“Ryan: Ugh, the school play is tomorrow. What do we have to wear again?”
Ryan: Ugh, the school play is tomorrow. What do we have to wear again?
Lydia: You’re not even in the school play. What’s the big rush?
Ryan: I was the understudy for Jason, the main character. Melania, the person playing Jason, got sick and is in the hospital right now.
Lydia: O-M-G! Gosh, so I think Jason is supposed to wear a purple skirt with sparkly necklaces.
Lydia: No, not kidding.
Ryan: Isn’t Jason a boy?
Lydia: Have you read the script? Jason is a girl!
Ryan: … Darn it, I would have never signed up for this if I knew it.
<End of chat>
Yep. Welcome to my life. Lydia is being annoying right now, so I’m going to call Melania.
Ryan: Oh, hey Melania. I was just wondering if you know what Jason’s supposed to wear for the school play.
Melania: She’s supposed to wear a purple skirt with sparkly wristbands.
Ryan: That’s not what I heard from Lydia.
Melania: Lydia? She’s playing the little boy.
Ryan: Hmph, haha. Ok, bye!
Melania: See ya.
<End of call>
I’m so going to kill Lydia for this.
<Connecting to FaceTime with Lydia>
Lydia: Hello? I hope this call is important because I’m applying my makeup right now.
Ryan: So, I heard you’re playing the little boy.
Lydia: Hey, who’s playing Jason, a girl?
Ryan: Ha. What a funny joke.
Lydia: <Screams of despair since she dropped some makeup on her phone>
Lydia: Okay, okay. <Accidently swipes tab and realizes Melania is calling her>
Melania: LYDIA, WOULD I PLEASE REMIND YOU OF WHAT YOU ARE WEARING ON STAGE?
Lydia: Yeah, yeah. Buttoned down, blue shirt, jeans, supposed to comb my hair and stuff.
Melania: They changed the plans. You’re supposed to be wearing a mohawk. Bad news, they don’t have wigs.
Ryan: O-M-G, how was I not informed of this?!
Lydia: … Keep out of it, Ryan!
Melania: Well, you better get down to the barber shop.
Lydia: Oh, dang it.
Ryan: <Moans while looking at email sent from Ms. Carol, teacher for drama>
This is what it said:
From: Me, Natasha Carol@school.org
I just wanted to tell you that we have changed the script. Jason is supposed to have blond, long hair in pigtails, but we don’t have a wig. eBay is selling one for $200! Outrageous, right? Thanks, I knew you would understand. Go down to the barbershop, I attached a coupon.
Hanks’ Barber Shop
Best hairstyles, the best trends!
Ryan: I didn’t even read the script!!!
I mean, I guess I do have sort of long hair. I’ve been keeping it in short tufts, but they always fall into my eyes. Ugh. Hair makeover.
When I get back from the play, I’m destroying whatever I get, even if it ends up getting me to be bald.
Hank: Welcome to Hank’s Barber Shop! What can I do for you?
Ryan: <Holds out coupon>
Hank: Oh, great, what hair style?
<FaceTime with Lydia>
Lydia: Oh, hey… haha. What did you do to your hair?
Ryan: Ugh, don’t ask. Just look at the message Ms. Carol sent me.
Lydia: It’s weird all the teachers in our school always have an account in school.org. No specific stuff needed.
Lydia: Illuminati confirmed!!! Do-do-do-do-do-do!
Lydia: Whoops, Melania’s here. I’ll add her in the FaceTime.
<Connects Melania to FaceTime>
Melania: Hey… guys. Or should I say… girls?
Melania: I’m a dudette.
Christmas Carol: You should start doing some last review for the school play. The English spelling bee is tomorrow.
Lydia: Um, who are you?
Christmas Carol: I do not have the information you seek.
Ryan: Your tagline… ‘Somewhere out there?’
Melania: With a world emoji?
