Tales of a Life in the Jungle (More Commonly Known as My School)

Tale #1: A Mary Jane Allergy

Hi there. I'm Rosi. You don't want to know what it's short for. Really. You don't. My mom just went a little overboard when she named me. Well, actually, she went overboard naming all of her kids.

You see, her name is Theresa Anabela Marie Antoinette Jennifer Morgan (if you can believe it, Morgan is her last name. It's like having six first names instead of two first and three middle. And the last one. That one too). And so she thought she should keep the long names in the family. And so my 17-year-old sister is Gwendolyn Fae Harriet Angelina Elizabeth, my little brother is Robert Harold Joe Mannfred, and me, well, I got the worse end of the deal, because I ended up with nine first names, not counting my last name: Rosalind Geraldine Mary Claire Gabriella Jaqueline Victoria Melody Beth. Just try to say that ten times fast. Anywho, my mom knew she wouldn't want to have any other kids, so she used up all of the rest of her names. And that left me and my siblings with choosing our nicknames.

Well, let me tell you, my mom didn't give me much to work with: Geraldine? Forget it. Mary, don't like it, Claire, way too girly, Gabby, the person I happen to hate the most is named that. Jacki is okay, I guess.. Vicky.. No.. And so on and so forth. I would die before I called myself Rosalind. So that's how I came by Rosi. There. I said it, so don't make me do it again.

I've got to say, when I first went to Washington Junior High, the teacher read off each person's full name in homeroom. What fun it was for me when she got to the M's:

"Gregory Russel Martin?"


"Taylor Alyssa Mintor?"


"Okey-dokey! Here's a name you don't see every day! Is Rosalind Geraldine Mary Clair Gabriella Jaqueline Victoria Melody Beth Morgan here?"

With that, the class erupted into laughter. My best friend, Thom, just shook his head and smiled. I had known him since I was four, so it was a given that he would know my full name. I raised my hand and smiled. "Yes, I'm here, but call me Rosi."

"Good, I was expecting to have to call you by your first name."

A voice rang out from the back of the classroom. A voice I knew and hated more than anything: Gabby's. "Which name is it, by the way? Or do they all merge together to form one giant supername?" She clicked her ridiculous shoes at me and crossed her legs, looking at me for an answer, while her clone-friends just cackled. I just turned around, stuck out my tongue, and faced forward again.

The talk of Gabby's shoes brings me to my "Mary Jane Allergy." I'm not really allergic to Mary Janes. It just seems like the people in them are a bit. annoying. And when you are around annoying people in Mary Janes all day long, you tend to develop certain symptoms: gagging whenever you see a green or a brown pair, a scream whenever you see a pair lurking in a store window, and an immediate dislike for anyone who wears them. You cannot stop it or give anything to treat it. Other than to stay away from Mary Janes, there's nothing the doctor can do about it.

You see, I live in a small town where everyone in the neighborhood goes to the same school. So, if everyone has gone to the same school since preschool, and if no one has moved in or out of this town since then, Gabby, her clones, and I have been going to the same school for about ELEVEN YEARS. And how many of those years did Gabby wear Mary Janes? Eleven.

The day passed uneventfully, mostly. Except for the fact that I happened to spill some paint. Into Gabby's hair. Seriously - I thought it was a major improvement. Her hair was looking like a hurricane hit it, and so I got two week's worth of lunch duty for it (my principal has the warped state of mind that everyone in her school should act perfect. Right. Like that's going to happen).

The bus ride was sheer torture, though. The bus driver assigned seats (luckily, she knew to put me and Thom together), and she put Crabby Gabby in the seat to the right of mine, so I had to spend one hour every day hearing the outrageous clicking of her shoes.

One day, about a week after the first day of school, I couldn't take it anymore. "Thom?"

"What, Rosi?"


"Could've called that one."

"Those shoes are horrible. Seriously, if high heels were so great, men would still be wearing them." (A/N: I know, I stole it from my bio. I'm a BAAAAAAAAAD person!)

Thom laughed. "And you're going to stop her from wearing them.. How?"

"I'm not going to do anything!"

"Oh, come on, Rose, I've known you since preschool. I can read you. I see the gears turning in your head. There's something going on in there and I want to know what it is!"

Dang it, he was good. "Remember the lunch duty that I have for the next week?"


"And what we're having tomorrow is-"

"I don't like where you're going with this-"

"Creamed corn."


Needless to say, I snuck out of gym, went to the locker room, grabbed a bobby pin from my pocket and in a couple of seconds I had the lock open (when you live in my house, you have to know how to open locks. Otherwise, you'll never get in the bathroom). I took her shoes and ran with them to the kitchen. Checking around corners, I grabbed a big ladle of creamed corn and spooned it into her shoes. I spent a good five minutes trying to make it so that the corn all went to the toes.

I checked the clock. There was still a thirty-five minutes of gym left. A smile spread slowly across my face. Spooning some of the creamed corn into a Tupperware container, I ran out of the kitchen, put Gabby's shoes back in her locker, and rushed outside (you're probably wondering how I did this without getting caught. Well, there are two reasons: one, the "perfect behavior" thing that my principal believes in gives us very minimum security, and two, Thom was taking care of it. I don't know how, but he could do it).

I ran home, checking my watch every five seconds. I got to her house with twenty-five minutes left in gym. Prying off the plastic cover of the garage opener, I looked on the back of it and punched in the garage code. I knew for a fact that Gabby's parents don't get home until late, and she has no pets, so there was not much of a chance that I would get caught. Well, get caught there, anyway. So I hurried inside (twenty minutes left) ran up to the only room that could be hers (covered carpet to wall to ceiling with pink and frills and lace, UGH!), went inside her closet and I found the jackpot. At least fifteen pairs of shoes. And how many of them were Mary Janes? You guessed it: every last one.

I opened up the Tupperware container of creamed corn and poured a little into each one. Satisfied, and with fifteen minutes left and a ten minute run to school. I punched in the garage code and ran to the school. I sneaked back in, saw Thom in the nurse's office and gave him a thumbs-up. He averted the attention away from the window as I snuck past the office. I checked the clock. There was enough time for me to hide away in the bathroom. While Gabby was changing back into her clothes, I stole her shoes and threw them out the bathroom window. Looking out, I saw they landed inside of a bush. Out of sight. YES!

I walked out of the bathroom and into the hallway. As I left the locker room, I heard a piercing scream. Thom ran down the stairs, smiling. I knew I was smiling, too, and I wanted to laugh, but that would give the game away.

"MORGAN!" I heard Gabby scream.

I sighed. I didn't need to be a psychic to know that Thom and I were in for detention. And that this wouldn't be the last time, either.


A/N: So, what do you think? Review!