Suzy's Story

by Greg Baysans

. . .

Fourteen-year-old Suzy Stoop was concerned about a test in her first class the next morning. HMO was Suzy's least favorite class, although Used Cars 201 was a close second. Unfortunately that was the class right after HMO.

Although she had studied, Suzy had trouble the next day remembering what type of dental plan included braces and which plan excluded cosmetic procedures, not to mention when braces were and were not cosmetic. Suzy would never make it to Major Medical or Hospitalization if she couldn't get past Dental.

In Used Car 201, Suzy sat away from the side of the room where Leo Abel sat. His father was the wealthy owner of the area's colossal dealership ("Always Abel, Always Ready" was their slogan). Though Suzy knew the lineage didn't automatically mean that Leo would "inherent the gene" (as Leo said), Leo had inherited the gene and knew the difference between padded and brushed velour long before the bell rang on opening day of class.

Suzy's last morning class would seem like a pleasant contrast to the others, Film Greats 301, but Suzy kept confusing the various Terminator sequels and could never remember if Rambo had a sequel or not.

After lunch Suzy went to the class everyone else seemed to breeze through, even the otherwise inept. Suzy was always chosen last on the rare occasions teams were composed for some purpose. It was LOF-NO 201; LOF-NO stood for Looking Out For Number One. The text book was much slimmer than that for either HMO or Used Cars. The tests were pretty easy but every once in a while Suzy would forget to answer "Me!" and instead say, "I'd share."

The same teacher who taught HMO in the morning taught Suzy's next afternoon class, MLB. Not about hits, runs and errors, it was a class on Mortgages, Loans and Bankruptcies. Suzy understood well her father's words to her, "You'll need this when you get out in the world," but Suzy had a hard time keeping track of mortgage company "A" being bought and "nka" (now known as) company B, perhaps even "dba" (doing business as) company C which is owned by Bank D, once a branch of Bank E.

It seemed to Suzy that if the banks and mortgage companies wanted others to juggle money for them, the jugglers should be recognized as employees. Suzy's teacher got a far-away look in her eyes when Suzy asked about this so Suzy didn't do it again.

Suzy's last class was another easy one, Gossip 101, but again Suzy couldn't quite get it right. It confused her that Bob shouldn't know what was being said about Bob, true or not. It seemed the reason Bob shouldn't know would be that most of what was being said was untrue, but that didn't seem to be the reason why Bob wasn't to know what was being said about him. Trying to understand the logic of it, Suzy could only think of banks and mortgage companies.

"How was your day at school, dear?" her mother asked when she came in the door on her way to her room. "Did you meet any new friends who can help you in twenty years get a job where you earn lots and do nothing? How was Gossip class? Today at work our department got to reminiscing about some good old school days. You should have heard the stories," she said but Suzy didn't hear the last part, already in her room reading Chaucer.


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