A Modest Proposal by Bartholomew B. Barnes

Proposal: I, Bartholomew Barnaby Barnes (BB Barnes! Triple threat!), student at the Nikola Tesla High School for Young Male Caucasian Adolescents (NTHSYMCA), am working on a senior project that will analyze social behavior within the school. Though this experiment is the result of a convenience sampling, I can only think the results will be more refined based on the shared gender and backgrounds of the students.

Prediction: BBB FTW! Do work, son!

Experiment 1

Proposal: I will say “I’m not racist, but…” before every complete sentence.

Result: My classmates find it funny when I say it in class. “I’m not racist but Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941” does not sit well with my teacher. At lunch, the boys get bored with “I am not racist but this sandwich is good.” They all agree with me and high-five each other when I say things like “I am not racist but black people are responsible for most of the violence in the world.” At the end of the day, I asked a random sampling of students in the hallway, “I’m not racist but do you think I’m racist?” Out of ten, 7 thought it was a trick question. Two answered in the negative. One was unable to answer due to a sudden conniption fit marked mainly by stuttering and a severe nosebleed. I escorted him to the nurse.

Experiment 2

Proposal: I will wear an inside-out Hawaiian shirt for the entirety of the day.

Result: Got some strange looks. A couple classmates pointed out my mistake. When I explained that it was on purpose, they just shrugged. Upon asking some random classmates what they thought of my cool new digs, one smiled and nodded to the others, causing them all to smile and nod and compliment my shirt.

Experiment 3

Proposal: I will listen to the Annie Get Your Gun soundtrack on my ipod all day while bobbing my head, occasionally snapping my fingers or tapping them on a desk for a few minutes every fifteen minutes.

Result: People asked what I was listening to and I leant them an ear bud. They are skeptical and express distaste at it being different from their more familiar popular brands of music. I inform them that they are wrong and can go to Hell, promptly thrusting in my ear buds and continuing my experiment. An increasing number of classmates begin listening to their ipods, trying to validate their taste in music. Many are unhappy with what they hear. By the end of the day, the vast majority of classmates that I have surveyed have bought new itunes today.

Conclusion: It is now considered “uncool” in NTHSYMCA if you do not wear an inside-out Hawaiian shirt or listen to show tunes in your spare time. Anyone found without “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun” is heckled and ostracized from most cliques, including the counter-culture punks who found a “more hardcore” cover of the song online. Jokes at the expense of black people are now funny again.

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1 Comment

Filed under Flash Fiction, Session VII

One response to “A Modest Proposal by Bartholomew B. Barnes

  1. shortnmorose

    this is insightful and well-written. and funny. great piece.

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