People, let’s talk about cause and effect! This story doesn’t end well for a certain little girl with Leukemia, but I’m not the one to blame here. Leukemia isn’t even the one to blame here. Like many others here on this site, this particular story doesn’t paint me in a very good light, but I’m willing to risk that to get right up on my soapbox and tell you about the effect Air Raid drills had on the children of America. (If you don’t know what an Air Raid drill is and never had to duck and cover read this LINK HERE before you go any further or I’ll just sound crazier than I normally do).
My being a neurotic mess didn’t happen overnight; I was the only newborn in the maternity ward kvetching over the fold in my swaddled blanket – Why does my blanket have stripes – he’s got one that’s plain blue, why can’t I get plain blue? Why did he get a second tuck? When is that nurse gonna start warming her hands before she changes me…But this isn’t about a newborn – fast forward to that neurotic mess as a teenager…
My friend MariaElaina was like my partner in crime. If there was a box of Entemann’s cookies in my hand, her hand was covered in crumbs as well. If there was a sixty-five year old woman to play cards with, she was right there shuffling the cards while the old bag cheated us for pennies…If she had a flour baby in Health Class and mistakenly let me babysit, I was the one that got it kidnapped…As with everyone, High School can be tough – so we used to combat that by cutting classes and attending the other person’s class with them to make it bearable.
MariaElaina was enrolled in a vocational program that was teaching her practical skills to become a dental hygienist and so for half the school day, she was bussed over to a satellite school for the program. It was career and technical programs, so you only went there if you were enrolled in one. Always up for a road trip, I ditched my classes for the day and got on the bus with her to learn the tricks of the dental hygentistry trade. The bus ride over was about twenty five minutes to a half hour and without incident. I had never been there before, so it was fun to see the facility and get out of my school for the day.
We went into her classroom after arriving and were stoked to see that it was a substitute teacher for the day. Now we figured that there wouldn’t be anyone the wiser for me being there when I wasn’t supposed to. Little did I know…
Of course, all the kids were fooling around and being High School kids as the Substitute took attendance. We figured that if I just didn’t answer she wouldn’t know anything; we were all just standing around anyway so she wouldn’t realize I was extra. As MariaElaina and I were chatting it up, I was starting to get a headache from my eyeglasses so I took them off and held them in my hand. One of her classmates started over towards us and I couldn’t help but squint and stare because I didn’t have my glasses on but that girl was obviously sick. She wasn’t walking okay and she was literally the palest person I have ever seen in my life. Translucent if you will. Knowing I cannot be trusted to not say dumb things, MariaElaina tried to blow her off and get her away from us as soon as possible, but the girl couldn’t take a hint. She kept talking to us and asking questions: Are you interested in dental hygentistry? Is that why you’re here with us today? It was almost as if I was all of a sudden going to don a pair of rubber gloves and ask to scrub in…
As we were talking, we were standing in the doorway of the classroom. MariaElaina and I were in the room and Leukemia Girl (I call her that because she had Leukemia and quite honestly, I can’t remember her name) had her back to the doorway facing us. As Leukemia Girl was overstaying her welcome and ignoring my confused stares, there was a random girl passing by the open doorway of our classroom. I gave it no notice until another girl about a minute later started down the same hallway screaming out to her. I will swear until the day that I die that she screamed “AIR RAID” and not “ADRIAN” to the girl that passed by before her, but I have been told repeatedly since then that I am mistaken. I don’t know if it was my late 1970’s grade school training to move fast to duck & cover in the hallway, but I hit the Holy Shit button big time and freaked the freak out! It was almost as if a bolt of lightning shot right into me and my body jerked into action mid-conversation. Thinking back about it, I can see it in my mind in slow-motion: me screaming at the top of my lungs “AIR RAID!!!AIR RAID!!!” and then proceeding to throw my eyeglasses out of my hand like a World Series Pitcher and then those airborne eyeglasses smacking right into the young lady with Leukemia Girl’s forehead with a thud resulting in her first bruise of the day and then me bum-rushing for the door screaming “AIR RAID!!!AIR RAID!!!” as I knocked her out of the way and onto the floor in order to get into the hallway and down on all fours with my hands covering my neck.
Needless to say, since this wasn’t an actual drill – no one else took part in the safety precautions and just stared in disbelief at first, then disgust as I accidentally assaulted the girl with Leukemia. As I lay there crouched on the floor, she was writhing in pain on her back like a turtle turned upside down and carrying on like she had been shot…
MariaElaina was, of course, laughing hysterically and rolling on the floor as the substitute teacher shot up like a rocket screaming. She made sure Leukemia Girl still had a pulse and had someone was take her to the nurse and then turned on me: “What is wrong with you? Come with me – You’re going to the Principal right now!”
“The principal? I don’t even go here…” it slipped out before I could even hold it back…MariaElaina looked like she was about to wet herself right there. Tears streaming down her face and just bellowing. Her laughing wasn’t helping because it always made me laugh even harder and this was no exception. I was escorted to the front door and told to leave immediately.
“But I don’t even know where we are? How am I going to get back? I took the bus here – is there another one going back to the High School?”
“There’s another bus in in two hours when classes are over for the day – but you can’t wait in here.”
Guess who had to sit outside the front of the building for two hours and wait for the bus as MariaElaina and the kids in her class looked out the window hysterical laughing at him? Did I forget to mention that it was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella or even a coat on? I didn’t really mind it and it wasn’t so bad until the girl with Leukemia popped her bruised head into the window and proceeded to give me the finger…I was literally sitting out there on a cold slab of concrete they were calling a bench for two hours soaking wet and laughing to myself like a psycho at the absurdity of it all.
I’m not saying she was milking it or wasn’t really hurt, but come on – it’s not like I was a linebacker. Even though she was sickly and paper thin, she still definitely had more muscle tone than me and they were eyeglasses that I hit her with – not nunchucks!
If you’re wondering the lesson I learned from that – it’s obviously that the Air Raid drills work because I have literally been in a house on fire twice and didn’t move that quick but you mention Air Raid and I’m off like a prom dress…
2 thoughts on “Years after the Cold War thawed, Air Raid Drills were still nabbing casualties”
Omg!!! Ant Im peeing over here! Reading this I relived it
It was soooo vivid! BTW do you remember the other twat in that class? Well shes now a surgical nurse in GoodSam and is ALWAYS in the or on my surgical team!!! Lmao I pretend I dont know her !!!
I can still see it!!! Next time it’s about old lady Mary or the ac trip with the stall! Better to pretend not to know her…