Saturday, March 12, 2011

Daphanie Droop. A Silent Sufferer of GumB.

Daphanie Droop is a student at St. Bartholomew's Catholic School in Cloverdale. She is the eldest daughter of Eldon and Espa Droop of 253 Maple Lane, a quaint little cottage at the end of the lane surrounded with a pink picket fence and two large willow trees.

Daphanie suffers from Gumtidus Bushalocus, a condition that makes her cringe at the thought of putting anything on her gums. The thought of brushing her teeth makes her violently ill. The thought of flossing can lead to unconsciousness.

People who suffer from GumB live lonely lives. It is difficult for them to get close to people because of ever present halitosis. They keep people at arms length. If its absolutely necessary to talk to a nearby person, they speak with their hand cupped over their mouth to direct exhaled air downwards and not into the face of the person within their comfort zone.

Daphanie has learned how to live with GumB thanks to the group therapy offered at Cloverdale's Clinic. Using role playing techniques, Daphanie learned how to tell people about her condition and caution them, in an unfrightening way, to stand far enough away not be caught unawares by sudden unpleasant smells. Daphanie also learned to keep a tube of toothpaste on hand at all times for sudden proximity situations.

Daphanie used her toothpaste today in her "Catholic Teen Living" class. She and the boy at the end of the third row were asked to demonstrate the proper technique for teen intimacy. They were to perform a Catholic Close Encounter of the Second Kind. They were to stand close to each other and hold hands. The boy at the end of the row volunteered when he discovered Daphanie was the female in the demonstration. Daphanie knew of his interest but, because of her condition, shied away from contact. Today however, when she saw his name on board with a "?" beside it, she grabbed the dry erase marker before anyone else noticed and wrote her name. She knew her therapist would be proud of her. He has worked for months to get her to the point where she could feel comfortable being near a boy she liked.

There is a happy ending to our story. What Daphanie didn't know was that the boy at the end of the third row was also a sufferer of GumB. Minutes before their demonstration, they both gelled up with the toothpaste of their choice. At twelve past two in the afternoon they were called to the front of the class. One stood on Sister Mary Elizabeth's right and the other on her left. On Sister Mary's signal their hands found each other.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Carnation's Caffeinated Milk. Banned in Cloverdale's Schools

Cloverdale's School Council passed a resolution during it's public input meeting urging the village's markets to discontinue the sale of Caffeinated Milk.
"Our kids are coming to school wired for destruction. Teachers are finding it nearly impossible to keep them in their seats," said the Council President in his opening remarks.

Carnation introduced Caffeinated Instant Milk six months ago. The television commercial which ran on Cloverdale Weekend Television featured several of the villages teens struggling to get out of bed and ready for school. The next scene shows them sitting down to their sugar cereal and Caffeinated Instant Milk. The final scene shows them wide away and engaging their parents in meaningful conversation before kissing their mothers goodbye and boarding the school bus. The ad campaign was successful and sales skyrocketed.

The district nurse spoke before the Council. "These kids are getting hugh doses of caffeine before leaving home. They are then stopping at the PiggyMart or other convenience store and buying Red Bull and other energy drinks. By the time they get to school their blood pressure is spiking and they can't focus."

Several "here here's" were heard from the teachers sitting in the metal folding chairs at the back of the meeting room. The nurse paused for dramatic effect before continuing.

"Today we have a village of caffeine addicts. Why? Is it because of the caffeinated milk? Yes, but what you parents don't know is that this same drugged milk is being used to make caffeinated ice cream!" The nurse empathised the words Ice Cream by raising her finger toward the fluttering fluorescent light above her.

Audible gasps were heard from every part of the room. The manager of Piggly Wiggly's Dairy Department sunk lower into his chair. Joining him near the floor was the owner of Cloverdale's Dairy Queen.

"What I'm about to show you may be troubling. Consider that a fair warning," the nurse said as she motioned for the dimming of the halls lights. She switched on the slide projector and waited as the President of the Council stood to lower the movie screen suspended from the ceiling above.

"This child is a drug addict. Addicted to the caffeine in his ice cream. Ice cream legally available at none other than our very own Dairy Queen!"

The Widow Johnson rose from the fifth row. "For Shame!" she shouted. Others stood in support of her statement, except for the Noah Plop. He stood to gracefully leave. He'd accidentally wandered into the meeting thinking it was Bingo night.

"Look at this poor boy. So addicted he tried to get his caffeine fix off the plastic display outside the store." She paused and motioned for a man and woman to stand. "These are the boy's parents. If needed I'll call on them to share the horror of living through their son's withdrawal, Tragic."

She clicked the remote control, advancing the carousel to the next slide.

"This is Timmy Johnson enjoying his third caffeinated ice cream cone during a ball game last summer. He was so hyper he couldn't bat. It cost his team the win. He's had to live with the shame ever since. There are many stories similar to these. Some have happy endings while others haven't found their endings - and won't unless the village bans the sale of this product from our shops and restaurants. I urge immediate action!"

The nurse sat while others gave her a thunderous standing ovation.

The Council voted to ban caffeinated milk and ice cream from the school's menus and urged the Village Council to ban the products from the village entirely.

The Village Council will consider the issue at its next meeting.