They Were All (Patrick) Stars That Day

, , , , | Hopeless | April 29, 2018

(One day when I’m in first grade, there’s a tornado warning for my school’s area. We go through the routine for tornadoes, something we’ve only ever done as a drill before. Basically, all the students line up in an interior hallway, kneel on the ground against the wall, and cover their necks with their hands. When the teachers get news that the tornado is heading straight for us, they decide stronger measures are needed. They start herding as many students as possible into windowless rooms. My teacher leads my class, still lined up alphabetically, to a storage closet, where we do the same kneeling-against-the-wall thing. It soon becomes clear that one person isn’t going to fit, and since my last name is at the end of the alphabet for my class, that person is going to be me. My teacher closes the closet and takes me to another one, where a second teacher has ushered a group of seventh grade boys. We all pack into the tiny room, and the teachers don’t stay with us. It’s pitch-black when they close the door, I’m with a group of much older boys who I don’t know, and there’s a tornado coming. I start to cry.)

Boy #1: *trying to comfort me* “Hey, it’s all right. We’re safe in here.”

Me: *still crying*

Boy #2: “Are you ready, kids?”

Half The Boys In The Room: “Aye, aye, captain!”

Boy #2: “I can’t hear you!”

Every Boy In The Room: “AYE, AYE, CAPTAIN!”

Boy #2:*singing* “Oooooooh, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?”

(Despite being at the age where little kid songs were seen as uncool, this group of seventh grade boys sang the entire “Spongebob Squarepants” theme song and every Disney song they could think of to keep me from being scared. I stopped crying soon after they started, and joined in with the singing. Luckily, the tornado didn’t hit us, and we were let out about an hour or so later.)

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