Loud chatter filled the room as each child sought out their item for Show and Tell.
"I love Show and Tell," Nagi declared, beaming happily. "It's my favorite time of school ever!"
Schulderich snorted loudly even though he silently agreed with Nagi. He loved Show and Tell too. Afterall, he always brought the best stuff.
There were some, however, who weren't so keen on the idea of Show and Tell.
"Show and Tell is immature and childish," Bradley proclaimed, pushing up his glasses. "Why must I sit and watch as these ignoramuses display their juvenile baubles and trinkets? It's so undignified!"
Mostly everyone ignored Bradley. They were more than used to his criticizing. He found everything, with the exception of addition and multiplication because he liked to add to and multiply his various stocks, immature and childish.
Farfarello gave Bradley his meanest look and boy was it mean. "Shut up or I'll break your glasses again," he snapped coldly. He knew that Schulderich loved Show and Tell and he didn't want nerdy ol' Bradley to mess it up.
Bradley shut up. His mother had been furious when he'd come home with his glasses broken. Farfarello had stamped on then when Bradley had made fun of Schulderich's hair. The bloody nose that had leaked all over his spotless suit hadn't been a thrill in the park either.
Ran also didn't like Show and Tell. He didn't like talking in front of the class and Miss Birman. It made him nervous. Plus, he always blushed bright red and Yohji and Schulderich made fun of him. They called him 'tomato Ran'. He hated being called 'tomato Ran'.
Birman sat down on the red wooden stool in the center of the classroom and clapped her hands. "Alright everyone, gather around!"
Eight little bodies scrambled onto the furry green and yellow rug at Birman's feet. There was much squirming and shoving as everyone wormed their way into sitting beside their friends.
"Who would like to go first?" Birman asked.
With the exception of Ran and Farfarello and Bradley, five little hands shot into the air.
"Oooh, oooh, oooh, me Miss Birman! I'll go first!"
"No, no, pick me! I wanna go first!"
"But you went first last time!"
"No I didn't, you liar!"
"I never get to go first!"
"Why can't I go first?"
"Alright, alright, settle down!" Birman looked around at all her students. She smiled when she caught sight of Ran trying to hide behind Ken. "Why don't you go first, Ran?"
Ran blushed bright red. "Do I hafta?" he grumbled, staring down at the carpet in misery.
"Look, Ran's blushing again!" Yohji told everyone loudly.
Schulderich snickered. "Tomato Ran strikes again!"
"Hey shut up, carrot-top!" Ken shouted.
"No name calling!" Birman snapped. "Now Ran, what did you bring today?"
Ran let out a long suffering sigh.
Ken patted his hand. "It's okay Ran. Just show us what 'cha got."
Ran pulled out his item from a plastic bag. It was a half-knitted orange sweater. "My sister's knitting me this," he mumbled, clutching desperately at the orange ball of yarn that was attached to the beginnings of the right sleeve.
"How nice of your sister," Birman commented.
"It looks like she made some mistakes." Omi pointed to the neck. "That part's all messed up."
Yohji peered at the sweater. "My investigational skills would lead me to conclude that your sister doesn't know how to knit all that good."
Violet eyes narrowed. "She knows how to knit just fine!" Ran snapped. "She's knits great! And if you say another mean word about her, I'll shi-ne you!"
"No one is going to shi-ne anyone," Birman announced. "Your sweater is lovely Ran. Now who would like to go next?"
Ran scowled at the room as he stuffed the sweater back into the bag.
"I think it's a real good sweater," Ken whispered nosily.
"Alright Omi, you can go next."
"Woo hoo!" Omi shouted in genki tones. He reached into his school bag and took out a glass test tube. It was filled with a clear liquid and closed with a cork. "My older brother's a scientist," Omi explained. "He knows how to make lots of 'speriments and he has a big chemistry place in the basement. Sometimes red smoke comes from there to the upstairs."
"Omi, do be careful with that," Birman said, looking apprehensive. "Chemicals aren't a toy. They can be very dangerous."
"Hey, can that blow up the school?" Schulderich asked with interest.
