Okay okay, so X-Day is just the “day” (week) at work where all the teachers swap classes and horrify the students with the element of surprise. The first twenty minutes of every class consist of making the kids stop crying, start talking, or stop punching you. After that things usually go pretty smoothly, except for the damned commute. X-Day is fundamentally flawed in that all the teachers have to go to schools not meant to be gone to by them. Why should Joe Kakamigahara have to take over Hank Tajimi’s schools? They’re way the hell out in Tajimi!

Consequently I was forced to traverse the hellish valley of death known locally as, KANI. I despise the town of Kani. I used to go there every Monday and Tuesday for my second job, and could not have been happier to leave it behind when I quit. A visit to Kani station will mean, without fail, a confrontation with a) a crazy old person, b) snotty teenager, or c) both. As a white man, I’m an attention magnet out there in the countryside. This is a recipe for trouble. The instant I step off that Kani-bound train, my muscles clench. Don’t let them seep into your pores, Greggie. Not these Kani-folk. Be teflon-coated. If they start veering this way, you just ping ’em right off like you’re a born pingin’ machine. And remember, the first cardinal sin is EYE CONTACT.

X-DAY!!!