The Ken-Fruits of my Labor
Last year as a senior in high school, I had the opportunity to work at an after-school latchkey program at an elementary school. In fact, it was the same program I was in back in the 6th grade. A lot of the time working there, it felt a bit like deja-vu, only with completely different kids. A part of me still felt like one of them, and I think they realized that as well.
I guess the immaturity of my years past also came back into play. I got a lot of the kids to do some pretty weird shit. For instance, I got this one kid named Sean to draw a marker mustache on himself (washable - no worries!). I also helped in the successful cross-dressing of Ken dolls and was often guilty of sticking these little plastic animals called “Squishies” inside of each other. I also told this girl named Sidney about a lot of weird things like shrunken heads and this tribe in Africa with mutated ostrich-like feet. And let’s not even get into the String Wars… Basically, I was a “bad influence,” or as I like to call it, a fun adult!
It also helped that the kids were always up for games of Simon Says with weird actions, involving various role-plays, imitations, and just overall whatever popped into my head.
I had this one co-worker, a guy named Ken who was also a high school student. I didn’t know him very well, but he was somewhat oddly flirtatious towards me, which made me feel somewhat uncomfortable at times… Anyway, I noticed that a lot of the 6th grade girls were madly in love with him and were always trying to annoy him in order to get his attention. It was through this observation that I devised a plot. A plot random and annoying enough that it might. just. work.
It started off with only a couple of kids. I asked them to approach Ken, who was on the other side of the playground, and casually say, “Hey Ken, did you know that there is a fruit named after you? It’s called a Ken-fruit!” His initial reactions were of bewilderment and confusion. Things got even better and better as I got more and more kids to go up to him and deliver the same exact lines. He played along at times, claiming he had heard of it and that, yes, he had eaten it. And no, that did not make him a cannibal. Eventually, I got the majority of the playground full of kids to ask him about Ken-fruit at some point in that afternoon. Well over a hundred of them. On the other side of the playground, I giggled to myself, receiving minute-by-minute updates of his reactions. Yes, this sort of thing amused me greatly.
There was also a moment not long after when I got a group of about 10 girls to imitate his every move as he shot some hoops around the basketball courts. Everything was like a chain reaction as they jumped around and imitated his yells questioning what they were doing. Oh Ken…
The next week, I casually asked him about Ken-fruit. He blushed a little and said that yes, he did know that there was a fruit named after him. To this day, he still doesn’t know it was me who was behind the Ken-fruit incident all along.
*Devious laughter inside*