5 Surefire Ways To Get Out Of Having To Dance With Your Family Friend At The Upcoming Snowflake Ball

Assuming you’re not totally out of the loop, you know Friday night is the premier event of the winter trimester here at Millard Fillmore Middle School: The Snowflake Ball. Nobody really asked to be anyone else’s date for this event, but everyone knows that when push comes to shove, the slow dance is where the wheat separates itself from the chaff in the social hierarchy. So that you don’t come out of this dance looking like a sack of garbage, here are some ideas for how to not be stuck dancing with your friend Amanda from pre-school when the big moment arrives.


5: Sneak Into The Bathroom

Ever since that stomach bug went around after Martin Feinberg’s bar mitzvah for all the 7th and 8th graders, all of us 6th graders have been freaking out about some sort of trickle down issues coming our way. I absolutely guarantee that if you bribed Hassan the DJ like $10 he’d tell you when the slow song is coming up. So that you don’t draw too much attention to yourself, leave a song or two ahead of the slow song and try not to tell anybody where you go. This strategy very much falls along the “Ask not for permission, instead ask for forgiveness” approach of doing things, as it banks upon Amanda wondering whether you’re ok when you tell her you were in the bathroom instead of being angry that she left. Sure, you might have to deal with a lot of questions about what you did in the bathroom and if you’re actually gonna make everyone else get sick, but that’s worth dealing with in exchange for not having to deal with Amanda’s clammy hands.


4: Punch Tanner

Everyone knows Tanner is the whipping boy of Millard Fillmore Middle School. Kevin Fung had to deal with it two years ago, and last year it was Kevin Schott, but Tanner Popsarelli just goes through the wringer every single goddamned day of the year. The “Poopsarelli” jokes, the getting thrown in the lockers, the soiling himself before making his speech in the class treasurer debate, the child simply invites ridicule with everything he says or does. If this is the path you choose to go down, you need to get fully into Tanner watch mode. That means you have to watch him try to grind on Kimmy Delmonico, that means you have to watch him spill fruit punch near his crotch, and that means you have to watch him try to explain that he pissed blood instead of spilling on himself and that’s why the stain is vaguely red. I more or less think that the chaperones would give you a free pass if you socked him in the mouth, Amanda might too.


3: Ask Serena

Serena Frings, the apple of everyone’s eye. Her blonde hair, her hazel eyes, everything about her makes me scream “AH-WOOO-GUH” until I get asked to leave the dance. Actually, on that note, I’m not even gonna be at this dance. My girlfriend, who goes to a private school that’s so prestigious I’m not even allowed to tell you the name or where it is, has her dance this weekend at her school, so I’m gonna go there. We might even get to second base. Yeah, I said it, second base. There’s absolutely no shot you’ll get there with Serena or Amanda because they’re not as cool as my girlfriend is, but you gotta think about optics kid. Serena is on the fast track to be the premier slow dance attraction for bar mitzvah season, and everyone knows the Snowflake ball is pretty much a glorified bar mitzvah tuneup. Grow a pair and ask her. What’s the worst that could go wrong? She humiliates you in front of the entire auditorium and Amanda refuses to speak to you which leads to holiday dinners being awkward because your families always used to have them together and now she refuses to even be in the same as room? Maybe. But it’d be funny.


2: Tell Amanda You Love Her

Deep in your heart you know this to be true. Think about all the other things in your life you currently love: the Red Wings, when they cater lunch on a field trip, your Skullcandy over-ear headphones, I could go on and on. You know you always have loved and always will love these things, so it’s a safe bet to think you’ll feel the same way about Amanda. She’s a nice person, to be fair; she helped you with your acrostic poem on Ancient Greece even after you accidentally-on-purpose hip-checked her while sprinting down the stairs to get to the bus. Also, think about how easy it would be to just spend this time with her for just one slow dance. Trust yourself that you’ll finagle a different person to dance with for all the parties next year. Realistically, this is the strategically and morally correct thing to do. But you’re not gonna do this. You’re an idiot. Here’s what you’re gonna do instead.


