One busy December weekend, the Strange Society was attempting to finish some holiday shopping.
The Strange Society is a group of Niles West students on a mission of destruction. Their ethnic group consists of Sicko, who makes very interesting snow angels; Annoying, who orders food from drive-thrus and leaves; Dangerously Psycho, who sees inflicting pain on one's self as a great outlet for pain; Drum Boy, who can say "I'm practicing my paradiddles" without meaning something phallic; GOD, who doesn't need a bug zapper to fry insects; and What DeHelizat, who can make a valid argument to contradict his own existence.
On this particular midday, the Strange Society was braving the terrors of the Christmas rush.
"We've got to get our shopping done," insisted Psycho.
"Yeah," replied Drum Boy, "but these malls are always so hectic this time of year, even without our influence."
"Let's try to get it done quickly, then," spoke Annoying.
"Does everyone know wuddere shopping for?" asked What.
"Yeah," replied GOD, "but Drum Boy still won't tell any one of us wudde wants."
"I never get wuddi really want, anyway," sighed Drum Boy.
"Anyway, we'll split up and regroup later," suggested Psycho. The teenagers ran off, leaving Drum Boy to wallow in his own self-pity.
Annoying began wandering around aimlessly and was stopped by a short woman with a clipboard.
"Excuse me, sir, but do you have a minute?"
"A whole bunch of 'em," he replied.
"Thank you. Are you currently a student?"
"Are you employed full-time?"
"Do you currently hold a job?"
"Then what do you do each day?"
"I go to school on weekdays."
"Then you are a student?" The woman began to look unhappy.
"Yes, but not this very moment," reasoned Annoying. "You asked me if I was currently..."
"Never mind. How much television would you estimate you watch each week?"
"About 53.1227438790543661 hours, unless it's a new episode of South Park. Then I stay up another 3.1872389 hours watching it again on tape," responded Annoying.
"What? How can...? Oh, never mind!" The woman left and approached another individual.
Sicko was walking along, minding his business, (under an Orange Colored Sky) when smash, bam, alakazam, his attention suddenly was held captive by a store which appeared to be trimmed in red velvet. His jaw dropped and drool began to flow. He was captivated by this store and proceeded to gawk at it for a long time.
"Excuse me, sir!" called a short woman with a clipboard. What turned around to greet this person.
"Would you like to take a survey?"
"Oh, boy! Questions!" shouted What enthusiastically. "Go ahead, by all means!"
"Are you currently a student?"
"What are you involved in after school?"
"How did you know my name?" queried What.
"I never asked for your name. These surveys are anonymous."
"The Paranoiac? I know him. He's still in the Bane World, however. He's not part of Operation Destruction as we are."
"Um..." the woman tried to remember where they were at. "Oh, yes. What are you involved with after school?"
"Yes, I am."
"With what, though?"
"No, not with myself. With the rest of the track team."
"Let me get this straight... you're on the track team?"
"Tell you what... just take this paper and mail it in to the address at the top, OK?"
"Should I complete it first?"
"I... don't care." The woman walked away, shaking her head.
GOD was checking items off a list when he spotted the still-despondent Drum Boy. "Hey, w'swrong?" he asked.
"I dunno. I guess I just feel like being depressed today. Tell me, GOD, wuddo the gods think about Christmas?"
"Nothing at all. Down here, the holiday has many religious implications, but most of all it's based on happiness and a feeling of family and everything. The gods... well, they don't understand the importance of family as it has developed on Earth. It's one of the good things humans have developed which the gods never took into account when they passed judgment." GOD's expression changed. "Sometimes, I just wonder..." He stopped abruptly and looked upward. I think it's starting to snow again.
"Hmmph," shrugged Drum Boy.
"Maybe we ought to move along."
"Yeah." The two walked off.
"Sir! Sir!" yelled a short woman with a clipboard. Psycho sprinted away, darting into a nearby store.
"Darned survey people," he panted. "Like clowns with no makeup, but equally *shudder* cheerful."
He looked about himself and immediately realized the horrible predicament he had brought himself into.
The large, frightening display emitted terribly jolly music as teddy bears and trains moved about it. Psycho turned white before it, held captive by intense and extreme shock. He had darted into... an FAO Swarz, whose displays are invariably cheerful and creepy.