Ken, who'd been squirming, now began to bounce in his spot on the floor. "KABOOM!" he roared. "Bricks would go flying and we'd never even have to go to school for A WHOLE YEAR!"
"For two years!" Yohji cried. "Then I could solve some *real* mysteries and not just the kinds at school."
"Santa would hurt," Farfarello added, chewing on a rubber band.
"The school is not going to blow up," Birman said sternly. "Now Omi, continue. And do not spill that, understand?"
"Or it's KABOOM!" Ken hollered.
"Ken be quiet!"
"I forgot what this white stuff is called," Omi told everyone. "But it's got a real long name. I brought it 'cause I'm gonna do a 'speriment."
"Like Bill Ny, the Science Guy?" Nagi asked, looking at Omi's test tube with wide eyes.
Omi nodded importantly. "Yeah, just like Bill Ny the Science Guy." He pulled out another test tube, this one filled with a yellow colored liquid. "Can you open this, Miss Birman? I don't got enough hands."
Everyone watched avidly as Birman uncorked the yellow test tube. Omi took it from her and then carefully poured the yellow liquid into the test tube with the clear liquid.
"It's turning blue!" Schulderich squealed excitedly.
Sure enough, the clear liquid and the yellow liquid were forming a blue liquid.
"Excellent work, Omi!" Birman praised.
"This is called a chemical 'action," Omi announced.
"Cool!" Ken turned to Ran. "Wasn't that cool? Huh, huh Ran? It turned blue!"
"Can't you do it again?" Nagi pleaded.
"Yeah, that was awesome!" Yohji agreed.
Omi shook his head sadly. "I don't got no more chemistry left."
Even Bradley was impressed. "That was rather fascinating," he murmured, pushing up his glasses.
"Yeah," Farfarello muttered, his eye glued to the blue liquid.
There was a silence. No one knew quite what to make of that. Bradley and Farfarello never liked anything!
Finally Omi beamed. "Thanks guys!"
"Alright Omi, put the cork back in the tube and go put it on my desk," Miss Birman instructed. "We don't want any accidents."
"Or it's kaboom!" Ken whispered into Ran's ear.
Omi rushed to put his experiment away while Miss Birman called on Yohji to present next.
Yohji held up a magnifying glass that was nearly as big as his arm. "This is the SuperMag 10005! It's the latest SuperMag and it's way better than the old, stupid SuperMag 6700. The SuperMag 10005 is a 'xclusive bright krypton magnifier that's got a distortion-free aspheric 5x lens with 10x magnification! I can read anything from anywhere and no clues go undetective when I got this!" He held the SuperMag 10005 up to his eye. "I can even read that reading poster at the other end of the classroom!"
Everyone turned to survey the reading monkey poster that hung on the bulletin board at the other end of the classroom.
"You can read it all the way from here?" Nagi asked in disbelief.
Yohji nodded proudly. "Yep!"
"Magnifying glasses are very powerful tools," Birman informed everyone. "What does the poster say Yohji?"
Yohji frowned as he studied the poster with intense concentration. "It says...uh...I think...um..."
"You're such a dummie!" Schulderich cried. He grabbed the SuperMag 10005 and held it up to his eye. "The poster says 'Go bananas over reading'. Any moron can read that!"
"Gimme my SuperMag 10005 back!" Yohji shouted. "You're getting your cootie-germs on it!"
"No grabbing, Schulderich," Birman said sternly.
Schulderich pouted while Yohji yanked back his beloved SuperMag 10005.
"Now then..." Birman cast a glance at all the remaining eager hopefuls and eager unhopefuls. "Bradley, why don't you go next?"
Bradley sniffed peevishly. "Oh very well," he huffed, straightening his white tie. "If I must."
"Hey, I see all the little hairs of the carpet!" Nagi cried, peering at the rug with Yohji's SuperMag 10005. "This is real cool!"
"Lemme see, Nagi!" Omi peered over his best friend's shoulder. "Wow, neat! The SuperMag really works!"
