It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Squirt

It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Squirt

Infos Feb 19, 2010 Comments Off

I had intended to play kickball during lunch, but now the thoughts of my parents finding out that I was in trouble caused me to sob like I was in kindergarten again.  As I contemplated what to include in the letters which I was going to give to the girl I had made cry, and to my parents explaining my actions, my thoughts turned to the beginning of the story, right before lunch time.

Alan Shiflett 1st Grade Picture

Sitting in a classroom I was unfamiliar with, I continued to cry.  Being a first grader, I had not planned to spend my lunch recess in a classroom writing an apology letter as a result of my bad actions during lunch time.  Hunched over in a chair, I was slightly smaller than the average first grader, and my dirty-blond, bowl shaped hair was ruffled from leaning on the desk with my hands against my head.  I had intended to play kickball during lunch, but now the thoughts of my parents finding out that I was in trouble caused me to sob like I was in kindergarten again.  As I contemplated what to include in the letters which I was going to give to the girl I had made cry, and to my parents explaining my actions, my thoughts turned to the beginning of the story, right before lunch time.

“As soon as we finish putting the art supplies away, we’ll go to lunch,” my teacher said in a calm, yet excited voice.  Mrs. Oldham was one of the nicest teachers in school.  She had long curly, blond hair and always wore a smile on her face that made children like her from the moment they met her.
Everyone in my class sped up as they looked up at the clock, knowing that the faster we picked everything up, the more time we would have to play kickball.  Being half way through the first semester, everyone knew where everything went, and worked together to accomplish the task.  Most of us knew each other from kindergarten and were good friends who constantly joked around with one another.
As we approached the lunch room Mrs. Oldham announced that those who had “cold lunches” could go have a seat while those who had brought money for “hot lunches” waited in line to get their food.  I had brought a cold lunch, as I always did, because hot lunches costed almost two dollars.  Coming from a family with four children we could all have a peanut butter sandwich, a bag of off brand cheetos, batman fruit snacks and grape juice for a grand total of twenty-five cents per lunch.  Three or four other people in my class brought their lunches regularly and we had made a habit of sitting together until the others got their lunches.
Sitting next to me was Ashley, a girl with long blond hair that covered half her back.  We had been friends for a while and felt comfortable joking around with each other.

She began telling me about the new light indigo dress she was wearing, as she began to unpack her lunch. As she brought out a plastic bottle of blue Kool-Aid with the face of the infamous Kool-Aid man sticking out of the center of the container, a great idea popped into my head.  I decided that it would be funny for me to grab it and pretend to drink out of it.  As I began to reach for the drink she twisted off the boomerang shaped lid and placed it to the side.  Out of the corner of her eye she must have seen my hand sneaking for it and clutched the top of the bottle at the precise moment that I grabbed the bottom.  We both tightened our grip causing the juice to squirt out of the top and onto her new dress.  Tears began flowing down her face causing my devilish smirk to quickly disappear.
Coming out of the food line, Mrs. Ray, another first grade teacher, saw the whole accident transpire.  Mrs. Ray was known throughout the first grade as the meanest and strictest teacher.  A rumor had spread around that she would not let you out of the first grade unless you could spell Tyrannosaurus Rex.  She was a corpulent lady with black hair and a wrinkled face that caused thoughts of witches to pop into my mind whenever I saw her.  A look of anger came over her face as she screamed my last name, “Shhhiiifffleeeett!”  She had known both my brothers as perfect students in years past and ever since had been waiting for one of us to make a mistake and now had found one.  She ran towards me, I frantically looked for a place to run, in my mind the ground seemed to shake with each of her steps.  The thought of this teacher twice my size and ten times my weight coming towards me caused me to join Ashley in crying.

“Alan, you need to keep your hands to yourself,” Mrs. Ray roared.
As I struggled to think of something to say, I could only utter, “I didn’t mean to.”
“Well you should have thought about the consequence of your actions before you sprayed her with the juice.”
Upset that I was being blamed for everything, I was quick to say, “she was having fun until she tipped it onto herself.”
“It is all fun and games till someone get hurt, now bring your lunch and come with me.”

As I followed her out the door she announced to another teacher that I had drenched a girl with juice.  As the teacher looked down on me with disgust I fought to say something back to defend my name, but failed to get anything to come out and continued to follow Mrs. Ray to her room.
Once in her room I was told that I had no reason to cry, because I was not hurt yet.  I took this as a threat from this behemoth of a teacher, and continued to cry.  I was then instructed to write two letters of apology, one for Ashley and one for my parents, explaining my actions.  I began writing the letters while she ate her lunch.  As she gulped down her sixth hot pocket I completed the second letter.  Proud of my accomplishment, I rose my hand to ask if I could leave, just as other first graders began returning from recess drenched with sweat, covered with grass, and smiles on their faces.  The image of kickball returned to my thoughts as I became envious of the others who had played while my lunch recess was wasted away.

Through the eyes of a first grader this was the worst possible punishment ever.  I will forever remember that day as the day I did not get to play kickball.  I realized that day that detention is an evil place.  Detention was concocted to keep children out of trouble by instating fear of losing their recess.  I have strived to avoid such confinement for the last eleven years of my educational career.  That day was the first detention I was in and will be the last, for detention has served its purpose on me and has kept me in a never ending fear of getting into trouble when in the presence of teachers.  I do not believe I am the only student who has “detentionphobia,” for I believe many were frightened that year alone and years to come by the same form of cruel punishment that was inflicted upon me that day by Mrs. Ray.

About the post:  This was written by Alan Shiflett while in high school.  This was a memoir assignment in the which he describes a memory that he will never forget.

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