Chapter 5: Tonic Trouble
Now that we have the four main members of the group, we want to see them all in action.
Mainly, rebelling against the lifestyle of the American teenager.
For starters, the average teenager enjoys movies, music, and clothes. Most teenagers enjoy watching TV and listening to the radio. Also, many teenagers don’t care about anything that doesn’t have anything to do with entertainment, such as world issues and social problems.
Well, Josephine Tremlett-Kahn was about to put an end to that for good.
On Thursday, January 14, 1988, Josie, Seth, and Moira were hiding in the back room of the library. Trixie was with them, and the others were trying on various disguises for her. So far, Trixie was wearing a brown wig, and a dark brown baggy top, a short dark red skirt, and a pair of dress shoes.
“I think this will work,” said Seth as he eyed his handiwork, “but we don’t need the brown wig. It’s too much like everyone else.”
“Nah,” said Trixie. “I have to learn how to blend in with everyone else. It would be shocking to be me and no one knowing who I am. I can’t run that risk.”
“You’re right,” said Seth. “It’s better to blend in with people who have brown hair than to stand out in the crowd with different colored hair.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Moira snapped at him.
Just then, Maisie Chung, Donna McGowan, and Juliet Howell walked by the library, staring at the strange foursome. Moira flashed a look that warned the girls that if they informed Sheila Baines about what they saw, they wouldn’t go on the spring trip to Fort Hunter Liggett, which would happen during the spring break.
Nonetheless, it was lunchtime when the cruel girl in question approached the Teen Rebels. Josie looked up and said, “Sheila’s here, and she knows about us. Act ignorant and pretend that you don’t know what she’s talking about.”
The kids nodded as they saw the girl approaching them. She had a huge snarl on her face. The other students drew back in their seats as Sheila said to them, “So, I see we have some people who don’t care for the rules that I’ve set up. Do you not know the rules I have in place here? No one who I deem weird is allowed to have any friends and those who appear to be Black are not allowed to associate with people of other races. Yet, you have done what I said you shouldn’t do. What do you have to say for yourselves?”
“Well,” said Seth in a manner of speaking, “when I last checked, kids don’t make the rules around here. Only adults make the rules, and no adult in their right mind would dare make up such stupid rules as the rules you have for us.”
“How impressive,” said Sheila, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “I thought I made it clear to you that you weren’t allowed to have any friends. You are a stupid useless bastard who has no respect or regard for the American way of life. I don’t know why the principal even allows you to continue attending this school...”
“There is a law that says I have to be in school,” said Seth in response to Sheila’s cruel insults. “The law doesn’t care about what you think.”
“And as for you, Mary,” Sheila whaled on Moira, “you must be an idiot to think you can tell everyone around here what to call you...”
“My name is Moira,” said Moira (who cared nothing for what Sheila had to say). “And as such, no one is allowed to call me Mary; not even a teacher can call me Mary. If you think you’re going to force me to use that stupid name, you have another thing coming!”
“And you, Josephine,” said Sheila as she faced Josie, “are nothing more than a…”
She stopped and stared at Trixie, who was sitting next to Josie. Everyone else also stared at Trixie; no one had seen her before, nor did they know that Josie had a cousin named Trixie Kalbrunner. (In fact, Josie kept her history with the Kalbrunner family private for several reasons.) No one said anything for a long time. It was as if time itself had stopped and they were puppets on a small wooden stage. They all couldn’t help but wonder: who would be the first person to talk to Patricia Leigh Kalbrunner?
Eventually, Sheila said, “Who the heck are you?”
“I don’t know, but I know who you are, Sheila Baines,” said Trixie. Sheila paled as she continued to stare at her, as did the audience. “I know you’ve been giving these students a hard time and that’s got to stop. You think because your mother is the president of the PTA that gives you the right to push these kids around.”
“I have the right to push everyone here around if I want to,” said Sheila. “I own this school! And there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Trixie glared at Sheila and said, “Why are you even here? Why am I talking to you? How old are you? You should be in high school, not middle school. What did you do? Flunk out of the eighth grade? No wonder why today’s generation is so stupid; they can’t do anything right! I say it’s time for you to go!”
“And I say that your momma is so fat that when she gets into an elevator to go up, it has to go down!” Sheila snapped.
Everyone gasped in horror as Trixie shook her head. “So it’s come to this, right? You insult my mother? You make all sorts of tasteless jokes about her? For shame. Two can play that game!”
“Bring it on!” Sheila snapped.
“Fine,” said Trixie. “You want it? It’s yours, my friend!” She stood up and faced Sheila, with her fists jammed into her hips. “Your momma is so fat, her waist size is the Equator!”
“Oooooohhhh!!!” cried the kids.
“Your momma is so fat, her blood type is Rocky Road!” yelled Sheila.
“Oooooohhhh!!!” cried the kids.
“Your momma is so fat, when she sits around the house, I mean, she SITS AROUND THE HOUSE!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma’s so fat, she farted and blew up the Death Star!” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma is so fat, I took a picture of her last Christmas and it’s still printing!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma’s breath smells so bad, when she yawns, her teeth duck out of the way!” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma’s been on welfare so long, her picture is on food stamps!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma’s so fat, Spock couldn’t find a pressure point to perform the Vulcan Death Grip on her!” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma is so ugly, the government voted to move Halloween to her birthday!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma is so ugly, when she went to Taco Bell, everyone ran for the border!” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma is so ugly, when she was born, the doctor took one look at her and slapped her parents!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma is so ugly, when she joined an ugly contest, they said “Sorry, no professionals”,” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma is so old, she knew Burger King back when he was a prince!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma is so old, she went to high school with Jesus!” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma is so old, she was in kindergarten with Jesus!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma is so old, she was born at the same hospital as Jesus!” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma is so old, she babysat for Ronald Reagan!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma is so old, her birth certificate says “expired” on it,” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma is so stupid, it took her two hours to watch “60 Minutes”!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma is so stupid, she sits on the TV and watches the couch!” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma is so stupid, she took an umbrella to see “Purple Rain”!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma is so stupid, she thinks Taco Bell is a Mexican phone company!” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma is so fat, she jumped up in the air and got stuck!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma is so poor, she watches TV on an Etch-A-Sketch!” yelled Sheila.
