Saturday, September 4, 2010

Course Overload #15: "Lights Out!"

Light is something we tend to take for granted because we use it for so many of our daily activities. Light lets you see the difference between aspirin and arsenic. Light keeps away sinister aliens and stray serial killers. Light helps you to see when you’re doing your homework and it helps you to see when you’re plucking chickens; it helps you to see when your stealing grandma’s purse and it helps you to see when… Well, it helps you to just plain see. This, I would have to say, is light’s greatest asset and the one it would flaunt the most if attempting to get a date. And being able to see would have helped me so very much recently. When God said “Let there be light,” He did it for a reason. I discovered why one cold day in November when light decided to go on sabbatical from my life for no good reason, other than that the universe hates me.

I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary earlier that morning. There I was in my Modern American Fiction class, minding my own business as usual. We were discussing The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner when suddenly, the lights went out. Professor Andiamo stopped speaking mid-sentence and the room grew quiet. Some of us, like just me, were so scared, we started screaming for our mommies and barricading the door in case any demons tried to run in from the fully lighted hallway and steal our souls. I concluded that sinister aliens were to blame for the darkness.

Thankfully, Professor Andiamo knew what to do.

“Oh, sometimes these classrooms turn the lights off automatically if they don’t sense any motion for a while.” She walked over to the door and the lights came on automatically. The terror leaving me, I thanked God that my professor knew how to deal with sinister aliens. However, a few minutes later, the room went dark once more. Whatever sinister alien force was behind all of this, it was playing with us. Sitting in the darkness, I began to panic. What if the lights never came back on? Without light, how would I know if I put my pants on backwards or if there was Jell-o in my shoes?

“The heck with it,” said a flustered Andiamo, “We’ll just continue class in the dark. Here, I’ll read a passage from The Sound and The Fury.”

“Professor Andiamo, this book isn’t making any sense with the lights off,” my friend Sarah protested.

“That’s okay, it doesn’t make any sense with the lights on, either,” replied Andiamo. “I guess it would help if I turned the lights back on though.” She walked over once again and the lights came back on. Looking down and seeing that my pants were indeed positioned correctly and there were no food products in my shoes that didn’t belong there, I was relieved. We had foiled those sinister aliens once again.

But then, almost as soon as she had turned them back on, the lights went off once more. Professor Andiamo had had it. A fire burned deep within her and a crazed look overtook her eyes. She began flailing wildly, turning the lights on and off repeatedly. It appeared as if she was doing some sort of new dance.

Luckily, this gave me an idea. Whipping out my trusty glow sticks and a copy of Dance Until You Become Incoherent: Volume 23, I began raving while standing on my desk. (Little does anyone know that I’m known as “RaveFury” at the local dance clubs.) Others soon followed. Lights flashing and arms fluttering, the class had turned into an impromptu dance club.

“Yes! Keep going! It’s the only way to repel the sinister alien forces!” I shouted, because everyone knows that sinister aliens hate techno music. When the clock finally said it was time to go, we left, our heads held high, knowing that we had curbed a sinister alien invasion.

Unfortunately for our planet, the lights didn’t stay on for long. Ten minutes after my next class had started, the lights went off once more. I tried to ignore it while doing my midterm, but then, in the distance, I heard sirens.

“Sirens are so romantic,” mumbled a student as she scribbled something on her exam.

This was getting serious. The sirens were, no doubt, from sinister alien invasion warning systems, designed to let everyone know the sinister aliens were coming, so the people could begin to panic, because everyone knows that sinister aliens hate panic. There was no chance the sirens were from police cars or anything; we were in Crimeburgh, the safest place in America.

I had to do something! But, even when I began raving – which, oddly enough, no one noticed me doing in the middle of a test – the lights wouldn’t come back on. I needed to create some light and fast, before those freakishly sinister aliens could carry out their demented, satanic invasion. There was only one way to do it. Grabbing my test and a match, I set it on fire and left it on my seat. Soon, the whole classroom was ablaze. There was so much light, the sinister aliens couldn’t possibly have sinisterly invaded then. That would show those freakin’ sinister aliens!

That night, my friend and I were walking around in the playground behind the elementary school. I was proudly telling her about how I managed to prevent a sinister alien invasion twice in one day when a sharp pain shot through my head. I was suddenly on the ground, staring into the sky, half expecting to see a gaggle of UFOs above me.

“Are you all right?!” she asked. “You walked into that pole!” She came into my field of vision, looking down upon my crumpled body. Staring up at her, I realized that not even raving nor fire could have helped me; only plain, old fashioned light.

The last thing I saw before I lost consciousness was my friend leaning down to drag me to a hospital. However, I wasn’t upset. In fact, I was smiling. I had quelled the sinister alien invasion once more, because everyone knows that sinister aliens hate short young men with glasses writhing on the ground in pain.

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