Molly: Oh Jon, this sunset picnic is so romantic…are you…crying?
Jon: Sorry, *sniff* I’m just allergic to beautiful moments.
[15 years earlier]
Teacher: Okay class, remember: Samantha and Andy need to sit at the ‘No Nuts’ table. And Jon sits at the ‘No Heartwarming Moments’ table.
[Jon sits alone. This goes on for months.]
Girl: Jon, you always look so lonely. I’ll sit with you!
[Jon smiles. His eyes flame up and his tongue expands to fill his mouth]
Bully: Hey Jon.
Jon: I don’t have any lunch money today. Can’t you leave me alone?
Bully: That’s not why I’m here. I wanted to say I’m sorry. Sorry for picking on you.
Jon: *rasp* Really?
Bully: Yeah. You’re actually a pretty nice guy. Hug it out?
Jon: *begins choking on his own throat* Hey, quit it!
[Bully high fives cronies and takes Jon’s lunch money]
Jon: Thanks for playing catch with me, Dad.
Dad: No problem kiddo. Hold on, I gotta take this. (on phone) Yes? Hello? I told you, sell the stock and liquidate the assets…
Jon: Dad? You promised we’d play for an hour.
Dad: …You know what? Hold that thought, Jenkins. I have something more important to attend to.
Jon: *starts puffing up*
Dad: Oh, right. (back on phone) Christ, am I speaking Chinese? A chimp with a blindfold would know to sell by now…
Jon (at graduation): It’s surreal being up on this stage here today. The doctors gave me 1% odds of surviving birth, the most amazing miracle life has to offer. I want to thank the nurses for acting so grossed out by it.
Dad (in crowd): Jon! It’s me. I came, even though I promised you I wouldn’t.
[The principal whispers to Jon about moving to “plan B”]
Jon: Everyone, if you’ll turn to the last page of your program, there’s a table of steel tariffs indexed by country GDP. Please rise and join me in muffling out my father’s praise.