I was around 19 or 20. My sister was in high school and her math teacher wanted to give them an assignment that would use the right side of their brain to compliment all the thinking the class was making them do with the left side. The assignment was to write a fictional story that somehow included the word "sohcahtoa" in it.
My sister has been into writing stories as much as I have. She's the one who drew my avatar for me. Anyway, to my surprise, she turned to me and asked me to write the story, claiming me to be the better writer. It was unusual for her to say I was better at something that she was very much into and I took it as a huge compliment. I only had a week to write it and I had to throw the ending together at the last minute. She wrote a rough draft from it and turned them both in and got an A+.
So, here is that rather silly story:
Coming home from a hard day of fishing, Mr. Sister was feeling a bit wild. Life is too short. As an evil grin smeared his face, he proceeded to break the speed limit by an alarming 3 miles per hour. As if that wasn't enough, he took it to the extreme by rolling his window to the terribly rebellious level of halfway. After parking, adding a last engine rev before exiting, he slammed the car door behind him; glad at the excessively loud noise it caused, he strutted up the walk to his house feeling like one bad dude.
A slick entrance by the king of cool himself caught the immediate attention of his wife.
"I heard your car, and here you are."
"Oh yeah," he replied smoothly, "I uh, just cruised on over from my happenin' joint. So like, what's shakin'?"
"You have mail. It's by the nail."
"Mail you say? Yeah, us popular guys have fans from all over," Mr. Sister explained while casually approaching the counter. "Hey Babe, so where's this pile of letters?" he asked coolly, looking around as if they should appear out of the air.
"Not a pile; a letter from Kyle. Only one you got, and that's not a lot. I told you where it's at, so look by the cat." Shrugging with a reassuring smirk, he walked with as much style as possible to the black kitty sleeping in the sun on the windowsill near a nail. After spotting the envelope and nodding in response, he snatched it quickly from the white sill and gave it an expert inspection. While he slowly attempted to unfold the flap, although still utterly tearing it completely, he spoke, "I'll have to have my receptionist have a word with the post office. They always forget to give me all my fan letters," loud enough for his wife to hear. "Kyle Spunderwear, huh? What does he want with me? I'm a busy man." A quick read-through revealed that Mr. Spunderwear required the presence of Mr. Sister immediately. An odd quality of the document was also brought to the reader's attention. The word "cosine" was in the middle of the text, completely out of context and void of relevance in any way. Owing an explanation to his wife for the departure he would soon make, he said, "Yo, I think I'm gonna zip on over to what's-his-face's," pointing his thumb in the general direction, "Hold all my calls."
"You just came in, and you're leaving again."
Mr. Spunderwear was busy planning his vacation when Mr. Sister made his stylish entrance into his office. "Hey," he opened the conversation, with his ever-cocked eyebrows and sly smile, "You rang?"
"Oh ho ho. I didn't ring. But now that you're here, you can help."
"Yeah, sure," Mr. Sister replied while looking left and right and bobbing his head slightly as if to a beat, "But you mailed my house, so I'm like, here, ya know?"
"A letter you say? Let me see." He read the letter halfway, then stood up suddenly. "So, so that's where it is."
"Where what is, man?"
"This...this is the answer! Now that you've see it too, I have no choice but to bring you along."
"A vacation? I dig it, dude. When's the gig?"
"Right away!" he cried and ran past Mr. Sister, but succeeded in pulling him by the hand as he went. Into the hallway and past many doors they flew, just missing many employees. Mr. Sister gave as much body language as possible to anyone he passed to still keep his cool and not look bad. Mr. Spunderwear continued once they were out of the building and led the still-in-control Mr. Sister across the gravel parking lot to his very expensive car. With Mr. Spunderwear in too much of a rush and Mr. Sister being his wild self, neither one buckled up. A spray of rocks flew from the car's back tires as Mr. Spunderwear overly peeled out and slammed onto the street, while Mr. Sister kept his smirk and cocked his eyebrows to all who turned to look their way. With the pedal to the metal, the engine roared as they sped over road, sidewalk, and grass. Tearing up every surface, they yielded to nothing and the breaks remained totally unused until they arrived at their destination in front of a wooden barn. The tires threw mud 10 feet as they slid to a halt and practically kissed the ground. Mr. Spunderwear was almost out of the car before his door had opened and bolted to the man wearing overalls inside the barn. Mr. Sister, seeing no need to dirty his quality-made shoes, remained in the car. The man was soon informed of the situation.
