Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and That 70’s Show characters are the property of their original owners.
After his first day as the substitute shop teacher, the entire gang sitting at their usual table that afternoon in the local teenage hangout seemed to be evenly split concerning Mr. Harris. These heated differences in opinion were divided by gender, with the boys starting first in expressing their feelings.
Holding up his slightly-swollen hand for everyone to see, Michael Kelso whined, “He’s mean! And scary! There was absolutely no reason for him to nearly dislocate my thumb yanking away the lighter I found!”
Shooting a very cynical look across the Hub diner table at Kelso, a disbelieving snort came from Donna Pinciotti. “Yeah, it’s not like you were just about to set fire to the class wastebasket right then, or so I heard. What would’ve it been, your third try at accidental arson for this month alone?”
“Fifth,” Kelso replied proudly, until the most handsome junior in Point Place High (and also the biggest idiot there) remembered he was supposed to be sulking at the moment. Kelso put a grumpy expression back on his face and opened his mouth to complain again, only to be cut off by the other guy on his left.
“Forget Kelso’s pyromaniac tendencies,” ordered Steven Hyde. This curly-haired teen leaned forward to drive home his next words, “That bastard Harris, he did something even worse to me! I was doing a little business in the mens’ room, until the guy walked in, grabbed my stash, and flushed it down the john! Then, he had the nerve to lecture me even if one day decades in the future marijuana was legalized by various states, it’s still against the law now to have some perfectly harmless weed! I’m telling you, nobody should do something so horrifying like that, even if it came with my fondest dream made real! Right, Forman?”
These last words were addressed to a skinny boy seated next to Donna, who’d been staring off into the distance all throughout Hyde’s grievance. When Eric Forman continued to stay lost in thought, Donna reached over to her boyfriend and poked him hard in the ribs with her finger. This was accompanied by, “Eric, did you hear that?”
“What?” Eric distractedly mumbled. Brought back to his surroundings, this high school student blinked at where everyone was regarding him with various irritated expressions.
Donna sighed. She prompted Eric, “Mr. Harris, the new teacher? The one you told me earlier--”
“He’s a total jerk!” burst from Eric. Straightening up in his chair while beginning to quiver with honest vexation, Eric went on to fiercely declare, “How dare that moron claim Star Wars
will soon meet its match against a television show that lasted only three seasons and didn’t even get a movie made about it a decade ago? Yeah, there’s rumors Paramount’s going to try to get the original cast back together and film them, but no way that’ll happen! Why, Mr. Harris then showed how clueless he is by predicting Star Trek
will do even bigger business with lots of tv sequels and more movies a whole generation from now!”
Most of the group stared in shared surprise at this unexpected rant coming from the most easygoing of their small company. Well, actually, one of the people there had paid absolutely no notice at all, being more preoccupied by busily filing at her fingernails.
Finally satisfied her handiwork once more matched the perfection which was Jackie Burkhart, this spoiled-rotten princess deigned to proclaim, “Well, I
think Mr. Harris is sooooo sexy and his eyepatch is devastating! He actually manages to carry off in decent style his flannel shirt and jeans outfit. Somebody even gave him good advice about his shoes, because just like any man, he has absolutely no idea about choosing the proper footwear.” Spotting a miniscule wrinkle beginning to appear upon a cuticle, Jackie reminded herself to double up on the hand lotion later tonight before bedtime. This meant she missed how Kelso, Eric, and Steven were eyeing her oddly due to this freshman’s strange remarks.
Vastly amused by them all, Donna gleefully contributed her own view, “Better watch what you say, guys. From how easy Mr. Harris had everybody in Home Ec today eating out of his hand, if the other girls at school hear you put him down, you won’t get a single date there the rest of the year.”
That little piece of news definitely got Jackie’s attention. With the first spark of interest she’d shown so far, Jackie asked eagerly, “He really had to sub for Mrs. Henderson, too?”
“Oh, yeah,” chuckled Donna. “Marjorie -- you know, the one who’s never gotten the hang of Farrah hair -- even tried to pull the period trick, cutting class by telling Mr. Harris right to his face she needed to change her sanitary napkin.” Ignoring how revolted the males there now looked, Donna happily addressed Jackie hanging onto every word, “It didn’t bother him a bit. Instead, he suggested Marjorie might try some other options and spent the next five minutes discussing what might be best for her. I swear, it was like either Mr. Harris was a woman in a past life, or he spent years
around a bunch of girls taking care of all their problems. At the end of the class, the guy was even demonstrating how to properly throw a knife at someone, from across the room into a wooden cutting board propped up on the teacher’s desk.”
Leaning back in her seat, Donna gloried in the dumbfounded expressions on a trio of masculine countenances over what she’d just said. Smugly confident in her victory, Donna then turned to the last of the gang who’d been busy scarfing up his triple order of fries for the last few minutes of their conversation. “So, Fez, anything you’d like to add about Mr. Harris? I saw you talking together at the hallway before he came into Home Ec.”
Swallowing a last remaining delicious potato strip cooked in hot fat, the brown-skinned foreign exchange student beamed at his friends. Fez then confided, “I have to say, this estimable shaper of youthful minds has the weirdest accent in my language that I’ve ever heard, but even with the tapir wrestling, Mr. Harris told me he enjoyed his stay in--”
At that exact point, panicky yells of alarm erupted from the diner kitchen, followed by a fire extinguisher hurriedly blasting away there. All of these loud noises drowned out whatever Fez might’ve been about to reveal, such as the actual name of his far-off, peculiar home country.
Sitting down in an armchair at the living room of his rented apartment, Xander Harris sighed under his breath after getting off his feet at last. Glancing around the small living room where he was now staying for the next month or two, Xander then glowered ahead at the far wall while beginning to plot his upcoming revenge.
This payback against all of his family needed to be thorough, overwhelming, and as embarrassing as possible. Fine, fine, it was all his fault for mentioning to the remaining Scoobies he’d been thinking about taking a vacation. Evidently, Dawn, Buffy, Willow, Faith, and Giles had then conspired to magically transport him for the sheer fun of it to another dimension which seemed to be totally devoid of the supernatural save in fictional media of every kind. Adding even more insult to injury, the chatty note in the package holding the necessary money, ID papers, and vacation clothes had Willow signing Xander up for a teaching job at some Podunk high school. To quote his red-haired friend, it was “…so you won’t be bored, Xan.”
He wasn’t gonna be bored, no sirree. In between his high school duties, a former Sunnydale native was going to work out a most proper vengeance upon those meddlers when he got back home six weeks from now. Hopefully, this would be before the first snowfall which in this northern part of the country tended to be measured in feet instead of inches. Not a happy thing to look forward to by a California boy.
In the meantime, Xander decided to kill some time before dinner by watching a little tv. The New Council troubleshooter tried to remember exactly what was on the air in 1978 before shrugging. Might as well find out right now. Xander unconsciously reached out, only to catch himself and groan in sudden despair.
Struggling up onto his aching feet, Xander glared at the old-style television a few steps beyond. Of course. No channel changer remotes for here and now, except for the newest and most expensive sets. Xander then winced at the awful thought which had just appeared in his mind concerning something else about the few entertainment prospects in this day and age.
Such as, no cable. And only three
main channels from the networks.
Drawing himself up, Xander next intoned a catchphrase from a movie which wouldn’t even appear in theaters here until next year:
“The horror…the horror…”