Little Mikey Nitrous (to be known to the world one far-distant day as Mr. Michael Nitrous of West 43rd Street) held the protractor in ever such a threatening manner. Mr. Zoops, his geometry teacher had never seen a student so comfortable with the instrument before – in fact, never before had he seen anyone display such a natural aptitude and, dare he say, panache with a geometric tool. It was just that he was used to students employing protractors for the intended use of measuring angles rather than as weapons.
Mr. Zoops had this thought go through his mind just seconds before little Mikey Nitrous turned and faced him. One swift blow from the protractor and it was all over – the geometry teacher lay dazed on the floor, and the herd of geometry students swarmed over him, looking for all the world like a colony of dung beetles. Their behavior was strangely dung beetle-esque, as well, as they began to roll Mr. Zoops into a ball and roll him across the floor of the geometry classroom. Past the titillating life-size poster of Euclid in a two-piece toga, past the espresso machine (this was an upscale geometry classroom) and right out the doorway and into the hall did little Mikey Nitrous and the little dung students roll poor Mr. Zoops, their protractors and compasses clattering away on the terazzo floor of William Jefferson Clinton Middle School.
As the herd of students rolled their hapless teacher out of the school and the adjoining dry-cleaner's shop, the other members of the faculty and staff began to take notice. Mr. Albrecht, the French teacher, went and hid beneath his desk, while Alonzo Hipchek the Bohemian janitor went looking for floor cleaner and clove cigarettes. Finding his storage bin empty, Alonzo donned his black beret and turtleneck and headed out to the local mercado to replenish his stores. All the while the balled-up Mr. Zoops was rolled faster and faster toward the edge of town and the towering ziggurat that the students used for human sacrifices after each home football game. As they rolled him along Chuckleberry Lane toward the ziggurat , a cool breeze revived him. As he came to his senses and realized what was going on, he glanced toward the smoking fires atop the ziggurat and knew that this was not good. He had known for years that smoking ziggurats could be hazardous to one's health. The Surgeon General had even made a pronouncement to this effect, and Mr. Zoops was not one to challenge authority.
Something had to be done, and it was just then that dear Mr. Zoops had a stroke of genius.
“S-N-A...an amble in the park...P-P-Y...why? 'Cause you're happy as a lark!” The cheery jingle for the Snappy™ Truss Company issued forth from Mr. Zoops' lips in his dulcet baritone, and with the second bar of the merry little tune the rabid geometry students slowed their macabre procession to the ziggurat. With the next stanza, many of them joined in the song from the popular marketing campaign.
“With a Snap- and a Snap- and a Snap- slap-happy smile; 'cause your Snappy™ Truss will hold you fast all the while!” The young geometry students all whirled around in place, such as they had seen the actors and actresses do in the Snappy™ Truss commercials. Round and round they whirled, each one whistling the merry tune. They then linked arms and did the trademark Snappy™ Truss squat-thrust while shouting “BELOIT!” in their very greatest outdoor voices, paying homage to the home of the Snappy™ Truss Company. During the cheering that followed, Mr. Zoops made a break for it, running as fast as his pudgy little legs could carry him. Across the fields he ran, straight away from the ziggurat and the smoking fires of its altar of sacrifice. He did not slow down until his quiet little home on Kumquat Drive was in sight. He walked the last hundred yards or so, smoothing his hair and straightening his tie.
Opening the door and walking into the front hall he called out “honey, I'm home” in the cheeriest voice he could muster. His adoring wife, Mrs. Zoops (since the end of the cold war affectionately known to the free world as “Edith”) put down her vaccum cleaner and Nembutal and walked out into the living room, into the arms of her adoring husband.
“Dear, how was your day?” she asked with a concerned smile.
“Harrowing, dear, to say the least.”
“And your hernia? How is little 'Mister Bubbles'?”
“Well, Edith, let me just say that the Snappy™ Truss Company saved my skin more than once today.”
“Oh, Snookums, what a relief it is to know that hernia sufferers can find relief in a name they can trust – Snappy™ Trusses.”
And so it was on that fine spring day that Mr. Zoops narrowly escaped a dreadful fate. But it was the beginning of an epic struggle between little Mikey Nitrous (to be known to the world one far-distant day as Mr. Michael Nitrous of West 43rd Street) and the Snappy™ Truss Company of Beloit, Wisconsin. And later that day, smoking his third clove cigarette of the afternoon, Alonzo Hipchek cleaned up little bits of broken protractor near the espresso machine in the geometry classroom of William Jefferson Clinton Middle School, and wondered about the tiny, brand new bulge in his abdomen.