And Now, A Special Sneak Preview of Zoe’s Tale That Will Alter Your Perception of Reality Forever!

Here it is:

“Oh, look,” Gretchen said. “Teenage boys, about to do something stupid.”

“Shut up,” I said. “That couldn’t possibly happen.”

 Yes, yes. Hope you liked it. That’s all you get for now.

40 Comments on “And Now, A Special Sneak Preview of Zoe’s Tale That Will Alter Your Perception of Reality Forever!”

  1. Are the teenage boys in question about to accidently destroy the universe? Because that happens all the time…

  2. I like it. But this fragment of ironic insight is unfortunately a bit too small for any drastic changes. Please try harder!

  3. Meh. I don’t get it. Teenage boys are the non plus ultra of taste and good judgment. I remember; I was one.

    Unless… Do these teenage boys have more than four limbs and/or five sense organs?

  4. I’m going with Jeff H. I knew more as a teenage boy than I have ever known since. In addition, I dressed stylishly in my Vans and OP shirt AND pants. Oh yes. Oh yes.

  5. John:

    You suck. And I say that with love.

    Texas Patrick:

    I will see you OP pants and raise you a pair of Vision Streetwear trousers. I wore them to freshman picture day, proving that teenage boys do not hold a monopoly on stupidity, just a prohibitive natural advantage.

  6. My theory is that there’s an exponential decrease in intelligence whenever teen boys get together. One boy alone can be pretty smart; add a friend and their IQs are halved; add another boy and they’re just downright stupid.

  7. What sort of unrealistic universe are you trying to foist on us, John? Teenage boys don’t do stupid things. They just spend their confidence surplus on their experience deficit. (This also explains why they show even less sense in packs, as both surplus and deficit are cumulative.)

  8. I have a slightly different theory…

    There’s one brain to shared amongst the teenage boys in any given middle/high school and they draw names as to who gets it for the week.

  9. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang O.C., horny for a copy holder

    Wait, this book is due by the end of the year and this is all you’ve written? Jeez, break out the coke zero and get cracking!

  10. Any teenage boy will be happy to tell you that girls are stoopid too, right before doing a handstand on a friend’s car hood while, coincidentally, being driven in front of the cheerleading team.

    I’m intrigued by the notion that teenage girls do not do stupid things. After all, they too lack experience, are flooded with hormones, and are capable of stunningly bad judgment. I’m also intrigued that this kind of behavior in males has not been selected out of the population.

    I suspect that what’s going on is that boys tend to do things expressly for the purpose of proving that they are survivors. This has three effects: when they fail, they do not survive. When they do survive, they have acquired skills that will help them survive more serious challenges later in life. Plus, the cheerleader who rolled her eyes the most ends up mating with the handstander, not the driver, which compensates for the occasional non-survivor.

    Boys entertain themselves by doing things that will get girls to notice them, while giving not a dried fig for what girls do to entertain themselves. This results in boys defining “stupid” as “boring”, while girls define “stupid” as “risky”.

    Finally, neither boys nor girls are typically capable of seeing far enough ahead to worry about a girl’s getting pregnant or acquiring an abusive mate. Worse, males aren’t necessarily going to see such consequences as disadvantageous.

    All of this flows from the observation that sperm are numerous and cheap, while ova are rare and expensive.

    @ David: Heh.

  11. Relatively ancient my ownself, I connected with Old Man’s War; Ghost Brigades was a decent sequel; Last Colony tops both.

    It is no small thing to trump Heinlein and David Drake in one small book – it means we don’t even need to wait for you to get good at this. I just hope no-one makes a movie – (horrific memories of Starship Trooper).

    Might I suggest you read Halberstram’s Coldest Winter – and let simmer…

  12. John, the way I heard a version of Donna’s theory was from an old man who’d hired a number of boys as helpers.

    “You hire a boy, you get a boy. Two boys, and you get half a boy, and three boys is no boy at all.”

    –Jerry

  13. All you need to know, is that the phrase “Hey!! Someone hold my beer while y’all watch this!” is probably never ever uttered by a woman. Whatever the range of stupidity available to women it generally doesn’t involve fire/explosions, or an lord only knows how I found this out: blowing a mouthful of cornstarch into the air, while holding a lit newspaper (rolled into your handy cone) makes a cool fireball.

