Paper Planes

March 31, 2011
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Jimmy, Arnold, and I were sweating bullets as we slowly walked to our teacher’s big desk at the back of the room. We were convicts running from the law and finally, we had given in to the justice system of kindergarten. Fifteen minutes ago we were having a normal nap time until our paper airplane got stuck on top of a window.
There were many fads when I was just a youth, like Pokémon, baseball cards, and one of the most famous ones, paper planes. At nap time everyone was wide awake listening for the sound of the teacher, Mrs. Smith, to pull her chair into her desk to do some work. We set out stiff blue mats and got ready for a short rest. Hidden inside the mats were maybe the most entertaining thing we had to use all day: paper. Jimmy, Arnold and I took the paper and slowly made our way into the cubby section to make paper airplanes. It took us about 5 or 6 minutes to create our imaginary air fleet. As soon as we finished we started throwing them around. We had a kind of scoring system that gave points to the planes that stayed in the air longer and those that flew farther. We played surreptitiously for a while, but then it seemed out of nowhere, Buck came in to our claimed territory of the cubbies. We immediately stopped what we were doing afraid he would tattle on us for not being, as Mrs. Smith said, super duper glued to our mats. We ran back to our mats and luckily he seemed to ignore us and go back to his. "Whoa,” I remember Jimmy saying as he wiped some imaginary sweat from his brow, “That was a close one."
We continued playing with our planes and added some dinosaurs because they fascinated our small little minds. Dinosaurs were attacking our ships and occasionally we would allow the dinosaurs to crash and smash some of them. “We are the airplane dino kings,” we would to shout just a little too loudly, attracting unwanted attention from the other kids.
With curious kids walking in and out of the cubbies trying to spy on us, we started to stand up and throw our planes higher and higher. “Hey, I have a great idea guys,” Arnold proposed, “let’s see who can throw the plane the highest!” Little did we know, we were making one of the biggest mistakes we would make all year.
Jimmy decided he would be the first to throw. He looked up at the ceiling which to him was as tall as a skyscraper, but in reality was only about 8 or 9 feet high. He threw his plane into the sky of yellow. I lost sight of his plane for a second but quickly recovered when I saw it twirl down onto the floor. “Did you guys see how high that was?” he exclaimed, admiring his throw that barely made it past the top of the cubbies and hit the wall. Once I saw the plane leave his hand I immediately knew my throw could easily beat his.
It was my turn to go and I took a couple steps back so I could get a running start. Back then I didn’t know that getting a running start wouldn’t really affect my throw. I launched the folded up piece of computer paper up into the air. It flew past where Jimmy’s plane would have stopped but he was young and ignorant so he would never admit I beat him. It felt like my plane was flying for a couple of minutes as it skimmed the yellow wall just above the window and did half a flip in midair. I looked up and put out my hands to catch it but I never felt it hit my hand. It was sitting on the window ledge and it looked like it was about to fall down. In our heads we all willed it to fall down but after a few seconds of staring at the paper plane we had to face the terrible fate of it being stuck. Arnold was the first to break the silence, “I’ll get it down,” he told us. He sounded too confident to be lying.

He took five long strides back and three strides to the left and it looked more like he was lining up to punt a football instead of trying to retrieve a lost aircraft. He started to run on an angle and threw up his plane, but it went even higher than mine, skimming the yellow wall. Next, it quickly started drifting down and we were all expecting it to hit the other plane and knock it down. Well, just the opposite happened. It hit the window sill right behind where the previous plane struck. The sound of my teacher saying “now boys, you can make paper airplanes when you get home but not in school,” was echoing in my head.

All three of us were looking at each other nervously; we didn’t know that getting an airplane stuck on a window wasn’t the end of the world. Jimmy tried thinking up a new solution and proposed that we have Mr. Stegosaurus get the plane down. Jimmy insisted on being the hero and tried to throw the dinosaur but just could reach. I snatched the dinosaur and chucked it up and it soared through the air. It was a magnificent sight to see the dinosaur rescue mission at work and soon there was a clunk as the plastic dinosaur hit the window and fell down. Luckily, Mrs. Smith didn’t hear or see it. Arnold caught the dinosaur on the way down and decided it was his turn to give it a try. He took a step back and closed one eye to get a better and more precise aim and threw the Stegosaurus up toward the stuck planes and Bingo! It hit the lead plane in the back. We all anxiously waited for the planes and the dinosaur to all drop down but nothing happened.

All out of our dinosaur ammo, we didn’t want to risk anymore of our air fleet getting stuck up on the window pane. This was maybe the greatest adventure in our five years of living and we still hadn’t accomplished anything. But, things were started to look bad for us and almost all hope was lost until Jimmy smiled. I immediately sensed he had an idea. He whispered the plan to us and although it was risky, we tried it. Jimmy stepped into one of the empty cubbies and lifted himself onto the tippy top shelf as we piled up mats for him to fall onto. Sneakily but carefully he crawled monkey-like on the top of the cubbies. When he got underneath the window he stood up on the cubbies and surprisingly went unnoticed. He reached his arm up and skimmed the plane closest to him; the one I had thrown up there. Just as he went on his tippy toes Marvin popped his head into the cubby area. “Mrs. Smith! Mrs. Smith! Jimmy is climbing on the cubbies,” he screamed, and suddenly the whole class along with Mrs. Smith came running.
Jimmy climbed down onto the mats no planes in hand. “Jimmy, Greg, Arnold!” her voice rose “Come over here.” Heads held low we walked over to her desk, the whole class feeling our humiliation. She asked us what in the world we were thinking, but before we could tell her about our adventure she told us that we weren’t thinking. At that time in our life we knew what we were thinking. We were thinking that we had to get those airplanes down or we would be in deep doo-doo. She scolded us and asked us why we needed so badly to climb on the cubbies. We were too scared of her to talk and she noticed that. Suddenly her attitude changed. She was friendly ol’ Mrs. Smith again and asked us why we were so silly to climb up onto the cubbies. Arnold was the first to speak. “Well, we were playing with toys and got them stuck up there and then we tried to get them down but then we couldn’t.”
“You could have just asked me to help you get it down,” she said. We all sunk in our seats while Mrs. Smith got up to climb up on the cubbies. She reached up for the planes and the dinosaur and climbed back down. She looked at us and gave us back our toys. “You guys go sit on your mats and don’t use those paper planes in the building.”
We all walked back to our mat area and sat there astonished by how nice our teacher was to us. “All that hard work for nothing,” Jimmy said smiling,
“But climbing up there was awesome!” We looked at him envious of his adventure. That nap time was the most exhilarating the three of us had ever had and emotionally exhausted, we actually fell asleep. Our innocent, little, five year old bodies had gone through enough stress to last us 50 nap times. And from then on, we didn’t play with paper air planes during nap time ever again.

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Odessa_Sterling00 said...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm
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