The Eighth Page

Rainforest Bonanza

Two and a half weeks ago, I received the best news of my life. Let me explain why this news was sweet six-part harmony to my ears. Ever since I came to this school as a freshman, I thought, “Why do weekends here make me squirm? What can I do to make weekends fun for everyone?” My first idea was the shiznit. It was brilliant, so brilliant I felt obliged to give it a code name. Project MORPH. This project would revolutionize the concept of class events for the rest of Andover’s history. We would take a fleet of short school buses (no, long school buses wouldn’t do) to Chuck E Cheese. You might be saying to yourself, “That’s really lame. Bartz, you’re a creep,” but just you wait. The genius of the plan is giving everyone 10 free tokens and, in a lesson on the advantages of communism, combining every ticket any of us won to buy the most expensive prize they had, a very fancy set of walkie-talkies circa 1996. The fascists who did not give us all of their tickets would have their ring fingers severed, so they would not be able to wear the class ring. This idea was shot down quicker than a Black Hawk circling Somalia. The second idea was a bit weird, but I could tell it had that special something Andover students wanted and needed. It came to me in a revelation that moved me so deeply, my body began to contort itself in intense spasms and I started sweating as though I had just run the Boston Marathon faster than a Kenyan. On second thought, they don’t even break a sweat. Here it is: Bring the one and only rainforest to Phillips Academy. Under strict orders from its publicist (the Enviromental Protection Agency), the rainforest rarely makes public appearances. But after bribing him with 500 illegally imported monkeys from Costa Rica, he quickly agreed to sponsor a dance in Andover’s very own chic night club, the Ryley Room. He showed up late, he said, “This dance sucks,” and then he proceeded to “walk” one lucky lady home. On the day he came, I was so excited that I actually went to the dance on time. I did not realize how little effort would be put into replicating the atmosphere of a real rainforest though. The only evidence that this was a rainforest was five green party streamers hanging down in the doorway by the bouncers, the faculty chaperones. People began defacing the rainforest. When the streamers were torn down, I just about flipped out. How could people be so insensitive and disrespectful to nature? It just wasn’t right. What did lovable orangutans and vibrant toucans ever do to harm mankind? Nothing, in fact, they even further our progress by giving us Tang juice and Froot Loops. It was the greatest injustice I have ever witnessed in my 16 years on planet Earth. I was also surprised when people started to come to the dance wearing polos, skirts, and jeans. Did people actually think that real South Americans wore these while harvesting tropical fruits? The girls laughed at me endlessly for wearing my safari gear and short shorts. On that note, I would just like to say that every good human being knows you should never forget your canteen when traversing the rainforest. While I was in disbelief of this mockery of the rainforest, rap music began to blare out from the speakers. I came with great expectations for the melodious sounds of hide covered drums, xylophones, and bamboo flutes. Another let down. One thing I learned was to stop bringing 25x zoom binoculars to the dance to stay on the lookout for the Lion King. Even though it is standard safari gear, people think you are a pervert. The dance began to take a different turn when seniors showed up, some in bunny ears. I thought to myself, “There are no bunnies in the rainforest, you fool.” I cast a hex on all those who brought disregard for the rainforest and its effects are now visible. Yes, I am responsible for the outbreak of the Avian Flu H5N1 on campus. The Commons workers think it’s stomach flu, but it’s not. It’s a whole lot worse and it’s payback for the damage we have done to the rainforest. I forgot to mention this event was a fundraiser that raised a total of $3.55, all of which was paid in five cent redemptions for 71 non-recyclable cans and plastic bottles.