In this special, fictional episode of YR's Adult ISH podcast, preteen Nyge, Dom and a cast of wacky characters undergo a hilarious day in the life at Salmon Oaks Middle School. Get ready to laugh, cry and cringe as we relive the high stakes mission of trying to be the coolest kids around.
Adult ISH is produced by YR Media and brought to you by PRX’s Radiotopia. Be sure to follow all our socials @yrAdultISH!
Nyge: Welcome to Adult ISH, produced by YR Media, and brought to you by Radiotopia from PRX. I’m Nyge Turner.
Dom: And I’m Dominique French. And in this episode, get ready to get in touch with your pre-teen roots!
Nyge: But don’t panic… it’s fiction! That’s right, we decided to switch it up and gift y’all with a lil audio play!
Dom: I don’t wanna brag, but we surprised ourselves with how much fun we had making this episode.
Nyge: Yeah not gonna lie, I had the time of my life. So we are about to transport all y’all listeners back into the hotbed of hormones, the pinnacle of pimples, the apex of adolescence: middle school.
Dom: So dust off those rolling backpacks, hide those cell phones, and prepare your nostrils for the sweet, sweet smell of Axe, sweat, and Victoria's Secret body mist, cuz it’s time to meet the students of Salmon Oaks Middle!
Principal Fairfax: Good morning Salmon Oaks student body, welcome back to another year at our world class middle school! This is Principal Fairfax here with a few reminders: selfies during school hours are always prohibited, a bra strap showing is a no-no in the making, and remnants of building B are strictly off limits! Today’s star student is Bethany Truesbeck… again. Congratulations Bethany on your extra credit summer project.
Lastly, we will be joined by the students from Old Bumble Mill Middle today, whose school was lost tragically to termite damage over the summer. Please welcome these new students warmly, as they may well become your closest friends.
And before we go, let’s welcome cheerleader Lulu Mopopolis to guide us in the school cheer!
Lulu Mopopolis: Go, Salmon! Go! Dream a big dream! And remember it’s okay to swim up stream!
Principal: Thanks for that wonderful cheer, Lulu –
Lulu: Ew! It stinks in here! Must be some salmon in the atmosphere! Flap your fins and shine your scales, the Salmon Oaks School will prevail! Gooooo Salmon!
Principal: Ooohkay, thanks so much for that incredible performance Lulu! Amazing… really something. That concludes our morning announcements. Enjoy the rest of homeroom!
[mic crackles off]
[classroom chatter begins, keyboard music starts]
Dom: Boy oh boy I hope seventh grade goes better than last year.
Nyge: Okay, but did you hear what they said about the new students? That’s a whole school of new kids that don’t know about…
Dom: Don’t say it.
Nyge: The Cheese Incident.
Dom: Shhh! Keep your voice down! We’re not trying to remind anybody of that.
Nyge: How could they forget?!
Dom: Listen. It’s a new year, new us. And we can totally recover from this!
Nyge: Oh, yeah? How?
Dom: I’ve got a master plan.
[heist music plays]
Dom: Step one: Convince as many new kids as possible that we’re the coolest kids in school. Step two. Change the narrative. Step three: Make the lie a reality.
Once the number of kids who think we’re cool outnumber the amount of kids who think we’re dweebus supreme, we’ll be super popular.
Nyge: Do you really think we can convince that many people?
Dom: It all starts with one person. And I know just the one.
[bell rings, lockers slam]
Mr. Petrie: Alright, settle down young minds! Settle down, and look alive. You’ve entered the chemistry lab. I’m Mr. Petrie. An inventor, scientist, and [sighs] middle school teacher.
Dom: [muttered] Three professions you seem equally excited about.
Mr. Petrie: Now, I know you’ve all gone through the appropriate safety training, otherwise you wouldn’t be sitting here in front of me today with your goggles on. Everyone has close-toed shoes, right?
Nyge: … uh oh.
Mr. Petrie: Nygel, I see you’ll need to borrow the rainboots today.
Dom: Ha! The backup boots! Go off cranberry bog farmer!
Nyge: Yo shut up!
Mr. Petrie: Nothing to be ashamed of. I wore these on my first National Geographic expedition, back when I wasn’t a [weary sigh] middle school teacher. They’re a size 20, so should slip right on.
Dom: I can’t believe you have to wear the backup boots. Closed toed shoes are like, chemistry lab rule number one.
Nyge: clOseD toE SHoEs ArE liKe cHeMiSTry lAb ruLE nUmbEr OnE!
