Home Alone (Stuy Edition)
Issue 8, Volume 112
It was a restful day before Christmas Eve and freshman Bob found himself struggling to keep his eyes open during his history lecture, held in a particularly stuffy classroom. He wished for his classmates and teachers to disappear so he could take a proper nap. I should not have stayed up all night playing Valorant, he thought to himself wistfully.
His grand total of two hours of sleep the previous night was clearly taking a toll on him because once his eyes closed and his body slumped, within seconds, he was long gone…
* * *
Faint sunlight streamed from the windows and Bob jolted up from his desk, blinking fast, looking around to make sure his teachers had not caught him dozing off. He awoke to a very empty classroom. No one––not a single soul––was in there except him.
“I made the faculty disappear? I made the faculty disappear!” he exclaimed in an outburst of joy.
Coming to his senses, he checked the school clock—9:35 a.m.! Dazed then horrified, Bob realized that the last thing he remembered was falling asleep in class the day before, which meant it was Christmas Eve now. The security guards must have mistaken him for a misplaced coat or a buckling trash can. He hadn’t made anyone disappear… They were all on vacation!
He cautiously exited the classroom. Stuyvesant’s hallways were eerily quiet, and it slowly dawned upon Bob that he was the only person in the entire school. The whole 10-story complex belonged to him, and him only. He trembled with excitement because there were so many things he could do! He could slide down the escalators, he could draw on hundreds of different chalkboards, or he could disobey the “NO EATING IN HALLWAYS” signs, all without being yelled at! Heck, he could even explore the senior bar! The possibilities were endless.
Bob’s rebellious freshman heart burned strong. First on his list was to get a good swim in the private swimming pool. However, as he passed by the second-floor entrance, he noticed scuffling noises: the voices of two people and a scraping sound on the doors on the Tribeca Bridge. A muffled voice could be heard from the other side of the quadruple doors.
“Are you sure you can open this?” one of the boys asked.
“Of course! I got a black belt for breaking down doors,” the other answered.
“You’re funny, but they don’t give out black belts for things that are stupid––except Karate. Karate is kind of stupid.”
Bob watched the two boys from inside, making sure he was completely hidden. Though Bob didn’t know why these crooks were trespassing on Christmas Eve, he wasn’t going to directly confront the criminals; he was going to take care of them in a much classier way.
“This is my school and I have to defend it myself,” he announced proudly to nobody in particular. “Also, my parents would kill me if they knew I got involved with the police.” He ran to the nearest classroom, unearthing a stick of Hagoromo chalk, and wrote “BATTLE PLAN” in block letters at the top of the chalkboard. After a quick bout of weighing options, he formulated the ultimate defense.
Bob started from the first floor all the way up to the 10th, setting up detailed trap systems on each floor and each staircase to prevent these nefarious individuals from getting to their vile plots. Afterward, he hid in room 103 to watch their progress through the security cameras.
As the pair entered, they were quickly met by a life-sized fake security guard (a fencing mannequin dressed in a gym uniform) that sprung out from the scanners. “NO HOODS IN SCHOOL!” a voice boomed over the P.A., startling the two intruders enough that they frantically ran to the two-to-three escalator without looking back.
Their efforts to escape were deterred, as the escalator was blocked with tree ornaments! To the boys’ horror, the P.A. blared “ELEVATORS ARE CURRENTLY OUT OF SERVICE. PLEASE TAKE THE FREIGHT ELEVATOR UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.”
The boys looked at each other in shock.
“Do you know where the freight elevator is?” one of them asked.
“No one does!”
The pair madly made their way to the West staircase, where they were met with an even more disastrous obstacle: each step was covered by hastily graded geometry exams! They carefully made their way up the stairs, sidestepping the low D’s and high C’s that lined the floor.
“This kid wrote that a rhombus has three sides. And did this one say that the interior angles of a triangle sum to 360 degrees? I can almost hear the anguish of the math teachers who graded these.”
The boys’ bemoaning distracted them from the tripwire-triggered Ferry’s Roma Paninis that slapped them both in the face with a spla-thunk!
“Uh oh,” one said, “I’m covered in unreasonably priced novelty food…”
Their next step drenched them with a large bucket of ice water and the following bombarded them with a volley of volleyballs.
Despite the long series of Bob’s clever tricks (some psychological)––one of which included flying chalk dust that temporarily blinded them and a row of capless, dried up markers––the two managed to trudge their way to the tenth floor but hesitated in front of the door to room 1031.
“Dude, I don’t think it’s safe to go in here! Whoever put all these traps up must be a sick psycho!”
“We’ll just be careful. We can’t risk getting seriously injured, or else we’ll be forced to stay in bed for the whole break!”
As the two cautiously reached for the doorknob, they heard a suspiciously educational sounding voice coming from the room:
“Its abilities don’t come any closer to extraordinary, as the mitochondria is truly the powerhouse of the cell—”
The sound cut off, leaving the two in confused silence.
“Is that a biology video? It sounded like the Amoeba Sisters!”
“Whatever man, you’re such a nerd, let’s just go in.”
As they entered the room, Bob ran up behind them and his voice rang out in desperation after realizing his attempts to defend the school were about to fail.
“Wait! If it’s money or school supplies you want, don’t rob the school! It’s the PA you want! The PA!” he shouted.
The pair of intruders shared raised eyebrows and then turned back to Bob.
“We’re just here because we forgot our backpacks in 10th period Mando. But…why are you here?”
In abject horror, Bob realized his prodigious mistake. “Well, what’s more Christmassy than protecting the things you love?” he questioned defiantly.
The duo began to consider this poignant statement with much thought until one realized:
“Protecting the things you love? You’ve been damaging school property with your traps! Not to mention my feelings!”
Shaking his head, the other added, “Also, what kind of sicko loves Stuyvesant? Guy must have some sort of dependency problem.”
While the two fervently discussed the ramifications of Bob’s setup and delirium, they hadn’t realized that the child had frantically fled the scene and bolted out the bridge entrance.
Bob was running so fast from his humiliation that, before he knew it, he was completely lost in Manhattan. He just needed to find where to take the nearest E train, so he tapped the shoulder of the nearest passerby––a portly old man with corn-husk-like blond hair, dressed in a formal suit and red tie. Bob noticed he had a particularly bad spray tan.
“Excuse me, where’s the E train station?” Bob asked politely.
“Down the street and to the left,” the man replied, making a gesture with his right hand.
Once Bob had safely boarded the train, he sighed with content. He had secretly enjoyed watching the success of his traps and was proud of himself. Bob looked into his backpack, which was filled with “gifts” that he had stealthily collected while setting up his traps—a box of fancy Japanese chalk, a few Mr. Kats’s prized Pusheens, and a new Chromebook from the laptop cart. I may not have the cleanest conscience, he reflected, but at least, with all these new acquisitions, I’m going to have a very merry Christmas.