05 October 2011

Zero Tolerance? Ha, we laugh at Zero Tolerance!

Whenever my mom made me lunch to take to school, she wrapped up a can of pop (you know, soda) in tinfoil and put it in the bottom of my lunch sack.  One day at lunch I peeled off the tinfoil--happily anticipating my pop!--and there was a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

It was just the regular,
small one, there on the left. 
I was only 6!
As would any other fearful, freaked-out, believes-the-world-is-unpredictable-but-you-can-bet-it-will-be-bad 1st-grader, I hastily and with panic wrapped it all back up in the tinfoil and the sack and sat there stock-still and stricken until the end of the lunch hour.

I was afraid to carry it, afraid to throw it away. I knew that I would be caught with it. It was a matter of when and where. It would be somewhere that, when it happened, hundreds of people would be there when my unmasker plucked the can out of my sack, held it up high, and shouted, Jennifer has a beer!

I only vaguely understood why it was bad to have a can of beer, but I knew that it was so bad that the consequences would be searing. Would possibly take me down! Down where? I didn't know. Prison?

Finally, sitting in class, the can and I sweating, my nerves became too much for me and I abruptly rushed with my package up to the teacher who was--hello!--trying to teach, and showed it to her right where she stood at the board. She told me to put it in my desk again and take it home at the end of the day.

My classmates had seen, or been told what they missed by those who had seen, and so for a couple of days everyone treated me like I was really cool. See? The world is unpredictable. But not always so bad.

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