My name is Kent Wayne. I am a bad boy.
The sign that hangs above my school reads, “ADULTING ACADEMY: WHERE WE TEACH KIDS TO BE ADULTS.”
Yep, it’s as horrible as it sounds.
Shortly after I ate a gallon of delicious Elmer’s paste (come on—we’ve all done it), my parents decided that at the tender age of 14, I wasn’t doing the correct things that would allow me to assimilate into the behavior substrate known as “society.” Consequently, I’ve been sent to Adulting Academy, a place where they teach you to keep your elbows off the table, use a knife and a fork, and attain a Shaolin monk’s level of control over your sphincter so you don’t slip out a fart at the wrong time.
The semester’s just started. It’s my first week and I already doubt the existence of a divine being.
“KENT WAYNE! SIT UP STRAIGHT!” Mr. Pickety, my General Etiquette teacher, strides toward me with a severe look on his pinched face.
I stiffen my back, sitting as still as a soldier in the Queen’s Guard.
Pickety leans toward me, eyes narrowing in distaste. “I don’t like you Mr. Wayne. I don’t like your propensity for comics, free thinking, or your raucous-to-polite laughter ratio. You laugh FAR too hard. There’s a place for that in Business Success, when you’ve just scored a billion-dollar deal at the expense of a third-worlder’s soul, but there are certain protocols you must adhere to; you have to have a cigar in your mouth, a watch in your pocket, be morbidly obese, and be impeccably dressed like a railroad baron of old. Raucous laughter is NOT acceptable in casual society, do you understand, Mr. Wayne?”
“Yes, Mr. Pickety.”
Apparently my reply isn’t loud enough for him, because Pickety leans closer in—close enough to where I can see my reflection dance off his glasses. “Speak UP, Mr. Wayne!”
“YES Mr. Pickety!”
He studies me for a few more seconds, then slinks backwards. “Good. I’ll expect that in the future, I won’t have to remind you to sit up straight like a proper—”
I raise my hand. “Mr. Pickety?”
An arched eyebrow. “Yes?”
“Can I take a shit?”
His eyebrows beetle together like dark storm clouds. “Try again, Mr. Wayne.”
“Uh…can I blast a dook?”
He buries his face in his hands, sighs, then meets my gaze. “You may ‘step out,’ if that’s what you’re asking.”
I open my mouth to rephrase the question, but he cuts me off with a dismissive wave. “Go. Just go.”
Sweet! I love taking a dook! I do a little breakdancing uprock, causing stifled giggles to ripple through the class.
Mr. Pickety roars, “GO, Mr. Wayne!”
I scramble out.
As I walk through the halls, I pass by different rooms and witness a variety of classes. In Business Success, I see a giant, ruddy-faced man snorting coke off a desk and chomping down on a cigar. He plops into a chair, then throws his head back and erupts with long peals of corporate fat cat laughter:
“AAAHHH ha ha ha ha! AAAHHHHH ha ha haaaa…”
A shiver runs up my spine and I move on.
In After Hours Activities, I see people finish watching a TV show, then sit completely still as tears leak from their catatonic, soul-deadened eyes.
In Child Management, I overhear a lesson detailing the different mixes of adderall and ritalin, which apparently help manage kids’ behavior.
I trot faster, not just because I need to give birth to some butt cobras, but also because the sheer horror of what I’m witnessing is picking at my mind. I reach the bathroom stall in a state of panic. My distressed gasps echo off the cold tile of the walls, and I clutch my head with claw-like fingers, trying to regulate the anxiety that’s coursing through my body.
There HAS to be a way out of here. I can’t take anymore adulting—I’m about to go nuckin’ FUTZ!!!!!
I close my eyes and my desperation causes me to rocket into an acausal state where time and space unravel into pure possibility. My imagination coalesces into its future configuration, and I see what I will one day become. A vivid image shines in my mind’s eye—it’s the cover of a book; cyborg-soldier holding a cigarette in the foreground, crumbling cityscape in the background. The cover says Echo.
Blazing energy swirls around me, putting the She-ra, Voltron, and Green Lantern transformations to shame. Rippling, sinewy muscles erupt across my frame, instantiating the Kent Wayne that was always meant to be. My garments dissolve in a swirl of sparks, and in a matter of seconds, I’m clothed in booty shorts and a bow tie. My eyes steel over as I stand up from the toilet seat, and just like every lady admirer secretly wishes of their man, the need to dook disappears from my colon, forever ensuring that I will never stink up your bathroom should you invite me over to bless your nethers with indescribable ecstasy.
Kent Wayne. Professional Man Whore, at your service.
I burst from the stall and into the hallway, middle fingers extended to either side of me (kinda like Neo when he two-guns that SWAT team in The One Good Matrix Movie), as I race toward the double-door exit. When a security guard yells, “HALT!” and reaches for the taser on his belt, I move my hips in a practiced twitch, unslinging my giant hog from around my abdomen. I grab the head like a bowling ball, and sling it right into the dude’s face. He goes down like he’s been shot by a sniper.
I run outside, whirling my piece like a lariat, ’cause I know they’ve built a moat to keep us hapless children from escaping the schoolgrounds. Not a problem—as I approach the water, I let fly with my circle of flesh and snag a tree that hangs over the lake. It hurts, but I grit my teeth and bear the pain, bringing my feet together so I can swing across the lake like Indiana Jones across a pit filled with alligators.
Because that’s how Man Whores do it.
As my feet touch down on the other side, I free my piece with a practiced flick of the wrist. On the opposite side of the moat, Academy staff are piling out of the double-door entrance, shaking their fists at me like cut-rate versions of Ming the Merciless.
“DAMN YOU KENT WAYNE! NO ONE ESCAPES ADULTING ACADEMY! WE WILL HAVE OUR VENGEANCE!”
As I make a break for the forest, I can’t help but smile.
To this very day, I have yet to grow up. 😉
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