Mr. Barchetta’s apparently gone picketing—as evidenced by the note scribbled on the blackboard:

Gone picketin’.

In his place: a TV playing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which the class regards with casual indifference.

“Why are the teachers on strike again?” asks one girl as she eyes the picket line through a nearby window.

I don’t have anything to say (and even if I did, it’s not like anyone would care), so I just listen to the older kids:

“Overcrowded classrooms.”

“Budget cuts.”

“Inferior toilet paper in the restrooms.”

“I think old Thrailkill is doing head sessions on an SMN server because Boca Linda’s too cheap to pay for her office to stay actual.”

“Supposedly the librarians want money to finally get rid of that feral pit bull living in the stacks.”

“You mean Kilgore?”

“I thought that was the custodian dude’s helper dog.”

“Knowing Boca Linda, Kilgore probably is the custodian.”

“They lost another freshman down there the other day.”

“I hear the stacks are where they send you for detention.”

“Where did you hear that?”

“A friend of a friend texted another friend right before he died…on his way to detention.”

“You think if the teachers win, we’ll finally get real basketball hoops in the gym instead of just having the taller seniors hold out their arms?”

Ugh. I hate hoop duty.”

“You think if they win, Mr. Barchetta will stop throwing chocolate kisses at us whenever we answer a question correctly?”

“If anything, he’ll upgrade to peanut butter cups.”

Several students snicker.

On TV, they’re lowering that Thuggee dude into the lava pit.

“Why are we here if we’re not learning anything?” Mini asks. He’s climbed out of my pocket to watch the sacrifice scene.

“The school only gets money if there are kids in the classrooms,” I reply.

Mini frowns. “So, what are we supposed to do, just sit around watching cheesy Steven Spielberg movies until three?”

“I guess.”

“Nuts to that.” Mini jumps onto the nearby desk of a cute senior girl. “Hey, babe. Want to smoke or have sex?”

The girl’s reaction is not unlike that of the Thuggee dude hurtling toward molten lava.

Om Namah Shivaya.

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Published by

Jesse Gordon

Geek. Writer. Supreme overlord of the SUPERMEGANET pseudoverse. Author of THE OATMEAL MAN, DOOKIE, and other such wasteful nonsense.