Mr. Petrie: Quiet! Nyge, Dom, meet Milo.
Mr. Petrie: They’re one of the new students from Bumble Mill Middle. They’ll be in your group for the experiment. Now, everyone grab some beakers and your test tubes…
Dom: Miiiilo! Hi! We’re soooo happy to meet you.
Nyge: Yooooo soooo happy!
Dom: Do you like Salmon Oaks so far?
Dom: Who’s your homeroom teacher? What’s your favorite class? Were you on the honor roll at your old school? Did you ever get detention?
Nyge: What was your old school like? Did you have school dances? What was your favorite song? Do you have a crush? Have you ever kissed anyone? Did you ever date?
Milo: You… you guys talk a lot, huh?
Dom: I’m actually quite shy.
Milo: Nyge, to answer one of your questions, I did have a crush at my last school. [whispers] They’re actually in this classroom right now!
Nyge: No way.
Dom: Okay guys, I really think we should work on the experiment. Mr. Petrie is looking at us! And I don’t like the face he’s making.
Nyge: But we have to find out who Milo’s crush is! Just whisper the name.
Nyge: HER?!!!! Just kidding, she seems cool. You should go talk to her, bro!
Mr. Petrie: You two better be chatting about the experiment! Gotta keep your heads in the game. Now everyone, as you’re going through this experiment, be sure the chemicals in beaker one do NOT touch the chemicals in beaker two! This is very important. Otherwise, explosions may happen. And while I personally love a good blast in the ol’ lab –
Dom: – yeah, I bet you do –
Mr. Petrie: I’m also not trying to get sued by your parents. Safety first!
Nyge: Ok, but for real Milo, have you told this person you have a crush on her?
Milo: Yeah. I mean, I tried to tell her.
Nyge: What did you say?
Milo: … I asked to borrow a pencil.
Nyge: Smooth, smooth.
Dom: Listen to me, you guys. You’ve gotta focus. Mr. Petrie is not messing around. These chemicals are dangerous. Plus I gotta get a B in this class so I don’t get grounded again.
Nyge: That wasn’t a grades thing. That was because of the Cheese Inci–
Dom: NO! The point is Nyge, you are distracting Milo! We are trying to set ourselves up for success here!
Nyge: I’m not trying to distract him, I’m trying to change the narrative!
Dom: Well you’re not doing a very good job!
Milo: Uh, still here, guys.
Dom: [giggles sweetly] Of course you are.
Mr. Petrie: Alright, it’s time to use the eye droppers. Make sure you add exactly ten drops of the solution into your beaker. No more, no less!
Dom: It’s showtime. One, two….
[water droplet sounds]
Nyge: Milo, she’s walking your way! Now’s your chance…
Milo: Oh man!
Dom: Three, four…
[water droplet sounds]
Dom: help me out here guys!
Nyge: You can do it, bro, c’mon!
[water droplet sounds]
Dom: Five, six, seven… Nyge, if you don’t pass me that test tube, I swear to god!
Milo: [fast breathing] I’m so nervous. I think – I think I’m having a panic attack. Has anyone ever died from a crush?
[water droplet sounds]
Dom: Eight.. Nine…
Nyge: No no you got it! Here she comes!
Milo: Hi Maria, have you met Nyge and Dom?
[EXPLOSION] [smoke detectors beep] [kids shriek]
Mr. Petrie: Are you kidding me?! I specifically told you to not mix the chemicals! Now I’ve gotta shut these dang sprinklers off. Calm down everybody! You three – Nyge, Dom, Milo – which of you started this?
Milo: I think I have to go to the nurse’s office.
Mr. Petrie: [sighs] Ughh. Gotta tell Principal Fairfax to call that attorney again. Milo, you’re dismissed. Go on.
Dom: Way to go. Now there’s no way Milo thinks we’re cool.
Nyge: You were the one who exploded the lab.
Dom: It was an accident!
[music fades out]
Nyge: Dude! We are soaking wet and it’s barely even lunch time. I think it’s safe to say this isn’t working!
Dom: You are giving up hope way too soon, stop being so dramatic! We aren’t even that wet.
Nyge: Yeah, ’cause we’re wearing lost and found clothes. Somebody probably peed in these!
Dom: [sniffs] You might be right… but we are never going to get this opportunity again. Operation Dweebus Supremus continues!
[heist music starts]
Nyge: Aight, so what about them right there?
Dom: Yeah they look cool… let’s talk to ’em.
Nyge: Hey my name is Nyge and this is my best friend Dom, and we’re pretty well known around these parts. You can kick it with us though, don’t worry.
