Home Alone 3: Stuck in Stuyvesant
Issue 9, Volume 113
“Attention, students who are still inside the building, it is now five o’clock, meaning that you must leave the building. Since it’s break, we’re locking up early. Goodbye and have a great winter break!” The PA system blares, awakening you from your restful slumber in the library. Who knew that antibacterial wipe containers made such good pillows? You stretch your arms, accidentally hitting a librarian circulating the room.
“Excuse you!” The librarian intones (in a library voice, of course). “Please try to keep your hands to yourself!” He walks away, muttering, “Ugh, must be the hormones.” Then again, he is devilishly handsome.
Ignoring his comments, you realize how tired you still are and succumb to sleep for 10 more minutes until you are woken up by the sound of your book falling onto the floor. You must have pushed it off while you were sleeping. After looking around quickly, you realize that nobody seems too alarmed by the sound, because no one is there. Surely I don’t stink that bad, you reason. Since I figured out how to do my homework while showering, I’ve been as clean as could be! You step outside of the library, looking for any sign of intelligent life forms. Cafeteria food on the Sophomore Bar? Nope. Moans emanating from the Hudson Stairwell? None. The distinct scent of human tears wafting from the 7th floor? I don’t think so.
Suddenly, it hits you. You whisper, “I made every person in Stuyvesant disappear.” You yell it: “I MADE THEM DISAPPEAR!”
Immediately, you make a mad dash to the place you’ve always wanted to check out: Principal Yu’s office. Upon arrival, you find that the bookcase on the back wall can be pushed and serves as an entrance to a second chamber. Stuyvesant Time in Confinement, or STC, is engraved into the stone doorway. You bravely venture down the winding staircase, keeping your steps quiet in case Principal Yu enjoys visiting his prisoners. As you reach the end of the stairs, you see one prison cell in the middle of the room with four sets of bars for maximum security. It is outfitted with simple furnishings: an iron bed frame and a similar desk, upon which is a test, an accompanying scantron, and a pencil. Then, of course, there’s the prisoner herself: a girl who looks about 18, taking the test on the desk. You realize that there is a label on the cell, which reads: “The senior who pulled the fire alarm during finals week last year. Sentenced for the rest of her life to retake the final she tried to avoid.”
Horrified, you run back up the stairs, out of fear that Principal Yu will have another cell built for you; your list of transgressions won’t even fit on a label!
Once you’ve caught your breath, you decide to move on to your next order of business—as there’s absolutely no time to waste—and the next adventure will take a while. You have decided to journey where none have journeyed before: the first-floor bathrooms. You take the agonizingly long descent to the first floor, which is weirdly quiet. To your surprise, great white tufts float around as the bathroom door swings open. Is it snowing in here? you wonder. But it’s not snow: It’s the dust that reaches your knees as you wade through it. You resemble Santa Claus walking through snow on Christmas, except with far less fabulous facial hair! You also find that the paper towels somehow look even older than usual—as though they’ve been there since 1993.
You’re drawn away from your cynical thoughts on Stuyvesant’s custodial practices when you hear a pounding coming from the first-floor entrance. No one uses that entrance, you think, so it can’t be a Stuyvesant student, can it? Since Stuyvesant is basically your house now (what a nightmarish notion!), you run over to answer the door.
Standing in the doorway are two Brooklyn Tech students, easily recognizable by the dark circles under their eyes from trying in vain to compete with Stuy kids. “We’re here to fix the 7-9 escalator,” they say in their best (pretty bad) escalator repairman impression. An evil grin crosses your face as you realize what kind of opportunity has fallen into your lap. It’s clear that they’re here for one reason: to steal Stuyvesant’s secrets. Of course, there’s nothing to steal, as we all know that the “secret” is the innate ability to willingly suffer. Still, you should have a little fun with them while they’re here.
“Excellent. I was looking for some good ENGINEERS like yourselves!” you say cheerfully, delighting as you see the looks of horror on their faces as you mention their laughable mascot. “But before you get to work, how about you sit down with me and have a snack in the cafeteria?”
“Um, sure,” they answer, unused to such kindness due to the foul demeanors of their classmates.
You bring out the “food”: last week’s stock of sponge-textured pizzas. Exhausted from their journey (they walked all the way here in hopes of looking “athletic”), they gobble it up and almost immediately clamp their hands over their mouths.
“The nearest bathroom is in the locker rooms!” you say, feigning urgency as they run off, trying to avoid food poisoning and a face full of vomit.
You can sit back now; once they walk into that locker room, they’ll be trapped. Each row looks exactly the same, and there are mirrors everywhere—it’s a labyrinth, but with B.O. (why else did you think we have to take a test to get in here?). They’ll be lucky to make it out of there before break ends, and that’s if they don’t faint from the scent. So, did they get their Stuyvesant secrets? Yup. They learned that there’s a reason they don’t attend this school: Not just anyone can make it out of the locker rooms! And now that they’re occupied there, you can begin your next conquest: the colonization of the fifth-floor roof!