Tom: Good evening and welcome to our live broadcast of Abby Byrd’s 20-year high school reunion, brought to you by Pfizer, Maker of Zoloft and Other Fine Pharmaceuticals.
Barbara: And our co-sponsor Ben and Jerry’s, Maker of Ice Cream for Sad People Who Want to Die Soon.
Tom: That’s right, Barbara. Have you had their new Black Widow flavor? With fudge-covered razor blades and a crunchy arsenic swirl?
Barbara: I haven’t yet, Tom, but I hear it’s delicious, and acts much more quickly than the artery-clogging varieties. What will they come up with next?
Tom: [chuckle] I don’t know, Barbara. The world today, huh? How ‘bout it? Well, we’ve challenged Abby to survive her class reunion tonight using the same coping mechanisms she employed 20 years ago in high school.
Barbara: Oh, this ought to be fabulous.
Tom: Absolutely. And here’s Abby now, entering the restaurant looking timid and self-conscious.
Barbara: She’s carrying something. What is that, Tom?
Tom: Looks to me like a spiral notebook. What is—oh, there we go. Abby has found a seat by herself and is furiously scribbling in her notebook, hair covering her face, safely ignored by everyone.
Barbara: That tactic will work for a while, Tom, but what about when she runs out of pages in that notebook?
T: She’s going to need a backup plan. Look—did you catch that? That tortured look? Can we get a camera in there?
B: Looks like she’s writing about how effortlessly the popular girls are interacting with others.
T: That’s an audience favorite, Barbara. We can only hope we’ll get to see her being spurned by a man she inexplicably can’t tell is gay.
B: Oh, that’s fun. Here we go: Abby has closed the notebook and is burying her face in Sylvia Plath’s Ariel. She’s almost daring members of the opposite sex to come near her. Can you believe this, Tom?
T: Barbara, this is classic Abby. We’ve seen these plays time and time again from her. She’s a master of avoiding social interactions.
B: I hope we get to see her appearing overwhelmed and scuttling into the bathroom.
T: What’s this?! She’s walking up to the podium and taking the microphone? What could she possibly have in store for us?
B: Tom, it appears she’s donning a headband with taped-on cat ears and…starting to sing. And…she’s singing “Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat” from the long-running Broadway musical Cats!
T: Barbara, is she attempting to connect to other human beings through the performing arts?
B: I think she is, Tom. Well, the audience is certainly getting a treat tonight. I did NOT think Abby would pull this one out of her playbook.
T: Remember, Barbara, her coping mechanisms are extremely limited. Would one of her sponsors please airlift in a cocktail? She’s dying out here!
B: Haha, that Hunger Games reference was both amusing and timely, Tom. But seriously, alcohol.
— Abby Byrd
Abby Byrd — writer, grammarian and poster child for poor self-esteem and existential despair — has been featured on Scary Mommy and BluntMoms. She is in disbelief that she has yet to receive any financial compensation for being so clever and hilarious.You can follow her on Facebook, on Twitter and at her blog, Little Miss Perfect.