Casga, Wyro, Ignatius and I were all on the basketball team together and so we knew each other pretty well going into 8th grade Latin class. However, when the terror bombings first started, the chaos that ensued was so overwhelming to them that they immediately developed an every-man-for-themselves mentality. This took place because initially everyone thought it was hilarious when someone else got crop-dusted. Also, I started off primarily by centering the attacks on the parts of class when we had to answer questions or read out loud; listening to one of your friends try and concentrate on translating a sentence or paragraph into Latin under the duress of constant bombardment was absolutely hilarious, but this only added to the isolationist mentality.
"On some level I was like a professional athlete dominating an athletic competition."So for maybe the first couple months of class, it was something that they just had to endure. I had homeroom in the same classroom we were in for Latin, so I would always make sure to take my seat before anyone got there. They would linger out in the hallway or at one of the other tables until the last possible moment, and then finally when the bell rang they would sulk over with their heads down, demoralized, no doubt envisioning what was about to unfold. I can tell you that watching the grief on their faces really invigorated me for some reason. I don't know if it was the understanding that they were all at my mercy for the next hour, or just being in my element, but I genuinely began to look forward to Latin class every day.
Enjoying the punishment I was wreaking daily on my compadres, I began to invest myself in learning more about my newfound ability. By isolating parts of my diet, and consuming massive quantities of different foodstuffs I was able to figure out that onions were amplifying my output. I immediately began a rigorous diet centered around onions and well, all the other shit fat kids eat, like pizza and Oreos. I don't know if it was a placebo or not-like I said, my diet was pretty shitty to begin with-but now, both psychologically and physiologically I was at the top of my game, and it showed in the classroom.
The terror I wrought on my fellow peers was unceasing, the pain excruciating. I can't express to you the unbelievable feeling that being totally in command of a situation brought me. I hate to dramatize and compare it to something so grandiose, but on some level it was like a professional athlete dominating an athletic competition. I was in essence a biological weapon, a walking, talking, thinking biological weapon capable of mass destruction. And after prolonged exposure to the incredible foray of terror bombing techniques I had developed, my friends stopped laughing at each other and began trying to figure out how to combat it.
Wyro was pretty much let out to dry from the start. His close proximity put him at a disadvantage in both the immediate circumstance and at the bartering table. The natural result of this situation was the resistance initiated by the alliance of Casga and Ignatius. Wyro and Casga had grown up together and would have probably made for a better combination, but it didn't prevent Ignatius and Casga from coming up with a few crude ways in which to combat the fury. The first was somewhat subtle in that it took an accident to figure it out.
During an especially foul fart aimed directly at Casga, he lurched so badly in his chair/desk upon smelling it that he created a large crack in the space between my desk and his. Without realizing it, he had stumbled upon an important part of my gas-funneling technique: the seal created by the desks being pushed together was absolutely integral to the delivery of the bombardment. From that point on, it was a constant battle to keep my desktop touching his or as close as possible when I was attacking. While this was bothersome, I was usually able to slide my desk over fairly discreetly or hook my feet around the front spokes of his desk and hold on for dear life while he bucked like a bronco trying to break free.
Once the desk separation and its effects had sunk in sufficiently, they began to think about other ways to control the proliferation of my noxious gas, the most effective of which was fanning with a book. It became a Chinese fire drill every time a fart was identified; they began notifying each other immediately in an attempt to diffuse the situation as quickly as possible. The timing was such that if they were able to get a jump on the incoming attack through an early whiff, they could potentially eradicate almost all trace of the assault. As you can imagine, it was quite a scene, with one of them shouting out in desperation followed by the shuffling of desks and the enthusiastic fanning of books. Our teacher, Mr. Curtis, didn't appreciate it one bit.
In fact, Mr. Curtis didn't like our table for a long list of reasons. The other tables in our Latin class were filled for the most part by dorks who had been encouraged by their parents to take Latin because "it will help with your SATs." Consequently, our table was notorious for slacking off, being a distraction, and in general impeding the efforts of the class learning process.
Mr. Curtis had a demerit system in place where ten demerits equaled a point off your total grade. I think over the course of that year I tallied 34 demerits, a record I'd like to think still stands in Mr. Curtis's Latin class (yes, he's still teaching). But one series of demerits stands out from all the rest, and it came at the behest of one of the greatest feats of my life.