The pep rally is in full swing, but sitting in the back are a cluster of teenagers paying no attention. There are eternally only two cliques, the fashionable and the outcasts. These were the outcasts and in this generation they were the slackers, as opposed to the preppies. Back and forth down the line, sarcastic comments are passed. Playful insults and an admonition to “pass it on.” A few create the insults, the rest just laugh and repeat them to the next in line.

Today, one of the rest crafts one of his own, an observation about the suspected sexual proclivities of another, the same as a thousand such messages. It passes down the line until it reaches one of the cool kids, a heavy set guy, who hears some imperceptible difference in the tone and stands to look down the line. He calls out, “What the fuck is wrong with you? That’s not funny!” Spotting the guilty one, he sits down and whispers into the ear next to him.

Down the telephone line comes the message: “Kevin can go fuck himself. Pass it on.”

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14 October 2019