“You’ve got a little something on your shirt,” they said, smiling coyly. How did we fall for it? The oldest trick in the book. We were standing at the Paresky turnstile, when we, all twenty Haybale reporters, were cornered by the scariest group in town: the Williams Record. In unison, we all looked down for the stain said to be on our shirt, and noticed too late the fingers rushing towards our faces. The battle was already lost before it had even started.
Our faces were so red and our hearts so full of shame that we did not even notice the hands fishing into our pockets, grabbing nickels and dimes that we’d brought to get into Whitman's.
Honey Kindness ‘26, one of our bravest, piped up in protest: “hey… um… I think that’s our money.”
“Shut up, squirt,” Sports Editor Brick Raisinson ‘24 growled.
“Yeah, nerd, that’s a good way to earn yourself a swirlie,” added Chud Bartleby ‘23.5. The two boys high-fived. When Kindness pointed out that Raisinson was her JA, he made an “L” on his forehead with his fingers, farted, then strutted into Whitman's jingling the stolen change in his hand.
“Stop it, stop it, you brutes!” We cried helplessly as Record staff greedily gorged on Black Bean Brownies and gulped down Citrus Peach Mango Juice behind the Paresky turnstile. We banged our tiny fists on their chests as they exited, but they just poured milk on our heads and lifted their trays out of reach. The Record reporters pulled out matching switchblade combs and coiffed their manes in celebration before sitting down.
Trembling, we approached their table. Boldly, we squeaked, “hey… um… we’re kinda hungry.” They couldn’t even hear us because of their loud chomps and belches. We courageously expressed our hunger once more, and this time, a response: “Hmmph?” grunted Millicent Bullhorn ‘28. Even this pre-frosh Record recruit had more clout than us.
“Pull up a seat, twerp,” Raisinson said, offering an unoccupied chair to Patience Cherrypie ‘25. As the shortest member of our staff innocently squatted over the chair, we all noticed Raisinson menacingly winking at his fellow Record tyrants. Again, it was far too late. Raisinson whipped the seat away. Honest, sweet Cherry — the best of us — fell to the ground. For good measure, Bullhorn flipped over his backpack and poured the contents out.
While we looked on in horror, the Record staff began to chant “Brick! Brick! Brick! Brick!” As they pounded the table with their fists, Bullhorn stuffed the newest edition of the Williams Record into Cherry’s backpack. “Good luck on that crossword, punk,” she said while tossing the backpack to the side.
We couldn’t take it anymore. No lunch money, no pride. We were broken men with nowhere to turn. Heads bowed in our escape, we pulled the push door by mistake. Could we stoop any lower? Somehow we could.
“Scram, dweebs,” yelled President Maud Mandel from across Paresky, as she pounded her palm with her fist. She sat down, and congratulated Raisinson on his “good work.”
“Wow, I can’t believe this happened again,” said Cherry. Mandel got up and came toward us, we assumed to apologize for her rudeness.
“Hey, you’ve got a little something on your shirt.” We checked for the stain, but…