By: Perry Gross

I get hit in the face... a lot. Dodge balls, basketballs, volleyballs, tennis balls, doors, walls, bird crap, baseball bats, rogue hands, flying sand, and just about anything else you can think of. Everything just seems to have an affinity for my face. One minute I am running in gym class, and the next a stray softball nails me square in the left cheek. This is probably why my I.Q. is dropping drastically. I was put in accelerated classes when I was in elementary school, which was a wonder because my parents are idiots. My mother is a file clerk for an insurance company, but gets yelled at because she clusters the letters L M N O and P into a single folder that she calls the Lmnop file. And my father hasn’t obtained his driver’s license yet, but not by the lack of trying. He has taken the written exam one hundred and twenty nine times. You might think that, by chance, he would pass once or the employees at the D.M.V. would find a heart and pass him. But no, my dad is perpetually studying and the guy at the D.M.V. is still an asshole. Out of that came me. I was the “best and the brightest,” my mother used to say. She might have been talking about the light bulb in the lamp in my room. On the box it said “the best and brightest” and she believed every word. My family’s one chance to escape the dunce cap, me, has been hit in the head four hundred sixty three and a half times. The half was when a tetherball glanced the side of my head. All of this has lowered my I.Q. by thirty percent and I am now “below average” in my class. Once my test came back, the principal of my high school suggested to me and my parents that we should see a doctor, preferably a specialist. He didn’t know that my father couldn’t drive and my mother wouldn’t be home before the doctor closed due to her filing and re-filing. So I’m stuck. I am sliding down the mountain of knowledge that I desperately want to ascend. Sadly, in the time that I have written this, I have been hit in the head three times, once by the bathroom door and twice by large textbooks falling from the top shelf of a book case. With those books came an epiphany. I am going to wear a bicycle helmet to preserve the last of my scattered brain cells. It’s the perfect plan.