you. Nevertheless you should fight fire with fire and give your Earth alien doctor a try.
Something very strange is happening to my body. I sweat a lot and think about other cats and I have hair where
there was no hair before. What is happening to my body?
Signed, Hairy in Houston
Missy knows a human joker when she sniffs one. This column is for real questions only so dog off!
How do you beat the boss in level five of Super Mario Wrestling?
Signed, Aching Thumbs
Dear A. Thumbs,
Try the Magic Thunder Hammer and just keep on pounding. Thanks for asking!
Things People's Bodies Say
10. aaachoo! coff coff
There once was a woman from Woodland
Who thought that 'NSYNC was a good band.
She saw all their shows
But in the end, though
She was crushed by stampeding teenage fans.
Kibble Love Song
crunchy round jewels
I dip you in my water with my paw
how you shine
food of kitten and poet alike
sweeter than a sunny spot on the chair
sweeter than the juice of my enemies
kibble my kibble
Point Counterpoint Again:
George W. Bush Is Really A Monkey
George Bush looks exactly like a pale white bald chimpanzee. I know we are descended from monkeys but geeze.
He makes all these monkey faces. He makes the concerned monkey face when someone tells him something bad about
themselves or another country. He makes the surprised monkey face when someone surprises him with a camera. He
makes the monkey fart-smelling face when he wants to look like he's thinking, or when he actually smells a fart.
Also, George W. Bush does not make sense when he talks. It is not make sense when he talks. It is not like he
just learned English so he makes lots of sense but doesn't know all the words for things in English. No, it is
like he was born in the wilds, captured by Republican poachers, brought here, raised in captivity in a big
protected mansion, and never really learned the right things about human languages. So now he says stuff like
"Welcome to Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts" and "Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach
Also, a trained monkey would be the totally perfect person to run for President if you already knew you could
get him to sort of win. He wouldn't know anything about good or bad except what you taught him. He wouldn't
understand much of anything so you could make him say and do whatever you wanted. He would be super-cheap
because you could pay him with bananas. You could even get Bob Dole to donate the bananas
if he was in on it. Plus people think that monkeys are cute so subconsciously they would totally
like him and think he was all cute.
So it makes sense for him to be a secret monkey. The real question is, is his whole family monkeys? Cause they
look a lot like each other. Is it even bigger than him? Is it a whole family of trained monkeys bred in
captivity? Are they genetically engineered? Or are they a secret little-known species of bald albino monkey
cavemen that may be THE MISSING LINK? Only time will tell.
George W. Bush Is Not Really A Monkey
Secret Lives of Junior Highschoolers apologizes. We could not find anyone willing to write this side of the
* * *
"I really like the part about your monkey theory," Marcy said.
"I like your political thing, too." Jessie looked back through it. "It was nice how you didn't have anyone saying that he was good or whatever."
"Yeah, we kinda both did the same thing there!" Marcy said happily. "And your cat poem is really good. I like the shiny kibbles."
Jessie sighed contentedly and threw herself across the bed. "So now we know our stuff is good, what are we going to ask people on the street?"
"Umm..." Marcy banged her heels rhythmically on the floor. "We already have a lot of political stuff so it shouldn't be that. I think it should be something that gets interesting answers. You know... like what kind of tree would you be... but not that."
"Okay," Jessie said, considering the possibilities. "Maybe like something about themselves? Like... if they wrote a book what it would be about?"
"Or what was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid and why?" Marcy suggested.
"Yeah... I know! We could ask them if they ever have conversations with themselves in their heads!"
Marcy frowned. "But that's a yes or no question. Mr. Fowler in my journalism class says we shouldn't ask those because then sometimes you get a really short boring answer. A lot of the time."
"Well... But I really want to ask it!"
"Why? Do you? Argue in your head?"
"Of course. Not just arguing, I mean, I talk to myself all the time."
"Well," Marcy said practically, "if it's 'of course,' won't everyone just say yes? I mean, what's the point?"
Jessie wrinkled her forehead uncertainly. "I... don't know. I guess it just seemed like something weird or interesting that people do."
"I don't do that," Marcy said positively. "I mean, sometimes I tell myself to do stuff but that's not really a conversation. I don't talk back."
"Really?" Jessie stared at her friend, perplexed. "Well, then.... see, not everyone would say yes. What if we asked them what they talk to themselves about and see what people say? I mean then people who didn't could say they didn't but other people might tell us interesting things."
Marcy picked at a loose thread on her shoe and made a decision. "Yeah, okay. And then next time I can pick the question, and we can take turns."
"That's a good idea." Jessie got up. "I'm starving."
"Let's go see if either of your moms will feed us," Marcy suggested, getting to her feet as well. "We could try your question out on them, too, and see how it sounds. Like a test drive."