These Boots Were Made For Beeping

, , , , , , | Learning | February 11, 2019

In middle school, my class takes a field trip to a major government library to research a history project. It’s worth mentioning that at the time, I am a bit of a punk-y tomboy. They have some very sensitive and valuable documents inside, so everyone is required to go through a metal detector before they can enter.

Most of the class goes through with only minor hiccups, like forgotten change or house keys. Then I go through. The detector beeps, and I’m confused because I only have a cheap necklace on that I was sure wouldn’t set it off, but I remove it anyway and try again. Again, the machine beeps.

This prompts me to have to go through every pocket I have — quite a few as I like wearing cargo pants — and after a few more failures I even leave my emptied coat with the guard. Still no luck. Finally, they break out a wand to try to pinpoint the issue. The wand is silent until they get to my shoes, where it starts beeping madly, and I realize with horror that I completely forgot that the boots I’m wearing are steel-toed. The guards immediately break out laughing, as no one even considered the idea that petite, blond, thirteen-year-old me would be wearing men’s work boots.

I wasted about fifteen minutes of everyone’s time in the end, and my classmates teased me for weeks about being a shoe-bomber. At least they didn’t take my boots from me!

Hooked On The Theater

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 3, 2019

Our class is scheduled to see a West End production. We dress in our formal clothes, and we get to the theatre early. Most of our class is happy to wait in the foyer or on the sidewalk, but three of us want to look around the area. One of our male teachers agrees to chaperone us on a walk.

At first, we’re cheerful and loudly discuss which way to go. We turn down a side street, which seems at first to be lined with small shops with neon marquees and neon-lit windows. There’s only foot traffic here, and some women are clustered around open doorways, chatting or leaning against walls. But as we near the closest marquees, we realize who the women are, and what the “shops” actually are. And we begin to realize we are a group of three young women wearing fancy dresses being escorted by a guy at least twice our age, and that this is not a place we want to be at all.

My eyes bug out, and we giggle nervously while our teacher turns red. We go quiet and focus on getting to the other end of the alley while the hookers watch us.

We head back to the theatre immediately. We never say a word about it to our classmates or the other teachers.

Climbing This Mountain Is A Sweet Experience

, , , , | Friendly | December 19, 2018

(I have been helping out on a Brownie holiday and we are on the bus on the way back to our home city. I am sat next to the Brownie leader. A couple of the girls in front of us are pointing out things excitedly and being quite loud and silly.)

Girl #1: “Look, look! There’s a monster cow.”

Me: “Uh-huh, sure.”

Leader: “Yep, that’s a monster all right.”

Girl #2: “Oh, and you could jump from that cliff and fly up like birds.”

Leader: “You think so, huh?”

(We drive past a mountain.)

Girl #1: “That’s Sugar Loaf Mountain!”

Leader: *trying very hard not to laugh* “Sugar loaf, eh? What kind of sugar loaf?”

Girl #2: “The mountain!”

Leader: “Sure. See them all the time, those sugar loaves climbing up their mountains. Go tell [Other Helper] all about the sugar loaves around here. Tell her we’re eating them tonight!”

Girls: “Okay!”

(They get up to go speak to the other helper.)

Leader: “Sugar Loaf Mountain, eh? What are they like?”

Me: “Er, that one was actually real.”

Leader: “What?”

Me: “Sugar Loaf Mountain is a real mountain and we did just pass it. I’ve climbed it before.”

Leader: “Oops. Oh, well. Wonder if [Other Leader] will guess that. What a wonderful name.”

Bridging The Facts

, , , , , | Learning | December 6, 2018

(Our school is taking a trip to New York City, and the teacher in charge has hired a local tour guide to come onto our bus to tell some facts about landmarks. While talking about the Brooklyn Bridge, the guide brings up the architect, John Roebling.)

Guide: “Now, does anyone by chance happen to know where John Roebling is from?”

Literally Everyone On The Bus: “Saxonburg, Pennsylvania!”

Guide: “No, that’s not right. Hmm… I can’t remember, either. Oh, well. Moving on.”

Teacher: “No, they are right and you are wrong. He is from Saxonburg, and that is a fact. Our school is in Saxonburg; our park is named ‘Roebling Park’ after him, and they even have a model of the Brooklyn Bridge in it. If there is one thing we know, it’s where he’s from.”

Inattentive Lifeguards Breathe A Sign Of Relief, As One Drowning Per Pool Session Is Now Acceptable

, , , , , , | Learning | November 14, 2018

When I was ten years old, the summer program I attended went on a field trip to a local indoor waterpark. I tried using a feature where one walked across on lily-pad-like flotation devices while also using a net above, but ended up slipping off and getting trapped underneath one of them.

The worst part was that the lifeguard — nor anyone else, for that matter — seemed not to notice, and the other kids continued to walk on the lily pads, despite my predicament. After what felt like forever, I freed myself, but due to embarrassment, I said nothing about it and went to do something else.

Ten minutes later, the summer program staff announced we were going back to the site early — we’d been there for only an hour — due to inattentive lifeguards, which made me wonder what else had happened, since none of them asked if I was okay.

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