Excuses, Excuses By Aryan Luthra
It was just another night for Joe, the go-with-the-flow guy. In his bedroom --- ha! more like a landfill --- one could see smelly socks all over the floor, pizza and burger leftovers just sitting around on his table, which had not been touched for days, and posters of Eminem all over the walls. This was his territory: he played there, he slept there, he did his suuuuuuuuuuuper interesting homework there, he ate there, and he stashed away his secret papers in there. What were those secret papers? Well, they were ten math tests that he had gotten zeros on. Discovery of those secret papers by his parents would mean GROUNDED for eternity, which meant one week. But that night, there was nothing to worry about, nothing to prepare for; plus, his dad was going to walk in any moment now to see if he was asleep. So, he took off his glasses, and, taking the edge of his comforter with both hands, whipped it up high and quick, to get rid of all the trash on his bed. Crash! Clank! went soda cans, comic books, and CDs as they hit the floor. As he was lying in his bed, getting ready to sleep, THAT was when a thought crossed his mind. He had not done his Science homework for that day!!! He didn’t care about homework in any other subject, but science was the one subject he was careful about--not because he was interested in it; oh no--- but because 7th grade science was ruled by the one teacher he dreaded the most: Ms.Shamalamalama Ding-Dong, or Ms. S, for short. At Public School no. 218, in Upstate New York, Ms. S had the reputation of being a Jekyll and Hyde. She could be really sweet, but would transform into the most uptight, cruel, and fearsome creature if a student did something that was an affront to her beloved Science! Despite all this, Ms. S. was the most decorated teacher in all of New York.
His mind filled with panicky ideas; what was he going to do?! It was too late to do his homework now, and besides, if his Dad saw him out of bed at this time; he would get a really bad spanking. So he quickly got up, picked up his phone from the nightstand and called his friend. “Yello” answered Bob, his friend.
Joe got annoyed by him saying this. “Man, you’ve got to stop answering your phone saying ‘Yello’,” he demanded.
“OK, but what’s the problem?” said Bob, making a yawning sound.
“I forgot to do my Science homework, WHAT IN THE WORLD SHOULD I DO?” exclaimed Joe.
“Look,” suggested Bob. “There are only three options when it comes to that problem; One, you skip school. Two, you make up an excuse. Or, three, you confess.”
From the time they were in First Grade, Joe and Bob had been the best of friends. They understood each other very well, having pretty much the same likes and dislikes. They lived not far from each other, and hung out in each other's homes much of the time. When it came to school and studies, their motto was: Life is short, so don't let school make it shorter!
“Are you sure those are the only options?” questioned Joe.
“Positive,” said Bob.
“OK then, I’ll sleep on it” Said Joe.
“Well, see you in school, unless you’re skipping it!” said Bob, and hung up the phone. In Joe's head, a devil and an angel appeared.
“Bunk school, it’s the best option,” the devil silkily whispered. “Confess, it would be the right thing to do,” the angel argued.
Bunk school! Confess! Skip it! No, kneel down in front of Ms. S.! The devil-and-angel argument made Joe's head spin. After a few excruciating moments, he made his decision.
The next morning, Joe woke up and went through his regular routine. He ate his breakfast, brushed his teeth, put on his favorite clothes, and walked to school.
While he walked, his mind was racing to the events that would soon unfold. He knew that in a few minutes, he would meet his ULTIMATE DOOM!!! Ms.Shamalamalama Ding-Dong was an angel, but when a student didn’t do the their homework, ooooh, look out! Right before your eyes was a devil ready to kick your butt till Pizza Hut. What was he going to do? Half of him told him to turn back, while the other half said, ‘You have an excuse, just use it! Trust yourself buddy, you'll pull this one off!’
So, opening the door to class, he felt time stand still. The doorknob felt cold and deathly, and the door creaked threateningly as it opened and closed. Suddenly, it slammed shut, imprisoning him. Now he faced his executioner.
“Please turn in your homework Mr. Brown, you’re five minutes late,” said the angelic Ms. Shamalamalama Ding-Dong, as she smiled at him.
With his heart in his throat, and his stomach churning, he
mumbled, “Euh... I have something to tell you Ms.S.”
Ms. S. stopped short. “WHAT. IS. IT.” she growled “Is this about your homework!!!”
“Well...” “TELL ME. NOW! SAY WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY, AND TURN IN YOUR HOMEWORK.”
Ms. S’s face started to darken and Joe was witnessing a transformation. In his mind, it looked like Ms.Shamalamalama Ding-Dong was wearing a shirt with the words “KILL YOU” right across it; in her hand, she was sharpening an ax so sharp that if you got cut with it, you probably wouldn't even realize it. Horns started to sprout out of her head and her face was now chili red of rage. She grew pointy ears, and her muscles expanded about ten times their size.
Joe’s mind was at maximum panic. What should he do? Should he just confess, would that be less painful? Did she know? Did she know that he hadn't done his homework? He was almost certain that she did. This was a matter of life and death to Joe. WHAT WAS HE GOING TO DO???
Joe stammered. “Um... its just that... um... like... um... I was just saying that...”
“SILENCE!!” said the devil Ms.S, as the class watched in awe. “JUST SAY WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY, AND TURN IN YOUR HOMEWORK. NOW!!!!!!!”
“Um... its just that... --”
“ENOUGH UMs! SAY IT!” said Ms.S., breathing fumes out of her nostrils. “My dad accidentally put my homework in his briefcase and took it to work!” Joe gushed out.
He didn't know what would happen next. He looked up and... he saw Ms.S raise her hand, ready to strike... Was she going strike? She wouldn’t; would she?