Alex: Ummmm cool, I guess… does it smell like pee to y'all, or is that just me?
[record scratch; music stops]
Nyge: [whispers] Dom, I told you!
Dom: Umm yeah i think it’s coming from behind you! Anywhosin, we need you to be a tiebreaker for us. You see that girl over there? The mean looking one with the pink headband. That’s Bethany Truesbeck, the most evil girl at our school!
Nyge: Freakin’ Truesbeck!
Dom: I think that we should get her back for everything she’s done. I got these, ah, ketchup packets, see? We could put them in her seat over there while she isn’t paying attention and she would have to walk around with ketchup butt all day! Everyone would be able to smell her as soon as she walks in the room! She would never mess with anyone ever again.
Nyge: I think that we should forget about Truesbeck though, you know?! Why would we worry about her when we can be heroes?! Look at that poster over there – it’s a egg toss contest, where we can win the entire class a pizza party!
Dom: Nyge, no! Look what kind of pizza it is!
Nyge: Here we go again…
Dom: We can't get over the cheese incident with more cheese!
Nyge: Ugh! What do you think?
Alex: You guys are seriously something… I don’t really have any problem with Truesbeck, so I'm probably gonna go with the egg toss.
Nyge: Yes yes YES! I promise, I got us. I play this all the time at my family reunions. I'm literally the best at this game!
[carton of eggs opens]
[sound of egg cracking]
Alex: Are you serious right now?! I thought you said you were the best! You lost on literally the first toss! You were standing right in front of me.
Nyge: Yeah… I probably should have gone with an underhand pass being that close to you.
Dom: That egg will come off easy though Alex!! Still friends, right?
Nyge: Wait, Alex, where are you going? Alex!? I don’t even think Egg Face Alex is going to stick. You’ll be fine!
Alex: Shh don’t call me that! This is all your fault; I'll be Egg Face for at least the rest of the year!
Nyge: I promise they will forget, Egg Face! Dang it! I mean extremely normal face!
Alex: Dude, it’s just Alex! I’m outta here!
Dom: Nice job Nyge. Egg Face Alex is gone forever!
Mr. Rudy: What’s poppin young family! I missed y’all so much over the summer and I’m so glad you're back. Reunited and it feels so good! Would anyone like to share a life changing moment from a camping experience?
Nah, maybe later, maybe later. Today we’re gonna be learning some life lessons. Who said you can’t learn about life in P.E., amirite? So what do life and dodgeball have in common?
Nyge: Here we go..
Mr. Rudy: Curveballs! Y’all pickin up what I’m puttin’ down?
Dom: Every year with the curveballs.
Mr. Rudy: So, check it, in dodgeball, same as in life. When you’re thrown a curveball, you gotta slide, shimmy, and slip on out of the way. Say it with me now:
Dom/Nyge: [wearily]: Slide, shimmy, and slip on out of the way.
Mr. Rudy: [raps] If you’re flexible you will impress ‘em all, and it will all turn out okay. Wooooo! That’s right!
Mr. Rudy: Now let’s split into two teams.
Nyge: Look! All the new kids are getting on one team! We gotta join that one!
Dom: Yes! This is our chance to finally get some of them on our side. But we’re really gonna have to do something to get their attention.
Nyge: We could always-
Dom:-In a good way.
Nyge: Oh, well if we could win the dodgeball game… But it’s not like that’s gonna happen.
[heist music starts]
Dom: But what if we did? It would be perfect… it would fix everything!
Nyge: Even the Cheese Incident.
Dom: Would you keep your voice down!
Nyge: But look, the other Salmon Oaks kids chose Bethany Truesbeck as their team captain. There’s no way we can beat her! She’s got an arm like a pro baseball player. I once saw her punch through a vending machine!
Dom: We both know that vending machine was old! Besides, we just need our own Bethany Truesbeck.
[dun dun DUN!]
Bethany: Did one of you losers say my name?
Dom: Hello, Bethany.
Nyge: Hi, Bethany.
Bethany: So, eat any cheese lately?
Nyge: Actually, at lunch-
Bethany: Just wait until all the new kids find out about what happened last year.
Nyge: You wouldn’t!
Bethany: Oh, I would. And I’d enjoy it too.
Dom: You’re a beautiful monster.
Bethany: How dare – you think I’m beautiful?
Dom: That was not the point!
Nyge: Look, what can we do to make you not tell the new kids about [whispers] the Cheese Incident?
