I suppose this justifies kids owning cell phones.

24 Feb

When I was in second grade, a McDonald’s opened in my small, five-stoplight midwestern town. It was a pretty big deal, so pretty much the entire town’s population – including my mom, my seventh grade sister and me – turned up for the grand opening.

Middle school is not the time when you want your little sister clinging around, so Alicia did her best to ditch me and hang with her friends as soon as we entered the restaurant. My mom had other plans, however, so after securing our tray of food, she seated us at a table next to where my sister sat with her friends.

Alicia tried to ignore me. I tried to pretend I was part of her table. My mom tried to mediate, making us each a bit more accommodating of the other.

And then I went to the bathroom.

No, not at the table. I excused myself and went to the ladies room to pee. But I was gone a long time. So long that my mom finally started looking around for me and noticed that the door to the bathroom kept opening about an inch and closing.

She came to investigate and found me on the other side of the door, too scrawny and weak to actually open it. I had been trying for almost ten minutes to get out of the bathroom without luck, and was starting to panic, thinking I’d be stuck in there. When my mom opened the door and found me, I was so relieved that I started nervously giggling.

When we got back to the table, my sister and her friends were laughing too, which only egged me on. Perhaps I should warn you: I was a gassy child. So – to my sister’s horror – as I really let go with my laughter, I started farting. If you’re familiar with the hard plastic bench seating that McDonald’s had in the early 80’s, you know it vibrates. And echoes.

It turned into a vicious circle: I laughed, I farted, it echoed, it cracked me up, I farted again. All while my sister – who was trying to fit in with the cool kids – tried to pretend she didn’t know me. It got so bad that my mom finally made me leave the restaurant and sit on the curb while my sister tried to repair the damage with her friends.

So why am I thinking about this? Because last night I met up with my parents and nephews in Chicago for dinner (I’m herefor work and it’s my nephews’ winter break) and Avery told me he had gotten locked in the bathroom on the train ride out.

We started cracking up and I thought he was exaggerating, but then he whipped out his cell phone and showed me the text he had sent his dad from the bathroom:

Help. Stuck in bathroom on train. Options: 1. Send me Gran’s cell # so I can call her to come help me; 2. Break lock; 3. Karate kick door; 4. Pound on door for help.

I thought that was pretty resourceful. But it just goes to show how we’re softening up this generation of kids. I mean, imagine how differently this story could have ended if – instead of having a logical way to resolve the situation – he had been rescued only after panicking.

I’m pretty sure that would’ve been a train ride to remember.

2 Responses to “I suppose this justifies kids owning cell phones.”

  1. Paul February 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    Farting to get even with your sister … awesome.

  2. Alicia March 1, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    sister says no.

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