There’s Something Fishy

Mr. Cox (real)

Mr. Cox. You know him. You love him. Or should I say them? As I speak, or should I say as I write, there are not one, but two Mr. Coxes, suspiciously dwelling in individual classrooms, teaching different subjects. It’s rare to get a reaction from high schoolers, even when there are glitches in the matrix. They’re too occupied with Instagram, eating hot chips, charging their phones, and lying. Right under their noses, there’s something suspicious lurking in the halls. A glitch in our matrix is like a computer virus: when a computer is afflicted by malware, it’s either eradicated immediately or spread profusely. What determines the outcome? That depends on whether you’re a tech-savvy IT person or a grandfather who spun a virtual wheel for a $100 Walmart gift card and is now selling his family heirlooms to fix the damage of a stolen social security number and -$1,000,000 in his bank account. In this situation, we’re the grandfather. We’re embracing something that’s too good to be true. A booby trap. We’re cradling dynamite in our arms. Or should I say, a starfish? Yes. Both Mr. Coxes are giant starfish, wearing silicone replicas of high school teachers. Why? I don’t know, but they’re planning something evil. 

It wasn’t always this way. Back in 2019, there was only one Mr. Cox. I’ve only been to his wildcat time a few times. I had no suspicions of him back then. He seemed like a normal science teacher. Tall. A bit eccentric. T-shirts, 365 days. 9th grade me thought he was pretty cool. During Wildcat Time, his classroom was always filled to the brim with students. There was nothing fishy about him. And then the fish multiplied. 

If you don’t know about starfish, they’re able to reproduce without the presence of a mate. Instead of laying eggs, they tear their limbs apart. Often, their limbs split from their body as a defense mechanism. Unlike human arms and legs, they don’t lay lifeless on the ground once they’re cut off from the main body. They gain autonomy. They wriggle around on their own. These severed limbs are known as “comets.” It may be one tiny sliver of a starfish. But over time, comets develop into fully-grown starfish. I know. It isn’t logical for Mr. Cox to sever his arm as a defense mechanism. He has nothing to be afraid of. We should be afraid of him, and that’s exactly what he wants. He’s trying to dominate the school faculty. Think about it. Now there are two of them. One by one, your teachers will be replaced by new Mr. Coxes, all wearing different skins to conceal their true, evil heritage. And once done with the school, they’ll invade every school. And once he gets the schools, he’ll get the whole world. Lawyers, doctors, the pizza delivery man. Every Mcdonald’s worker will have the words “Mr. Cox” on their nametag. Every businessman will have “Mr. Cox” on their business cards. The world, as we know it, will be Earth no more. It will be “CoxWorld.” And where will we go? Nowhere. He’s going to get rid of us. 

So, how can we prevent the invasion of Mr. Cox’s plaguing our school as we know it? Apparently, starfish are weak to high temperatures. This is my resolution: we will heat up the school to 100 degrees. If both of them withstand the hot building, I will have to follow through with plan B: tricking him. Nobody can resist the delectable taste of a brownie, not even a starfish. Let’s just say… I’ll add a little kick to it. And by kick, I mean a Carolina Reaper, the hottest chili pepper in the world. And by little, I mean a lot. Once they take a bite out of them, they will shrivel up into small, measly starfish. The school will be saved. The world will be saved. 

Remember kids, if you ever see two teachers of the same name, they’re not human. One of your teachers is a starfish, and they’re trying to take over the world. You have the power to prevent this.