One pre-homeroom period, the Strange Society was preparing for an unwanted series of examinations.
The Strange Society is a group of Niles West students on a mission of destruction. Their ethnic group consists of Sicko, who points and laughs at pianists; Annoying, who took the “ugh!” out of donut; Dangerously Psycho, who likes animals because they are so delicious; Drum Boy, whose name is an anagram for Body Rum ; GOD, who read Frankenstein and commented with “So?”; and What DeHelizat, who can truthfully and correctly look at Chicago’s Picasso and say, “Oh, I know wuddat is.”
On this particular school morning, the students were discussing the school board’s latest controversial decision.
"We've got to all go see the school counselor today?!" fumed Psycho.
"Yeah," replied Drum Boy, "but it isn’t really the school counselor. It’s some professional therapist they hired out for the day to meet with all the students in the school on an individual basis. And in alphabetical order, too. I hate order!”
“I hate the alphabet,” declared Annoying. “Which of us will be first?”
The other five looked at him blankly.
“Dammit!” shouted Annoying.
“Why are they going through all of this?” questioned Sicko.
“Well,” explained What, “after our principal, Dr. Stein, went in for a month of therapy, which he blamed on something he saw happen outside the library, the School Board went into some study of the school being a stressful environment or something. Personally, I still think it was just something in his coffee. Either way, they decided to have every student be given a five-minute counseling for their records.”
Hm, yes. Arrogant here. I would just like to take this time to demonstrate not only the absurdity of this ordeal, but the physical impossibility of such an event. Niles West has a student body exceeding 2500 students. Assuming, without interim, each student is to be given five minutes, this would take over 208 hours to accomplish. Even if it were just one grade level of the four, this would exceed 50 hours. Even if spread out over an entire week, the school day is three hours shorter than the necessary time allotment, and this is with truncated numbers! It would also be foolish to assume the School Board would allow for the hiring of more than one professional for this study, so we are clearly left with an impossibility.
Then again, one must recall the various absurdities which have already occurred in this physically horrid saga, and in this respect, one may be allowed to ignore said discontinuities. Hm, yes. Of course the average simpleton would have done so anyway.
This has been a message from Arrogant.
Annoying entered the office at his designated time.
“And you are?” greeted the man, not so much as taking his eyes off his notes as he continued scrawling them.
“Annoying,” he replied.
“Why? Didja fart or something?”
“I see...” the man began writing in great detail. “And to what do you attribute this antisocial behavior?”
“No I don’t! I do it on my own!”
“You know, I can belch the national anthem,” Annoying disclosed.
“How hard do you try to be whom you have chosen to be?” interrupted the psychiatrist. “You obviously put extensive effort into your antisocial persona. Why is this? Do you feel you cannot apply these efforts elsewhere?”
“Can you do this?” asked Annoying, turning his eyelids inside-out.
“Before we complete this session, I need your real name for my report,” explained the man. “Can I please see your ID?
“Um, sure,” he replied handing the man his student card. “But this is my real signature card!” Annoying took out a protractor and began running circles about the room. “I am Superrrr Protractorrrr Maaaan!”
The man stared in astonishment at the valid student ID reading “Annoying.”
“Hey, where’d you get these?” asked Annoying, picking up the certification records which had been laid out on the desk.
“Don’t touch those!” shouted the man, his demeanor suddenly changed. “Get out of here at once, your session is over.” As Annoying left, the man wrote at the end of the student’s report, “Extremely Antisocial, Diagnosis: Extensive Treatment.”
Soon afterward, Drum Boy entered the small office.
“Hey, this is the room where they usually keep the lunch meat after delivery when the freezer’s full,” he realized.
“Please have a seat. Your name is Boy, correct?”
“And your first name is...”
“Your name is... Drum Boy... could I please see your ID?”
“Um, sure.” The man verified this name in equal astonishment.
“Do other students ever give you a hard time about your name?”
“And why do you suppose that is?”
“Because those who had have been pounded into the floor. I play percussion, by the way.”
“So you resort to violence when you’re angry?”
“When I’m bored, too.”
“I see.” The man jotted things down furiously. “And you always win in these skirmishes?”
“Yup. I also like to make a lot of noise. Explosions are my favorite.”
“Is it possible that you are living in a state of delusion because you are so meek due to chastisement, you have created an image of yourself as a strong, boisterous character which you support by being a loud, noisy individual?”
“No, I just like to hit things.”
“I see. Your session is over.” The man wrote at the end of Drum Boy’s report, “Expresses Self through Intense Volume, Diagnosis: Extensive Treatment.”
