THINGS COULD BE WORSE, BUT THEY WERE PRETTY BAD.
It was the 3rd week of school, Bowie had already kidnapped a dozen children from the neighboring elementary school, arts funding had been cut again-resulting in jazz band having to merge with symphonic band causing school-wide riots, and a disturbing number of gangs had cropped up during the madness.
Sitting in the cafeteria on a cracked stool held together by used gum, duct tape, and will power, Gregory Lake ate his lunch amongst the school’s most feared gang, King Crimson, his friends. After finishing his sad, pale salad, he got up to check his hair in the bathroom and block the door for people trying to pee while he chatted with a “Nice” boy, Keith ‘batshit insane’ Emerson. He’d saved his tots for last, they were the only reason he didn’t just bring his lunch from home- other than his mother wouldn’t make it for him and 6:30 is too damn early to be catching the bus.
Ric and Ben and their buddies always ‘carpooled’ but he didn’t know anyone worth knowing who drove and owned one. Besides, he had to stay with Fripp, their iron-fisted leader. Now supposedly Keith ‘the loon’ Moon tried carpooling too, but got it wrong. And got suspended again.
Greg made his way back to the table and noticed his tots were gone. Cold horror like when you’re eating something soft and hear a crunch gripped his heart and he looked over to find Fripp, the little mushroom bastard, eating them, staring directly back as he popped one in his mouth. Not 5 seconds later, Greg was on the table grabbing at him and a circle of kids were around them chanting “FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!”
“NOBODY TOUCHES MY TOTS!” Greg punched him in the face, knocking him off his stool but before he could take them back, someone grabbed him from behind and pulled him off the table.
“Tony! Dispose of him!”
Greg gasped at this turn of events. His only friend, or at least Fripp’s only friend’s friend Fripp, had betrayed him. Over tater tots. They weren’t even that good. He spoke up again, “You didn’t need them, you chubby-cheeked moonchild.”
That was it. Friendship over. Tony held him over a trash can while Greg used all the bad words he knew. He was about to throw him in but there was already somebody in there. It was Morrissey.
“Hello Morrissey what are you doing in this trash can?” Tony asked.
“It is my home,” he replied as someone dumped their tray onto his head, a gob of overboiled sauceless spaghetti dripping slowly down the side of his face, “Is that trash you’re going to throw in here?”
Tony began to feel uncomfortable and decided to throw Greg in a different trashcan.
While he attempted to get out, plotting his vengeance, someone poured their ort over his head. Breadcrust that had been shoved into a milk carton and was already breaking apart slid down his nose and over his lips. Greg screamed and knocked the can onto its side, spilling onto the floor. Standing above him was a kid sipping a juice box; he’d been watching the spectacle and wanted to see what happened next. “My name’s Carl. Are you going to beat him up?”
Greg picked himself up, brushing trash off his ambercrombie and fitch polo. “No,” he furrowed his brow and snatched his juice, “I’m going to do the mature thing, and beat up weaker kids who have never done anything to me.”
“Want to join my gang?”
“Not reall-” Keith looked up from carving his name into the side of a vending machine and walked over, shoving Carl aside, “-well maybe.”
Keith then stopped at Greg and crossed his arms, “I’m in too. What’s it called?”
“Greg and the Lakes.”
“That’s the stupidest fucking name I’ve ever heard. How about Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.”
“Lake, Emerson, and Palmer.”
Keith pulled out his knife again and Greg rolled his eyes, “Emerson, Lake, and Palmer because I can’t see more than three people possibly joining my gang.”
And so began a new reign of terror. The teachers watched in helpless horror as these awful children proceeded to steal lunch money from a group of nerdy little Canadians and their friend that they’d never met or even spoken to, establishing their dominance over people who had nothing to do with them and would rather be just left alone. Even sweet Carl did his part, and called Robbie a nerd. Robbie hung his head sadly, he was right, he was a nerd.
Would nothing be done to stop this growing epidemic?