1: Try To Bring Back The Harlem Shake

This one’s a sure thing, take it to the bank. If you time this one right, there’s absolutely no way you have to slow dance with Amanda. Again, this plan is contingent upon you bribing Hassan so that you know when the slow song is coming. Then, it’s on you to rally the troops. Get Erik, get Eric, get Erick, get everyone. In case nobody told you what the Harlem Shake is, it’s this thing from when we were in like 1st grade where somebody would play this song and at the drop everybody goes absolutely bonkers. Everyone gets dressed up in these really weird costumes and we can make this thing go viral on Youtube or TikTok. If there’s one thing everybody loves, it’s reviving an old viral video that went stale quickly the first time around. Again, you’re gonna make Amanda angry on this one, but that’s alright. Emotional fulfillment and moral uprightness are temporary. Viral fame is forever.

The 5 Likeliest Explanations For Why Brenden Sits With Miss Hudson At Lunch

Something’s changed in the last ten days or so in the Millard Fillmore elementary school cafeteria during fifth period lunch. Brenden, who used to regale us all with his tales of his family’s ski vacation they took to Vermont when he was in fourth grade, has been sitting with English teacher and Miss Hudson during lunch while everyone else has been discussing my sick goal in handball a few days ago in gym. Here are a few reasons why I think he’s off at a different table.


5: Food Allergies

This one seems too obvious, I almost feel immediately inclined to discount it. Everyone remembers those weird hypoallergenic cookie replacements Brenden’s mom brought in for his birthday a few months ago, so the popular chatter is that he has to sit at a special table so he doesn’t get contaminated or whatever. However, because I’m not a senseless dolt like everyone in this school except for maybe Kevin Ramirez in 8th grade who’s already taking high school math, I’ve been investigating how this doesn’t add up. If he had these allergies, why has it taken Brenden so long to switch tables? He always tells us about his health stuff, even when it’s really weird. For example, he stopped our recess football game about a month ago because his “Osgood Schlatter disease was getting to him real bad,” when none of us even knew he had Osgood Schlatter. If he made a point to tell us that, he would have made a point to tell us about any increased food allergy sensitivity. Also, I’m pretty sure he’s only allergic to like the dye in certain Nabisco products, and the vending machine stopped selling all of that in favor of those weird pop chips 2 weeks ago. There’s no way this is just a food based thing.


4: He’s Still In Trouble For Writing “Miss Hudson Is A Thottie” On The Whiteboard

This one was a classic Brenden overreaction. We have English right before lunch and about three weeks ago we had a really difficult test on The Outsiders that a lot of people weren’t ready for. A week later we got the grades back and even more people were unhappy with Miss Hudson’s grading system. She refused to give partial credit, even on the short answer portion of the test. That meant that even if you got 99 percent of the question right, you were screwed if you missed even one little detail. Brenden missed one little detail. He said that Johnny was the one who first spat at the Socs instead of Ponyboy before the stabbing, like a moron. I remembered that detail and got a 96 on this test, which was the highest score in the grade. Anyway, Brenden got like a 76 and came back in during recess to write “Miss Hudson is a thottie” and he got caught actually maybe seven minutes later by Ernest the janitor running away and crying.


3: He Has A Big Crush On Miss Hudson

I’ll be real with you: Miss Hudson is kind of a baddie. She’s not as hot as my girlfriend, who’s actually redonkulously hot. I’m not allowed to take any pictures of her whenever we’re together because she gets really self conscious so I can’t show you what she looks like or of the two of us at the same place at the same time but trust me she’s so hot. Back to the original point; Brenden is notoriously bad with girls so it makes sense that he’d sorta get his signals crossed mentally and write what he did on the board. Maybe, because he’s quite possibly the biggest idiot in our class, he thinks he can cozy up to Miss Hudson after getting negative attention and make her fall in love with him. Dunce.