<Blocks user from FaceTime>
Melania: Whoops, guys, I gotta get back. See you guys later. I gotta get some shots. Tears of despair!
Lydia: By the way, I love your hair.
Ryan: Stick a sock in it, cabbage head.
Lydia: You do know that the play is at 7:00, right? You’ll have to wear that crazy hair style to school!
<Forwards message from Ms. Carol>
To: Group Chat.Band@school.org
I wanted to inform you that the school play will be at 7:00 on Wednesday. Please keep your costumes, scripts, and other play materials inside your backpacks and change into them before the play starts.
Ryan: Another reason you should read the play material BEFORE you sign up.
<Disconnects from FaceTime>
Lydia: No one in the FaceTime. Hello darkness, my old friend!
Ms. Carol scolded me so bad for wearing my “wig” to school. I got so bored, so I just started texting Lydia:
Ryan: Boi, Ms. Carol’s trying to roast me here.
Lydia: Serves you right.
Ryan: Argh. What about your hair?
Lydia: Doing it after school, so nobody sees me in my crazy, ugly, disgusting, boyish mohawk.
Ryan: What nice adjectives.
Lydia: I think your hair looks amazing. I would describe it as beautiful, amazing, girlish, fake, rich, ugly, and worth farting for.
Ryan: Wow, love your vocab.
Lydia: I know right? I’m going to rock the spelling bee!!!
Ryan: There’s a spelling bee?
Lydia: Yes. Did you not read Ms. Carol’s email? She’s subbing for English, and there’s a spelling bee today.
Ryan: ANOTHER reason why you should read the play’s email’s before you do stuff.
To:Group Chat.Sixth Grade firstname.lastname@example.org
The English teacher is out today because she is sick. She asked me to remind you that we have a spelling bee today. The vocabulary words are in your notebooks.
Lydia: What is happening right now?
“Ryan?” Huh? Uh-oh. I quickly look up from my phone and at the board. It says ‘Fractions’ in big lettering. Darn it.
“You weren’t listening. Please, Ryan, listen next time.” I nod, face burning. Suddenly Lydia sends a message. I look down. I explode in laughter. It’s a pitbull sucking a lemon, but on the top it says, “The power of lemons!!!” Lydia tries to look serious, but her face looks like she’s sucking on a lemon combined with laughing because someone farted in her face.
We both explode into giggles. Bad news. After class, the math teacher both sends a note home to our parents. This is what it read:
Your kids, Lydia and Ryan, were fooling around during math class with their phones. They had apparently sent a funny meme to each other via texting, and therefore did not pay attention in class. Please talk to them to get things straight. In the meantime, we would like both of them to join Office Hours for math class.
I can’t help it. I start laughing, so hard, that I have to cough. Lydia looks at me like, “Who farted in your face?” And we both laugh so hard that we have to take a break. Ugh, it’s time for the spelling bee.
Later that afternoon, I decide to search up “Christmas Carol” online, just to clarify who the mysterious person is. As I type in the last letter, I click search. A few hundred results pop up. Mostly, it is about the holiday Christmas and the Christmas carol song. Discouraged, I decide to do something more specific.
I type in “Christmas Carol profile” and search. Only a few items pop up. One is linked to “school.org.” That’s weird. I click into it. It says:
Tagline: Somewhere out there…
Birthday: Dec. 18, 1990
Ryan: Boi, look at what the principal sent to our parents:
Lydia: That wasn’t even the meme that we sent to each other.
Melania: Haha, what was it?
Lydia: <Attaches meme>
Melania: How do you express laughing in text?
Ryan: Uh, add a poop emoji and a ‘whoops I pooped in my pants.’
Melania: Whoops I pooped in my pants.
Lydia: Did you know that the poop emoji was originally the emoji for chocolate ice cream?
Ryan: Poop flavored chocolate ice cream!!!
Lydia: Whoops guys.
