Terrifying Words

So I didn’t show up for classes today. I spent the day hanging around the courthouse. See, they sent me this great invitation to come down and spend the day and I heard that I would get paid to do it. What a deal! So I snuck into the school and dropped off some plans for the sub, said hello to the people who were in the office including my immediate supervisor and headed down to the courthouse.

I got there and found out that the invitation wasn’t so exclusive. There were about 300 or so other people there and I didn’t see people I knew. Hard to enjoy a party with people you don’t know well. It wasn’t very exciting either. They told us to come in and sit down. No refreshments. Everyone was quiet. I talked a little bit with the people around me, but everyone was quiet until the leader had us all say the pledge of allegiance together. Then they talked about wanting to take our blood. At least those folks had refreshments and probably a more comfortable place to relax.

Then they started breaking us into groups. They kicked some people out of their seats so they could put other people in those seats. I guess it was a form of sophisticated musical chairs or something but I couldn’t see much point. They didn’t kick people out of the game until the end and those people weren’t mad, they were happy. Meanwhile, those of us with chairs were at least guaranteed our spots. I finally found a friend. She had a number right after mine, but I was the last seat on my row in the big party room and she was the first seat on the next row so we didn’t get much chance to talk in the big party room.

So how bad was this shindig? After making us sit down and be quiet for a couple of hours they sent us out to get our own lunch after warning us to make plans to stay late. Seriously? This thing would run late? I was hoping to sneak out early but they had these bouncers whose job was to keep people in. I decided to try this new BBQ place. I knew my pastor was bringing his friends later in the day. I thought I would eat, catch them coming in as they were leaving. I was wrong – but this was fun. They came in right after I got my food and they took pity on me being all alone and invited me to sit with them. This was new for the day: sitting with people and actually talking and laughing. Our church staff is a fun bunch!

I had to be back at the courthouse by about 1:30 so I arrived a little early because I heard some friends were supposed to go to the afternoon version of the event. I tried to warn them about how boring it was, but they showed up anyway. So, they took the group I was sitting with and brought us up to a private room. This room had one leader and two minions and a few other people milling around in some arena that they wouldn’t let us go to. So the leader talked a lot about the rules for this game which seemed like a strange version of truth or dare. I thought about asking for the dare, but neither the leader nor the minions seemed to have much of an adventurous spirit. They also had us doing these flash cards like they used to do at football games. I’m sure we did some great designs, but only the leader, the minions and the miller arounders could see it. I wonder if anyone got video.

So the leader ended his talking and his examples and was going to give us a chance to catch our breath from the excitement of his part of the game. As we were getting ready to leave the upstairs room to catch our breath the leader said some terrifying words. “We expect this [fun] to last 4 or 5 days.” Well, I just knew that my supervisor would be thrilled to know that she wouldn’t have to put up with me for a full week, so I let her know about the possibility. Then we went back into the room where the leader let the minions take their turns leading us in the flashcard version of truth or dare. After the two minions had their turns, with a refresher in the rules from the leader, then they played elimination truth or dare asking each of the people in my group individual questions. Then, when both minions asked one line of people their questions, they went outside in the hallway to see if they had won the game. Finally they got to me and I pointed out that one of the minions asked a silly question.

So we all went into the hallway and waited. A few members of the group went back into the room for private instruction in the rules of the game. Then they called us all back into the room and announced the winners of the game. I didn’t win. I wonder if it was because I pointed out the silly question. Anyway, I was getting tired of their fun and decided that I don’t care how many hundreds of dollars they might pay me for today and other days,  it wouldn’t be worth it. I was glad to lose that game. Now, I just have to go back to school tomorrow and read what my substitute had to say about my students. Now those can be terrifying words to come back to. I hope not, though.



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