2: Brenden’s Been Having A Tough Time Socializing Since His Parents Got Divorced

This one is where I’m making a lot of assumptions but I think it just might be true. He started seeing Dr. Phan in the mental health room near the office a few times a week a few weeks ago to try to talk through everything he’s going through which totally makes sense. There’ve been times where someone will ask him a really simple question, like they’ll ask him where the pencil sharpener is or something like that, and he just sorta stands there. He doesn’t yell or anything, and he certainly doesn’t tell you where the pencil sharpener is, he just sorta stands there. The first time this sort of thing happened it went on for like 90 seconds before someone noticed and they got him to I think the nurse’s office. Now it’s been happening a lot less frequently, but maybe the teachers decided he shouldn’t be around other kids in case it happens again.


1: Brenden Doesn’t Have The Balls To Face Aidan After Their Incident At The Rec Basketball Finals

This one seems like a real slam dunk to me, pun intended. Brenden was the starting point guard for the Wildcats in Monday’s town rec league finals, and Aidan really only plays as backup center on the other team because his dad coaches, otherwise he wouldn’t get minutes. Anyway, Brenden came around a pick from Rohan late in the game and was driving to the basket and Aidan absolutely clobbered him. Aidan’s a big kid too so he put a lot of oomph into it. Brendan went flying towards the hardwood and started screaming before he even hit the ground, he couldn’t keep playing anymore after how bad he was hurt. Aidan definitely meant to do it but he pretended to check on Brenden as he was on the ground and “tried” helping him up but Brenden tried to spit on him and one of his teeth came out instead. For both of their sakes’, it’s probably better if Brenden just sits with Miss Hudson until their moms set something up to talk this out at one of their houses.


5 Reasons Why Ethan Isn’t Inviting Jakob R To His Birthday Party At Medieval Times, Ranked By Sociopolitical Expediency

As everyone knows, the social pecking order at Millard Fillmore Middle School has been completely up-heaved by Ryan Johnstone moving with his mom out to Tempe. He had already started puberty, which means he was obviously the straw that stirred the drink in the social hierarchy. With his absence, former best friends Ethan and Jakob R are set to duke it out for the top spot on the food chain. Because of that, here’s why I’d bet my life on Ethan not inviting Jakob R to his birthday party at Medieval Times, in a list ordered in increasing political sense for Ethan.

5: Ethan Knows Jakob R Is Afraid Of People In Costumes

This is the idealist in me meekly poking its head out. These two kids are best friends, after all. There’s a part of me that wants to think Ethan isn’t inviting Jakob R because he remembers what happened when the two of them went to Sesame Place and Jakob R left hysterically crying after 20 minutes because he couldn’t wrap his head around seeing Grover smoke a Marlboro Red without his headpiece on. However, there’s a much larger part of me that thinks Ethan will invite Jakob R for this specific reason. Not only does it give him plausible deniability about playing the game of middle school politics, but when Ethan waits to go home and freak out about the costumes instead of doing it in front of everyone else like Jakob R inevitably will, he’ll be crying as the coolest kid in the grade.

4: Jessie Is Going To Be There

Ah, Jessie Lawrence: the belle of the Millard Fillmore ball. Ever since Ethan and Jakob R got paired with her for the balloon car project in science, they’ve been competing over her. If Ethan did the mile for the national fitness test in 9 minutes, Jakob R did it in 8:59. If Jakob R read 4 books for the weekly reading log, Ethan read 5. There’s something about Jessie and her complete lack of interest in them that makes Ethan and Jakob R go absolutely hogwild. Personally, Jessie doesn’t do it for me, but that’s because my girlfriend is so much hotter. She was actually going to come with me to Ethan’s party, but then she broke both of her ankles at the same time. That’s a thing people do, right? Anyway, Ethan wants some alone time with Jessie, and Jakob R stands in the way of that.

