Fat Riker Plays During Lunch
By: Emily Roseguard
Last Thursday our teacher Mrs. Mullins told our class that we would have a special band during lunchtime. Kids in 4th grade might remember this happened last year, too. Kids in 3rd grade won’t remember because they weren’t allowed to come. But it did happen. I don’t remember the name of last year’s band, but this year’s band was called “Fat Riker”.
I expected somebody fat and a boy in my class said we’d better eat fast or the fat band would eat our lunch but that wasn’t true. Actually, none of the members were fat! But I’ll get to that later.
At lunchtime we all lined up like usual but instead of a hot lunch in the cafeteria we went to the multipurpose room instead and the lunch ladies handed out a special bag lunch instead, like when we go on field trips. I guess kids that brought their lunch got to eat two lunches? I don’t know. Maybe that’s what Fat Riker was going to eat.
But like I said, none of the band was actually fat! I thought they looked pretty weird though: there was a girl that wore a really fancy dress like a princess might wear but it was all cut up with what looked like sword cuts. Also she carried a sword. There was also a guy that kind of dressed like a cowboy. Plus, two guys that were like, twins, I guess, but one wore his clothes backwards and one wore his clothes forwards and they would never face the same way at one time. It kind of made me dizzy to look at them because they would turn around so often.
I thought they were going to be on the stage, but they were just standing in the floor along with us. Mr. Ballantine, the principal, was arguing with the princess lady about having a sword but she seemed really mad and started cutting her hair with it and Mr. Ballantine made a weird face and went away.
I was sitting next to Tommy Adams, whose dad is a policeman, and he said that the reason the band was playing today was because they had to do “community service” because his dad and his cop friends had arrested them last week and this was their punishment for getting in trouble. Tommy said that Fat Riker had broken into the Food Country and locked themselves in the room with the PA system microphone. Then they started playing a bunch of weird songs about hats and wouldn’t come out even when the manager of the store knocked and told them to come out. Then the band told the manager they wouldn’t come out until he gave them all the Cheetos in the store, and the manager asked if off-brand Cheetos would work and they said no. Then the cops showed up and told the manager to tell the band he had all the Cheetos for them even though he didn’t and when the band opened the door to get them the policemen arrested them. They didn’t even let them finish their song about berets!
Then Tommy said that the judge wanted to teach Fat Riker a lesson about authority and also he didn’t want them staying in jail because the other inmates kept complaining that the cowboy guy smelled really weird like old sandwiches and they thought that maybe he was hiding poison gasses in his cowboy hat. Plus Fat Riker’s goat had escaped from their van in the impound lot and was going crazy and none of the police could stop him.
The band agreed to stop being too smelly in the jail and catch the goat if they were let go but they had to do community service by playing a concert for the kids. That’s why they came to our school.
Tommy said his dad said they caught the goat by opening up the doors to their van and making goat noises on an old oboe until the goat got sleepy and fell asleep. Then they picked up the goat and threw it in the van.
Everyone was expecting that they would drive away and leave but they just got in the van and stayed. The policemen asked them why they weren’t going anywhere and the band said they had to write some new songs to play for the schools and the impound lot had good acoustics or something. None of the police saw the goat when they opened the van door but Tommy’s dad thought they were probably keeping it in a big suitcase he saw in there.
The band stayed there for a week and sometimes people would see the sword princess going to the store for Cheetos or Kid Cuisines and stuff and sometimes other people would hear weird noises kind of like upside down songs being played in the impound lot and it scared them.
After a week the band said they had all of their songs ready and that they needed to play them within three days before they went stale whatever that means. The police said okay but mostly they just wanted them to leave the impound. So that’s when they came to our school.
So all of the kids had to come and listen. Our teachers told us to probably expect to hear some songs about not doing drugs and how math was really neat. Derek asked if there would be any songs about robots but the teacher said probably not and I think Derek was mad because he likes robots a lot. He has that robot shirt he wears sometimes and sometimes he says “Beep boop now consuming fuel.” in a robot voice whenever he eats lunch.
Fat Riker started making noises like they were tuning up their instruments so all the kids kept eating and talking. After a couple of minutes they stopped that and then the princess yelled “That was ‘Tune Up Song!’ Don’t talk during the next one!” and all the kids stopped talking. The teachers looked mad but Fat Riker started playing again really quick.
The next song was called “Grover Cleveland Has a Stupid Face” and it was supposed to be educational about Grover Cleveland. The band sounded really angry about Grover Cleveland being president and I think our history teacher, Mr. Price, tried to tell them that Grover Cleveland wasn’t the president anymore but the weird twin guys surrounded him and started spinning around and Mr. Price kind of slowly walked away. Then the band made up a lyric at the end of the song about Mr. Price that said that he “was a Grover Cleveland lover, and no one loves him but his mother.” That was pretty mean.
Then the Fat Riker stopped for about five minutes and stood perfectly still.
Everyone was beginning to wonder if they were okay or if they had passed out or something. Just as the guidance counselor started to go over there, the cowboy guy yelled “This next song is about robots!” and Derek jumped up and yelled “Yeah!” and they started playing.
I think the song was basically how to build a working robot and when Derek realized that he stopped dancing and started writing down the stuff they were saying really fast. There was a bunch of weird math stuff and somehow they rhymed “quadratic equation” with “siliconic sensation” but I don’t know how. The backward twins played dueling tambourines during this song and it kind of sounded like a hundred thousand tiny robots destroying humanity if you thought about it. This song went on for about twenty minutes and everyone’s ears started hurting but I think Derek got some good ideas. Afterward he told me he was going to build a robot with what he had learned and call it the Fat Riker Bot. He said it would have nine feet and sixteen eyes and a tape player.
I think Fat Riker was getting tired because the cowboy guy laid down on the ground and fell asleep after that and Sword Princess yelled they were about to do their last song. It started smelling like old sandwiches then and I wondered if it really was old sandwiches or if maybe the smell was coming from the cowboy hat like in Tommy’s story.
The last song was a little weirder and the twins brought the goat in from their van when it started. The goat heard it and started freaking out, running around in circles and a lot of the kids got scared. I tried really hard to figure out what the song was about, but sometimes they sang too fast and sometimes they sang too slow to tell. It was maybe about all the parts of a goat, like legs and teeth and stuff but maybe it wasn’t about that at all. It was probably very educational but I couldn’t figure out about what.
Then the goat got tired and laid down next to the sleeping cowboy guy and the rest of the band just suddenly stopped playing and went to sleep on the floor too. After a minute, the teachers decided that the show was over and they took all of us out of the multipurpose room and back to class.
Mrs. Mullins acted like it was really good and asked us questions about what we had learned, but no one had really learned anything except maybe how to build a robot. There was a PTA meeting that was held the next day and my parents said everybody was mad over the band. They asked if it had upset me. I told them it was probably a better lunch period than Taco Tuesdays.