On February the third, two thousand and seven, I observed that the human race is at once entirely ridiculous and insane. I was sitting in fourth period math—and suitably—in a comatose. I was thinking about the fact that corn could provide more compelling conversation than Crystal at the moment. Then I appreciated how funny third person was. Soon after this thought, I chortled at my own wit because corn, could, compelling, conversation, and Crystal all formed an amusing alliteration of sorts. This sent disapproving eyes my way, and I was about to rattle everything but Euler’s Theorem out of my head when a panic-ridden voice enveloped the room. “TEACHERS! WE ARE KEEPING ALL STUDENTS IN THE BUILDING. ROAD CONDITIONS ARE DEADLY. KEEP ALL CHILDREN LOCKED IN A CLASSROOM.” And I knew then and there that a higher power loved me—I thrive. T-H-R-I-V-E on situations of meaningless panic, and you have to understand that my junior high was meaningless panic constantly. There was maybe two feet of snow, some wind, and some crazy man who threw a couple of buckets of water on the road and our school becomes a scene right out of some Technicolor it’s-the-end-of-the-world flick.
The doors were locked. Really. But I got out of my classroom because—I’m me you know, and there were little ants of seventh graders running around holding their injured heads and screaming and thinking we’re all going to die and I am just gut busting. Gosh. I love people. I then lifted my hand to wave to some kid I knew and bumped it against a locker. It started to bleed a few dainty little beads. I shrugged, and went to the office to grab a band-aid. How glad I will ever be that I did.
I would have amputated my own leg to experience the bedlam that greeted me in the front office. Instead, I only had to sacrifice under an ounce of gore. Let me paint a picture for you. Pearl Harbor, ok? You’re in the make-shift nurses’ station where the dying groan like some grotesque herd and people are screaming and crying and possibly loosing their minds where they can’t find them. The room smells of antiseptic and human sweat, nurses are shuffling around, performing un-orthodox procedures, etc. Imagine this scene, except in our front office, but the previous scenario was a bit dull in comparison. How did all these people scrape their knees and get mild concussions—and I just gave a chuckle of appreciation for the magnificence in front of me and said “No. The crazies. This goes beyond anything I…” and was then barreled over by Mrs. ______ (which made the third time—and it is never pleasant) and she cried “Oh! My! Gosh! Sweetheart are you alright?!” And she tore a Costco-value-sized bottle of hydrogen peroxide from the shelf and poured half of it onto my small laceration. That part hurt, actually.
Once the wound was cleansed and passed as non-festering, I was given a band-aid as long and thick as my skull and hustled out the door. I went back into the hall and found three baby boys I knew. They had found a pie. And I swear that I’ve never seen such fierce, feral determination reflected anywhere than in those three pairs of eyes. They ushered me towards them, and bade me to follow them into an obscure hall. Once secure in our isolation, they commenced to lay out a plan of preserving the pie for a total of four days between the four of us, that is, if I wanted in. And I said, “I would love nothing more than to help you guard this mass of shortening and cherry preserve.” And they thanked me. And I laughed. “How about that Taco Salad today?” “Taco Salad? What?” “I said, how about the Taco Salad?” “Stop it. There is no Taco Salad. There is only pie.”
Two to three hours later, I was packed like a sardine onto one of the three buses willing to take kids home. It was over once I stepped off the bus and walked into my home, which was a shame. I made pumpkin pie. I chortled and chortled and chortled over that pie for the rest of the afternoon, and my mom eventually came in and said in a concerned voice,
“Are you crazy?”
Gosh. I love people.