Friday, August 13, 2010

Into the Shadows: Chapter 6 Part 1

Chapter 6 Part 1
All Hallow's Eve


Click here to read Chapter 5 Part 3

“Now can anyone tell us the positive aspects of globalization? Why is it a good thing?” Dr. Hasenpfeffer stood before the class. She was oblivious to the fact that most of the students in the class were not paying any attention to her. Some had snuck their headphones up through their sweatshirts and were listening to music. Some were passing notes. And some had even succumbed to a sweet mid-class slumber, brought upon by the consumption of too many Tartan burgers at lunch and the overly warm conditions in the classroom. Paivi turned to look at the clock and couldn’t help noticing that Michael Giannotti was in such a deep sleep that he was emitting a snore every so often and a large puddle of drool was spreading slowly across his notebook, causing the few notes he had taken to run. She was astounded by Dr. Hasenpfeffer’s lack of attention to this fact. She felt it was quite possible that the good doctor had just stopped caring whether they listened or not.


Paivi genuinely liked Dr. Hasenpfeffer, even if she had the worst case of scatterbrain Paivi had ever seen. She really felt her teacher was a nice lady. And when she wasn’t captivating them with astounding tales of Clarence the cat and his habit of pishing all over her carpets, she did have interesting things to say.

Unlike the rest of her classmates, Paivi was not in a food coma, in fact, her stomach was twisted in knots of hunger because she still hadn’t been to lunch yet. And even though she could see the future, she couldn’t make it arrive any faster, so she figured she might as well say something. Besides, she was slightly bored and a little annoyed that she was surrounded by such lazy idiots. And she felt kind of sorry for Dr. Hasenpfeffer.

She raised her hand.

“Dr. H., globalization could be considered positive because it gives jobs to people in other parts of the world. That might give them more opportunities and maybe they would earn more money than before,” she said.

Dr. Hasenpfeffer seemed surprised that someone had actually answered.

“That is correct Paivi. One could say it is also a positive for the consumer. Companies generally take their production offshore in order to reduce costs. This gives them more of a profit, but it also passes some savings along to the consumer.”

Jason, paying attention to their discussion with interest, raised his hand.

“Dr. H., what about all of those toys that we get from China. I mean, I know they are cheaper than if they were made here, but lately they have all been found to contain lead paint. My aunt had to throw out all of my little cousin’s Super-Bots last week. You should have seen him cry—I thought someone had died!”

“Yes, Jason, that is one of the negative aspects of globalization. If the toys are made in China, we have to trust that the Chinese companies will abide by U.S. laws. Unfortunately, they don’t always check the toys coming over, and that is why you have seen toys from China being recalled every day. I’ve heard a rumor that Chinese-made toys are going to be banned and will all be sent back. Think of how that could affect what Santa Claus puts under the Christmas tree!” she said, tapping her head with piece of chalk.

The idea of no toys or gadgets for Christmas rousted a few of the sleeping and comatose students, and the remainder of class was spent arguing about where else they could get them and how people would deal with the prospect of Santa delivering gifts filled with socks and underwear.

As the bell rang and they left the classroom, Dr. Hasenpfeffer shouted their homework at them through the din.  “Please don’t forget to watch the presidential debate on Sunday night! Who would you vote for and why! We will discuss on Monday!”

“I can just see it now,” said Jason as they filed through the door, “parents buying Chinese-made Chuckling Charlies like druggies score drugs! Instead of drug dealers, there will be toy pushers hanging out at the playground and on street corners!”

“Yeah, they will open their trench coats and instead of watches, they will be lined with dolls and action figures!” Paivi pretended to be opening a coat, laughing. “Got your Soldier Steve toys, step right up!”

“So, any big plans for the weekend?” Paivi asked as she walked down to lunch with Jason.

“We’re going to some Halloween party tomorrow,” he answered.

“Oh, is it Amanda Montoya’s party?” she asked.

“I’m not sure. Probably. Melissa just told me we were going, as Hansel and Gretel.” He sounded a bit angry.

Paivi laughed.

“We’re going, too! You sound less than enthused. I don’t understand why! Lederhosen are one of the more attractive costumes a guy could wear!” She poked him in the side and snickered. “I haven’t quite picked out what I am wearing just yet.”

“I just don’t like being told what to wear and what to do,” he snapped.

Paivi smiled inside. Maybe there was trouble in paradise. Her mind flitted to the thought of dancing with Jason at the Winter Dance.

“Oh, on Sunday, I guess I’ll be watching the debate. Maybe we should have a Debate Party. I’ll call Crystal and a couple of the others. We could order a pizza or something,” she suggested.

“That sounds cool. Just let me know what’s up. Dude, I’m starving.” He patted his stomach with both hands. They were entering the cafeteria, their nostrils bombarded by the smell of burgers, fries and cookies. “I’ll see you later!”



Join me next week for the next part of Chapter 6! Thanks for reading INTO THE SHADOWS!

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