People always ask me: How did you get that burn on your hand? Did you fall asleep next to a lit stove? Did you get too close to a roman candle at a Fourth of July party? But I merely reply, “No, it’s from sulphuric acid.”
It happened on my way home when I was still in high school. I went around to the back parking lot to take a trail that went up a hill and through a patch of woods, when suddenly something caught my eye. It was one of those rare moments in nature that eye-witnesses brag about seeing for years, yet whenever a picture is taken it always comes out blurry: a battle of the over-acheivers.
The mathletes, clad in red windbreakers with an enlarged plus sign in white embroidered on their back, were coming from the east; approaching from the west, in dull brown tweed jackets, was the Junior Historical Society. I could tell, as both groups took the flying V formation geese use when heading south, that it was going to get messy. This I could not miss so I dove behind the football team’s parked coach bus: knowing neither group would dare come near a vehicle that transports their living nightmares.
The mathletes leader, a kid named Spencer whose copious pimples offset the thickness of his glasses, was the first to start. “I just heard an interesting tidbit from Miss Shilling the librarian. She says you requested the library’s new extension for the Hi-dork-ical society to practice in after school.” At this the two mathletes on either side of him gave each other a high five, but missed, hitting each other on the nose instead.
“Yeah, we did,” replied Egwin, the squat JHS captian who was showing signs of premature balding. “Are you and the bad-breath-aletes going to do something about it?”
With a quick retort Spencer snapped back “You’re going to go from a triangle to a trapezoid when we’re through with you!”
With a gleam in his eye Egwin yelled “The damage George W. Bush did to the Republican Party is microscopic campared to how bad we are going to wreck you!”
Spencer turned red in the face, blurting out “Before we’re finished there are going to be more pieces of The National Honors Society than there digits in pi!”
Egwins eyes suddenly lost their luster, turning into puffy red balls. In a whimpery yelp he cried out “‘President’ Al-Bashir is going to take notes on how we eliminate all of you so fast and efficiently!”
At this Spencer grew a grimacing look comparable to that of an aggravated duck, and began flailing his hands at Egwin’s face. Egwin began to cry, galvanizing both parties into a clumsy melee. It was insanity. Loafers were flying through the air, ink sploched all their faces and clothing as a few dozen pens from pocket protectors were broken, and there were so many pairs of glasses shattering that it sounded as if the Notre Dame Cathedral was being demolished. When suddenly, right over the center of the brawl, a small circular shadow appeared. It kept growing larger and larger until SPLAT! My hand, which was hugging the side of the bus closest to the scuffle, became enflamed. Everyone in the battle stopped and began screaming; anyone within earshot would have thought there was a slaughterhouse for swine nearby.
I looked up onto the hill behind the parking lot: there was Phil, the head of the Physics club rolling on the ground laughing. To his left was an enormous wooden catapult, and to his right was a giant sign reading “History and Math are alright, but Science is KILLER”.