Group Story Project: School Daze -
08-18-2011, 02:24 AM
I decided to start a group story project. Since school will be starting soon for some of us, or already starting for a few of us, I decided to do a school-themed story. For those who don't know the rules, one person begins a story (in this case, myself), then another person adds onto it, then another person adds onto it, and so on, until we all come up with a complete story. Have fun!
School days! School days!
Good old golden-rule days!
Reading and 'riting and 'rithmetic;
Talk to the tune of a hickory stick!
You were my queen in calico;
I was your bashful, barefoot beau;
You wrote on your slate, "I love you so!"
We were a couple of kids!
Criss shut off the driveling song on his car radio as he drove to the Luxor. Here it was, the beginning of August, and already the retailers were launching their back-to-school shopping campaigns. Everywhere he looked, he saw stores displaying notebooks, lunch boxes, and the latest in school clothing lines. Electronic stores touted SmartPhones, laptops and other computerized paraphenalia to aid students in their studies, though Criss knew from experience they would be used more to aid students in updating their Facebook status or texting the cute girl or boy in the next seat if she or he was available for a date.
It was almost as bad as Christmas, he thought. It seemed stores were pushing everything ahead weeks if not months in advance--Valentine's Day right after New Year's, Easter in late February, Fourth of July right after Memorial Day, Halloween before the first week of September, and Christmas six weeks before Thanksgiving. There was nothing he could do about it, he conceded. It was all about the bottom line, the profit margin, getting ahead of the competition. The early bird gets the worm and all that. Couldn't everyone just relax and enjoy the present season without having the next one shoved in their faces?
He passed a local elementary school, its sign announcing the commencement of classes on August 29th at 8:30 AM. Memories of his own school days crept into his mind: the misery of ending eight weeks of summer fun; the ordeal of shopping for school clothes with his mother; the mixture of anticipation and dread upon the first day of school, wondering if his new teacher would be nice; then the long, dreary routine of rising, dressing, eating breakfast, going to school and coming home again would begin all over again until the end of the term when June once again rolled around, and he would look forward to that happy day when he and his classmates would clean out their desks and be free until September, which seemed a long ways away but came rushing up without warning as it usually did.
Those days were decades behind him now. Instead, his time was spent in a whirlwind of rehersals, tapings, performances, interviews, and endless meetings, broken up only by nights of partying at Las Vegas's various clubs and other hot spots. He was lucky to have a week off for vacation instead of two months.
The black pyramid came into view. Criss turned his sleek black Viper into the drive and parked in front of the main entrance. An attendant trotted over and opened the door for him. Criss tossed him the keys and walked into the hotel, heading straight for the production office, his home away from home away from home, it seemed at times. As he walked across the carpeted lobby, that driveling school days song kept replaying in his head. Should have bought my iPod, he thought.
The MindFreak production office was just off a side corridor. He slipped into the office unannounced so as not to disturb the staff at work. The first person to notice him was his eldest brother, JD, who was chuckling over a flyer he had been perusing at his desk. Curious, Criss walked over to him. "Hey, JD," he said casually, "what's up?"
JD looked up. "Oh, hi, Criss," he said. He held up the flyer. "I was just reading this ad for the new health store that's opening up here at the Luxor."
"What's so funny about a health store?" Criss asked.
"Well, it's not the store that's funny," JD said, "it's who's running it. I don't know if you remember him or not, but do you remember Sydney Krupermann? We used to go to school with him?"
Criss ran the name through the memory banks of his brain: Sydney? Sydney Krupermann? Suddenly, a connection was made. "Oh, yeah! Sydney Krupermann! Wimpy kid with the glasses, allergic to everything under the sun? Yeah, I remember him!" He began to laugh. "God! I haven't thought of him in years! What about him, anyway?"
JD gave him the flyer. "Well, he's no wimp anymore," he said. "Seems he's got into body building, and now he's got a chain of health and vitamin stores. Check out his picture on the back."
Criss flipped over the flyer. "Whoa!" he gasped. "My God!"
The name at the bottom of the photo read Syd Krupermann, but the bleached blond hulking mass of muscle and tanned flesh bore no resemblance to the frail, sickly schoolmate from East Meadow Elementary School. "This can't be Sydney," he said, shaking his head.
"People can change a lot in thirty years, you know," JD pointed out.
"Yeah, but this!" Criss exclaimed. "I mean, kids at school used to beat him up just about every day. I didn't, of course, but I know a lot of kids who did. I mean, like, this kid was like Milhouse from The Simpsons. Now he's, like, Mr. Universe!"
"Like I said, people can change," JD repeated. "If you want to meet him, his grand opening is in a week; you can meet him then."
Criss handed the flyer back to JD. As he did so, another brochure caught his eye, this one from UNLV. He picked it up and said, "Hey, what's the deal with this?"
"Oh, that?" JD shrugged. "That's where Dimi's going to this fall."
Criss broke out into a wide smile. "She got in?" he asked excitedly.
JD nodded proudly. "Yep, she got in. My daughter, the college freshman!"
The brochure went flying up as Criss cheered. "YESSS!!" he crowed. "Dimi's going to UNLV!" He held up his hand. "High five!"
JD slapped Criss' hand. "So," Criss said, calming down a little, "is she gonna live on campus or what?"
"Well, she's gonna stay in a dorm--excuse me, 'residence hall'--for a while," JD replied, "but I think she's planning to pledge a sorority."
The latter half of that statement was tinged with a certain uneasiness that Criss sensed immediatly. "You got something against that?" he asked.
"Oh, no!" JD demurred. "No, no, not at all. It's just that, well..."
"Well, what?" Criss pressed.
"Well, it's just that I hear so many stories about these organizations, you know. Like hazing rituals, and beer bashes, things like that."
"That's fraternities, JD, not sororities."
"Well, I just don't want Dimi to get hurt, that's all. And some of those sororities are a bit...snobbish, you know, very exclusive."
Criss shook his head. "Man, you've been watching way too many made-for-TV movies, you know that?" he laughed. "Sororities aren't the snooty, cliquish places you think they are; there are probably some very nice girls in them. And I know for a fact that hazing is against the law." He laid a hand on JD's shoulder. "Relax, Dimi will be fine," he assured him. "You're just anxious because your only daughter is leaving home and going off to college. Everything will be fine, really!"
JD sighed. "Yeah, maybe you're right," he said. "Dimi's a levelheaded young lady. I'm sure she'll do the right thing."
"Of course she will," Criss said. "Now, let's get to work."
(anyone want to take it from here?)