Beam Me Up

What would I do if teleportation was possible? Well, I’d buy myself a cake. A full blown sheet cake. And upon this cake, I would write: “I’m ’bout to bring the pain!” That’s why I’ll get a sheet cake…so I can fit all that on there.

I already know where I’d beam myself first; however, prior to launch, I would have to dress appropriately so as not to be identified as a genius from the future times with a devious agenda and appetite for destruction. Parachute pants, leg warmers, an Olivia Newton John leotard with matching braided headband and some jelly shoes. Then I would tease my hair into the stratosphere and make it stay that way with two cases of double maximum power to the square root of 76.Aqua Net.

This ain’t no Jeopardy question. I’ll tell you the answer straight out. 1985. Roughly around the end of May, beginning of June. Around the time most schools release the savages for the summer. I’d have to do some sleuthing before I began Mission Bring the Pain. (I know this is a long name, but I’m not bogged down with walkie-talkies and teams and whatnot.) This sleuthing would be for the sole purpose of obtaining the physical address, location and coordinates of one Brian Mullins. A.K.A. He Who Will Feel the Pain.

There’s a reason I won’t let my kid ride the school bus. Because I know the type of junk that goes down on the bus. I was one of those kids who sat in the very back. The VERY back. It wasn’t always thus. I had to earn my place just like one of the guys. Took all of 6th grade to accomplish this. By 7th grade, I was one of THEM. We were drawn together for one purpose only. The ancient art of Pencil Fighting (insert karate chop sound effect).

Not just your run-of-the-mill pencil fighting, either. This was EXTREME pencil fighting. And there were rules. Rules that were obeyed and adhered to like a Baptist to the Bible.

1) Two challengers face off, each armed with a regulation wooden pencil taken from a factory-sealed pack.

2) The only recognized regulation competition pencil is the Dixon/Ticonderoga #2 yellow – graphite core, cedar shaft, latex eraser with aluminum stay.

3) The pencil may not be sharpened or altered in any way prior to initial combat.

4) A Pink Pearl Eraser flip determines which fighter strikes first.

5) The loser of the eraser flip becomes the “Defender” and holds his or her pencil firmly with both hands in a horizontal position.

6) The winner of the eraser flip becomes the “Striker”, and then brings his pencil down in a vertical strike across the opponent’s pencil with full force, attempting to break it in two.

7) If the Defender’s pencil does not break from the Striker’s attempt, then it becomes the Defender’s turn to strike.

This repeats until one player’s pencil breaks in two and cannot continue.

8) If a pencil is cracked, but not fully broken in two, referee determines whether said pencil can continue.

9) If both pencils break during a strike, victory goes to the striker.

As with anything associated with rules, there are fouls. With pencil fighting, the top shelf foul is “whiffing”. This is when your opponent completely misses your pencil. Brian Mullins was a Whiffer. He was the king of Whiffers. If he had kids, they’d be Whifflets.

So on a hot summer day in 1985, Brian Mullins became a permanent part of my very being. Several eye witnesses sided with Brian and claimed the bus had hit a pothole, causing him to bounce up during mid-swing, resulting in the Whiff. MY side of the bus clearly saw a rabid 8th grader who just couldn’t handle being trumped by a girl…aggressively attacking his winning opponent with an illegally sharpened combat instrument. The cause of the Whiff is irrelevant. What IS relevant is that 25 years later, I still have Ticonderoga #2 pencil lead in my knee.

So what would I do after tracking down Brian Mullins? The only fair thing there is to do. Stab him repeatedly in the face and eyeball with a handful of sharp Ticonderoga Kindergarten pencils. Then I’d teleport my butt right back to here and now, leaving him scarred and sucking his thumb.

Screw you, Brian Mullins. Screw you.

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114 Responses

  1. Hysterical! I have my own teleportation/pencil fighting opponent chosen: It’s my ex and his new wife, who are unhappy that I’m blogging about my divorce, so they’re SUING me to try to stop me!

    Ticonderoga indeed. Super sharp, nice eraser, #2… 😉

  2. pencil fighting lasted right up til the mid 90s, and possibly beyond. my crowing moment was destroying an 8th grader, Matty J. ahhh memories.

