The Observations Part 17

Here is the totally on time final chapter, which I totally got up in less than six months. Good thing it didn't take me almost nine months to update because that would be really lame and totally unlike me. Yup.

Incident: Ways to Annoy People at the Pool List
1. Take a flutter board and pretend you can't swim.

Moments like this gave Cloud confidence that he would be able to get into SOLDIER. If the man flailing around on a flutter board could do it, so could he.

2. Sit in the baby pool and play with the toys.

Consequently, he was not permitted in the pool during adult swim.

3. Ask an attractive lifeguard to practice CPR on you.

"If performed correctly, the victim usually has his ribs broken and throws up in the rescuer's mouth," Sephiroth said as he shot Zack a confused look. "Why would you want that practiced on you?"

"You just made the idea of CPR indefinitely less sexy," Zack informed him.

4. Sit on the top of the water slide and don't move.

"Zack's clogging the slide again," Angeal noted as he pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.

"Why would I care about that?" Genesis snapped. "We have bigger issues here. Namely, do you think the chlorine could damage my hair?"

5. Insist that you saw a hideous monster at the bottom of the pool.

"Maybe it was just your reflection," Genesis offered.

6. Try to negotiate the price of admission.

"Zack, just pay the normal price. You're a first class SOLDIER. You are paid very well."

"We're paid!?"

7. Take your towel; tie it around your shoulders and say, "Wheee! I'm Batman!" while running around.

"Imagine for a moment, Angeal," Genesis said, "how he acted when he actually was five."

8. Stand on top of the high board and say you won't come down until your demands are met.

"This is our chance!" Genesis hissed. "If we leave now he can't follow us!"

9. Sing and dance on top of the diving board, then do a belly-flop as your grand-finale.

"Ow. Ow. Ow. Angeal I don't feel so well."

"Please stop talking to us Zack. We're pretending we don't know you!" Angeal whispered as he hurried over to the other side of the pool.

10. Play Marco-Polo by yourself.

Angeal dragged Zack back to the infirmary for another psychological evaluation. Somehow, all the tests came back normal.

11. Ask small children if they have seen any suspicious-looking sea monsters lately.

It turns out that the pool cleans out pretty fast when SOLDIERs start asking about monsters. Consequently, the SOLDIERs had the pool entirely to themselves the rest of the afternoon.

Lesson Learned: There are some advantages of having Zack around.

Incident: Nine Ways to Get Thrown Out of Wall Mar(ke)t

1. In the auto department practice your "Madonna" look with different funnels.

"I have nothing to say," Angeal said. "Nothing to say at all."

2. When you hear an announcement over the loudspeaker, assume a fetal position and scream, "Oh no, OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!"

"He's not really a SOLDIER," Genesis informed the people gathered around the scene. "I have no idea where he got that uniform from."

3. See how many footballs you can throw into the next aisle or, better yet, see how many aisles you can clear!

He managed six aisles before he was thrown out.

4. Hide in the clothing rack and when someone browses the rack yell "PICK ME! PICK ME!"

"I don't care if you think it looks tacky, yo," Reno said as he tugged on his neon orange jacket. "This jacket was literally calling for me to buy it."

5. Walk into a fitting room, wait a short time, then yell, "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!"

And thus, Zack Fair became the first and only person on the "Forbidden from Using the Dressing Room List."

6. Go up to some old geezer and say "Grandpa! You're ALIVE! It's a MIRACLE!"

"Zack, I am not near old enough to be your grandfather," Angeal said as he stared back at Zack.

"He's just looks that old," Genesis offered before darting away screaming as Angeal drew the Buster sword.

7. Make up nonsense products and ask newly hired employees if there are any in stock, i.e., "Do you have any Shnerples here?"

They had no Shnerples!

8. Attempt to fit into very large gym bags. Then attempt to fit others into very large gym bags.

Zack sadly didn't fit in any. But he did find that Cloud fit into one.

9. Take a fishing pole, tie it to a gil, and go fishing for humans!

He caught a Reno!

Lesson Learned: Never go shopping with Zack.

Incident: Hiccups


"Wow," Zack said, turning to Sephiroth who was covering his mouth. "So even the great general Sephiroth gets hiccups, huh?"

Instead of responding, Sephiroth just let out another hiccup, which still answered the question pretty well.

"Of course he does," Genesis snapped. "He's human, just like you."

Sephiroth raised an eyebrow at being told he was "just like" Zack.

"Are you sure he's human?" Zack asked, teasingly. "What if it turns out that he's actually created from the DNA of a super-powered alien that was hell-bent on destroying the planet?"

"Zack, you clearly watch way too much television," Angeal said with a long sigh.

Sephiroth let out another hiccup. "How do I stop hiccupping?"

"Well, they say the best way is to get someone to scare you," Angeal said.

"But how do we scare the Sephiroth?" Zack asked as he tapped on his chin thoughtfully.

"Oh, I'm sure you can come up with a way," Genesis muttered.