"I told you so," Yohji bragged, smugly. "It's the best SuperMag in the market!"
"Me and Ran wanna see too!" Ken piped up. "Right Ran?"
"Well if you guys are all seeing it than me and Farf wanna see too!" Schulderich shouted. "We don't wanna be left outta the action!"
Birman clapped her hands loudly. "Class, you're all being horribly rude!" She frowned. "Yohji, put your SuperMag away. Your turn is over. It's Bradley's turn now."
"They can't help it if they haven't evolved properly," Bradley told her, his little voice dripping with condescension. "Not everyone can be urbane and quick-witted like myself."
"Bradley's boring," Farfarello stated flatly.
"Boring?!" Bradley was incensed. "How dare the likes of you call me boring! At least I am of sound mind and health, you psychotic madman!"
"Hey, you shut up four-eyes!" Schulderich bit out, jade eyes flashing.
"Bradley!" Birman barked. "For one who claims to be urbane and quick-witted, name-calling is most petty!"
Farfarello snickered quietly.
"Now I don't want anymore of this nonsense otherwise you'll stay after school with me to wash the blackboard and clap the chalk brushes!"
Bradley paled. The very idea of marring his pristine suit with chalk dust was enough to turn his stomach. "I'll take my turn now," he sighed, defeated.
"Yeah, hurry up man!" Ken urged, still bouncing. "Some of us are waiting to have our turn!"
Bradley rolled his eyes. "Primitive Australopithecus," he thought to himself so Miss Birman couldn't accuse him of being petty. Hmph. He was never petty!
The dark-haired boy opened his leather attache case and pulled out a sleek, compact, silver cell phone. "This is my latest personal investment. Now I can keep in touch with all my business contacts at any given time."
"Yeah great, can I go now?" Ken interrupted.
Bradley glared at him. "No, you may NOT go. It is still my turn."
"Don't interrupt Ken," Birman scolded.
Bradley smirked and then continued. "Why, it was just last week when I'd heard the most nasty rumor. Certain circles were instigating that stocks in Lynchcroft had dropped 10.8% in shares! Fortunately, I had new cell phone and was able to clarify the entire mess. They were, naturally, wrong. I would never invest in a sour company."
"I'd never want a cell phone," Yohji announced. "'Cause then my mom would call me all day and bug me. Its' bad enough that I hafta see her all the time at home!"
There was a murmur of agreement.
"That's why I didn't give mother my phone number," Bradley replied smugly. "This isn't a personal phone, it's a business phone, I told her."
"Smooth move," Schulderich complimented.
"Yeah, real smooth!" Ken agreed.
Bradley was looked upon in awe for a few moments.
"That's a lovely cell phone Bradley," Birman said, secretly envious. On her salary as a teacher, there was no way she could afford a cell phone and here one of her first grade students had one? What injustice! Perhaps she should consider asking Bradley for stock advice. "Schulderich, why don't you go next?"
"YESSSS!" Schulderich yelled, grinning widely. He yanked out his item from his schoolbag and held it up. It was a shampoo bottle, filled with thick, reddish-purple shampoo.
"This is Raspberry Ice shampoo," he informed everyone. "My cousin Swenja made it. She lives in Germany, near the Swabian Jura mountain range. She uses all natural ingredients and it obviously works, as you can see." Schulderich patted his hair and continued. "Not only does it add volume and luster, but it also repairs damaged hair follicles. Not that my follicles need repairing of course. The raspberry makes the shampoo smell good and it's the main ingredient that adds body and shine. The ice makes my head cold. It really does. When I'm in the shower, the water is hot but my head is freezing.  It's real cool!"
"Gimme a break," Yohji scoffed. "How can your head get cold in the shower?"
"Actually Yohji, it is possible," Birman spoke up. "I use a Cool Ice conditioner from the Body Shop and it makes my head very cold in the shower."
"I told you so," Schulderich gloated. He looked up at his teacher. "However, I find the Body Shop Cool Ice to be inferior to my German shampoo."
"Your opinion is appreciated," Birman muttered. She rubbed at her temples. How on earth had she ended up with such snobby first-graders?