“Your momma so ugly, even Hello Kitty said goodbye!” yelled Trixie.
“Your momma so fat, she tripped over 4th Avenue and landed on 12th Street!” yelled Sheila.
By that time, the kids were laughing their butts off. Josie, however, wasn’t impressed by the jokes. She said, “I’m ending this crap once and for all!”
“And how are you gonna do that?” said Moira.
“Watch,” said Josie as she jumped to her feet.
She jumped into the fray and said, “Well, Sheila, I guess that means you’re an idiot.”
“You’ve made a serious mistake, Josephine,” Sheila said to Josie, but Trixie chimed in, saying, “Uh, your parents made a serious mistake.”
“And what was that mistake?” Sheila rounded on Trixie.
“You,” said Trixie as everyone laughed. “You’re the biggest mistake since President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon.”
“Yeah,” said Moira. “It’s a pity you will never be popular or have any friends. Maybe you shouldn’t have been such a bully to begin with.”
“You are such a stupid ugly…” Sheila began, but Seth interrupted her by saying, “They’ll be writing parables about your cruelty after you die.”
“They’ll be telling cautionary tales of your anti-American ways long after you die,” Sheila responded to Seth’s insult, but Trixie said, “You know, nobody likes you; they just do what you say because you intimidate them. But I know all about you, Sheila. You can’t do anything to anyone. Everybody has a horrible time whenever you’re around. You’re nothing but a troll, and trolls have no place in this school. So I suggest you take your trollish ways and go someplace else.”
Sheila glared at Trixie for a while. The laughter from the students had stopped long ago, but everyone stared at the two girls as the conflict progressed. Finally, she said, “Well, you are an ugly witch.”
Everyone gasped at the sound of that terrible insult as Trixie said, “Oh dear, I’ve seen that you ran out of jokes, so you resort to tasteless insults and name-calling. You wish to insult me? You want to call me names? Know this, Sheila Baines; I’ve been from middle school to middle school for the past three years and there’s nothing you can say to me that I haven’t heard before. I’ve had people call me a retard. I’ve had people call me ugly. Heck, I’ve had some people who have said that my mother fornicated with an Orc to have me. But what you have said to me is the dumbest things that I have heard. At no point during that rant did anything you say make any sense. Everyone in this room is now dumber for even hearing it. I hope God has mercy on your soul.”
Sheila gasped as she looked around the cafeteria; all the kids and some of the teachers stared at her. She knew they had heard everything Trixie said and knew the truth about her was exposed. Sheila Baines was a bully determined to cause trouble for the students and teachers at Montagne Beach Middle School and drive them off the deep end. But no more.
Despite everything Trixie said to her (which was the cold harsh truth), that didn’t mean she had to accept it; she had one final, if weak, insult for Trixie. “As God is my witness, one way or another, I’m so taking you down for this. No one insults me and lives! You hear me? NO ONE INSULTS ME AND LIVES!”
Yet, Trixie didn’t flinch at Sheila’s cruel words; she replied in kind, “Oh go ahead and take me down. I dare you. But know this, Sheila Baines, if I go down, I’m taking you with me. And when you die, not even your parents will mourn for you.”
She walked away, leaving a stunned Sheila and a huge group of confused students behind. Josie, Seth, and Moira followed her, with Seth saying, “That was awesome! I never thought I’d see the day that Sheila Baines gets her comeuppance.”
“But I wonder if we’re going to be paying for whatever we did to Sheila,” said Josie. The others stared at her. “Like it or not, she’s still a student here; as such, she’s still being treated as a student. Her mother is the president of the school board, so she’s going to find out about this eventually. Everyone’s going to be harping on us once word gets out that we insulted Sheila.”
“But was it insulting, or did we just put her in her place?” said Moira. “I can’t tell the difference.”
“Whatever we did, we must have done a good job because Sheila is now the most hated person at Montagne Beach Middle School, if not the city,” said Seth. “But who knows what she’s going to do to us when her mother finds out about our role in Sheila being exposed as the bully that she is.”
“We can’t let her stop us just because she’s a bully,” said Moira. “We have to fight the system. The system is trying to break us down, make us docile, and destroying us! We can’t trust the system!”
Josie smiled, saying, “Are you mad? You’re suggesting that we should challenge the system? It would never work. How can a bunch of teenagers like us challenge the system?”
“You do it everyday,” said Seth. “You don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t act like everyone else, and you certainly don’t like the same things as everyone else. I say you’re challenging the system right now.”
“You’re right, Seth,” said Josie. “I’m already challenging the system as it stands. But there’s one problem that we need to discuss. Right now, it’s just me who’s currently challenging the system. But when we challenge the system, then people want to take notice.”
“But when we all challenge the system, then they’re going to question the system,” said Moira.
“Indeed,” said Trixie. “We need to change the system.”
“Well,” said Josie. “Who’s willing to fight the system?”
As the kids cheered, they had no idea that the repercussions of their confrontation with Sheila Baines would not only affect them, but also affect their families, the school, and the city of Montagne Beach, California...
~To be continued...