“Your last name is... DeHelizat? What nationality is that?”
“Nationality isn’t that! Where were you educated?”
“I need your first name, please.”
“Well you just used it yourself!”
“Please hand me your ID.” What did so and the man frowned. “All right then. Please take a seat. How would you describe yourself?”
“With words and statements mostly. I don’t like pantomime.”
“But how do you view yourself?”
“In a mirror. Ponds work sometimes, too, but it’s tough hanging one on a wall. Trust me on this one.”
“Please, just tell me a little about yourself.”
“I’m the Bane of Confusion. I was released from the Bane World and born as a human to inflict the imminent destruction and rebirth of the world.”
“I see...” The man wrote so feverishly, his pencil lead broke. ”Just out of curiosity, what is the origin of your name?”
“No I’m not! My parents are!”
“Um... then what is the origin of your parents’ names?”
“You have a lot to learn about the course of human reproduction, apparently.
“Let me get this straight... your parents simply made up the name.”
“It’s all in Society8. Don’t you ever read anything?”
“Never mind. Your session ended a full minute ago.” At the end of What’s report, he wrote “Refuses to Communicate Socially, Diagnosis: Extensive Treatment.”
Ten minutes later, GOD entered for his dose of the analysis.
“Your last name is ‘Destruction?’” asked the man.
“Yeah,” responded GOD, looking around the room. “It smells like spoiled meat in here.”
“Can I please have a look at your ID?” GOD handed him his card, which read Destruction, Guardian. “Your name is Guardian Destruction?”
“Everyone just calls me GOD,” replied the teen.
The man took a sip from his water. “Why do they call you GOD? Is it due to your own insistence?”
“Um, yeah, I guess.”
“Do you see yourself as a superior, as a more powerful individual than your peers?”
“I suppose. We all get along pretty well, though. I’m the one who gave them a life on Earth, and they respect me for it.”
“I see.” The man was silent as he filled an entire two pages worth of notes. “That will be all. Thank you.”
“No problem.” GOD left the room. At the end of this particular student report, the man wrote, “God Complex, Diagnosis: Extensive Treatment.”
The next student walked in and began speaking quickly.
“Dude! D-du-d-du dude! Dude! Dude!”
The man took a sip from his water and spat it out. Somehow, the cup’s contents had changed into wine.
“So how have everyone’s examinations gone so far?” asked What during lunch.
“All the guy does is write stuff down,” noted GOD. “Has everyone gone already?”
“Not Psycho and Sicko,” informed What. “I can’t wait to hear about it.” The two continued their lunches in silence.
“How are the examinations going?” asked Mr. Puff, head of high school security.
“I have an interesting list,” replied the psychotherapist. “A good number of these students need to begin months of psychological attention.”
“Just give the list to me when you’re through,” spoke Puff, “and we’ll have them all... taken care of.”
“Actually, some of these cases are so severe, they would be of great interest to the psychological field. For the purpose of study, I’m certain help for them can be paid for by interested universities. We have a veritable gold mine of medical knowledge here which...”
“I told you, give me the list. We have a way to cure them which is much more... efficient. You’ll get your pay, but I get the Strange Table!” Mr. Puff gave an evil laugh and left the room, leaving the very bewildered man to continue his analysis of each student.
About an hour later, Dangerously Psycho entered the room. “Hey, it smells like my backyard shed in here!”
“Your name please?” asked the man, less involved in the process than he had been that morning.
“And this is written on your ID?” he asked without interest.
“Yup.” Psycho prepared to take out his wallet but the man interrupted him.
“OK. And is this an accurate depiction of your persona?”
“Dangerous to myself and others,” Psycho replied.
“OK,” sighed the man, marking the student in his notes. “You’re done.”
“You know, you’re nothing like my regular therapist,” spoke Psycho, recalling the time he witnessed a professional plummet from a 20th story window following a brief first session.
“Oh? Then you must be part of the school’s program Mr. Puff mentioned.”
“Eh?” questioned Psycho. “Um... yeah... Just out of curiosity, wuddid he tell you about it?”
“Not much,” replied the man, now seemingly more interested in what he was doing. “Just that the school’s got some sort of foolproof process of therapy for troubled students.”
“Ah... so naturally, he wants this list from you when your done of prospective students.”
“Um, your session is over now. I need to keep the flow of students going.” The man realized he’d over-stepped his bounds and ushered Psycho to the door.
