Current/Recent Reading List

11 February 2007

Field Trip Highlights, Part I

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Then are dreamt of in your shopping malls."
- Hamlet (sort of)

O.k., I made that last part up, but to prove a point. If you want to lure a few more teenagers onto a Shakespeare field trip halfway across the state, promise them the trip will include a stop at a shopping mall, one bigger than any near their homes. Works every time.

We made it back, and in one piece, from our whirlwind trip, which included about 11 total hours on the bus, innumerable bathroom stops, and the kind of teenage girl silliness that mad scientists can only dream of replicating in a lab. Since I didn't have my laptop with me, I couldn't do several logs a day, as I wished I could. So, instead, I've decided to do some blog re-enacting, if you will. Hope you enjoy the highlights:

Thursday, Feb. 8th - 4:15 p.m.: We are on the road on our Magic Bus. The final count includes 9 girls, three boys, a 42 year-old parent (who is pregnant, much to her surprise, with kidlet #4!), a mildly balding bus driver/teacher aide, and a rapidly balding me. Sounds like that Ruby Tuesday's about thirty minutes away is in for some trouble, don't you think?

6:30: You know, it takes a long time to feed, and take payments from, fifteen people. Most amusing, during this waitress-induced interregnum, is to hear so many of the kids exclaim in dismay about how much their bills were. One fast-forwards to the pleasures of hearing such from one's own know-it-all 18 year-old after his first week at college.

7:10: "Mr. P, I've got to pee." "Are you sure?" "Yes." (brilliant question I had, no?)

8:45: We've just had another bathroom stop, this time at a Burger King. As I walked toward the building, I saw the manager and another worker, who were taking a break outside, quickly get inside to their posts. This was only to watch us all come in and use the restrooms, or stand around inside just, you know, because. I wasn't hungry myself, but I felt for the guys, who probably expected some good business. Two of the girls finally, mercifully, bought drinks; however, this may just come across as an insult to the BK Lounge staff. Oh, and those soft drinks ought to help cut down on the pee stops.

9:40: We are getting close, and are now on a two-lane highway, which is bad news for my parent chaperone, because from her seat, she nervously watches the bus driver hugging those yellow lines. She has indicated her anxiety in polite, but unsubtle ways. But there is no stopping a bus driver once he's in the zone.

10:00: We've arrived, after overshooting the hotel once and having to turn around, little by little, in a cul-de-sac. Somehow a couple of the girls are now in their pajamas. No sooner do I have the room assignments finalized than the kids are off, not stopping for a millisecond to find out what room their fearless leader, stalwart guide, and valued mentor will be staying in. I guess they figure I'll be somewhere on their floor, and they can always just go around banging on doors if they need me. It feels great to be valued.

11:30: Curse that bus trip! Since I've been away from t.v/radio/computers for six hours, I've had no idea that Anna Nicole Smith passed away! I'm going to ask the school system to install XM Radio on the buses immediately. It is intolerable not to know about the latest C-list celebrity drug overdoses!

Before turning out I have watched the news, and, flipping around, a bizarre segment on HBO's "Real Sex" about middle-aged women who take dildos around to housewife parties and train said housewives in how to do hand jobs. I mention this only because, I'll bet, no account of a school field trip has ever mentioned anything like this. With good reason, I might add.

(Part II soon to come, with details on the actual play, the mall trip, another pee story, and probably some lapses into sentimentality)

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