Stepping into the third grade classroom, Billy James jingles his Power Ranger key chain. Mrs. James always packs Billy backup containers in case he loses his backpack, or lunch box, or his recorder, silly boy. Mrs. James says, “Poor Billy can’t seem to function properly. You’d think a nine year old could do something as simple as remembering to sharpen his pencils and pack his lunch. But you see Billy’s got issues.” Mrs. James, Dr. Young, and Betsy Frank Elementary School have been tracking his escalating unusual behavior throughout the day. It is not uncommon for Billy to randomly start humming some television show’s theme song; today it was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Billy likes to steal his classmates’ Elmer’s glue sticks and use them as nun chucks. Billy’s classmate, Tina, recalls the shocking experience, “We were doing our geography worksheets when, um, Billy stopped writing and jumped onto Timmy’s desk. I thought he was gonna fall and we all screamed. Then he started singing, ‘Teenage mutant ninja turtles, teenage mutant ninja turtles, heroes in a half-shell, turtle power!’ We liked that a lot. Then he was throwing the class’ box of Crayola crayons at us and spinning real fast. We got scared and ran away, except Ms. Daze.”
Billy’s teacher, Ms. Daze, grabbed him under the arms and hoisted him off the table. “I thought the 100 milligrams of Ritalin was going to calm him down,” explained a breathless Ms. Daze adding, “I think Dr. Young needs to up the dose or add another medicine. They’ll fix him, I just know it. Soon he will be fine, thanks to those brightly colored pills.” Billy’s incident in 9:00 geography is not the only noteworthy spectacle of the day. It is now 11:00 and Billy has taken some Prozac to calm his mood; Billy is off to gym class. Climbing the bulky, oversized rocks he falls onto the yellow sponge. He is very unsteady and the gym teacher insists he is wheeled down to the nurse’s office. The nurse did not believe it was side effects that was causing him uneasiness, and was more concerned he was anxious about heights. Naturally, the nurse helped Billy relax by giving him a large dose of Klonopin. Although it is enough to kill a horse, it certainly calmed Billy down.
After swallowing several pills, a large cup of water, and a handful of saltines, Billy receives permission to return to class. Ms. Daze was explaining times tables and reciting them aloud. Unfortunately, Billy was a little too tired to pay attention to his math worksheets or the redundant rhyming multiplication songs. He began drooling all over his papers. At lunch time, the nurse gave Billy an Adderall hoping he might calm down a bit, and work up an appetite. He felt queasy and ran to a trash can. He looked around the cafeteria and started stealing everybody’s Doritos, chicken nuggets, pizza, and Dunkaroos.
He used the collected items as basketballs and the various trash barrels as his net. Billy shouted, “He shoots he scores! Three points for me! Wee!” Principal Dickson entered the lunchroom mortified and demanded Billy follow him to the main office. Billy began wiping his pink eyes and licking his lips for some saliva. “Billy, your mother is on her way now to come and get you. I suggest you wait right here,” said Principal Dickson. Billy’s mother was thirty minutes late, thanks to a hold up at the detox clinic.
Swerving into the parking lot, Mrs. James opens the door and watches Billy stumble into his seat. She asks, “Hello Billy how was your day?” Mrs. James looks at his gashed tee-shirt, pale face, and unsteady appearance and adds, “Ah, you look much better today. Dr. Young is going to be so pleased with your progress.”