"I wanna have a frozen head in the shower," Ken said. "Wouldn't that be cool, Ran?"
"Can we smell your shampoo?" Nagi asked timidly.
Schulderich passed the bottle around under the strict threat that anyone who spilled it would get beaten up by Farfarello.
"This smells like the jam my mom puts on her toast," Yohji remarked.
"Mmmm, yummy!" Omi exclaimed, inhaling deeply. "I could just eat this all up!"
Nagi giggled. "Me too!"
"Do it and die," Schulderich threatened.
"What have I told you about death threats, Schulderich?" Birman demanded.
Schulderich shrugged, unconcerned. "Well it's not like I get that shampoo around here."
"I personally think this fragrance is rather feminine," Bradley announced, thrusting the bottle back to Schulderich. "It brings memories of my grandmother and her seven tabby cats."
Farfarello grabbed Bradley by his tie. "What. Did. You. Say?" he demanded coldly.
"Nothing, nothing! It's a manly scent. Very manly!" Bradley babbled.
"Hands to yourself Farfarello!" Birman snapped.
"Thanks Farf," Schulderich whispered, putting his precious Raspberry Ice shampoo back into his schoolbag.
"I like the smell," Farfarello commented simply. "It smells like you. Nice."
Schulderich smiled happily.
"Can it be my turn now?" Ken begged, squirming about. "Please Miss Birman, I can't wait another second! Pretty, pretty please with nuts and cherries and hot fudge sauce and - "
"Alright Ken," Birman interrupted hastily. "You may go now."
"YAHOO!" the brunette bellowed.
"Hey, don't yell so loud," Yohji cried. "I don't want you to break my SuperMag 10005! It's the only SuperMag 10005 I got!"
"Ken's not an opera singer," Ran snapped, scowling at the would-be detective. "He's not gonna break your stupid magnifying glass."
Yohji was aghast. "The SuperMag 10005 is not stupid!"
Birman's head pounded sharply. "Calm down you two," she muttered. "Now tell us what you've brought Ken."
Ken beamed brightly as he pulled out a muddy, grass-stained, deflated soccer ball. "This was the soccer ball they used in the Argentina vs. England game last month. It's the real thing, no fake! My dad's friend's brother's is David Beckham and he plays midfielder on Manchester United. He's the best player ever and he got me this soccer ball! It's the real thing guys!" Ken pointed to the red soccer jersey he was wearing. "This is the official Man U jersey. It's the real thing! The game was so awesome and I was so excited to get the ball from it. It's the coolest thing I ever got and it's the real thing, too! Me and my dad watched the whole game and I didn't even get sleepy! Then last night, I stayed up until ten o'clock watching the Italy vs. Brazil game!"
"We know, we know," Bradley muttered, rolling his eyes.
Ken was too busy yammering on to hear Bradley. However, Ran did and he scowled coldly at the at him.
"...and then there was thirty seconds left in the game and I thought all hope was lost for Man U but then out of no where comes number 24, Wes Brown and he head-buts the ball straight into the net! It was awesome! And then this other time when Wes Brown-"
"Ken honey, I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut you off," Birman interrupted. "It's going to be time for music class soon and Nagi and Farfarello still haven't had a turn yet."
Ken pouted. "But I didn't get to tell everyone about the best part of the game!"
"Thank God," Schulderich whispered to Farfarello.
Ran shyly patted Ken's hand. "I'll listen to it," he offered, despite having already heard about the game three times before.
Ken's little face brightened. "Thanks Ran, you're the best friend ever!"
"Nagi, would you like to go next?"
The youngest boy in the class nodded. "My show and tell is in my desk, Miss Birman. Can I go get it?"
Nagi scrambled to his feet and ran back to his desk. He returned to the group, carefully clutching a glass box in his tiny hands. He set the box down and sat down next to it.
Inside the box was some water, a rock, a few plants and a bright, striped, red and black frog. There was much ooohhh-ing and aaahhh-ing. Afterall, reptiles and amphibians and crawly critters are always a big hit with little boys.
