On Monday morning our principal, Mr. Evans, announced that flu shots would be given to all students on Wednesday. There would be no exceptions; Even the teachers were to get needles due to the recent outbreak of a severe flu virus. When we heard the announcement, the whole class groaned. Nobody liked getting needles. I dreaded coming to school on Wednesday, but as it turned out, I wouldn't have missed Wednesday for anything in the world. It was one of the funniest days we would ever have at Danglemore Public School.
Wednesday morning started just like any other morning, with the National Anthem and announcements, but then we found out that our teacher had volunteered our class to be the first to get their needles. She wanted to get it over with and get on with the rest of the day, she told us. Shortly after nine, our class was called down to the teachers' workroom, which had been temporarily set up as a nurse's station. No one wanted to be the first to get their needle, and nervous kids kept leaving the front of the line to take a spot at the end. Gordon, Paulo and I found ourselves getting dangerously close to the front of the line when two things happened simultaneously. The kid in front of Gordon ran to the back of the line, leaving Gordon first, and the nurse came out of the workroom to get the first kid.
"Me?" gulped Gordon. "But...
"No buts. We haven't got all day," said Mr. Evans, coming out of his office. "You're first, Gordon. It's up to you to set an example for the others. And just to show everyone that there's nothing to it, I'll go immediately after you." He motioned Gordon into the room. With a heavy sigh, Gordon trudged in and closed the door behind him. Mr. Evans took his place at the head of our line.
Once inside the room, the nurse helped Gordon roll up his sleeve. She gently pricked his arm with the needle and then placed a cotton ball over the area. After a few seconds, Gordon was told he could roll down his sleeve and tell the next person to come in. She turned around to prepare the next needle. And then it happened. An idea flashed in Gordon's brain, and he quickly unzipped his jeans and undid his belt. As he walked back into the hallway where the rest of us waited, he zipped up and did up his belt.
| "Nothing to it," he said as he rubbed his rear end. "I hardly felt a thing." Everyone groaned as we realized where we would get our needle. Mr. Evans, however, was determined to set a good example for the rest of us, so he calmly entered the nurse's station and closed the door. The nurse was still getting the needle ready, so Mr. Evans dropped his trousers and boxer shorts, leaned over the table and said, "OK, I'm ready." The nurse turned around, took one look at our principal with his shorts around his ankles and screamed! Teachers came running from all directions and flew into the workroom to see what the commotion was all about. Kids peered into the room, anxious to see for themselves what had caused the nurse to scream. We all watched as a red-faced Mr. Evans quickly pulled up his trousers and sputtered an apology to the flustered nurse. Then he stormed out of the workroom muttering to himself. I can't be sure, but it sounded something like, "How many more years 'til that kid graduates?"|
After that, even getting a needle in the arm didn't seem so bad. To this day, I still chuckle whenever it's announced that we have to get a needle.
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Book 1 - The Dead Bird Collection
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