My childhood was partially ruined because I went to one of those snobbish schools that tried to “develop well-rounded personalities” and “instill leadership qualities” in their students. This was very inconvenient for me, because all I wanted to do was to run around and play cricket outside, and play “Dangerous Dave” in the computer lab. The school, though, would have none of it, and tried to stuff down these “leadership qualities” and “innovative thinking” down our throats.
One day, in a class full of “leadership-potential” students, I was sitting at the back, playing book cricket with my back-bencher friends, while the teacher was going on about some Shakespearean drama. She was trying to dissect one particular speech given by the main characters for the last 30 minutes, which is I think double the time Shakespeare himself spent writing it. Anyway, I was sitting back there having fun, when the teacher suddenly called on me.
Teacher: “You’ve not said anything during the whole class! Please share with us what you think of Portia’s speech”
Me: “Err… Hmm…. Let me see….”
Teacher: “Page 34. Why does Portia make such a dramatic speech? Why does Shakespeare instill so much drama into a character?”
Me: “Probably because he wanted to sell more tickets!”
Teacher: “Pardon me?”
Me: “You know, Shakespeare was a playwright, and not a particularly famous one during his time. I’m sure he was trying to add more drama so that his plays would get better reviews”
Teacher: “I don’t think….”
Me: “…like an item number! Yeah! Portia’s speech is the 16th century equivalent of an item number!”
I thought I had made a particularly insightful observation, and the way the rest of the class erupted in laughter seemed to corroborate that. The teacher, however, was fuming.
Teacher: “You! Always disturbing the class! Get out! Go and see the principal!”
And so, I was off to see the principal yet again. I’d become sort of a regular feature at his office, and I think he kinda liked seeing me as well. I went through the door, and sat down opposite Mr. Principal.
Principal: “What did you do this time?”
Me: “Nothing! She asked for my opinion, and I told her what I thought! Promise! I didn’t do anything wrong!”
Principal: “You know what you need, young man? You need a hobby!”
Me: “I already have a hobby!”
Principal: “Really? Do you collect stamps?”
Me: “Not stamps. I collect Spider-Man Super Villains”
The principal appeared befuddled, and I could see that he couldn’t process all that I had said, so I decided to take out my Spider-Man Super-Villains book and show it to him. I reached into my bag and carefully took out a nicely bound 200-page full length notebook. Each double-page in the book had a neatly cut out picture of the super villain, his title, super powers, origin story, which comic books he appeared in and my rating of how cool this villain was on a scale of 1-10!
Me: “Look! I have over 50 Super Villains already! Here’s the Green Goblin…”
Principal: “Wow. You’ve really put your heart into this.”
Me: “…and here’s Cyclone. Check it out, he can create tornadoes!”
Principal: “Why don’t you collect something normal – Like stamps?”
Me: “Stamps are boring. They have pictures of dead people on them.”
Principal: “Siggghhhh!!! What am I going to do with you?”
Me: “Look at this instead – Here’s Mirage, he can become invisible! He uses holographics!”
Principal: “I think I’m going to put you in a special art class. To round out your personality.”
Me: “…and here’s Doctor Octopus. Look, he looks just like you too!”
Principal: “OK, off you go now. Be sure to attend the art-class from Monday!”
Me: “Eh? What? No! Wait.. I don’t want to… But, what’s wrong with Doctor Octopus?”
Despite my vociferous protests, I was forced to enroll in the dumb art class. Oh, man! What fresh hell was this going to be?