"Sephiroth, Hojo is right behind you!" Zack suddenly cried as he waved his arms wildly in a way that was supposed to signal the sudden appearance of Hojo.

Sephiroth raised a pale eyebrow and slowly turned to look behind them. The room behind him was empty and entirely devoid of Hojo. His question of "Where?" was somewhat distorted by another hiccup.

"Darn, I thought that would work." Zack said as Sephiroth kept hiccupping.

"Try holding your breath for a little while," Angeal offered.

"No, the thing that always works for me is picturing a room filled with bald men," Zack said confidently as he stroked his chin.

"Excuse me?" Genesis asked, raising an auburn eyebrow.

"Why bald men?" Angeal asked as Sephiroth hiccupped again.

"I don't know. But it works." Zack said this with utter confidence.


"A room filled with bald men?" Sephiroth asked, trying to figure out how this related to hiccups.

"I don't think that is a thing," Genesis said.

"It's a thing," Zack insisted. "It always works for me."

"It's not a thing, Zack," Genesis said as he stood up and then turned to face Sephiroth. "What you need to do is drink water out of the opposite side of a glace."

"Huh?" Sephiroth hiccupped.

"How is that even possible?" Zack asked.

Suddenly a glass of water held in a red-gloved hand appeared in front of Sephiroth.


"It's simple," Genesis said as he flicked a lock of hair out of his face. "You just drink out of this side of the glass," he said tapping the side away from Sephiroth. "You just bend over the cup to do it."

Sephiroth cast an uncertain glance at Genesis, wondering if this was some sort of joke. Genesis seemed sincere but he didn't truly believe it. He cast a glance at Angeal who gave him slight nod. "I've done it before. It works," Angeal said.

"Or you could just imagine a room filled with bald men," Zack muttered.

"I still don't quite understand how to do this," Sephiroth hiccupped, peering at the glass again.

"You can't do it at the table. Stand up and do it," Angeal advised.

Sephiroth cast an uncertain glance at the other two Firsts and then hiccupped again. Then in a fluid motion, he got to his feet. He gave another hiccup and then hunched over, awkwardly tilting the glass so he could drink from the far side. He found it wasn't very difficult. Or that was what he thinking when he nearly choked and he quickly straightened back up, narrowly avoiding spilling the rest of the water in the process.

"Well, did it work?" Genesis asked.

"I think so," Sephiroth said after a pause. Then with another hiccup he was proven wrong. He grimaced as Genesis laughed at him.

"You should have just imagined bald men in a room."

"Zack, where did you even get that from?" Angeal asked.

"It's a thing. I swear it works. You just need to really concentrate on it!"


"How would you know that?" Genesis asked. "Have you ever concentrated on anything in your life?"

"You wound me!" Zack declared. "Right here," he added as he tapped on the left side of his chest.


"Try hold your breath," Angeal said. "That's a remedy I've heard a lot."

"For how long should I hold my breath for?" Sephiroth asked.

"I don't know. Like ten seconds?"

Sephiroth nodded and then held his breath for ten seconds while Zack made funny faces in a failed attempt to make him laugh.


"That did not work either," Sephiroth said.

"Well, I'm out of ideas," Angeal admitted.

"Try sticking your fingers in your ears," Genesis said. "That's supposed to stimulate the nerve endings or something."

Sephiroth reached up hesitantly and stuck his index fingers in his ears, carefully watching Genesis' expression for any sign this might be a joke.


"I've heard that sticking out your tongue and grabbing it works too," Zack said.

Genesis smirked. "Yea, try that one, General."

"I think I'd rather not," Sephiroth said.

"Well, then try imaging a room filled with bald men," Zack said. "I promise it works. Don't you trust me, Sephiroth?" Zack asked as he pulled out a fantastic set up puppy eyes.

"Okay," Sephiroth said through a hiccup. Then tried to imagine what the room would look like filled with multiple copies of Rude.


"I don't think it works," he said.

"I don't think you were concentrating hard enough," Zack chastised. "You didn't even close your eyes. It always works. Picture a room filled with bald men. Tons of bald men."

Sephiroth closed his eyes and focused on imaging a large room filled with bald men. After a minute or so, he opened his eyes. Zack was beaming at him.

"It totally worked!" Zack bellowed into his face. Then he proceeded to hop around the room in a strange victory dance.

"Can I stop imagining bald men now?" he asked Zack.

"Are your hiccups gone?" Angeal asked.

"I believe so," Sephiroth said, pausing for a moment as if waiting on another hiccup to prove him wrong, but it never came.

"Awesome!" Zack cried. "Bald men for the win!"

Lesson Learned: You can trust Zack Fair.

Special thanks to Lord Divestre Croft who suggested the swimming pool list. Also special thanks to someone who suggested the Walmart list (I lost your name and cannot find it -sorry!). And super thanks to everyone who reviewed and/or suggested stuff (even if I didn't get around to using it, I still enjoyed reading it).