"For the love, we first need to find out what 'cosine' means," he said.
"Oh yes, that is a very necessary step," Mr. Spunderwear acknowledged, "Mr. Spunderwear would know. We must ask him!"
"But, for the love, you ARE Mr. Spunderwear!"
"Oh yes, so I am, and what do you want with me may I ask?" he suddenly stood up straight and proud, peering down at the man with his eyes.
"What in the world are you talking about?"
"What do you think I'm talking about?"
"How in the world am I supposed to know?"
"Ah, see I said you should ask me something, and since the subject hasn't changed, we must still be talking about the same thing," Mr. Spunderwear answered.
"Yeeeees, yes of course. Why didn't you ask sooner?"
"Because um...well..." the man stuttered.
"Don't be shy, Sohcahtoa, but it matters not. You want to know what 'cosine' means?"
"Well, yeah," Sohcahtoa answered slowly.
"Just a little thinking should do the trick, but I'll tell you anyway. It's simple really. Take the first 2 letters; what are they?"
"Yes, yes, no need for uncertainty. 'C' and 'O' are obviously the first 2 letters. Now, most people know that 'co' is short for 'company'. I'm surprised you didn't know that."
"For the love, I do know that!"
"Yes, yes, of course. That's why you're asking me what it means. Ha, ha, but come now, we're not through yet. The next letter is 'S', as you very well know. If you put an 'S' after 'company', it becomes 'companys', or rather 'company's'. 'Company's' is short for 'company is' after all, and no real amount of wit is required to know that, Sohcahtoa. The next letters are 'I' and 'N'. Any fool knows that that spells 'in'. With the last letter being 'E', we naturally get the phrase 'Company's in E', so it's off to find the company in E!" Mr. Spunderwear declared.
"What in the world is E?" Sohcahtoa blurted yet again.
"Ho, ho now, you surprise me, ol' buddy. Surely one such as yourself is familiar with the letter 'E'. Why, it's a known fact that E is the fifth letter in the alphabet, being the letter after D, which stands fourth in line from the beginning. Any kindergarten student knows that if you count the letters starting with A, then when '5' is announced, the letter 'E' would be reached, being the second vowel. So-"
"For the love, I know what the letter 'E' is!" Sohcahtoa interrupted.
"Yes, yes of course, my dear friend. That's precisely why you were asking me, is it not?"
"No, I mean...how in the world can a company be in an E?" Sohcahtoa refined his question.
"Very carefully. But seriously, how can anything be in anything? We are in...whatever this confounded city is..."
"For the love, it's called 'Spoon'."
"Regardless, that's where we are. We're in Spoon. Is it such a difficult task to comprehend the idea of being in a place, Sohcahtoa?"
"So...E is a place?"
"Yes, yes, what else would it be? The company couldn't very well be in an actual letter of the alphabet. Don't be silly, man. Letters lack physical form. But conversing of known facts is quite trivial and there is a quest at hand." Without allowance for further replies, Mr. Spunderwear was heading out the large opening and hurrying Sohcahtoa to follow. Mr. Sister noticed the men exiting the barn, and waited as he watched them without moving his head. At last he spoke, "Yo, Spundies, who's Barn-Boy?" before winking quickly at Sohcahtoa.
"A friend, my good man. A friend," he answered and stepped into his luxury car. A press of a well-placed button opened the floor beneath Kyle's feet where it was swapped with the square of floor beneath Mr. Sister's feet, and during the switch, brushes cleaned and dried Mr. Spunderwear's shoes.
