“Yo, teach? Where’s the food at?” I asked Ms. Primme, the uptight librarian.
“What are you on about, McLachlan?” she responded as I shoved a nerd out of my way.
“Free food? Where’s it at?”
The dumb old broad stared at me, still apparently confused.
“That fat kid Simmons said there was free food in here at lunch today. I’m not too late am I? I got lost. Only been to this book joint once, when that lame-arse theatre group were tellin’ us not to do drugs or some shit.”
“I’m afraid you’ve been caught up in a bit of a rouse, McLachlan,” an all too familiar nasally and raspy voice came from behind me.
“Sup, old man Buzzkill,” I addressed the sweaty old man.
“That’s Principal Buzzkill to you, McLachlan. And there is no free food. I ordered Simons to tell you that so I knew you would show up. This is actually an important surprise reprimand meeting!”
“Dunno what ya mean, dude. But if there ain’t no free food, I’m outta this dork hole.”
“Not so fast!” Mr. Snydesvile, the evil accounts teacher, appeared from the study room.
“Outta my way, four eyes,” I replied and pushed him aside.
“I advise you remain here, McLachlan, if you don’t want another suspension,” the English teacher Mrs. Jumbington declared as she jumped up from behind the front desk.
“Love one, miss. Can it be for a whole week this time though?”
“Alright, let’s cut the poop. McLachlan,” Buzzkill announced. “Your teachers and I have decided that we have no choice but to expel you.”
“Woah, hey, hang on dudes. Let’s not go crazy. My folks will kill me.”
“Exactly. So I advise you listen up, you little snot weasel,” growled Snydesvile.
“Yes. Now, speaking of your parents, McLachlan, they are heavy investors in this school. If you’re expelled, then we will lose a lot of money,” Buzzkill explained.
“Oh yeah, good point. Ah well, glad we got that sorted. See ya, squares.” I prepared to exit.
“However, we also all hate you.”
“We really want to see you expelled, McLachlan. But we also really want your parents money,” Buzzkill stated. “Therefore, we have decided that if you pass the Major Academic Hurdle next week, then you may remain a student here at Mount Ridge High.”
“Aw, but that’s way hard, Buzzkill!”
“We know it is. But if you buckle up and study, then you might just pass it.”
“Well then, I guess we’ll just lose one of our worst students ever. Ah well.” Buzzkill shrugged.
Snydesvile laughed in my face and the three adults left.
“Hmm…guess I better get studying then.” I said to myself.
One hour later and I had just slammed down my sixth Budweiser for the afternoon.
“Yo, Murph’, shouldn’t you be like, studying for this hurdle, dude?” asked my homepiece Homepiece, whose living room we were chilling in.
“Well I was gonna, but then I remembered that studying is for squares and so decided to party it up instead.”
“Gnarly,” he replied
“Yo, big news, dudes!” our buddy Jakes announced as he ran into the room.
“Yeah, yeah, we know, I’m gonna get expelled. Come do a beer bong, man.”
“No, dude, the whole school already knows that. What they don’t knows is that Mr. Snydesvile and that fat Simpson kid are gonna sabotage your chances at passing the Major Academic Hurdle next week!”
“Those bastards! But why?”
“Because they hate you.”
“Jerks. Well they won’t have to do much sabotaging, man. I got no chance at winning that thing.”
Jakes slapped me.
“The hell? What was that for?”
“You made out with my girlfriend last night.”
“Oh sorry. I thought you and Stacey broke up.”
“I’m talking about Melanie!”
“Oh right. Yeah my bad.”
“Wait, you made out with Stacey? But she’s my—“
“Quiet, Homepiece. I also slapped you because you are a fool for thinking you can’t pass this thing, man. I mean, you’re Murphy freaking McLachlan. The coolest kid at school. You can do anything!”
“You’re right, Jakes! I can, can’t I? And no evil accounts teacher or fat kid are gonna stand in my way! Guys, I am going to pass the academic hurdle next week!”
My buddies cheered. We did a couple beer bongs and then headed back to school.
“OK, Murphy, the first part of the academic hurdle is an algebra test.” Homepiece informed me, as we sat in a study room for the first time in our lives. “Do you know what algebra is?”
“OK, well, it’s the thing with the letters as numbers. Or is it numbers as letters?”
“Whatever it is, it sounds stupid.”
“Yeah, but ya gotta know about it if you wanna pass this thing, man.”
“OK well…what is there to know?”
“Um, well, according to this text book….B squared equals…B squared.”
“Hm…makes sense. Ok, cool, I think I got it!”
We high fived and I cracked open a brewskie to celebrate when Jakes busted in.
“Not much dude, just learning about abracadabra. Sup with you. You find out Snydesvile’s plan?”
“Yeah man. I did some serious spying and discovered that they decided not to bother rigging the hurdle because they did some serious spying on you an hour or so before and realised you got no chance of passing it.”
“Oh, sweet! So they’re no longer a threat. Cool, OK, so what else do we have to study, Homepiece?’
