I’m Never Trying That Braiding Thing Again

Did I ever tell you the time I wore my hair in a French braid?

It all seemed like a fantastic idea while it was happening.  I was the center of attention – especially in the eyes of a girl named Amanda McClellan.

Amanda is pretty much my arch-nemesis. I’ve always been cooler than her, which really isn’t very hard to accomplish. She doesn’t like the things that I like. she thinks Emily the Strange is “too goth” and that Tokidoki is “too cute”.  But I disagree. To me, Emily the Strange, The Powerpuff Girls, Garfield, and the Tokidoki gang are very unique. I don’t know how I came to the conclusion that wearing my hair in a different style would make things any better.  I really didn’t think it through properly.  Like I said, Amanda is pretty much the opposite of me.

So one day, while my cousin Marta was babysitting me, I called my dad at work:

Me: “Hey dad, is it okay if I used Marta’s hair extensions?”

Dad:  “For what?”

Me: “I want to put my hair in some sort of braid.”

Dad:  “Um… (prolonged silence)….Sure. Just ask Marta if she can help you. It’s your hair, sweetie.  You can do what you want.”

Me:  “Thanks.”

My father passively taught me a very important lesson about thinking things through.

So, I asked Marta if she could help me braid my hair, and she said it was okay.

After she put my hair in a French braid, I put on my utterly kawaii Harajuku outfit and went to where Amanda and my human friends were hanging out.

“Wowzers!” said Amanda. “That’s so cool, Sophie!”

“That braid goes perfectly with your outfit!” said Moonsong.

“Sure does!” said Sandy.

I was amazed at how my friends were complimenting me at how pretty I looked.

“Look at how awesome I am!” I thought. “This is great! I’ve never got so much attention from my normal friends…”

…My time in the spotlight lasted about 4 minutes.

That evening, I eventually got around to looking in the mirror. I had never been very self-conscious – I didn’t have the fashion sense to know what to be self-conscious about. When I examined my French braid, I decided that I had enough for one day and asked my dad to undo it.

I was confused.

I wondered why that braid complimented my cute outfit.

Normally, I just wear my hair down with a cute hair bow clipped to it, and in my older form, I wear it in pigtails.

I didn’t know what came to me.

Nevertheless, I found a way to impress my friends who once thought I was weird.
And I learned an important lesson about being mindful of what might be the effect of the cause.

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Solo Flight

My friends recently went on an unplanned adventure. But because of Emily’s goth reputation and the Tokidoki gang’s random behavior, their adventure was alarming and horrible for everyone involved.
Even in their normal, familiar environment, the Tokidoki gang still do the random things that they always do.

Some of them appear to have very little control over what they are doing or why they are doing it. For example, the other day, Paco and Rolly were sitting around doing nothing. Then they started riding around the room on their skateboards.

But instead of stopping when they needed to stop, they got stuck in the repetitive motion and kept colliding into the walls.

Most of my friends aren’t the type of people who would try to survive in the wild.

Unfortunately, they managed to escape one day while we were practicing for our next Sophie Hilton show.

When we were at the park, I was playing music from my CD player and tried to show my friends what they had to do in the show, but they were barely listening. They turned their heads and saw that there was a large horse statue right in the middle of the park. They couldn’t keep their eyes off of the statue,  but for some reason, some of them were highly alarmed by it.

No one expects to instantaneously think that a horse statue would come alive, and I was unprepared for my friends’ reaction, which was to sprint powerfully in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, since Emily has terrible group-leading skills, she decided that she and the others should sabotage the statue, and they all took off running.

The only ones who didn’t take off running were Leonerd, Molly, Sally, Arlene, Nermal, and Rondine.

We watched in shock as Emily and the others tried to demolish the statue.

Emily was flinging rocks from her slingshot at the statue.

Sabbath, Neechee, Miles, and Mystery were trying to claw the statue.

Hipsterpotamus was trying to stomp on the statue.

Cookzey was trying to bite the statue’s head off.

Freddy and Donutella were smearing frosting on the statue.

Grumposaur was trying to rip the statue’s head off.

Garfield was trying to smash the statue into bits.

Odie was trying to bite the statue.

Blossom was hurling her yo-yo at the statue.