"Hey man, what's the deal?" Mr. Sister made known his observations; "Our vacation can't be over already."
"On the contrary, my good fellow, it's just begun," Mr. Spunderwear replied.
"Oh, yeah, I knew that. That's just my way of reminding you, 'cause see, us cool people can't do things the normal way. It's just not our groove, if ya dig my meaning," Mr. Sister explained as he slid his hand through the air when he said, "groove". After a little while of careful driving by Mr. Spunderwear, Mr. Sister asked, "Where's the destination, man?"
"Mr. Sister, you confuse me. You ask questions to things already known to you; nevertheless, out of politeness, I'll answer the question. We're going to E."
"Hey, that's what I'm talking about! I'm starving!"
"Quite likely, since you relied on your fishing skills to catch food. But I said nothing about eating. E is where we are going."
"Yo man, what's this E? Must be a loser town if I've never heard of it, ya know what I'm saying?" he said with his cocked eyebrow and half-smile as he looked around.
"For the love, if it's a loser town then you must be from there," Sohcahtoa finally voiced his annoyance with Mr. Sister.
"Heh, heh, chill out, brother," Mr. Sister spun around and said with both index fingers pointed at Sohcahtoa and both thumbs sticking up, "Be happy. At least your cow thinks you're cool."
"For the love, she doesn't!"
"Well ah, that's a bummer, dude. Like, she was you're only chance."
"That's enough, you two. Sohcahtoa, leave the man alone. Mr. Sister, one shouldn't accuse others of dealings with cows when one has trodded through its solid waste," Mr. Spunderwear interrupted.
"Solid waste? Speak English, buddy."
"For the love, that IS English, Dummy," Sohcahtoa blurted out; "It's poop."
"A happenin' stud like me stepping in cow poop? You must be dreaming."
"You're not a very observant person if I do say so myself. Surely you are aware of the filth on your shoes," Mr. Spunderwear said without looking away from the road. Mr. Sister casually glanced down at his feet and then jumped in his seat.
"Whoa, man. You're car's dirty...and it's getting all over my hip shoes! Where are we going anyway?"
"Another needless question, Mr. Sister. As I've said before, we're going to E."
"Yeah, you said that, Spundies. Where's this E place? I'm getting old here, man. It's not good for my image." Mr. Spunderwear pulled out a map and threw it into Mr. Sister's lap.
"In the lower right corner are the letters N, S, E, and W. The company we are headed to, my friend, is in E, as I've said previously. My, what slow-witted people you both are today."
"For the love, that's east!" Sohcahtoa explained.
"Now, now, do you see the word "East" anywhere on the map? I think not. Plain as day, there are arrows pointing to the 4 different places. Without need for much thinking, one can guess that we are on the trail of the arrow pointing to the direction of E, so simple logic tells us we'll reach E if we go on the path drawn out. Since the company is in the direction as well, a child could conclude that the company must be in E."
"What in the world is the stupid company?" Sohcahtoa bellowed, unable to contain himself any longer.
"My, my, Sohcahtoa. That's quite the temper, and over something stupid as well."
"For the love, shut up! Don't call my reasons stupid!"
"Oh my, Sohcahtoa, I was merely quoting you. Did you not describe the company as stupid? And if I'm not mistaken, your temper was lost over it."
"For the love, whatever!" Sohcahtoa yelled and crossed his arms, no longer wanting an answer to his question.
"But in answer to your question, Sohcahtoa, the company of which I speak, and by the way is not stupid-"
"For the love, whatever," Sohcahtoa butted in.
"-will remain unidentified until we reach it. But in good time, you'll see the perfection of how everything fits together," Mr. Spunderwear finished without regard to Sohcahtoa's interruption. The rest of the trip remained uneventful if you overlook the minor slap on the back of Mr. Sister's head as a result of Sohcahtoa's annoyance with his continuous turning and bobbing of it.