My dream transported back more years than I care to count. Back to the world of cliques, petty rivalries, and insecurities. Nothing at all like the adult world. Or maybe exactly like the adult world. Welcome to my high school nightmare.
Two big clubs were arch rivals of each other, fighting over insignificant things. Rumor had it that long, long ago these two big clubs used to work together to make our high school better, but now they disagreed with each other just on principle. The enemy was no longer our archrival in football. The goal was no longer to make us the best-prepared students. No, the only thing they fought for was power and to defeat the other club.
Many – most – of us did not belong to either. We just tried to go quietly to our classes without getting involved. We had a few friends from each, but they would unfriend you just for saying something nice about the other club.
For as long as anyone could remember, the student body president had always been a member of one of the two big clubs. Not a single president had come from the smaller clubs. You couldn’t even suggest that possibility without everyone laughing and laughing and laughing.
My dream – my nightmare – began as the high school was holding an assembly to hear the candidates for student body president.
The first club was the Pelicans. Just when you tried to like them as a group, they would do something really weird or obnoxious to push you away. So we all called them the Repelicans.
Their nominee was a funny looking fellow with bright red hair and tiny little hands, clownish with the funny faces he made – Ronald McRump. He was the only Ronald that most of us knew, so we just nicknamed him The Ronald. He seemed to like that.
Now no one thought the Pelicans were going to nominate The Ronald. One clique of students inside the Pelicans had run things for a long time, but they couldn’t agree on who their nominee was going to be. They had lots and lots and lots of kids to choose from, but they just couldn’t make up their minds.
Jed Shrub – Jed’s dad had been student body president. His brother had been student body president. So everyone thought Jed would be the candidate. Except he was boring and no one really wanted him to be the candidate.
Little Marco Rubikscube – Little Marco might be the Student Body President someday, but he’s only in the fifth grade. He needs to learn some more words, too, because he kept saying the same thing over and over.
Teddy Cruisemissle – Most of the Pelicans didn’t like him because he was always mean to them even though they all belonged to the same club. Plus he was scary looking like that Chucky doll.
Chris P. Kreme – Chris was a chubby little kid who was always pushing kids in the halls. One time in elementary school, he had his friends block the ladder to the sliding board because someone said they didn’t like him. The line of kids just got longer and longer.
John K. Sick – Lots of people outside the club like him. But the Pelicans are really suspicious of people who have friends outside the club, so they didn’t nominate him.
Lots of others, too. Some of the time, we thought every member of the club was running. When one of them looked like they might have a chance of winning, Ronald would take them behind the school and beat them up. And he would make up funny nicknames about them until they cried.
While the club was deciding who to nominate, Ronald also gathered up all of the misfits in the club – and some from the other club and some from smaller clubs – and he formed his own club. We thought he might break off and form a new club. Instead, he just formed a club within the Pelicans. They even had a name – Plorables. Some people think that of all of the Pelicans, half are the Plorables. Maybe it is not half. Maybe it is only 20% or 30%. Doesn’t matter to the story. Besides, it makes people mad to talk about it, so let’s move on.
Ronald McRump’s speech was about how he didn’t want students from other schools coming to our school, so he was going to build a moat around the school. And he was going to make the other schools pay for the moat. I know it is not logical, but nightmares are like that. Everyone just cheered and cheered.
The other club was the Cats. They were the oldest group on campus, so we called it “Them Old Cats.”
The Cats wanted to control everything. They wanted to control all of the thermostats so we couldn’t turn on the heat. They wanted to tell us when we could have water and how much we could have. They had rules about what words we could use and even what thoughts we were allowed. They wanted to tell us what we could and couldn’t have in the cafeteria for lunch. Plus, they wanted to take all of our lunch money and trust them to buy our lunch.
Now, the Cats didn’t have anywhere near as many people who wanted to be Student Body President. There were a few at first, but nobody can even remember who they were.
There was one student, though – Ernie Flanders. Ernie was entertaining and funny and lots of the Cats liked him.
But the leadership of the Cats didn’t like him. Seems he always hung out with the Cats, but for years he had not even been a member.
Besides, the leaders of the Cats all wanted another student – HillaryBillaryBob. She had been wanting to be Student Body President for years and years and years and years and years and . . .
In fact, she thought she was going to be their nominee last year, but some really cool kid no one knew had run against her. She said lots of nasty things about him. He said lots of nasty things about her. And he won the nomination from the Cats and then he won the Student Body President. Now he says really nice things about her and she says nice things about him, so I guess they are friends now. Who can tell?
All of the Cats got together and held a vote between Ernie Flanders and HillaryBillaryBob. The leadership of the Cats took the ballots into a closed room and counted them. Surprise – HillaryBillaryBob won. That surprised the Ernie Sanders fans because they had been so loud and so numerous, so they booed the vote, but the leaders told them to just shut up and get over it.
HillaryBillaryBob went up on stage to give her speech. Unfortunately, the heat from all of the lights on the stage got to her and she fainted. Her campaign manager came on stage and performed some magic tricks and we forgot that she fainted. Well, the Pelicans didn’t forget, but the rest of us did and thought the Pelicans were just being mean to her.
Now the next part of this proves how this had to be a dream. If this was real life, as high schoolers, we wouldn’t be caught dead using technology as ancient as Facebook. Heck no, we would be using SnapChat so that our parents couldn’t figure out what we were doing.
But this is a dream and so all of us high schoolers were using Facebook. Since HillaryBillaryBob fainted before she gave her speech, we pulled out our phones and opened up Facebook and tried to see all of HillaryBillaryBob’s Facebook posts. Lo and behold, she didn’t use Facebook. She used Twitter because it was easier on her BlackBerry. And she had never told any of us she had used Twitter. But she promised that she had posted all of the Tweets on Facebook so we could see them. But some people had copies of Tweets that she hadn’t shared. We all started to get angry about that thinking that maybe she purposely used Twitter so we wouldn’t see what she said.
But then her campaign manager came back on stage did more magic tricks and we all forgot about it. (Except for the Pelicans – those meanies).
The Small Clubs
Two smaller clubs had dared to nominate their own candidates. We were about to hear from Barry Johnson and Jill Steinbrenner. We all leaned forward in our seats and wondered if we dare vote against the two big clubs . . .
But then they announced that the committee that ran the student assembly – which happened to be made up of members of the Pelicans and the Cats – had carefully analyzed everything and decided that it was in our best interest as a student body not to waste our time listening to Barry Johnson or Jill Steinbrenner. And by the way, we shouldn’t dare waste our votes on either one of them. You know, for our own good.
Some of us were upset and suggested that Barry ought to leap up on that stage, except he thought we said “I leap o” and he said what is “I leap o?” And we all laughed.
We looked for Jill Steinbrenner. She was doing Ernie Flanders impressions and trying to convince everyone she was Ernie Flanders. Not many people believed her.
The Candidates Explain Their Qualifications
So we turned our attention back to the stage. The two candidates – well, the two candidates that the committee made up of Pelicans and Cats decided we were allowed to hear – were asked to name the one reason they should be elected President. They both summed it up.
“At least I am not her,” shouted Ronald McRump, pointing at HillaryBillaryBob.
“And I am not him,” shouted HillaryBillaryBob, pointing at Ronald McRump
And with that clarified, we were ready to vote.
The nightmare was bad enough that it woke me up. I was shaking and horrified at the childishness of the whole thing. Fortunately, I am now awake and back in the real world. I am not sure I could have handled one more minute of that nightmare.