The Story of the Zoids

Six months ago, I had to move back into my parents’ house, which has meant having to face a lot of my childhood and college days as I clear out room for the person I am now. It’s been interesting. We’ve found all sorts of artifacts from across my life (including some clothes from middle and high school I can still wear…)

The best artifact so far is this story I wrote my junior year of high school. My Precalc/Calculus teacher was awesome. She decided every six weeks to assign an extra credit project that had us creating. One time, it was a bio cube for a favorite mathematician. Another grading period, it was creating our own tessellation. But for this one, we had to write a short story invoking math vocabulary. (We have my first draft, but the final draft was handwritten in multiple colors, and each paragraph was a different shape. I got extra extra credit for that.)

Anyway…proof that I have indeed always been this crazy (and proof to my students that this story really does exist):

On the planet Descartes, there are many problems; but none are so troublesome as the pesky zoids. Those who live in the integrated colony of Plot-Alott spend most of their time trying to rid the place of zoids. That’s why I’m here. I’m an exterminator, but it’s not as easy a job as it sounds.

The hardest part of my job is differentiating zoids and agons. Agons are really sweet, shy creatures that people like to keep as pets (which makes them pent agons.) They look exactly like zoids however.

(Allow me to defend the zoids. They are cute fuzzy creatures. They’re the size of Earth’s robins. The males are black, the females orange. But they make the most hideous sound and run in triangular paths. In a high, screechy voice they scream “pytha” or “goras”. It’s really bizarre.)

After talking to the Cartesians, I sat in my quarters and thought. I finally came up with a solution. Descartes needed traps for the zoids. I worked on a design with a long bottom and a short top. The back was slanted and so was the door. I set it outside my apartment and went to sleep.

The next morning I could hear that horrible screech. I knew I had trapped a zoid. As I stepped out the door, I saw that I had caught a zoid plus a shy agon. I had to find something that would attract zoids but not agons.

This troubled me until I remembered that zoids liked subtra juice. Subtra juice, which comes from the minus plant, is harmful to the agons.

That night I put a cup of subtra juice into my trap. The next morning there were two zoids in my trap.

I took my design to the Council of Polygons. They asked me to manufacture as many of the traps as I could for the colony. I went into business manufacturing my traps. What did I call my company? You guessed it: Trapezoids Are Us!!

What can we learn from this story? 1. I really have always been this crazy. 2. I have always engaged in worldbuilding. 3. There has never been a point in my life when I could write comedy.

Thanks for reading!

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