“An academic kick in the pants, that’s what this is,” Boudro said to himself after writing 10 atop the last pre-calculus quiz. “An academic kick in the pants.” He neatly placed his red correcting pen and TI-89 calculator in his bag and the abysmal quizzes back in the homework tray. He logged off his computer, straightened his classroom, and completed his nightly regimen by looking at the wall clock with a sigh. It was eight o’clock, and as usual he was the last teacher at the high school. It was never easy for Boudro to leave at the end of the day. His life revolved around the logical and the mathematical. He found the most pleasure in imbuing his students with geometrical and calculus knowledge, useless garbage no one would use outside of high school. This fact may have made Boudro the happiest of all. Alas, the day had ended, and Boudro knew that the sooner he got home to his compass and protractor-filled living quarters, the sooner he could return to his numerical love.
Boudro was a very tall man and towered above even the football players. His traditional attire consisted of a conservatively colored polo, chino pants, and at least one of those key chains with long loops with words around his neck and occasionally another one attached to his belt and tucked into his pants pocket. He wore the same round glasses every day, and his main trademark was a patch of facial hair that covered his chin.
Though none of his compatriots were aware of it, he had a geometric compass stuck in each sock, a thigh holster with pencils, scratch paper and a protractor, and his trusty calculator stuck in his pants pocket. He maintained his teacher’s figure by riding a bike between home, work and the store.
He set off leisurely on the evening in question with a white helmet atop his head and his messenger bag slung across his back. He reasoned with himself out loud about what he would do this evening. “First, it is important that I stop at Jewel-Osco for some sustenance. After, I should probably go home and fine-tune my teaching plan for tomorrow. Then, I’ll polish my compasses. After, I think I will log onto the Internet and talk to my students while writing my novel. After, I’ll log onto eBay and sell my nuclear weapons program to the highest bidder.” Content with his plan, he pulled into the grocery store parking lot.
As Boudro meandered up to the door he felt something whiz by his ear. Although he had to wear glasses, his peripheral vision had become superhuman, and Boudro clearly identified the razor-sharp pencil that was now embedded in the store’s wall. Turning, he saw a man who was both very strange and familiar.
“How can this be?” Boudro exclaimed. “Your hair, despite being black, is identical to mine. Your face is nothing more than a reflection about the invisible axis between us. Your build, your bike, and oh my lord, your facial hair! You’re me!”
“The audacity, comparing me to the likes of yourself. I am a genius. I am superior. I am Boudro Clone!”
Boudro Clone hopped on his own bicycle and dashed at Boudro. Boudro yanked the pencil from the wall and, perfectly calculating the aerodynamics of the pencil and launched it at the bike’s front tire. It instantly went flat and Boudro Clone leapt from his seat, performing an aerial back flip and landing squarely on Boudro’s head. Boudro instantly gained his composure and a kung-fu fight ensued. Boudro and Clone were able to predict each other’s every move, as both had been trained for years by Shaolin monks outside of Shanghai. Boudro attempted a grappling hold on Clone, who countered with a sword-hand block and knocked Boudro against the wall. Boudro pulled his protractor from his thigh holster and held it so the curved side covered his knuckles. A precisely calculated punch to the jaw sent Boudro Clone to the ground. Boudro quickly pulled out his compasses and used them to pin Boudro Clone to the wall. Then he just whaled on him for a while.
“Alright, alright, alright!” Boudro Clone managed to say as he coughed up blood. “You win.” Boudro, forgiving Christian man that he was, pulled out his study Bible and read a few passages to Clone, then set him free. He turned and went to pick up his bike.
Boudro Clone, however, as evil as Boudro was Christian, pulled out a knife and lunged at Boudro. As a last line of desperate defense, Boudro pulled his calculator from his back pocket and pointed the screen toward Clone, bracing for impact. Clone froze.
“Is that ... the new TI-89 supercharged all-purpose grand holy calculator?” Boudro Clone babbled with wide, teary eyes as he bowed down before it.
“Only the finest,” said Boudro.
“You must show me all of the latest calculus functions,” Clone pleaded, still on his knees.
“Well, okay, but you’re going to have to teach me some of your combat moves, and you’re buying dinner,” Boudro said with a smirk and the little lip twitch he gets when he’s trying to be funny.
“Ha, ha, of course,” Clone said.
Boudro led the way into Jewel-Osco with Clone in tow, who had his hand on Boudro’s shoulder.
“Oh, and um, sorry about that whole trying-to-kill-you thing,” Clone said shyly. “You’re my new third best friend.”
Puzzled, Boudro stopped. “Third?” he inquired.
“Of course,” said Boudro Clone. “My first two are ... Ben and Jerry!” The two of them roared with laughter.
Out of one of the cars came one of Boudro’s pupils, Joe Langston. “Hey, Boudro!” he yelled. “I can’t believe you’re going to eat ice cream with the thing that just tried to murder you! That’s wiggidy wiggidy whack, yo!”
“Go go gadget, let down,” Boudro said.
More laughter ensued. Later, Boudro and Clone went home and had a great time studying. Eventually, of course, they parted ways, but they get together once in a while to spar and have a nice, calm bike ride.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.