  14. As a mother of two boys and no girls, I happen to have a few theories too. I have raised one boy (he is 23) and my youngest is now 13 years old. I never had problems with my oldest. He was quiet, had a high IQ and sort of loved his computer. His friends all graduated with him as gifted students with advanced math. He played viola and was amazing with both his music and math. He never acted stupid. But then again, he didn’t know how. He is now in Seattle finding himself. It’s a long story but he is not normal as compared to other males of his age. He is also not as socially mature.

    Now let me talk about my youngest. He is 13 years old, has a size 13 foot, is almost 6 foot tall and can be the most incredibly stupid child I have ever seen. Don’t get me wrong. He makes excellent grades and is amazing in math. He can draw and paint like a genius. He also likes to skateboard. The problem is when he and his otherwise intelligent friends get together. They somehow develop this lower brow brain syndrome (LBBS)! I have to agree with Donna. I don’t know what happens but when they get together their IQ’s start dropping exponentially. It has to be contagious. It’s amazing to watch. LBBS might seem like it is in the frontal lobe of the brain, due to the actual referral to the frontal lobe, but I think it is actually an acute reaction to hormones that occurs in the brain stem. There has to be a study about it somewhere. ;-)

  15. I’m also intrigued that this kind of behavior in males has not been selected out of the population.

    Well, refugee, you put your finger on it in the next paragraph, as long as the cheerleaders insist on mating with the gaudiest peacock in the flock you’re going to get more gaudy peacocks, not less.

  16. Jeff Hentosz:

    If you do the cornstarch trick . . . remember, it’s a thickening agent . . . keep water nearby, get a big mouthful of cornstarch, and blow it out quickly. Then wash the gummy cornstarch from your mouth.

    Of course, I remember how to do this exactly. But can I remember the names of my favorite professors from college? Nooooooo.

    Then again, that doesn’t involve giant fireballs, does it?

  17. I’m intrigued by the notion that teenage girls do not do stupid things.

    I’m living proof that this is absolutely not true.

    I can drive in the snow because when I was out in my parents car and there was snow on the ground, I would find a giant empty parking lot and did doughnuts.

    I loved to sit on the window ledges of car doors and have someone drive really really fast, while I leaned back as far as I could.

    I tried to drive up a 75 degree hill and didn’t flip my car.

    I used to go on camping trips where we would take a chainsaw and gasoline so we could get REALLY BIG fires.

    It doesn’t require a Y chromosome to do stupid things. It just requires being comfortable enough around your friends that you don’t care when you look like a fool.

  18. Random Michelle:

    “I used to go on camping trips where we would take a chainsaw and gasoline so we could get REALLY BIG fires.

    It doesn’t require a Y chromosome to do stupid things. It just requires being comfortable enough around your friends that you don’t care when you look like a fool.”

    Or, you know, a tiki torch.

  19. It aint a lack of brains, it’s a lack of sense. Which isn’t going to change until the kid reaches 25 and the prefrontal lobes come fully online.

    BTW, sex aint got nothin’ to do with making babies. We pork because it’s fun. Those animals with a mating season pork because it’s an instinctive reaction to all those sex hormones and pheromones hanging around. Just because you know what happens because of an activity doesn’t mean what happens is why you engage in that activity.

  20. The key difference is indeed that boys will go out and *do* stupid things, while girls will sit there and *say* stupid things. Incredibly stupid things. You have not heard stupid until you’ve heard stupid voiced by a 13-year-old girl. And with the extra benefit of not being aware of how stupid it is, something boys that age will usually cop to.

    This is not a factor of intelligence, it’s just something about the age group. And it does seem to be magnified by group dynamic.

  21. Yes, but how many are Rocket Scientists who changed sex? Not volitionally either. Usually that happens FtoM, from 5ARD or 17BHDD (2 genetic anomalies). But sometimes it happens for reasons not clear, can even be MtoF. Rare though, one in several million.

  22. We have a young cat named Zoe. She’s ‘big boned’ (nickname – Bruiser) and at least 50% dog it seems. Oh…she talks to us constantly, the loudest is usually at 3AM. Wierdest damn cat we’ve ever had and we’ve had a bunch of them.

    Feel free to use any or all of that John.

    P.S. Big fan, first post.

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