"This is my pet frog," Nagi began. "He's a Red and Black Walking frog. His name is Mayfly 'cause he eats mayflies and crickets too. My aunt sent him to me for my birthday. My mom said I couldn't get a dog 'cause they stink up the house but then I got Mayfly and he don't stick up nothing. He's the prettiest frog in the whole world! I love him even more than my brother. Now I don't even want a dog no more. Lotsa people have dogs and cats but almost nobody's got a Red and Black Walking frog like me!"
"I wanna cool frog like that," Schulderich wailed. "The only frogs I ever see are those dumb brown and green frogs down at the creek."
"I used to think they were cool but they suck now," Ken cried. "I wanna red and black frog too!"
"I'll give you five bucks and my white-out for it," Farfarello offered in a raspy tone.
Nagi stared at Farfarello with wide eyes. "He's not for sale!"
"I think he's perfectly wretched," Bradley muttered, sniffing in disdain. What a perfectly miserable pet a frog was!
"Last time I went to Nagi's house, I got to hold him," Omi boasted proudly. "He jumped in my hand and ribbited."
"Can I hold him Nagi?" Yohji pleaded. "I'll let you use my SuperMag 10005 on anything you want!"
"The frog is not coming out of the tank," Birman said. "However at recess, if Nagi agrees, you may all have a turn holding the frog."
"Can we hold him?" Schulderich asked.
"Okay, but only for a few seconds," Nagi agreed. "Mayfly likes to jump around a lot. I don't wanna lose him."
"Cool, man!" Ken tugged on Ran's sleeve. "Isn't that cool Ran? Are you gonna hold him too?"
Ran looked at the frog in awe. "Yeah."
"Alright Farfarello, we saved the best for the last," Birman quipped. "What have you brought today?"
The white-haired boy reached into the plastic bag resting on his lap and pulled out...
"An eggbeater?" Omi and Yohji both chorused.
"This is my eggbeater," Farfarello intoned solemnly, his voice taking on a sing-song quality. "I call him, simply, 'eggbeater'. Not 'the' eggbeater or 'a' eggbeater but just eggbeater. When I put him under my pillow, I have funny dreams. And when I wake up, my head feels lumpy."
Birman stared at the boy. "They get weirder by the day," she thought to herself.
"Why do you put it under your pillow?" Nagi wanted to know. "Is there a eggbeater fairy?"
"Oh for God sakes!" Bradley exploded. "What a stupid question!"
"Asking questions is the way we learn," Omi quoted. Then he stuck out his tongue at Bradley.
"Eggbeater lives under my pillow," Farfarello explained. "He's a good gadget to have cuz if any stupid junior high kids bother me, I can hit them with it. And I like to beat my milk with eggbeater. He makes lots of bubbles. And I can beat snow too."
"Beating snow sounds like fun," Ken said.
Schulderich smirked. "It is. Me and Farf play with eggbeater all the time. Right Farf?"
"Yeah. Eggbeater is even better than my electric mixer. But eggbeater isn't as good as Schu's blender."
"I like blenders too," Ran suddenly said, surprising everyone. "But my mom got mad when me and Ken put dirt and water in it to make mud."
Farfarello's eye widened. "I like making mud too."
Bradley shook his head in disgust. "They're so primitive I could cry."
The bell rang.
Birman stood up. "Okay class, Show and Tell is over. Everyone line up now. It's time for music class!"
"Can we have Show and Tell tomorrow too?" Omi asked, looking up at her with huge, blue eyes.
Birman resisted the urge to groan. "No Omi. Tomorrow afternoon is our Christmas party, remember?"
There was a chorus of excited shouts as the class lined up.
 I bought this 'Cool Ice' conditioner from the Body Shop the other day and it's the weirdest thing. It really does freeze your head! The rest of you is hot from the shower water but your scalp is ice–cold. It's crazy stuff. This is a true story guys!
And yes, I know nothing about chemistry or stocks or soccer. But I do enjoy a fine eggbeater every now and then. ^^;;
Part 4 | Fanfiction