Bethany: How about this, beat me at dodgeball, and I’ll keep your secret safe.
Nyge: There’s no way we’re winning.
Dom: Like I said, we just need our own Bethany! …them!
Dom: 3 o’clock. Saggy blue basketball shorts. Sleeveless Looney Tunes tee. Rippling forearms.
Nyge: I’m going in… Heyyyy dude! Nice tee. You look like you know your way around a dodgeball. Wanna help the two coolest kids in school win a game?
Sam: Heck yeah! Where are they?
Dom: Us. He means us.
Sam: You’re the two coolest kids in school?
Dom: Don’t dwell on it.
Sam: Alright, yeah! I was known as the dodgeball demon back at Bumble Mill.
Sam: Who’s my biggest competition?
Nyge: That girl over there in the pink headband.
Dom: The one with an evil sparkle in her eye.
Sam: Oh, her? No problem.
Dom: Don’t let her size fool you. I think she drank a weird chemical as a baby or something.
Sam: Don’t worry. I got this.
Mr. Rudy: Alright lil homies! Get ready to play some life affirming dodgeball!
Bethany: Ready to lose?
Dom: Ready to win?
Nyge: – lose.
Dom: Lose! Dang it.
Sam: You sure you’re the coolest kids in school?
Nyge: Oh yeah, my whole family is cool. Going back to my grandparents. I mean I don’t wanna say it's genetic.
Dom: I feel like I’ve got more of a nurture rather than nature kinda thing going on. Like I found myself in very cool environments and I think that really rubbed off at an early age.
Mr Rudy: Let’s pliz-ay some biz-all!
[Dodgeball grunts, kids exclaim]
Nyge: I can’t believe it! We won!
Dom: We won…
Nyge/Dom: We won!!!
Bethany: This isn’t fair. They totally cheated!
Nyge: We won fair and square. With the help of our new friends from Bumble Mill!
Sam: That’s right! Let’s hear it for Nyge and Dom, the coolest kids in school!
Bethany: Cool? Are you kidding me?
Bethany: COOL!? Dom and Nyge?
Dom: We had a deal!
Bethany: These two are the biggest losers in the entire school!
Bethany: Yeah – that’s right! As if these two weren’t uncool enough all through elementary school, last year they tried to microwave Easy Mac in the teacher’s lounge of Building B. Only these two dweebs didn’t think to add any water and burned the whole building to the ground!
Sam: Dude… that’s messed up.
Bethany: No one in school would ever be caught dead being friends with one of them.
So don't you even think about being friends with one of these embarrassing, little freaks.
Dom: I’m so sick of this!
Nyge: Dom it’s fine class is almost over-
Dom: No! This is ridiculous! It wasn’t even my fault! It was Nyge! It was his Easy Mac!
Nyge: You promised you’d never tell anyone.
Dom: Yeah- and you promised this year would be different. But it already sucks.
Nyge: And that’s my fault?
Dom: Yes! It is!
Nyge: Take that back!
Dom: No! I won’t.
Nyge: If you don’t take that back right now I’m gonna flick the crap outta you.
Dom: Yeah, right! I’d like to see you- ow! You flicked me.
Nyge: Ow!! You flicked me back!
Dom: You flicked me first.
Nyge: Well imma bout to flick you again.
Nyge: OW! You slapped my arm!
Dom: Yeah- and there’s more where that came from-
Nyge: Don’t push me!
Dom: Don’t push me!
Nyge: Don’t even talk to me.
Dom: Don’t even consider me your friend…
Mr. Rudy: Heeeeeeyyyyyyy youuuuuu twoooooo… you know discipline isn’t usually my vibe, but I am gonna have to send you to the principal's office for fighting… Curveball!
Principal Fairfax: Dominique. Nygel. I figured you’d be back in here at some point, but really? Day one? Explain yourselves.
[Dom and Nyge talk simultaneously]
Dom: Ok so it’s really all Nyge’s fault because it was after the Cheese Incident that we became the laughingstocks of the school and I didn’t want to go to seventh grade if we weren’t going to be friends and then Nyge threw egg on Egg Face Alex and Sam doesn’t think we’re cool anymore and –
Nyge: Dom actually started the whole thing this morning when she decided we needed to trick a bunch of kids into being friends with us and she concocted this master scheme it was really elaborate it had multiple steps and then she exploded the chemistry lab and we started to fight and –
Principal Fairfax: – okay. Okay. Stop. SHUT IT DOWN!
[Nyge and Dom fall silent. The principal clears her throat, heaves a sigh.]