3: Jesse Is Going To Be There

In an arrival that’s frustrated the MFMS teachers that already had Jessie Lawrence in their classes to no end, Jesse Laurent moved to town a month into the school year, and he’s a rising star on the scene. He’s like half Swiss or something, which is automatically a big plus. He also has been to Medieval Times before with his friends from his old school. I might not like Ethan very much, but I’ll at least admit he’s not a simpleton. Having the hottest prospect to come through this school in years at your party would be a big enough statement of intent. But the fact that this kid has seen one of these jousts before and can tell everybody else what’s coming next? Game over. Jesse is a lock to get an invite. With that in mind, Ethan can’t let Jakob R try to steal Jesse away during this party while Ethan goes and talks with his aunt and uncle that came in from Santa Fe, there’s just too much risk.

2: Their Moms Are In Some Sort Of Carpooling Argument

Alright, I’ll admit the details are a little murky for me on this one. Here’s what I’ve been able to suss out about it.

Apparently, Jakob R’s mom was supposed to drive the two of them to baseball practice last week, but she had to renege at the last second because her book club convened for an emergency meeting. In her place, she got taller Daniel’s mom to drive Ethan, Jakob R, taller Daniel, and shorter Daniel. As pretty much everybody knows, taller Daniel’s mom is both very aggressive on the brakes and absolutely abominable with directions. As a result, Jakob R got home 25 minutes later than normal and missed grace at family dinner, which is a big no-no over there.

Now, from this situation, I would think it makes more sense for taller Daniel to not get invited to Medieval Times. However, I have it on good authority that Ethan’s mom is royally pissed at Jakob R’s mom, and because of that Jakob R isn’t coming. Evidently Mrs. Ethan’s mom is making some power moves of her own in the Millard Fillmore house of cards.

1: Ethan Knows That Jakob R Knows That Ethan Knows That Jakob R Knows About What Happened At Jakob R’s Last Birthday Party

Gather round, folks: this is an exclusive bombshell I’m about to drop. For the last 9 months, there have been persistent rumors about what happened at Jakob R’s birthday party in his backyard. All anyone knows is that Ethan, despite hyping up this party to anybody and everybody for weeks until the day itself, didn’t show up. He didn’t tell anybody why, nobody addressed it there, he was just never present. Or at least that’s what we thought.

I have it on good authority that Ethan was in fact at the party. Not only that, he was integral in the setup of the piñata that proved to be a smash hit. He left early because he had a euphonium concert. That’s right, a euphonium concert. Ethan couldn’t even be bothered to play a cool instrument like the saxophone. He had to drag his parents out to some specialty music shop and pick out a custom euphonium, because he’s seemingly too good to even pick the tuba, which is overwhelmingly similar to the euphonium.

Naturally, Ethan couldn’t let it get out that he plays this secret instrument; nobody gunning for the top spot on the ladder could survive with that sort of dirt on them. Despite the fact that Jakob R is his best friend, I guarantee Ethan isn’t willing to take the risk that Jakob R is going to protect that pivotal information.


The party is next week and the invitation list is set to percolate its way through the Millard Fillmore rumor mill tomorrow. Take it from me, everybody: bet your house on Jakob R not being on it.

6 Reasons Why Mrs. McGillicuddy Can’t Give Us This Algebra Test Today

Here at Millard Fillmore Middle School, Mrs. McGillicuddy has been telling all of us in her Algebra class that this test today is going to be really tough. Joke’s on her though, that feeble-minded dolt, because here’s why there’s absolutely no way anybody is taking the exam.

1. We Had A Snow Day Last Friday

Let’s be real, it’s a universal truth that a snow day wipes everybody’s brain clean. Add on that this snow day made a long weekend? Forget about it. I went sledding with Matt and Jacob when I normally would have been learning about the FOIL method, and Matt’s mom even let us go to the big hill at the end of the block so that we could go the fastest. If you think I retained any mathematical information while I was bombing down Closter Street on an old boogie board, you’re a god damned moron.

