Hi. Marvin here. I thought I would take advantage of this snow day (ice day, really) by getting something off my chest that has been bothering me for the last thirty-five years or so. Thanks in advance for your indulgence on this matter.
Somewhere around the fifth grade, I was given the honor of joining the safety squad at school. I remember what a big deal it was when they pulled out my orange belt and badge, and I knew right from that moment I had found my calling in life. After five minutes of intensive training by the gym teacher, I was given my post and sent on my merry way.
My job was to stand on a specific corner in my neighborhood, and make sure that any kids who arrived at said corner got across Oak Park Blvd. safely. Somewhere during my five minutes of training, I distinctly remember them saying that I should not, for any reason, EVER leave my post. I took this to heart.
Things went well for the first week. I must have safely transported at least three or four kids across two busy lanes of traffic (and a grassy median) during my tenure on the safety squad.
That is, until things went horribly wrong.
One morning, a woman came out in her bathrobe. Her child lived across the street from my post, on the opposite corner. She called out and asked if I would cross all the way over to her side of the street, and then help her kid get back to MY side of the street.
Warning bells sounded. Red lights began to flash. Giant Thunderbolt air-raid sirens started whizzing around in my head. The Earth cracked open at my feet, and a giant chasm formed between me and Mrs. Bathrobe. I WAS NOT, FOR ANY REASON, SUPPOSED TO LEAVE MY POST!
I politely told her I couldn't. She called the school. The next morning, I was asked to return my belt and badge. I was crestfallen, to say the least. As a matter of fact, to this day, my crests are still not where they should be.
And so good readers, I am asking for some perspective here. Did I do the right thing? Should my honor have been so unceremoniously stripped from me on that crisp fall morning? You be the judge. And by the way, I was 9. And very cute.
If I get enough positive feedback, I plan to petition the school to have my safety squad status restored. I think it is the least they can do. That, and let me wear the belt once in a while. I look darn good in fluorescent orange.