Bubbles tried to hold the statue captive in a giant bubble.

Buttercup was trying to smash the statue with her mallet.

Sandy, Polpettina, and Cactus Dog were attempting to put cacti around the statue.

Soya, Mozzarella, Latte, and Leche were pouring milk all over the base of the statue.

Adios and Ciao were whacking the statue with dog bones.

Rudy was trying to bite the statue’s legs.

Caramella was whacking the statue with her giant candy cane.

Lucky Kitty was throwing coins at the statue.

Bulletto was trying to ram the statue with her head.

Maxx was trying to play a drum solo on the statue.

Paco and Rolly were attempting to whack their skateboards on the statue.

Stellina was shooting beams from her horn in attempt to destroy the statue.

“Don’t do that!” shouted Arlene. “You might get arrested!”

When they heard the word “arrested”, Emily and the others thought that this had to be the perfect time to escape.

We chased them all the way across the park. They ran into a partially fenced yard and, when their forward trajectory was interrupted by the fence, they began to gallop just out of our reach.

I’m fairly certain they had already forgotten what they were running from and had no idea what was going on, but there they were propelling themselves as if they were attempting to fly.

They all just took off running in a straight line, with Emily leading the way. They didn’t know where they were going, but they were going to go there really fast.

I have spent a truly impressive amount of time encouraging my friends to help me with whatever I needed help with, even though some of my friends were pretty lazy once in a while. I distinctly remember the self-congratulatory feelings I had when I thought I’d succeeded in encouraging my friends to help me impress others.

But as I watched some of my friends disappear into the distance, I realized just how futile my efforts had been.

Leonerd told me not to worry, and that Emily and the others might return later that day. When we got back to my mansion, I began to worry. I could almost imagine my friends, lost and scared  – with no clue on how to get back.

Later on that day, I heard meowing coming from outside. I rushed over to the door, and when I opened it, in came Emily’s cats.

“Sabbath! Neechee! Miles! Mystery!” I exclaimed. “You guys are okay! But, where’s Emily?”

Sabbath seemed to shrug a little bit, and Miles had sort of a worried look on his face, meaning that Emily might have still been lost.

Soon, before we knew it, Emily and the other finally returned.

“Emily!” I shouted as I ran up to her. “I’m so glad you’re okay! What happened to you guys?”

Emily gave an annoyed sigh. “Do you even wanna know?” she asked. “We’ve been suffering so much on our solo flight that we might as well not tell you what happened.”

“Don’t listen to her,” said Bubbles. “We didn’t suffer that much on our joyride. We’ll tell you what happened.”

My friends then told me all about their adventure. It went something like this:

They tried to destroy the statue, but when Arlene told them that they could get arrested, they ran away. Before they knew it, they ended up in a forest. They dashed through the trees, but almost fell into a river surrounded by moss-covered limestone. Luckily, Bubbles used Bubble Boing and was able to transport them safely. They ran through a clear light-covered path and dodged a rapid by jumping over moss-covered rocks. They made their way through a light-covered path in the forest and made their way through a riverscape. The cleared a path that was near the riverscape. Sandy accidentally fell into a river, but Blossom was able to get her out by pulling her onto a nearby rock. They found a pathway on the left side where they saw some sort of waterfall. They found their way through a deep greenery near another river. The came across a mountain, but when they reached the top, Emily stumbled and fell into a waterfall, but luckily the others were able to get her out in no time. They leaped through more moss-covered rocks and into the other side of the forest. Their journey just went on like that until they found a path that lead them out of the forest and they were able to make it back to the mansion safely.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Emily and the others were pretty exhausted after their big adventure.

To my friends, getting a taste of freedom wasn’t something that would cause a major shift in their perception of reality.

Emily just needed to relax and recover from her so-called “traumatizing” experience. The others were just pretty happy that they had such a great journey, even though I wasn’t included.

Now my friends, including Emily, know that whenever they come across a statue, they might as well leave it alone.

But every now and then, Emily will stare wistfully out the window.

When she sees the outdoors through the window, she always thinks about the adventure she had.

But she still has that goth personality of hers, as she often tells me to leave her alone when she needs to be left alone.

I hope she’s learned her lesson now.

