My ninth grade chemistry teacher looked like a cross between Beaker, John Waters, and a pushbroom. His voice, halting yet earnest, seemed lodged somewhere behind his pancreas, muffled under a bed pillow, struggling to project itself via a throat numbed with Chloraseptic. My doltish, unimaginative classmates took every opportunity to aggravate and play limp practical jokes on him, but I never participated. Instead, I admired him for daring to divulge to these undeserving idiots that his cat’s name was “Kitty Kitty Pal Noodle”. They all made fun of him. But I? Developed quite a bit of a crush, of course,