“Right, but you can take me off the list. I’m already receiving...” The door was shut. “...therapy.
“So Puff wants to single out the ST for Conformist Treatment, does he?” thought Psycho to himself as he walked back to class. “But everyone’s already gone in but Sicko! How can I warn them to keep off of the guy’s list if they’re already on it?” Suddenly, he was hit with an idea.
“I want some mozzarella sticks!”
Then a sensible idea suddenly occurred to him and he ran to the gym instead.
Nearing the end of the day, Sicko entered for his examination.
“Name,” asked the man monotonously.
Sicko showed him his card.
“Are you abnormal?”
Sicko approached the desk and talked in a hushed whisper. “I am strange, however.”
“Oh, OK.” As the man reached toward his desk to change his report in his notebook, Sicko darted to his side of the furniture and began opening drawers and throwing papers everywhere. “What do you think you’re...?!”
“Hey,” asked Sicko, “where do you keep all your porn?”
“Stop this! Get out of my desk! These papers aren’t even mine! AAHH! My diploma!” Sicko was eyeing the framed document which had been placed on the desk.
“This thing wouldn’t fit in a wallet. Why do they make it so big?”
“That’s it! Get out at once!”
“You’d better believe ‘that’s’ it! Woohoo! Oh, nasty!” Sicko sprinted out of the room.
As the papers settled, the man shook his head and went back to his notebook. “Now what student was I on again? Ah, here we are. Hmm... his name WAS a bit more of the norm than the others...” He added the affirmative notation for extensive therapy.
The next day, the Strange Society met before school as always.
“You’re serious about this?” spoke Drum Boy.
“Yeah, I wish I could have told all you guys yesterday, but by the time I found out...”
Psycho was interrupted by Doctor Stein’s voice over the PA system.
“Good morning, everyone. As you are all aware, you were screened yesterday on an individual basis for mental health. We would now like the following students to report to the Deans’ Office for an informal breakfast.”
“Here goes...” spoke GOD. The ST members held their breaths in anticipation.
“Parin. That is all. THANK you.” Doctor Stein’s voice disappeared from the echoing halls.
Sicko began laughing as he read from the real notebook. “Psycho, he had you marked down as ‘Admitted Dangerous Psychopath, Diagnosis: Extensive Treatment.’ How much more bland can you get than dat?”
“I just can’t believe he didn’t notice when you swapped books on him,” laughed Annoying.
“I can’t believe Puff didn’t notice there were only about twenty names in there up until Parin’s.” declared GOD.
“I can’t believe he passed this as your ID,” chuckled What, looking at Sicko’s card with a whited-out and handwritten-over fake name. Good thing Psycho knew you had gym then.
“Actually, I was able to hear the shrieking from the girls’ shower room from the main hallway,” explained Psycho. “I wouldn’t have thought about it otherwise.”
“Hey! No fair!” shouted Sicko, still leafing through the real notebook. “Now I don’t get to find out wudde wrote by my name!”
“Ha! We’ve got you now, Strange deviant!”
“Huh?” responded Parin. “What do you mean?”
“Ah, the question thing, eh? It won’t work! I know you’re a member of the Strange Table, and you’re going to be conformed!” threatened Puff, hooking Parin up to the Conformist Device.
“Why do you think I’m part of them? They hate me!”
“It says right here, ‘Excessive Perversion, Diagnosis: Extensive Treatment.’ This is good enough reason to conform you even if you’re not part of the group!”
“No! Wait! Let me help you!” groveled Parin like a sissy. “I can tell you who they are! I hate them too!”
“And you will tell me,” spoke Puff, throwing the switch.
The Strange Society observed as the lights dimmed momentarily and returned. “Do you think this will affect Parin?” asked Psycho.
“Nah, not his personality,” spoke GOD. Remember, he’s human, and he was pretty balanced to begin with.”
“In THIS sense, perhaps,” snickered Annoying.
“This basically means he won’t have the power to be so bold as to kidnap people anymore,” continued GOD, “but I always felt that to have been a fluke anyway. He’s too much of a coward to have very much free will.”
“Felt that to have been a fluke? Oh, nasty!”
“The problem izzat Puff is cracking down on us, and he knows he’s after more than just one student.” understood What. “We’ll have to be on our toes for the next few weeks.”
Suddenly, a mouse scurried by.
“You guys thinking wha I’m... hey!” GOD was left to himself as the rest immediately set chase after the rodent. “Well, I guess it’s time to go hunting!” He joined his friends in the pursuit of the defenseless creature.