The Great Decluttering: Part 4

(If you’re new here, you may want to start with The Great Decluttering.)

In case it isn’t legible, the letter in the photo essentially outlines the consequences of bringing a fake bomb to school in 1986. Before you get all judgy and start pontificating about the imprudence of doing something like this nowadays, let me be clear: it was also a really bad idea back then. I know this now.

The day started like any other winter day in Southeastern Idaho. Well, except someone (not me, probably) had pulled the fire alarm at school so everyone had to evacuate the building and wait for the emergency personnel to reset the system. To fill the time, my best friend and I decided to practice hit-and-run accidents with my parent’s car. It worked like this: I’d drive around the parking lot and he’d spring out in front of me and then bounce across the hood of the car and onto the pavement on the other side. We’d taken all the necessary safety precautions, of course, like scraping most of the ice off the windows and removing the decorative hood ornament so he wouldn’t snag his good shirt. We weren’t idiots.

Anyways, everything was going great until our drama teacher, who you’d think would appreciate talent like this, surged through the growing crowd of onlookers LIKE A CRAZY MAN and told us we had to stop before someone (not me, probably) got killed. So then we had to just sit there with absolutely nothing else to do. For minutes. It was monotonous and awful and ultimately sparked a brainstorming session around better ways to utilize our time together in the future.

The next day, my best friend came to school with an old kitchen timer and bunch of multi-colored wires attached to a small brick of grey modeling clay. It looked just like a real bomb if you’d only ever seen one in the movies and were currently living in 1986. This was perfect for our target demographic, though, so we confidently planted it in a classmate’s locker and waited for the fun to begin.

We didn’t really have a plan after that.

The girl that found it, however, did. She immediately sprang into action and dashed towards the office for help even though our school had a strict policy against screaming and running in the hallways. Nobody ever wanted to talk about that, though.

In the unlikely event you’ve never been interrogated by an angry principal and a swarm of police officers before, it’s kind of like facing your parents after you’ve accidentally scratched the hood of their car except they aren’t morally bound to love you no-matter-what and also some of them are packing guns. Needless to say, we quickly confessed to everything, including several crimes we’d never even heard of before.

Looking back now, I have to say it feels pretty good to get all this out in the open and share what I’ve known for the past 30+ years: The entire incident was clearly my drama teacher’s fault.

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