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DeeDee, short for Deirdre, is a second grader who has a hard time sitting still. Her go-to snacks include flavour-blasted goldfish, Mott’s fruit snacks (under no circumstances are Welch’s a suitable alternative), and powdered sugar donuts. DeeDee is known for her high energy and curiosity, which is why you may find her putting her hands on you to examine the new FitBit you’re wearing. Don’t worry, the stickiness will come off with Purell, fortunately.
Marcus is a quiet first grader who tends to keep to himself. He really thrives during free play time when he gets access to the LEGOs or blue Play-Doh – that’s where you’ll see him socialising at his best. He often keeps a partially wrapped Dum•Dum lollipop in his pocket as a “security blanket.” His words, not mine. It’s smart to not get too close to him, especially on a Friday. By then, he has used his hands to fish through his pockets for the blue raspberry lollipop roughly 37 times. This lollipop, by the way, has already found company in the root beer, butterscotch, and bubblegum Dum•Dums stuffed in there too – the sticky tokens of a long, exhausting week. This is a kid who really understands the reuse part of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Despite Marcus’ ability to play well on his own, you might just get a surprise, extra sticky hand squeezing yours. Just embrace it; hold your breath; whatever you need to do to forget how sticky that hand is.
Do you know what Masie loves? Building pixie houses. Do you know how Masie builds pixie houses? Through Habitat for Humanity, you say? No! She builds them out of twigs, mud, rocks, and most importantly, sap. Tree sap. And she’s damn good at it too. You might even think she was the prop designer for True Detective Season 1, but she was not. I asked her mom. Masie sure knows her way around some tree sap, so I implore you to stay away if you ever want to keep those blue jeans stain-free. Keep your head on a swivel; she’s constantly guilty of doing those little kid hugs where she wraps her whole body, arms, and hands around your leg. Run if you have to.
Here’s what you gotta know about Davis: He likes to do that thing where he does a headstand on couches every chance he gets, no matter how many times you tell him he’s gonna break his neck. Another thing – this kid is a damn liar! I asked him if he did his homework during aftercare and he said yes, even though I know that he did not because he does not have any pencils ever and I am the keeper of all pencils during aftercare! You can’t fool me, Davis! The most important thing to note here is Davis is one of those kids that has a missing baby tooth and is waiting on a delayed adult tooth to come in. You know what that means? He’s got a perfect little gap in his mouth where he keeps the bubble gum. He’s got quite the talent too – did an entire bubblegum sculpture, stuck to the back of the unisex bathroom door. I asked him if he did it, and he pointed his fingers at Keith. I still sent him to detention for the homework lie. And because he’s got the permanently stained pink fingertips to indict himself. By the way, one thing I’ve learned is, if you’re going to pretend to go to the bathroom and call your boyfriend, do not lean against the back of the bathroom door. Gum will never come out of angora wool.
The Classroom Stuffed Animal Pet: Ginny the Giraffe
This fresh-out-of-the-box stuffed giraffe is hands down the most beloved piece of treasure in all of Hyattsville Park elementary. All the kids who go through any classes with Ms. Whitaker had their 15-minutes of fame with Ginny the Giraffe. While all children have to put their name on the sign-up sheet to enjoy reading time or homeroom with Ginny, they also have to sign her out to enjoy her company during lunches. This little lady has seen it all: from post-lunch banana fingers to leftover toothpaste from the morning routine and quite literally being fed chocolate pudding because Jorge thought Ginny was hungry too – after all, he’s never seen her eat before. Jorge has good intentions. Now, even though Ginny isn’t technically a child, she gets enough attention to be one and, if push came to shove, she would probably hate taking a shower just like the rest of them. But unlike children, you can just shove her in the washing machine and run that bad boy on medium-cold. Wash your hands after handling to prevent an eczema outbreak! Or ants.
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