I was asked if I’d like to work an extra 15 minutes every morning (paid! Woo-hoo!) and do crossing guard duty. That means, I get to wear a day-glow vest, carry a radio, AND hold up a stop sign. I also get to push the button that stops traffic.
It is a position of great power, and I humbly accepted the heavy mantle of responsibility that comes with it. Dude! I get paid! Woo-hoo!
After a couple of days, I renamed it from Crossing Guard Duty to Dodge Car, because there are some folks out there who do not quite grasp the concept of red lights, stop flags, cross walks, and school zones. They DO, however, understand the wrath of a short, fat woman with a crazed look in her eye and a big voice.
But I actually enjoy the job. Then it rained. It didn’t just rain… it RAINED. A
LOT. It rained so hard, my
hat was soggy, my coats were dripping, and my shoes squished. When I went
inside to return the flag to the work room, I stopped by the office manager’s
desk. She began making squeaking noises as she grabbed handfuls of important
documents that were mysteriously getting soggy. Then she pulled up an online
catalog and ordered a poncho for me. Bright yellow. With a hood!
I was hoping for black, then I could play the music from the Empire Strikes Back. She said it was better if cars could actually see me. Besides, if I’m wearing yellow, I look less like the grim reaper, which would probably give parents nightmares. “Oh my gawd! They Grim Reaper is the crossing guard? Why? Why? Is he down on his quota or something?”
Ponchos, yellow or otherwise, are lovely in the rain. It keeps me dry, except for my lower legs and my feet, but whatever, and surprisingly warm. Those buggers really help hold in heat.
And other things.
And I don’t know what the hell I’d eaten, but when my butt whispered something about it the next morning, the smell was intense, almost as though it was condensed or something. Refined to its purest form of stench. Sticky, nasty, concentrated fart. And I let one of those go in my poncho.
We were both trapped. Worse, there was no breeze to help move it along. Worse yet, someone was coming and would need to be crossed to the other side. I knew if I didn’t do something quick, it wouldn’t be the other side of the road… these farts were lethal!
I paced quickly back and forth, “adjusting” the poncho to cover up the flapping motions. But with all the moisture in the air, the fart just couldn’t leave the area. And the kid was getting closer. Kids are not ones to let something like a mega-stink fart go unnoticed or unannounced. This fart was going to by my waterloo if I didn’t think of something quick. The kid was about fifteen feet from me and closing fast. Quickly, I began looking around on the ground, frowning and shaking my head. Then, in a stroke of sheer brilliance, I checked the bottoms of my shoes!
The kid approached as I was doing this, wrinkled his nose, and checked his shoes as well. I muttered something about darn dogs and people who don’t clean up after them, and he nodded. “Yeah, it’s rude,” he said.
Good boy. I crossed him safely to the school and we both lived to tell the tale.