Lydia: Ha. I gotta go to the barber shop to get my disgusting, boyish, ugly, puky mohawk thing.
Ryan: Can’t wait!!!
Lydia: Dude. Whoops, I forgot, you’re a dudette.
<Disconnects from chat>
Melania: Can’t wait! Call me with FaceTime to see her hair, okay?
Ryan: Yeah, yeah.
<Disconnects from chat>
An hour later…
Lydia: Hey guys.
Ryan: Oh, here’s Melania. I’ll set up a FaceTime!
<Melania joins FaceTime>
Melania: Three words: Ha Ha Ha.
Lydia: Are those even words?
Ryan: Love your hair.
Lydia: Argh, and the price was forty dollars!
Melania: Oh, look, Ms. Carol is requesting to join the FaceTime!
<Connects Ms. Carol to Facetime>
Ms. Carol: Hi everybody! Ready for the play? Oh, by the way I love your hair, guys.
Melania: Ahem, dudettes.
Ms. Carol: I’m not a boy.
Ms. Carol: Oh, hello Melania. Nice to see that you are feeling better!
Melania: Oh, thank you! I’m still in the hospital, they say they won’t let me out until next week!
Ryan: Sucks for you.
Ms. Carol: Oh! It’s time for the play! See you guys!
<Disconnects from FaceTime>
<Disconnects from FaceTime>
Ryan: We’ve been over this…
<Disconnects from FaceTime>
Lydia: Oh no, my mohawk is getting soiled!!!
I quickly change into the purple skirt and sparkly wristbands and jump up onto the backstage. Lydia is there, wearing a buttoned down blue shirt and a really weird mohawk. Here is the play: I gulp, and I hear Ms. Carol come out and introduce the play:
“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the play ‘A Christmas Carol’!”
A narrator walks out. “Long ago, in the town of Butterfield, there lived two families: the Haymans and the Candlemans. They were rivals, but one day in a Christmas church, the long history was forever changed.”
It’s time for my first act. I walk out. “Oh, John, I wish our family could get together. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time!”
Lydia, playing John the little boy, comes out. “I brought you a present!” She holds out a tissue box wrapped in present paper. I’m supposed to look inside. There’s a fake figurine of Santa and the sleigh inside.
“Oh, what a nice present, John! Thank you!” John nods. Then the scene changes.
Lydia is off stage, and I’m lying on a fake bed. I put the Santa sleigh figurine on the table, and I pretend to sleep on the bed. Then I feel the staff pull away the bed, and the scene changes again.
The people in the back are waving a large poster with Santa and the sleigh, and it is “flying.” People on the balcony drop presents down, and then I feel myself being pulled back on stage. I wake up. Santa and the sleigh are not on the table anymore.
I say, “Where’s the figurine?” in a fake, tired voice. Then the scene ends, and Lydia comes out.
She is holding the figurine. “Oh, Santa, give us all good presents!” And suddenly, people on the balcony activate the confetti sprayers, but instead of confetti, papers fly out. On them say, “Christmas Carol on Sunday! Free admission!” I pick one up on stage.
The next act is here. We are seated on fake chairs. Then the choir of boys comes out and starts singing the Christmas Carol. The people on the balcony drop presents. Then the curtain is pulled back, and the play ends with both families coming out and rejoicing.
I sigh in relief.
Back at home, Ms. Carol is with me and picking me up to go home. She smiles at me. “You did great, Ryan,” she says. I thank her. Then she says, “I tried to encourage you, but you didn’t need any encouraging. I made a new account called Christmas Carol and went into your FaceTime to try to help you.” I look up. She continues, “It was on auto reply, so it was a robot replying. But look at you now!” I smile. The play has ended, and I am happy.
The car slowly drives away, leaving one paper on the ground: “Christmas Carol Sunday! Free admission!” A boy picks it up, smiles, and heads towards the church.
His name is John Candleman. At the church, someone else is there: Jason Hayman. Wink, wink.