I was lugging a ten-pound bag of cat litter when the cops showed up. The older of the two was really pleasant and authoritative, like the nice local sheriff in a western drama. And the younger one was, for lack of better words, a twerpy dipstick.

He was the one who asked me to "identify the transgressor". (No, seriously, he said that.) In reply, I very pointedly pointed at the half naked guy sprawled across the center table like a dead opossum.

The guys-in-blue very methodically swept the guy up, shook him a little to wake him, informed him of his pathetic circumstances, and led him away... This left me standing in the middle of an empty cafe dumping cat litter on the floor.

Yes, my boss gave me a bag of cat litter (that he keeps handy for just such an occasion... weirdo) and told me to "have at it". Grrr.

So, yeah, I poured a whole pile of cat litter on a nasty puddle of pee and left it to soak in. You don't need to hear the rest, but I'd better get my raise next month.

The next day, when my dad brought in the newpaper, dead-opposum-guy showed up in the police blotter as man-arrested-for-urinating-in-public. Dad cut the blurb out and taped it to the fridge, where I'd be sure to see it when I got home from school.

And, speaking of school, there was a history quiz that I'd totally forgotten to study for. I would have stood a chance if it'd been multiple choice... but no. Fill-in-the-blank. Apparently Thomas Jefferson invented the first swivel chair. Who knew?

I'd thought first period was the day's lowest valley, so to speak, but I was very wrong. My pen exploded after I accidentally slammed it in my locker door. I did the wrong pages for math homework. I stubbed my toe on the brick that my psychology teacher uses as a doorstop. Double grrr.

Then, after a lunch that passed without incident, I was called up to the blackboard in chemistry class to balance an equation. I heard the air conditioner fan in the big ceiling box grinding as it turned on... then I felt a cool breeze... right across my surprised little backside.

I was up in front of the whole classroom, so it wasn't like I could inconspicuously fondle my butt to see what the problem was. So, as soon as I sat down, I casually sat on my hands... Yeah, I was wearing my split-butted jeans.

It wasn't so bad, I told myself... over and over again. But, after getting home and ripping said buttless pants off and hurling them into the corner, I realized that I was wearing Goodbye Puppy underwear.

And, it was Goodbye Puppy that convinced me to turn my life around. That was the last straw. The clumsy disasters, the cosmic bad luck... it had to stop. I had to take control. No more pee to clean, no more ripped pants to shame me, no more tennis balls or pirate monkeys. There would be victory for me! Mwahaha! Mwahaha! Mwahahaha! ...ahem. Sorry...

That night, I set my alarm clock to go off earlier than usual, and I put it on the desk on the other side of the room, so I'd have to get out of bed to shut it off. And, it's the annoying weeoo-weep-weeoo police-siren-in-your-room kind, so I was certain that this would work.

I carefully checked and double checked that I had done the right homework, then I put it all in an empty folder and slid it into my backpack. I loaded a plastic baggie with bandages, sewing stuff, and duct-tape before tossing it into the front pocket. I laid out my clothes for the next day, painstakingly inspecting them for signs of distress. I went over all of my notes from the previous day's classes for any signs of an impending quiz. And then I tucked myself in and fell asleep.

The alarm clock woke me very thoroughly, but I still had to overcome the urge to crawl back under the sheets. I made toaster-waffles in my pajamas, so there'd be no way I'd get syrup on my school clothes. I dressed slowly and inspected myself in a mirror for any evidence of imminent disaster. Then, I brushed and braided my hair back... just to be sure it would stay out of my face. I wore sneakers instead of sandals and double-knotted the laces. I pulled the homework folder out of my backpack and went over it once more before slipping it back it.

By the time Danny had pulled up in my driveway, I was waiting for him. I got in the car without letting my legs touch any part of the dirty exterior, carefully arranged my backpack at my feet, and clicked on the seat belt. If Danny noticed my serious concentration and slow, un-spazzy movements, he said nothing.

And school was a breeze. Nothing failed me, stained me, bruised me, burned me, or contorted me. When my pencil broke, a spare from my bag's side pocket was in my hand more swiftly than a ninja could've done it. I was ready for the pop quiz. When I dropped my tray in the cafeteria, I stepped back promptly and let it hit the floor, rather than fumbling to save it and, inevitably, losing the battle. When Marcus from fourth-period tried to trip me in the hall, I "accidentally" kicked him in the ankle.

Victory for me.