“Um, well, the second component is Advanced English.”
“Sounds pretty easy. What does the test involve?’
“Aw man! I think we’re gonna need a bit of outside help with this tutoring, dudes. Who do we know that’s smart?”
“Um…nerds and teachers.”
“OK, lemme rephrase. Who do we know that’s smart and doesn’t hate me?”
“Alright, well…let’s just play “You’re The Best” from the Karate Kid soundtrack and do a bunch of clichéd study stuff like flicking through books and typing and paying attention in class! Works in the movies,” I decided.
“Yeah, OK. You can do that,” responded Jakes. “We’re gonna go get high.”
“Wait! I’ll come with. A few tokes won’t hurt.”
I woke in Homepiece’s living room with a huge hangover.
“Dude, what day is it?” I asked Homepiece, who was lying next to me in a sea of empty cans, with about forty-three dicks drawn on his face.
“Um…the day of the Major Academic Hurdle.”
“We partied hard nonstop for a whole week?!?!”
“Yeah man. That’s how we roll.”
“But I didn’t get any study done!”
“Well that sucks.”
“Yeah, totally. Wait, it’s eight o’clock. The hurdle starts at nine. I can cram in one hour’s worth of study. Hopefully that’ll—
“That clock’s wrong. It’s actually nine thirty.
I burst into the exam room where Principal Buzzkill, Snydesvile and Mrs. Jumbington were waiting for me.
“Well, look who decided to show his sorry face,” muttered Snydesvile.
“Shut up idiot! I mean….shut up sir. I’m sorry everyone that I’m late. But um…I was rescuing a litter of kittens from a burning church.”
“Oh well, in that case, you are excused, McLachlan”, said Buzkill.
“That was sarcasm!! You have an instant fai—”
Just then Homepiece ran into the room wearing a nun’s costume.
“Hello Murphy and supervising academic staff. I am Sister Nunnington. I would just like to thank Mr. McLachlan for his heroic efforts saving me and my dogs.”
“Cats,” I corrected him.
“Sorry, I mean I am Sister Cats. Murphy definitely saved us with his good deeding.”
“Oh…uh…” stammered Buzzkill.
Homepiece ran out of the room.
“Well, it appears we were wrong, McLachlan. We apologise.” Buzkill mumbled.
“Salright, I guess.”
“However, you may not have failed for being late but you will fail the following tests.”
“Bring it on.”
First off was the algebra test.
“OK, McLachlan,” announced Principal Buzzkill, who had been an algebra professor for fifty seven years before becoming Principal of Mount Ridge High. “Are you ready for the question?”
“Bring it on.”
“Please stop saying that.”
“But what if it’s the answer to the algebra que—”
“Cool. That narrows it down then.”
“No it doesn’t! Now, the question is….what does B squared equal?”
I screamed with joy.
“B squared! It’s motherfuckin’ B squared!! Take that, motherfuckers!!!”
“Uh, you’re right…” Buzzkill admitted.
“But let me just check in the rule book to see if we can fail you for swearing and insulting us.”
I patiently waited.
“You got lucky, McLachlan,” exclaimed Buzzkill. “But just wait for Mrs. Jumbington’s English portion of the Major Academic Hurdle.”
I went to respond.
“Don’t say bring it on!”
I remained silent.
Mrs. Jumbington left the room and returned with a massive text book. It read “Really Difficult English Questions Volume One Million. Extremely Difficult Edition.”
“OK, McLachlan. The question is….how many letters are in the English alphabet?” Mrs. Jumbington asked.
Buzzkill and Snydesvile murmured to each other
“Um…Mrs. Jumbington, are you sure that—”
“It’s what it says, gentlemen! And we have to go by the book.”
“Hmm, I suppose.” Buzzkill sighed. “Alright, McLachlan. Just answer the question and be done with it.”
“With pleasure, sir! Twenty-five!”
“Um…that’s right! Twenty-five! Good work McLachlan,” Mrs. Jumbington congratulated me.
“What!!” Snydesvile screamed. “Mrs. Jumbington, that’s clearly incorrect!”
“With all due respect, Mr. Snydesvile, I am the English teacher. I think I know a little bit more about the amount of letters in the English alphabet than you.”
“Yes, Snydesvile, calm down.” Buzzkill chimed in. “I too thought it was twenty-six but Mrs. Jumbington must be trusted. Now let’s have a short lunch break.”
“Mrs. Jumbington helped ya win cos she’s my mum,” Jakes informed me, as we sat on the school oval downing cans.
“Ahhh, makes sense. Cool. Tell her thanks.”
“Hmm, OK, if I remember.”
“Yeah, no pressure. So guys, I got one last section of the Major Academic Hurdle left….Mr. Snydesvile’s accounts question. Got any last minute tips?”
“Um….answer it correctly,” suggested Homepiece.
“Yeah I agree with Homepiece.”
“OK, thanks guys.”
“Psst, hey McLachlan!” that fat kid Steve approached me.