Look, kids. I know last year wasn’t great for either of you. If it makes you feel better, it wasn’t great for me either! The insurance payout from the fire you started was way less than we thought it would be, and adding so many students from Bumble Mill Middle is really stretching our budget kind of thin. But life finds a way, am I right?
Nyge: Suck up.
Principal: Now, I didn’t quite catch everything that you two said just then, but Mr. Rudy told me you were fighting… with each other. Is that right?
PF: I said is that RIGHT?
Nyge: Yeah, we got in a fight…
Dom: [pragmatic] The emotional damage is much worse than the physical damage, if it’s any consolation.
PF: Now why in the heck would you two be fighting? You’ve been best friends since you were in diapers. Here’s a little life lesson for you. Sometimes, when you go through something tough together. Maybe… an incident. Involving a certain full-lactose dairy byproduct. Something like that can really put strain on a relationship, even the strongest ones. And when that happens, you have a choice. You can either fall apart, or you can come back even stronger.
Nyge: We tried to come back stronger! We tried to make new friends! And we failed.
PF: Why are you spending all of your energy looking for new friends instead of caring for your BEST friend, sitting right next to you in front of me right now? You two have something special. Don’t take each other for granted!
Nyge: I don’t know, Miss Principal Fairfax. That sounds a little live-laugh-lovey…
PF: What’s wrong with saying live laugh love? I’ve got it tattooed on my lower back!
Dom: … we’ll discuss that later. But I gotta be honest Principal Fairfax, I don’t really feel like coming back stronger is an option right now.
PF: Look. Why don’t you each talk about a time when you supported one
another, or felt really good in the relationship? Dominique, you go first.
Dom: I guess there was that one time we went to the horse ranch on a field trip and I stepped in horse poo… Nyge gave me his shoes even though he knew I was going to stretch them out with my big floppy feet, and he wore flip flops the rest of the day.
Nyge: My feet were so cold, but it was worth it. Can’t let my homie smellbe smelling like horse poo.
PF: See? That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now Nyge, you go.
Nyge: Well there was that one time that you distracted that bully from beating me up by singing the Black National Anthem.
Dom: I didn’t even know all the words.
Nyge: That was the best part!
PF: Now that’s what I call friendship.
PF: One day down, rest of the year to go. All right you two, hurry up now, before you miss your bus!
[hype music starts]
Dom: I’m so glad we’re friends again.
Nyge: You’re so corny.
Dom: You love it. Race you to the bus?
Nyge: 3…2…1… Go!
NYGE: Adult ISH is produced by YR Media, a national network of young journalists and artists creating content for this generation. Our show is produced by Georgia Wright, Dominique French, and by me, ya boy Nyge Turner.
DOM: Our Audio Engineer is James Riley, our Audio Engineering fellow is Christian Romo, and our intern is Quinn Castro.
NYGE: YR’s Director of Podcasting is Sam Choo, and our Senior Director of podcasting and partnerships is Rebecca Martin.
DOM: This very special episode was voiced by these YR Media folks.
- Georgia Wright as Principal Fairfax
- Laly Vasquez as Lulu Mopopolis
- Nyge Turner as Middle School Nyge
- Me, Dominique French as Middle School Dom
- Sam Choo as Mr. Petrie the Chemistry Teacher
- Cedric Frouner Jr. as Chem Class Milo
- Quinn Castro as Egg Face Alex
- James Riley as Mr. Rudy the Gym Teacher
- Shaylyn Martos as Bethany Truesbeck
DOM: Frickin’ Truesbeck!
NYGE: And Jalen Black as Sam the Dodgeball Demon.
DOM: Original music for this episode created by these young musicians at YR: Christian Romo, Anders Knutstad, Noah Holt, Jacob Armenta, Chaz Whitley, Michael Diaz, Sean Luciano Galarza, and David Lawrence. Music direction by Oliver “Kuya” Rodriguez and Maya Drexler.
NYGE: Art for this episode by Brigido Bautista. Art direction by Marjerrie Masicat. Creative direction by Pedro Vega, Jr.
DOM: Special thanks to Eli Arbreton.
NYGE: We are also proud to be members of Radiotopia by PRX...an independent listener-supported collective of some of the most amazing shows in all of podcasting. Find them at Radiotopia.fm. And if you haven’t reviewed our show on Apple podcasts, please be sure toyou do so. Five stars is much appreciated.
DOM: You can follow us on all the socials @yradultish, and with that, H.A.G.S.! Have A Great Summer! Byeee!