Buttercup the Menace

Power is intoxicating. Everyone loves having the ability to make their decisions into reality — to think “this should be something that happens,” and then actually be able to make that thing happen.

It is also dangerous.

And it is especially dangerous when applied to my friend, Buttercup Matsubara.

Tomboys like Buttercup lack the experience to wield power responsibly. They have no idea what to do with it or how to control it.

But they like it.

And this story that I just wrote is about Buttercup and her experience with a dinosaur costume before she gained her Powered Buttercup form.

The dinosaur costume was the greatest thing that had ever happened to Buttercup. The previous Halloween, which was the first Halloween she could actually remember, her parents had dressed her as a dolphin, and the whole experience had been really uncomfortable for her.

Buttercup got her dinosaur costume when she needed to get a costume for her kindergarten class’s Halloween party.

But to Buttercup, being a dinosaur felt natural.

And powerful.

The feeling had been slowly intensifying ever since she put the costume on that morning, and, as she stood there in the middle of the classroom, staring off into the distance in an unresponsive power trance, it finally hit critical mass.

Buttercup began to roar and flail around, looking like she was about to attack her classmates and eat them alive.

The other children screamed and fled. The teacher chased Buttercup, yelling at her to stop. But she couldn’t stop. She was a mindless juggernaut, a puppet for forces far greater than herself. She had completely lost control of her body.

Buttercup just went berserk, running around the classroom, roaring endlessly and flailing her arms, grabbing the markers and scribbling on the walls and the ceiling.

All she knew was that being a dinosaur felt very different from being a person, and she was doing things that she had never even dreamed of doing before.

Of course, Buttercup had always had the ability to do these things — even as a person — but she didn’t know that. She’d just assumed that she was unable. As a dinosaur, she didn’t have any of those assumptions.  It felt like she could do whatever she wanted without fear of repercussions.

The repercussions were also exactly the same as they were before Buttercup became a dinosaur.

She just experienced them differently.

Buttercup’s parents had to come pick her up at noon that day.  The teacher explained that it must have been all the Halloween candy.  “Some kids really can’t handle sugar,” she said.  “It turns them into little monsters.”

She supposed it was a reasonable enough conclusion, but it only served as a distraction from the real problem.

The thing about being an unstoppable force is that you can really only enjoy the experience of being one when you have something to bash yourself against. You need to have things trying to stop you so that you can get a better sense of how fast you are going as you smash through them. And whenever Buttercup was inside the dinosaur costume, that is the only thing she wanted to do.

The ban on sugar provided a convenient source of resistance. As long as Buttercup was not supposed to eat sugar, she could feel powerful by eating it anyway.

She’s sure the correlation started to seem rather strong after a while. She’d find some way to get sugar into herself, and then — drunk on the power of doing something she

wasn’t supposed to —she would lapse into psychotic monster mode. To any reasonable observer, it would appear as though she was indeed having a reaction to the sugar.

Buttercup’s parents were so confused when the terror sprees continued even after the house had been stripped of sugar. They were sure they had gotten rid of all of it. . . did Buttercup have a stash somewhere? Was she eating bugs or something?

They still weren’t suspicious of the costume.

She lost weeks in a power-fueled haze. She often found herself inside the costume without even realizing she had put it on. One moment, she would be calmly drawing a picture, and the next she’d be robotically stumbling toward her closet where the dinosaur costume was and putting herself inside it.

It started to happen almost against Buttercup’s will.

Surely her parents made the connection subconsciously long before they became aware of what was really going on. After weeks of chaos, each instance punctuated by the presence of the costume, she has to imagine that the very sight of the thing would have triggered some sort of fear response.

They did figure it out eventually, though.

And the costume was finally taken away from poor Buttercup.

She was infuriated at the injustice of it all. She had become quite dependent on the costume, and it felt like part of her humanity was being forcibly and maliciously stripped away. She cursed her piddling human powers and their uselessness in the situation. If only she could put on the costume . . .  just one more time.

But that was the costume’s only weakness — it couldn’t save itself. She had to watch helplessly as it disappeared inside a trash bag.

There was nothing Buttercup could do.

And so her reign of power came to an end, and Buttercup slowly learned to live as a person again.

But I’m glad I’ve never learned to live as a dinosaur.