list of my villain origin story items from post in white text on a purple background

My Villain Origin Story #SOL24

March 8, 2024

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Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

In my notes app for possible posts, I started a running list of possible villain origin stories. For those that don’t know, the villain origin story meme is basically people saying what would make them turn into a villain. Usually, they’re pretty tongue in cheek minor annoyances, but other times they are not. I wasn’t planning to post this list so soon, but then. Then, we went to see Chicago. And well, I had a new one to add to the list, so here are the five I have so far.

1. People who sing along to musicals during a stage production of said musical

Like I said, I took my daughter to see Chicago as a birthday gift and there was a couple behind me who, I kid you not, sang along to almost all of the songs. Out loud. I was livid. First of all, this is not a singalong event. Second of all, I didn’t pay money to watch a stage show with professional actors, singers, and dancers to hear your unsolicited harmony. Third of all, IT IS RUDE. Fourth of all, listen to the cast recording on the way to the theater and sing then and then listen to it on the way home and sing. If you are that desperate to sing the songs at the show, MOUTH THE WORDS SILENTLY TO YOURSELF. I feel like this is basic theater etiquette. I mean, when we went to see Frozen, they made an announcement, which is fair because the audience was mostly kids who maybe didn’t know better and even still I forgave the girl behind me who sang along to “Let It Go” because, you know, she was a child who was overly excited, but YOU, sir and madam, are full grown adults who know better, and now I must vanquish everyone like you.

2. My socks falling down into my shoes

Okay, for all intents and purposes, this should be avoidable. Should. I will admit that I wear no show socks and sometimes they slip down. I paid good money for these socks, and it’s annoying, but not necessarily unexpected. I still feel like it shouldn’t happen to be clear, but I kind of get that maybe it will. However. When we went to Disneyland, I wore my theme park socks that come up to my ankle and at some point during the day, my left one started slipping down until the back was fully inside my shoe. I was beyond upset because not only is it uncomfortable, but the shoes I wear to Disneyland are NOT easy to put on even though and are, in fact, a PITA to take off and put back on. And yet, that is what I had to do. I was so frustrated that I started this list. So there’s that.

3. Airport bathrooms

I will just copy and paste this Facebook post I made on August 5, 2021:

Me, every single time I go to the airport: What man designed this bathroom stall?
Also, it has been twenty years since Sept. 11. You think they would have retrofitted every single bathroom stall by now to account for the fact that we have to carry all of our carry on bags with us everywhere we go in the airport. And yet.



4. My students not following directions

grading portrait

This is how my daughter sees me: a crazy lady with sticking up hair, a red pen, and a scowl.

Enough said.

But If I had to say more, I would just say that I have on more than one occasion said while grading, “They have to be trolling me. That’s the only answer.”

Then there’s this picture my daughter drew of me in 2014 for a school family tree project. I had been grading nonstop so it’s a pretty accurate portrait.

I also change my FB profile to that picture every single semester during finals.

5. Waiting until the last minute to do things

I was reminded of this one last night because my daughter wanted me to record her for her homework, which was due at 11:59, and she asked me at 11:30. So, of course, I was like this is ridiculous! You shouldn’t wait until the last minute!

But also: I am the problem. Because that is literally how I do almost everything. In fact, I’m participating in an interview, and the interviewer sent me info about the questions. But you know what she didn’t send me? A deadline–a deadline that lets me know the absolute last day to get it back to her that I could bump up against. I often finish (and by finish, I mean start) things day of. And when that happens, there isn’t a lot of grace to be had for myself because by then it’s too late to ask questions or make sure I’m absolutely on the right track. I mean, I have accepted that it’s my process, but that doesn’t mean I like it–or that I won’t try to make other people suffer because of it. My students do this as well. It’s the day the thing is due, they start the assignment or attempt to, and then panic because they need clarification is something but it’s outside of email hours and now they are suffering and want me to suffer as well. Easy peasy villain origin story right there. Even if I can be my own worst enemy in this case.

So, yeah, these are my mostly tongue in cheek ones as my real ones would be about work and injustice (which often overlap, alas) and etc, but I wanted to keep it pretty light today. Also, I am sure I will think of more later, so maybe one day I will do a part two.

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  1. Amyilene

    I love this concept and I can relate to so much on your list! I do wonder, though, if my singing along at concerts (not musicals!!) annoys the folks nearby…
    I may try my hand at this for one of my upcoming Slices!

    • Akilah

      Oh, concerts are totally fair game. 100%.

  2. Elisabeth Ellington

    People are WILD. It’s WILD that adults would go to the theater and sing along to every song. Like I get mouthing the words. But actual out loud singing where other folks can hear you? No. This was a really fun post that had me nodding my head for things I didn’t even realize could be part of my own villain story (those airport stalls! WHY are they SO TINY? And also WHY do socks sometimes–but only sometimes–slip down the foot??). Totally stealing this idea for a post.

    • Akilah

      It’s the sometimes on the socks that kills me as well. At least if it were predictable, you could plan which shoes, which socks, which life. But no!

      And yeah, I do not understand in what world anyone would think it’s okay to sing in the theater. That’s why they have singalongs for movies now, to specifically give people that chance. I mean, come on!

  3. WOWilkinson

    Thanks for sharing. This is a great idea for a slice. I wonder what our students would say are their villain origin stories?

    • Akilah

      Oooh, that would be a great icebreaker!

  4. Denise Krebs

    Akilah, this is so funny. I like the premise for the meme–a villain origin story. Funny. I have to say, the socks in my shoes are one for me. When I see a child with socks slipped into their shoes, it makes my skin crawl. I’m it’s a child I know, I always offer to help fix them!

    • Akilah

      Oh that’s so nice! You will be happy/horrified to know that my socks fell down while I was at the store today, sigh.

  5. Becky Leff

    I haven’t yet experienced audience members singing along – incredibly rude – but I am annoyed by people near me conducting along with the orchestra. Why??? It’s distracting for others in the audience. There is a professional, experienced conductor up there on the podium!

    • Akilah

      omg, what is wrong with people? Ridiculous!

  6. Natasha

    I love your voice in this post! So fun to read. My very favorite line might be: “My students not following directions. Enough said. But If I had to say more,…”


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