Wednesday, February 26, 2014

All Gassed Up With No Place to Go

My son Genius is at it again. Sometimes, I think that boy came by his name in the same manner a septuagenarian is called "Young Lady" by a sleazy furniture salesman, a lanky construction worker is called "Tubby" by his buddies, and the comic book Lotta is called "Little."

Today we had a bit of a scare. I can't have my cell phone on at work. I check it during my plan time, then it goes off for the rest of the day. This morning I toyed with the idea of checking it before going to lunch. That's at 10:53 a.m., you know. But checking my phone would mean draining the battery that has as much stamina as a 98-pound weakling emerging from a decade in an iron lung. Besides, it would take valuable seconds off my 21-minute lunch. So I left Phonie right there on the table of my control center.

I had a minute to spare after watching a lunchmate ingest a bowl of chili with a heap of shredded cheddar stringing from bowl to lip, a pile of celery with two containers of cream cheese for dipping, three fruit cups, and two half-pints of chocolate milk. Low fat. In my spare minute, I turned on Phonie. I had a text from Genius. TWO! This is from the kid who will go two weeks without communicating. Must be something important, I thought. Like he's out of money. But no! Here's a paraphrasing of his message:

"Two gas line breaks. Main campus has been evacuated. I am fine."

He sent it at 10:47. I should know not to ignore my hunches. The second text said: "They are letting us stay in the residence halls for now."

By this time, the bell had rung and my class was be-bopping in from lunch. I went to the cafeteria to ask if anyone had heard any news on this topic. Nope. I was the town crier. I rushed back to mind my charges. We are working on projects, preparing them for the Monday deadline. After drawing numbers for presentation order, and getting them started, I checked to see if any news stations had picked up the story. Yes. Seems that the leak had been located, and students were being allowed back into some buildings. But here's the kicker...

At the height of the forced evacuation, people were warned against using light switches, cell phones, or doing anything that would result in a spark.

So of course the first thing Genius did was get out his cell phone and text me.


  1. Just think, he chanced the torching of life limb just to tell you not to worry. He's either very thoughtful or that Genius name is just another example of irony. That IS irony, right?

  2. I'm tellin' ya--the bright ones have NO common sense. My son--bright as a new penny--thought he had to be invited to go to a wake or funeral. AND he thought that the when the college recruiters talked about "the president" they meant (at the time) George W. Bush. street smarts at all...

  3. If he texted from outside I'm sure it would be not worth the chance. I'll bet he was not the only one to use their phone.

  4. Hey, at least he was thinking about you!

  5. Leenie,
    Yes, so thoughtful. Thank you for considering me to be your Irony Go-To Gal. I think I shall add that as yet another service I offer at my proposed handbasket factory.

    Oh, dear. If only he could have had more success at making that wake/funeral invitation thing happen than Gretchen Wieners had making "fetch" could make a mint starting your own line of greeting cards for just that purpose. I might even be persuaded to offer you discounted counter space at my proposed handbasket factory.

    As long as he was not standing right next to the gas line that was spotted spewing its contents into the air after a construction crew severed it...though somehow I can visualize that happening.

    It's the end of the month, when I deposit his spending money. I'm sure he didn't want me to assume he might have succumbed to the gas, and not fork out his bankroll.

  6. He wanted you to rest assured. Just think of the headlines.

  7. Linda,
    I am thinking of the headlines. For the next issue of the Backroads Hometown Gazette.