Get out of Gym for Free
by David Lubar
"All right, you toads -- line up!" Mr. Odzman screamed.
"What's he so angry about?" I asked.
"I heard he's always like that," my friend Curtis said.
"This is going to stink." I got in line in front of the bleachers with the rest of the
class. It was the first period of the first day of middle school, and we had gym. I
figured the gym teacher would be tough, but he looked like he was about to bite off
someone's head and spit it onto the floor.
"I know what you worms are thinking," he said. "You're thinking gym is going to
be awful. But you're wrong. It's going to be worse than awful."
He paused to stare, one by one, at each of us. As his eyes met mine, I felt all of my
organs contract into fleshy spheres. Even my lungs constricted.
"But you're wrong about something else, too," he said. "It won't be bad for all of
you. One of you is going to get a break. Whoever wins the free-for-all gets to skip
gym for the rest of the year. Sound good?"
We all nodded. It's hard to nod and tremble at the same time.