Hey, guys, did you ever hear about the happy tale of Romeo and Mario?
WELL, NEITHER DID I UNTIL MS. C BROUGHT IT UP.
The whole sad tale began with something innocent enough: a lesson on triangles.
“So you all know Romeo and Juliet, right?” Ms. C said. “They fell in love and died, boohoohoo. Okay, let’s say that this is Juliet up here, on the tower.”
She scribbled a quick stick figure on a cliff thing. In no way was that a tower, I thought, but I wasn’t gonna tell her that. Ms. C was prone, as a surprising number of teachers are, to telling us that she was a terrible artist.
“This is Juliet. Here, on the ground, ten feet away, is Romeo. Right here, eight feet away, is Mario. Juliet can’t jump because that’s a stupid idea and she will die, but let’s say for now that she can. How far does she have to jump to get to Romeo? Be careful - if your answer is too short, Mario will get Juliet, and then Romeo will cry.”
The whole diagram made a right triangle, and pretty soon, everybody was snickering and Pythagorean-Theorem-ing the whole mess. Simple, easy, happy, run-of-the-mill assignment.
But then somebody questioned,
“Wait, hold up, what if Romeo runs away with Mario?”
“Well then,” Ms. C said, “Juliet can just go jump for real, right?”
And then the entire class erupted in laughter.
“ROMEO AND MARIO IS MY NEW OTP!!!” I howled, only not OTP because I didn’t know what those were yet.
“ROMEO AND MARIO FOREVER!!” someone else yelled.
Ms. C walked to the board and added a couple new details to the diagram: Romeo and Mario running off, hand in hand, with Juliet in tears.
“They’re going to live a very happy life together,” she said happily.
And that was the tale of how Romeo and Mario ran off into the sunset, leaving both Juliet and an eighth grade geometry class in tears.