Annoying thought he heard loud, panicked shrieking from the other side of the mall but thought nothing of it. He continued walking and turned into the office supply and stationery store.
"Hey!" he addressed the man behind the counter, "do you have any protractors?"
"Um, yes. Aisle five..."
"I'll take eleven-hundred."
"Eleven-hundred protractors please."
"And just why do you need more than a thousand protractors?" asked the man casually.
"I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you," answered Annoying.
"Um, I see. Just let me check in back..." The man cautiously side-stepped his way to the back of the store, where he darted for the phone.
Annoying, bored easily, left the store.
"Sure, I'll take a survey," GOD told a short woman with a clipboard.
"Great. Are you currently a student?"
"Yes, I committed myself to Niles West High School."
"Just go on."
"Are you involved in any after-school activities?"
"My friends and I go hunting every day," he responded.
"Um, of course." The woman checked the 'No' box. "On average, how much television would you estimate you watch per week?"
"Before or after I left the Temple of Strangeness? Does a portal to Earthen events count? Do I factor in the years of my existence when television didn't exist?"
"Um, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go survey someone else now," the woman stated.
"Well, best of luck to you," wished GOD.
What walked into Radio Shack. There, browsing the aisles was Dude, the wandering technician.
"Hey, Dude!" greeted What. "Are you looking for something specific?"
"D-du-d-dude, dude," he explained.
"No, I wouldn't think they'd have anything which could make an explosion as big as you want. You'll just have to go with the smaller stuff."
"D-dude!" grunted Dude. He picked up an array of transistors, rolls of speaker wire and a large car battery and brought them to the counter. What took note of the items he'd grabbed and purchased the same stuff.
"Would you like to take WAAAAAAH!!!" A short woman with a clipboard slipped in the large puddle of drool Sicko had created in front of the Victoria's Secret store. Sicko seemed not to notice her at all.
"Don't mind him," spoke Drum Boy, helping the woman up. "He'll be like this for awhile."
"Thank you. Would you like to take a survey?"
"Oh, why not?" sighed Drum Boy.
"Are you currently a student?"
"Are you involved in any after-school activities?"
"Yes, the Indoor Marching Percussion Ensemble."
"And how much time per week does it take up?"
"About three hours."
"How much television do you watch per week on average?"
Drum Boy continued to take the entire survey.
"Thank you," said the short woman with a clipboard. "I hope your day goes better."
"And I hope your swelling goes down," he told her.
"Here's the fifty dollars for taking the survey," said the short woman with a clipboard.
"I get cash for this?" asked Drum Boy.
"Huh?" Sicko suddenly broke from his trance at the mention of money.
"Oh, didn't I tell you you'd be paid for your help? I wonder with how many other people I forget to mention the compensation."
"What time is it?" asked Sicko.
"Whoops, we have to get back to the parking lot!" realized Drum Boy. "C'mon, Sicko!" The two ran off.
"Is everyone done with their shopping?" asked GOD.
"I think I finished a few times," explained Sicko.
"I don't know if D.P. is," answered Annoying. Psycho was still ghost-white and shivering from his traumatic experience in the toy store.
"It's a w-world of toys..." he stammered.
"Are you feeling OK now, Drum Boy?" questioned What.
"I dunno," he shrugged in response.
"Will this make you feel any better?" he asked, handing Drum Boy a small device with a big, red button.
"No... it CAN'T be! Is this wuddi think it is?"
Drum Boy pressed the button and watched in delight as multiple explosions occurred in the parking complex, causing the structure to collapse upon itself and a score of people to run out of it shrieking.
"It's exactly wuddi wanted!" replied Drum Boy happily. "Thank you! This is better than the fifty bucks I made!"
"You made fifty bucks?" asked Psycho, suddenly returning to his standard state. "How?"
"I, um, took a survey," he replied.
"Hey, I didn't get any money!" shouted Annoying.
"Me neither!" added GOD.
"Wudderwe waiting for?" asked What.
The five ran off to hunt down the short woman with the clipboard, leaving Drum Boy to observe the damage which was caused.
"This is the best Christmas I've ever had," he sobbed before joining his friends in the hunt.