  3. lol…loved this post!!!! I totally forgot about pencil fighting!! It makes me want to play it right now!! Why do you have to telport back…why can’t you just do that now 🙂 lol jk…but really? JK

  4. great post 😀 but what is the cake for?

  5. this is very creative and Hilarious takes me back to elementaery school.

  6. LOL … I was never allowed in the back of the bus nor did I get in on the pencil fighting. I’m totally jealous. =]

  7. Damn! I *knew* I was missing out on the fun by having to WALK to school every day!

  8. Wow! I never had to ride the bus so I missed this fun??
    Sorry for your latent anger…maybe teleportation will happen in our lifetime and you will get your chance… good luck with that! Ha, Ha, Ha! Cute post! Funny!

  9. This post was intense!

    I didn’t really understand the post at first since you kept on switching the point until the end.

    By now I can feel the emotion dripping and all I have to say is, “screw Brian Mullins.”

  10. Amazing ! I wish i had someone to fight with 😉

    Why didnt i do this in highschool ?? :O why ?

  11. Loved this!

  12. I knew a Bryan Mullins in school. But he would’ve been only about 6 during this incident. Thanks for the laugh today 🙂

    ~ Meagan

  13. Man…now I’m glad I never rode the bus.


  14. Yay pencil fight!!!
    Guess what I’m going to do on the school bus tommorrow morning? xD

  15. That was awesome! haha

    I have lead stuck in my palm directly below my right pinky that’s been there since 7th grade. My battle scar was from someone swinging their arms a little much (sharp dagger , errr, pencil in hand, as they walked past my table in the cafeteria.

    I’ve never thought of teleporting back in time to get my revenge though…very clever!

  16. What a wonderful story! (Minus the lead in your knee part, of course.) Thank you so much for sharing your imagination and your past. My sister has had a lead pencil point in her forehead for years now from a sibling feud ages ago. I don’t remember which of the three of us stabbed her, but she had never lived down the “green dot” in our family. Horrid creatures, those pencil wielding warriors.

  17. The 1980’s called and they want their blog back.

    Thanks for the fun read.



  18. Pencil fighting continued on well after the 90s. My son came home just 3 years ago with pencil lead in his thigh from such an incident.

    Some things truly are timeless!

  19. Now that is the most unique reason for time travel that I’ve heard in a long time.

  20. What a great little story
    and the photography really caught my eye as well.
    Definitely will be a favourite to visit again and again.

  21. I think you are confused. “Teleportation” is the ability to travel from one place to another instantly, without actually travelling – like on Star Trek, they “beam” from the spaceship down to a planet. Going from 2010 to 1985 – regardless of what location you end up in – is time travel.

    • Thanks for the definitions. well I knew wahat was time travel but not about the teleportaion. Good , you explained, but the best about the post was the time travel he talked about “PENCIL FIGHTING”. Dont you think so ?

  22. This is amazing. I love your writing style and this simply made my day! I can’t wait to read more from you! 🙂

  23. […] Beam Me Up (via ) Posted on November 24, 2010 by inislamicworld What would I do if teleportation was possible? Well, I’d buy myself a cake. A full blown sheet cake. And upon this cake, I would write: "I'm 'bout to bring the pain!” That's why I'll get a sheet cake…so I can fit all that on there. I already know where I'd beam myself first; however, prior to launch, I would have to dress appropriately so as not to be identified as a genius from the future times with a devious agenda and appetite for destructio … Read More […]

  24. […] What would I do if teleportation was possible? Well, I’d buy myself a cake. A full blown sheet cake. And upon this cake, I would write: "I'm 'bout to bring the pain!” That's why I'll get a sheet cake…so I can fit all that on there. I already know where I'd beam myself first; however, prior to launch, I would have to dress appropriately so as not to be identified as a genius from the future times with a devious agenda and appetite for destructio … Read More […]

  25. nice! loved the olivia newton john leotard outfit, jelly shoes still bane of my existance as i never got to satisfy my childhood need for them.

  26. wow this brings me back to the mid 90’s oh the memories. thanks for the post and the reincarnation of my past time in grade school.

