"The first rule of Chat Club is that you must chat at least once in a while or else you have to profess your love to the girl you have the biggest crush on." That's the opening line taken from the bylaws for Chat Club, a very exclusive institution that just popped up here in Temple Valley.
I must confess that I'm actually quite honored to personally know one of the club's founding fathers, my son Jiro. While only he and two of his friends, Giant and Ari, make up the entire roster at the moment, the rules of Chat Club are quite voluminous.
Actually all the chatting in Chat Club is done in virtual silence via the three young teenagers' mobile phones. Practically all of Jiro's friends at Craneview Junior High have one of the handy communication devices. Half of them have owned one since they were in grammar school. Still none dare bring it to school for fear of losing it to the clutches of some school administrator.
Now if they do happen to carry one over the school boundaries, they dutifully turn it into their homeroom teacher. Like modern day Wyatt Earps, these enforcers of the rules aim to keep the school real peaceful like. That includes ridding it of phoneslingers as well as their annoying ring tones that follow on their boot heels.
Comes the end of the day, the young phonepokes can pick up their gear and head off into the sunset. Wherever they may roam you can rest assured their cellphone is right by their side. As a matter of fact there have been some mornings where I've recoiled in fear upon discovering the sight of Jiro curled up in his bed roll with his fingers still curved around his unhinged mobile handset. No doubt he was sitting around the light of the phone all night swapping tales with the Chat Club gang.
Rule two of Chat Club is: "If you get a real life [that is a life beyond the realm of playing video games, going to school, going to cram school after school, or engage in any activity beyond the normal routine of your average ninth grader, which I think may imply having a sweetheart] you must confess that development to the other members of Chat Club."
Next comes one of my favorites in the list of do's and don'ts. Rule three is: "You can talk about your real life as long as it doesn't get on the nerves of the other members of the club."
From there it descends into a spiraling list of other rules spelled out in a complicated legalese my atrophied brain muscle couldn't hope to grasp. Finally at the end there is one regulation that stands out from the rest. Unlike the movie with a similar sounding title, there is no fighting allowed in Chat Club. It's a good rule that everyone should abide by in their lives, both virtual and real.
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