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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Head

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At one point in my high school career, I had considered switching schools. Ever since I was little, I imagined myself attending an elite private school and becoming a social god of some sort. I
wanted to achieve this dream and have at least one thing to be proud of. So I had scouted some of the top schools this side of the country had to offer, and I felt determined to get into one of them. I didn't have the best track record, so I was motivated mostly by blind faith. That and the fact that if I got in, I could get away from my out and out kooky family. Again, I didn't have the best of luck; if anything, I would probably get accepted somewhere that was down the street from my house.

I had planned a road trip to this school that was located around the outskirts of Los Angeles. I lived six hours away, so the drive wouldn't be a hassle. In my head, this was my luckiest break yet. The school was named Pacific West, and it housed a prestigious teaching staff, but it also housed the most prestigious student body in the state, according to their website. I called the Dean of Admissions to schedule a tour. The woman who picked up – Mrs. Lose – had sounded either hyped up on an opiate or as if she hadn't slept in a year. We discussed the formalities, or at least, we tried to. Mrs. Lose was in and out of consciousness. And after I had spent thirty seconds listening to her gargle and smack her lips, I hung up. I soon realized that the website had been a complete lie and that I was willing to do anything to get into that place. Not only was it a state further from my current residence, but it was home to the most insane people in the world.

Finally, a place I could call home. (I have said that my family is delirious, as am I, thanks to biology. However, I can control myself).

Once I arrived, I saw madness. There was a student/teacher mixer in the works. Normally, you'd expect to see well-to-do teachers politely walking from person to person explaining the school mission statement. Not here. There were people making complete morons of themselves. The senior history teacher (I know that because it was written on his shirt) was on a make-shift stage singing along to a Runaways song, half of the teaching staff were face down in the cake that was meant for the students and their parents; or lack thereof in my case. And good old Mrs. Lose was spread eagle on the entrance steps. There were so many expectant kids whose faces were in utter shock. I didn't want to side with them and think that this school was the wrong choice. Besides, we all get a little crazy sometimes. I should know that better than anyone. So I made my way through the gates.

Since there was no one to formally show me around – my tour called to tell me couldn't make it because he had contracted a fungus from the bathroom – I jumped right into the circus that was going on. I picked up a slice of cake that wasn't covered in teacher spittle and went through the entrance doors. I stopped at the guest book and decided that I would sign it; I had to begin my legacy somewhere. Big shock, no signatures had been made. Everyone outside probably had no idea that there was another world inside. I signed the book, and I spotted an English class that seemed to have a few dignified people inside (even I nor my family could outshine or support the hyenas that were spread out in the quad). So, I walked in expecting to interrupt an intellectual conversation about the difference between Keats and Shakespeare or something similar to that.

Instead, the “dignified” students had fallen asleep sitting up, and the English teacher turned out to be a complete loon. His name was Mr. Andrews, but he preferred to be called Mr. Dave or Dave. He had to have been in his late thirties. He was talking about how he had worn the same extra-strangling green turtleneck everyday for the past four years, and how he always pulled his hair into a boggy ponytail. Soon, he proceeded to gush about his cat, Handy, and how Handy had been his best friend since his girlfriend/roommate had moved out on him a few months back. I had seen creepy, but this was uber creepy. However, I did engage and ask why his girlfriend dumped him; she thought he was obsessed with his cat. That was my cue to leave.


I stepped out and wanted to make a break for it. This school was not for me. I had seen crazy. Let me reiterate, my family are the poster children for crazy. But they were entertaining-if-you-were-a-stranger crazy. This school was one flew over the cuckoo's nest crazy. I began to think and wondered if they had pummeled the actual staff, the people who gave them their meds, took over and made this place look like a school just to draw in victims. I was not about to be one of them.

I began to speed walk until I was in a full-on sprint. I dropped my cake in the process but didn't fret; it was probably laced with chloroform. I jumped over Mrs. Lose who was kicking in her sleep and giggling like a school girl. I ran past the singing history teacher who was now doing covers of No Doubt songs. And I ripped past the teachers who were awaking with candles up their nostrils. I had never gotten into my car as fast as I had in that moment. I revved the engine and pulled a gone in 60 seconds. Well, more like gone in fifteen. I drove away and decided to burn my clothes once I arrived home. From that point on, I made a promise that I would never scout another school without the protection of a highly repressed guard dog.





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