99.9% of Trouble

March 3, 2011
I walk through the tall double doors from recess. Well, tall to me. I was only in second grade. I walk down the long hallway and take a sharp left into Mr. Nephew’s room. The minute I walk in, I see about 10 kids running around the small room filled with tiny pictures of fish. They are all gagging and screaming.
“OH GROSS!” I hear. Curious; I turn the around the corner and find a girl eating foamy hand sanitizer. I look closer and the girl yells in my ear; “HEY, I DARE YOU TO TRY THIS!”
“Okay, I guess,” I say. Before I pump some into my hand, I read the label. Green Apple Sanitizer. Kills 99.9% of germs! I grunt and push the pump down. I carefully raise my hand to my mouth and poke my tongue into the sanitizer. I cringe and yell, “Blech!” I throw the sanitizer to the floor. Soon Mr. Nephew walks in and student walks up. I stare helplessly at Mr. Nephew speaking with the kid. He looks at me and the others standing around. He asks which ones ate the sanitizer and we all raise our hands. He tells us (about 20 of us) to go down to the office. He follows close behind. When we get there, Mr. Nephew softly speaks to the secretary. Her eyes widen, and she goes to get the principal in his small office. When he emerges, he tells us to sit in the conference room, a large table with chairs around. When we are seated I hear someone franticly dialing a phone. Within a minute the principal comes with a stout woman, the lunch lady. She is carrying a tray of graham crackers and cartons of milk. She evenly passed them out and leaves. The principal assaulted us with questions all while shooting us a dirty look. We scrambled for some innocent answers - “She dared me to!” and “I didn’t really swallow any sanitizer!”
“Call their parents. After that we will get them back to class.”
It took surprisingly long and we got bored. At some point someone started telling jokes.
“Okay, so a Pope, a duck and some Chapstick walk into a hair salon….”
After lots of jokes that style we are cracking up. The secretary walks in and yells at us;
“If I were you, I wouldn’t be laughing.”
We all shut up after that.
On the long bus ride home (I happen to be the last one off the bus) I think about what my mom will do to me. When I finally got home, my mom wasn’t happy.
My mom let loose: “John! I can’t believe you would give into a dare! I thought I raised you better!” she rambles on in that style and I get sent to my room. You know the drill. The next day I was furious. I discovered that I was the only one that got in trouble. Everyone is saying things I hate to hear. “No, I didn’t get in trouble.” Hmph. So, either my mom is the only one with a sense of parenting, or she is just plain loony.
So, here I am, sitting in my room while everyone else is playing games and running around. Next time you get pressured to eat some green apple sanitizer that claims to kill 99.9% of germs, PLEASE don’t do it. You’ll end up like I di-. Wait, if my mother is the only one to ground me, why don’t you give it a shot. Taste better than you think.

*Disclaimer: This story is true, though I don’t exactly remember little details such as dialogue; most of it is as close as I could get it.

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