Laugh #197 (August 1967).

§ January 3rd, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 1 Comment

1. The night prior to the test, Archie, instead of studying for his exam, spends his time constructing his protest sign. Thus does Archie become the very embodiment of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Ms. Grundy is aware of the irony inherent in his actions, but will Archie himself ever learn?

2. Archie carries protest sign materials in his school bag at all times, for occasions such as these. Ms. Grundy, supposedly proctoring the test, is in fact too easily distracted by her admiration and self-congratulation over her neatly-arranged books at the front of her desk to notice Archie’s surreptitious assembly of his sign. It is not until he waves the sign above his head that Ms. Grundy realizes the true extent of Archie’s inability to adhere to the curriculum.

3. Archie finds himself frustrated by the test and, seeking distraction, pokes through the contents of his desk. Within he finds the pieces of a protest sign, requiring only simple assembly, left by another student. Archie silently thanks the student’s foresight, and pieces together the sign.

3a. Prior to algebra class, Reggie sneaks into the room and leaves the pieces of the sign in Archie’s desk, knowing his rival will be unable to resist the temptation of presenting such a ridiculous display in the face of Archie’s own inability to finish the test successfully. Archie will thus be diminished in Veronica’s eyes, yet again, leaving the way open for Reggie’s advances.

4. Archie sleeps, and sleeping, he imagines himself in algebra class, a class (he dreams) that he had missed attending all semester, only to find himself finally making it to a session just in time for the big test. Woefully unprepared, Archie feels the shame slowly burning up his dream-self’s cheeks, stirring the real Archie ever so slightly from his sleep. He enters that state between dream-sleep and waking, a brief moment of lucid dreaming that allows Archie to alter the state of his subconscious imaginings. He has his dream-self whip out a funny protest sign out of nowhere, giving his uncomfortable nightmare a happy resolution.

Archie wakes, a light smile on his lips, until he realizes he actually does have a test today.

5. “Where’s my sign?” thinks Jughead, having not yet looked to his right to see that his friend Archie had snagged it prior to the test.

6. “Archie’s trying to be funny,” thinks Moose, “but this exam really is hard. I don’t belong in this class. I barely belong in this school.” Moose’s eyes tear up slightly, but he wipes them before anyone can notice. “Everybody thinks I’m just a big, dumb animal, and they’re right. Why should I be anything else? Why pretend I can better myself?”

Moose ponders for a moment. “I’ll beat up Archie after class. That’ll make me feel better.” And suddenly Moose does feel slightly better, but there’s an undercurrent of sadness beneath that feeling that Moose tries, not entirely successfully, to ignore.

7. The apple is unconcerned with Archie’s antics. It has its own problems.

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