2. It’s Jamie’s Birthday

What sort of soulless wench would make a carefree child take a test worth 45 whole points on her 12th birthday? Not to mention, Jamie’s been having a really rough time in class after her dad came in for career day and everyone made fun of him for describing himself as a “Professional Inspirer.” I heard from Kathryn, who’s at Jamie’s house like every day, that Jamie’s coming in with birthday treats for everybody to class to try to curry favor and get out of the social doghouse. If that’s the case, you can say so long to that Algebra test and hello to cake pops from Jamie’s mom’s organic bakery.

3. Kyle C Had A Meltdown Last Test

I really shouldn’t have to recap this since anyone who’s anyone should know what happened, but in case you missed it: Kyle C lost his freaking mind during the last Algebra test. He got to the third problem on the first sheet and just started screaming. I’m talking blood curdling shrieks that sounded like the purging of years of pent up aggression and didn’t stop for at least a minute. Mrs. McGillicuddy just sort of sat there in shock at first like the rest of us before calling Officer Frank from security to come get Kyle, but I think she’s wizened up this time around. No shot we have this test unless Kyle C goes to the guidance office or something.

4. Mrs. McGillicuddy Hasn’t Been Wearing Her Wedding Ring Lately

At the beginning of the year, all we heard about before the lesson actually started was how Mrs. McGillicuddy and her husband were going kayaking that weekend or how they tried that new sushi place on Johnston Avenue the other day. Now, when we ask her about what they have coming up, she just looks down with a defeated smile and says she doesn’t know. Look, I know it might not make me a saint to dig into my 6th grade Algebra teacher’s personal life just to get out of a 35 minute test, but I’m all out of options. I have absolutely no idea what the material is. When I told my mom I was studying for today, I was actually on Facetime with my girlfriend from summer camp. She’s really great but she lives super far away so she can’t come over and meet any of my friends which makes things tough. She also doesn’t have Instagram or anything so I can’t show you what she looks like. Long story short, I’m gonna ask Mrs. McGillicuddy if she’s going with her husband to the Winter Wonderland street fair on Main Street and let nature run its course.

5. We Haven’t Gotten Any Of Our Homeworks Graded Yet

It should be common knowledge that you have to get all the homeworks graded before we have to take the test. That’s the way it works in Mr. Williams’s world history class, that’s how it works in Miss Garcia’s chemistry class, that’s just the law of the land. Mrs. McGillicuddy, that hapless oaf, has decided to take her sweet old time on everything we handed in the last few weeks. It’s not as if we just gave her odds and ends either; pages 65-69 of the textbook were due just this past Wednesday, and there weren’t even answers in the back of the book! How are we supposed to know how to solve variable equations if we’re just blindly throwing answers into the wind at home? Ridiculous.

6. There’s That Big Assembly After Class

This is Mrs. McGillicuddy’s 9th year teaching here. She’d have to be an absolute rube to believe that all 23 of us in her 3rd period class will be focused on her test knowing full well that immediately afterwards we’re heading to the multipurpose room to see Dan Gutman talk about his new book. After Ms. Schlipp gave us all copies of Honus & Me to read over winter break to prep for this assembly, it’s all anybody’s been talking about. I know for a fact that I’ll be sprinting down the hallway (Only to slightly slow down as I pass Mrs. Li’s room since she goes absolutely apoplectic and takes away recess privileges when she sees running in the halls) to try to meet Dan before all the hubbub. If that means I have to leave Mrs. McGillicuddy’s room early, so be it, and I’d have to imagine Ethan, Evan, and Eli all feel the same way as I do. So good luck with that test Mrs. M, because there’s no way we’ll actually take it until at least next week.