  27. Does anyone still have leg warmers? Great post!

  28. Oh my goodness that took me back in time, all the way back to the back of the bus…haha and I crawled under the seats to get there.

    Keep writing. Very interesting and thought provoking reads. Love your work.

    Please check me out, I’m a newbie and I’d love to share a seat with you on the back of the bus.

  29. yeah…you should be president…imagine suffering with a would like that for 25 years…a congressional medal of honor perhaps…hopefully, with your refined sense of fair play, karma and vengeance you became a psychotherapist…right?
    I know you’ll track me down and I’ll get stabbed in the eyeball but it would be worth it to see you ride on the back of the bus to hell…just kidding…no I’m not…yes I am…

  30. That’s the spirit!!!

  31. What an awesome post….I’ve heard about these “Plinky Prompts,” but never have known what exactly they were. This is a great idea for a blog…kudos on FP!

  32. Haha! Pencil fighting! I forgot all about doing this when I was little with all the boys I used to know. Hilarious. Loved it! 😀

  33. Congrats on Freshly Pressed. Can you sue Brian Mullins for lead poisoning?

  34. I think I’m laughing so hard at this because I have pencil lead stuck above my eye from an incident long ago!

  35. Haha wow. Talk about vicious. This was hilarious.

  36. yeah wish it was only pencil fights going on the back of the bus . Great blog!!!! I loved every word of it.

  37. Hey a bunch of stuff! Your blog and all that! Now everyone visit my blog!!! Mine is better! Yours is terrible in actuality blah blah.

    Do you like pizza?

  38. Brilliant post. Pencil fighting was going on in the mid-1970s in the back of busses on Long Island, so glad to know that the art (and all of its arcane rules) were still so well codified and enforced a decade later. As a dispassionate outsider, I’m thinking that the “bus hit a bump” story didn’t and doesn’t hold water, so I’m totally with you on how to best use your teleport . . .

  39. My brother and I got all kind of lectures about pencil fights as children, always with the admonition “Don’t play with sharpened pencils!”

    So we decided that unsharpened pencils were okay. Someone distracted me mid fight and instead of hitting my pencil my brother jabbed me in the eye.

    Luckily there were no lead pieces left behind, just an eye wound that healed quickly. The best thing that came out of it: My brother, who often made me cry, was in so much trouble my dad made him cry.

    That made all the pain worth it.

  40. I’ve had a piece of pencil lead stuck in my foot since I was eight years old, as a result of an incident that occured after I left pencils on the floor… my mother assured me it would come out if I left it alone, but instead the skin healed over it. 😛

  41. This is epic!

  42. great post love the way you write :p

  43. Oh good gravy, Aqua Net! What lovely 1980’s memories of blown out hair! One time I actually punctured my forehead on a spike of my own Aqua Net-stiffened hair. Good times!

  44. Great post! Give me a call when you get back. I want to borrow your teleporter but going back to 1982 instead. Mary Ann left me with a similar daily reminder of her presence in my life. At the time I thought she did it out of anger. In hind sight, I think she was hot for me!

  45. congrats on freshly pressed. greetings ixult

  46. LOL! As a homeschooled student, I always wondered what kind of edifying and engaging experiences went on in public school. Now I see what I was missing. And I have no regrets.

  47. While I like your plan, especially your intended wardrobe, if teleportation/time-travel were possible, I’m pretty sure I’d dress up as an old woman and wander around in front of Charlie Chaplin’s film crew, yelling into my cell phone.

  48. Yes I get it pencil fighting. Brilliant. The new hemingway

  49. you might want to just let this go. obviously you have matured way beyond this, so let the loser live his miserable life..

  50. Pencil fighting – no. Transporting back to high school to tell so and so what I should have told him then – yes.

  51. priceless. keep it coming.

  52. Jelly Shoes!!! Very funny!

  53. great, had no idea where this was going, which made it all the more fun

  54. I was gonna stop reading this, thinking it wouldn’t be worth it.. but it was so funny! Like of course, you’re a girl so the guys are gonna side against you.

    But I believe they were just mad that you were a girl, that it had nothing to do with a pothole, lol.