“Oh hey, fat kid Stimpy,” I greeted him
“Um…hi. Listen, I got the answer for Mr. Snydesvile’s economics question for ya.”
“Awesome, thanks Chubbs Stimperson! Hey, but wait a minute…..”
“Actually, no. Nevermind. Thought I was gonna fart…well, better be getting back to the Major Academic Hurdle! Thanks a heap, Springfield!”
“Shut up, Samuels!” shouted Homepiece and threw an empty beer bottle at him.
I leaned back in my chair in the exam room, chewing on some gum and looking over the notes that the fat kid Shoppingtown had given me.
“Quiet down, everybody,” Buzzkill addressed the entire school who had come to witness the historic moment. “Mr. McLachlan, it is time for the final part of the Major Academic Hurdle. Mr Snydesvile’s economics question.”
“Thankyou, Principal Buzzkill.” Snydesvile said, taking the stage. “Now, McLachlan, this is a very detailed and complicated question so listen up…”
“Sucked in, Dickhead!’” I shouted.
“That’s the answer…‘Sucked in, Dickhead’.”
“Well, that’s wrong.”
“What? What?! But that’s what it says on the….”
Suddenly I realised….the fat kid Shrimpton had deceived me.
I had failed. I was now officially a high school drop out. No more shooting spitballs at the geography teacher. No more teasing the overweight students in gym class. No more meth labs. This was the worst day ever. Except for that day the cafeteria ran out of meatballs. That was totally lame.
“You!” I pointed at Snydesvile. “You put Fat Kid Swinburne up to this, didn’t you?”
Snydesvile grinned evilly.
“I knew it!” I shouted.
“Mr. McLachlan, I and the rest of the school are thoroughly confused. Are you high on drugs?”
“Little bit, but that’s not the reason why I’m angry! Snydesvile and Fat Boy Springvale tricked me, sir!”
“Right…look, McLachlan, you answered the question wrong. I’m sorry, but there’s nothing we can do.”
“But…but…please, sir…can’t I have another go?”
“What harm is there, sir? Just let Mr. Snydesvile ask the question properly and I’ll try again. Please!”
“Oh go on, Principal Buzzkill, let him,” Mrs. Jumbington nudged Buzzkill.
“Yeah Buzzkill, let him have another go!” cried Jakes.
“Yeah old man Buzzkill, don’t be a douche!” cried Homepiece.
Soon the entire school was cheering for me. “Let him have another go! Let him have another go!” Even Fat Kid Schindler joined in!
“Well, alright. Snydesvile, ask the question in full and see if the idiot can get it.”
“Principal Buzzkill, this is most unorthodox.”
“Just do it!” screamed Buzzkill.
“Alright, alright! Jesus.”
“Ask the question already!” I cried
“OK! What are four factors that influence demand?”
“Is that it?” I asked.
“You have sixty seconds.”
“Can I ask Homepiece?”
I tried to think back to every economics class ever. But as I’d never showed up to any, it was a bit tricky.
“Five seconds!” Snydesvile hollered.
“OK, OK! Um….ice cream….dogs….bacon sandwiches and….horse.”
“Is that seriously your answer?”
“Yep. Did I win?”
The crowd groaned.
“Idiot, Murphy!” shouted Jakes.
“You’re are!” I replied.
“Murphy McLachlan, you have officially failed the economics portion of the Major Academic Hurdle.”
I sighed and began to leave. “Yes sir, sorry sir. I’ll go clean out my locker sir.”
‘Wait, what? Why?’
“Uh…cos I failed the academic hurdle.”
“You didn’t fail the academic hurdle.”
“You only failed the economics portion. You still got two out of three. You therefore remain a student at MountRidgeHigh School.”
The whole school, except for Snydesvile, erupted into an explosion of cheering.
“Sucked in, dickhead!” I screamed into Snydesvile’s face and threw him out of the window. He died.
“Everybody, party in Buzzkill’s office!” cried Homepiece as we all ran out of the exam room and prepared to have a good time.
“McLachlaaaaaan!!!” Buzzkill roared, as I fisted the air.
It is recommended that you read the following epilogue while listening to Louie Louie by The Kingsmen.
Harry “Homepiece” Homepiece was crowned King of the Beerbongs but was quickly dethroned after he threw up violently all over himself. Stacey broke up with him instantly.
Jake “Jakes” Jumbington smoked five joints at once but then got told off by his mum.
That fat Simons kid got liposuction but everybody still got his name wrong.
Mrs Jumbington was fired for not actually having a teaching degree.
Principal Buzzkill had to spend a whole week cleaning his office after the massive party.
Nobody came to Snydesvile’s funeral. Except for his grieving widow.
Ms. Primme resigned because nobody invited her to the Major Academic Hurdle.
Murphy McLachlan was expelled the following week for urinating on Principal Buzzkill’s freshly cleaned carpet while drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels through a straw and wearing a T-shirt that reads “FUCK EDUCATION” during an important school inspection by the senior superintendant and the state premier. He regrets nothing.
Except getting expelled. His parents were pretty mad.