Today found me at the goddess’s school, prepared to take the class to lunch while her teacher went and enjoyed an hour of child free solitude. The PTO sponsors this four times per year and it’s called “duty free lunch”. Suckers….er, I mean, moms like me are drafted to come in and watch the class for the hour.
To make matters worse, I have yet another zit on my chin. I believe I am in the process of transforming into a large pimple, a blight on society, a pustulent oozing growth from which no good can come. This zit makes the other one seem like child’s play. I cannot get it to come to a head and I have picked at it relentlessly so now it looks like a bing cherry is protruding beneath my lip. I can’t leave it alone. I am obssessed with it. And I know everyone who looks at me is also obssessed. It hurts and it’s ugly. I think it’s a female zit because it won’t spew. So we’ll call it Debbie….as in Debbie does Dallas. Gotta keep my porno theme going here!
I walked into the lunchroom with my herd of first graders, and I swear there were audible gasps of horror. At the very least, the people who stopped to greet me were staring at my chin. I know they were. I can’t even blame them because it begs to be stared at.
I got the kids through the line and they had just started tucking in, when a bell rang. The kids all looked at me like I knew what it meant. Or maybe they were looking at Debbie, I’m not sure.
Anyway, I told them to keep eating. I figured if anything bad was happening, someone would let us know soooner than later. Sure enough, a couple of minutes passed and then teachers started barreling through the doors to the cafeteria. The scene took on the surreal quality of a war movie, with the teachers shouting for the kids to get moving and the kids throwing their hands up over their heads and trotting out into the hall in formation. I stood there in bemusement, like the stupid extra who is going to take five or six direct hits and fall to the ground with eyes wide and staring, wondering what the hell just happened.
Finally I caught on that it was a TORNADO warning. Not sure how I missed the blaring sirens but I did. I followed the class out the door and into the hall. The kids were instructed to drop and assume the DISASTER POSITION. This involved them going down on their knees, putting their heads on the floor and sticking their little butts up in the air. Definitely a position for disaster, that’s for sure!! They were conveniently stationed right underneath a large bank of windows and as I was opening my mouth the teacher said “well this won’t work.” Hmmmm, ya think?
A conversation ensued and all the while the sirens were blaring. They were debating as to whether to move them down the hall or into another wing altogether, when I pointed out the small hallway behind us and said politely “How about here?”
They agreed that would work and we moved all the kids. It was a tight fit, but they were safe from flying glass. So there we were, wedged into a hall, with fifteen little butts wagging in the air. I wondered how I had agreed to waste a perfectly good Friday in this manner, but it was too late. The deed was done. One little girl was losing her britches, so it was really fourteen butts and a moon.
And so we had nothing to do but wait… wait to die… wait to live… wait for an absolution that would never come. We were jammed in that hall for AN HOUR!!! An hour, with fifteen wiggly first graders who were starving to boot! Because their lunches were on the table, slowly cooling, slowly growing bacteria and becoming unfit for human consumption. Or even first grader consumption.
Well, it was the longest hour of my life. And the best part is the tornado was roughly about thirty miles north of us. There was no chance of it touching down anywhere near the school. But safety first!! I guess I’m grateful, but I would have been even more grateful had I been elsewhere for the non event! I know this for sure though; next time I go out, I will be wearing a zit concealing burqua!!