    I’d teleport back to where you were about to stab him, and watch it. That would be hilarious. Great post! 🙂

  55. Lol this is hilarious!

  56. Who knew school buses were the battlegrounds for such intense combat?

  57. Ah, this takes me back to the good ol’ days. I miss pencil fighting. But as I got older(HS maybe?), kids started bringing the mechanical pencils to class and thus pencil fighting went the way of the dinosaur. That, or kids actually grew up..

  58. I enjoy your humor.
    Great read.

  59. haha thats awesome. made me lol. so random but randomly cool.

  60. I so often have the desire to stab past offenders repeatedly in the face and eyeball, and until now, I thought I was alone it my aching. BUT ALAS! I HAVE FOUND ANOTHER!

    Very entertaining and great writing voice.

    Definitely will be reading more.

  61. […] This blog post is most certainly worth a plug. I have no idea who the Ms. April Trice is, but her writing had me cracking up. I most certainly think she has talent. […]

  62. This post is just AMAZE! I LOL’d hard at work (I’m once again the crazy co-worker who has spontaneous bouts of ear shattering laughter)!

    I’m so sad and disappointed that teleportation devices haven’t already been invented. Oh the things I would do! To start off with I’d travel across the globe to see all my friends, to eat any of the foods that I crave at anytime (muahaha) and then just escape reality every now and again. Maybe visit some famous people before they passed away–the whole shebang! What BLISS 🙂

  63. […] What would I do if teleportation was possible? Well, I’d buy myself a cake. A full blown sheet cake. And upon this cake, I would write: "I'm 'bout to bring the pain!” That's why I'll get a sheet cake…so I can fit all that on there. I already know where I'd beam myself first; however, prior to launch, I would have to dress appropriately so as not to be identified as a genius from the future times with a devious agenda and appetite for destructio … Read More […]

  64. Awesome. Awesome awesome awesome.

  65. You Plinky-ed the hell out of that prompt. Terrific voice. Reading this made my Black Friday less blacker.

    Congrats on Pressed.

    Chase McFadden

  66. Haahaa… nice! 😀
    Pencil fighting seems interesting! Will surely try that out!
    Btw… i just started blogging… do check out and leave suggestions….

  67. so delicious !! great it’s so nice !

  68. YOU’VE DONE IT! You have made teleportation available for the masses.

    Upon reading your post I was pulled into a vortex. Destination: 8th grade. We used to call this game that should have gotten credit in the ancient Roman Colluseum, “Pencil Snap!”

    This was a great read.

  69. Haha Never tried but seems fun except having it in your leg but I suppose those small scars only the carrier knows the story behind is kinda nice as a memory^^

  70. hERSEY İÇİN TESEKKUR EDERIM. saygılar sunuyorum

  71. This is totally changing my lunch hour plans with my co-workers today – I’ve just got to find some fresh pencils

  72. I have to say, that is a far cry from my bus-riding experience, which was pretty much limited to comparing slap bracelets with my friends and debating the lyrics of age-questionable songs on the bus radio. However, who the eff wants to teleport back to talk about slap bracelets? No one. Long story short, this is very funny, and I wish you the best of luck in your face-stabbing time-traveling-teleporting quest. 😛

  73. I always wondered where the WWF got it’s start….

  74. awesome!

  75. love it. it’s like a rage fantasy. one of my favorites 🙂

  76. Oh man, what a hilarious post!! Your writing style is the greatest – makes for a good read! (: I can imagine Brian reading this…

  77. i’m actually reading this from my phone.
    I really enjoyed reading this and I though that this was going to be filled with more.
    As I was reading I reached the end and my hopes were shattered to see that I had already finished and the other half of the page which I thought was writing was in fact comments of the people who enjoyed this… Bummer…

  78. Man, I’d hate to be Brian Mullins. That’s some seriously pent up graphite rage ready to unleash.

    Beautifully done, though!

