ALLENTOWN, PA—Radically reversing nearly three weeks of precedent, local 5-year-old Tricia Billings announced Saturday that the circle was no longer her favorite shape.
"Circles aren't my favorite anymore," said Billings, denouncing the closed-curve geometric construction that, just last month, she called "the best shape in the whole world." "I don't like them."
The stunning announcement reportedly comes after Billings had taken a staunch pro-circle stance by talking constantly about circles; pointing out circular objects during car rides; and sometimes even running into the living room, showing her parents a picture of a circle, and then running back to her bedroom.
In fact, just moments prior to Saturday's definitive anti-circle declaration, Billings was reportedly seen using crayons to color in multiple circles on an otherwise blank sheet of construction paper, a seemingly contradictory signal that has made it difficult for observers to speculate upon the motivation behind her groundbreaking retraction.
"I don't like triangles, either," said Billings, eliminating all three-sided polygons from the short list of contenders for most-admired shape. "Jenny likes triangles. I want my own favorite."
According to sources, the 5-year-old's sudden renunciation of the circle is only the most recent display of erratic behavior in a week that has also seen an abrupt switch of her favorite color from red to green and a sudden, entirely unanticipated condemnation of her Yo Gabba Gabba! CD, which she reportedly used to listen to on loop.
While Billings has yet to announce an interim favorite shape, sources close to the 5-year-old have suggested that trapezoids, rectangles, and—following her discovery of stop signs earlier this month—octagons could all be potential candidates.
Billings' mother, Sandra, who was overheard saying, "That's nice, dear," in response to the surprising dinner-table announcement, did not address her daughter's selection of a new favorite shape.
"She has such an active imagination," Sandra Billings, 35, told reporters in the wake of her daughter's statement, which threw the child's shape rankings into complete chaos and called into question her current opinions on squares, ovals, and pentagons. "Every week she seems to talk about new, exciting things she's learned at school."
Amid what is widely expected to be a tumultuous and disruptive transition, Billings reaffirmed she still really likes hearts and macaroni and cheese. Still, experts across the country said they couldn't help but feel a little caught off guard by Billings' reversal.
“Tricia threw us a real curveball here,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan, adding that even though Billings has been vacillating between circles and trapezoids for a few weeks now, he had assumed the round shape would remain her favorite for the foreseeable future. “Frankly, if she's capable of turning her back on circles, anything is possible. She says giraffes are still her favorite animal, but at this point I don't whether we should accept that at face value or take it with a grain of salt.”
“I'm not sure,” Duncan continued, “but once the dust settles, I do think she'll be back to drawing circles all over everything, maybe by the end of the month even, but who knows.”
Attempts to reach Billings for a follow-up interview were put on hold following the alarming discovery that after eight months of antagonistic behavior toward classmate Jeremy Caldwell, Billings no longer finds him gross.