  79. I loved your descriptive writing, and the way that you did not reveal what your story was about at the outset.

    Your story was so much fun to read. So much fun, in fact, that if you do ever track Brian Mullins down and go a little too far, I’ll help you hide the body. 😉

  80. […] Beam Me Up (via ) Posted on November 27, 2010 by inislamicworld What would I do if teleportation was possible? Well, I’d buy myself a cake. A full blown sheet cake. And upon this cake, I would write: "I'm 'bout to bring the pain!” That's why I'll get a sheet cake…so I can fit all that on there. I already know where I'd beam myself first; however, prior to launch, I would have to dress appropriately so as not to be identified as a genius from the future times with a devious agenda and appetite for destructio … Read More […]

  81. that was a pretty cool post. I just ran into this tonight. I have to say. It was some of the best s**t I’ve seen recently. Keep em coming.

  82. Whoever said ‘a Pen is mightier than the sword..’, lied.

    A pencil is.

    1. You can erase problems you find yourself in; and 2. You can draw with it 🙂

    A well known parable among Engkineering is: If you can’t put a problem on paper it is not solvable.

    Or something to the effect :S

  83. Looool!! we used to do pencil fights but they were totally different! we used to through pencils at each other and if it touched you.. u’re OUT!

    • YEah, we used to do it like that to, just except we dont use pencils, we use… how are they calleD? Chinchets? He dont know…

  84. We used to pencil fight, in my latter days of elementary school. Our rules were slightly different from yours. In that, well, there were more regulations on how pencils must me held, and in what manner your hands were allowed to be arranged, things like that. I too have a leaded battle-scar from those days. A girl named Mi Lee had it out for me, some of our games ranged from purely professional, to the stuff of serious dangerous activity. It culminated in her stabbing me in the forearm with one of her broken pencil shards. I was not dealt the injustice you were, however. The whole bus saw what she had done, and she was banned forever from playing any game that armed her with a potentially dangerous weapon. As far as I know, that ruling held for as long as I was at that school.

  85. Good its really superb.

  86. well it reminded me of the golden days of my life i really miss the pencil fight in the class and breaking of the pencils of the mates and fighting with each other on no reason ……….. huu great were those days

  87. Nice. I love the sheetcake.
    There was a kid on our bus who used to call himself a warlock and repeatedly tried to cast spells on me from under his trenchcoat.
    I was never cool enough to be all the way in the back though. Maybe if I’d master pencil wars, I coulda joined in the fun.
    Hilarious post.

  88. GOODNESS .. I just don’t know what to say except .. KU-FUCKING-DOS … (^_^)


  89. Huh. I feel like I’m honestly missing out on something.
    I have never played the epically violent game of Pencil Fighting.
    Then again, my generation is into computerized voices and colorful rubber bands. So I guess I shouldn’t be talking(:

  90. When I read this, it was like teleporting back to find my Black Warrior #2 pencil. It’s a must have for pencil fighting.

  91. Well that brings me back, way back! We could get on the bus on the way up the hill when it was empty, or wait to catch it when it came back down nearly full. It was mischief and mayhem if you got on early. That’s when the ‘pros’ would have their pencil fights. You could catch a lot more air in the back seats as the driver flew over the bumpy country roads with a near empty bus. Made the fights even more challenging with both opponents off balance. I loved my pencils too much to ever be a part of the action, but would cautiously peer over the back of my seat to witness the duels.

  92. But….but….isn’t Teleporting and Time Travel 2 different things? >_> I mean, when scotty would beam kirk down to planets, he didnt get to pick what time period he wanted to go to on the planet :O

    Other than that, great post! I loved pencil fighting, those were the days. For some reason, I used to chew on my pencils. Somehow, I got the idea, that instead of weakening the pencil, the dents in the wood gave it more brutality, and made it stronger.

  93. I’d like to read Brian Mullins response to this! Brian..where are you?

  94. I love Your photos!

  95. Nice post! Please check out my website at:

  96. wow!!!!!!!

  97. ha ha you’re awesome…

  98. But the cake is a lie… D:

  99. like.

  100. Hilarious post! your blog seems got a new subscriber..(:

    check mine out if you get the time

  101. you are crazy. that was actually hill-arious….pun intended, watch out for those bumps.

  102. trying to figure out why this was worthy of freshly pressed

  103. Oh my… what a way to hold on to past grudges…lol!!! No, seriously, very funny post- enjoyed reading it. had never heard of pencil fighting before… ahh… such innocent times…lol.

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