I think it’s a good idea never to lick the doors of doom.
Primary School from Hell
Chapter One: The Doors of Doom
On a September morning I recall entering the huge front door holding Mom’s hand tightly as we were lead down this long, long corridor to a classroom on the back of the school. In the classroom I was greeted with the stares of about twenty other kids as fearful and as confused looking as me. Suddenly mom’s hand was gone. She had abandoned me to this place for the next 12 years and some strange lady, who we had to call Miss, was telling me to sit in a chair and none of us could pee without her approval. That didn’t stop some of my fellow prisoners from going when they had to, though. On more then one ocassion we had to watch our step around a golden puddle of cooling steam.
That first day of education was the only time I can remember ever using the main entrance to go to school. After that we always used the set of three doors in the rear block, next to my classes. They were big doors with big brass handles that got frosty in the wintertime. It was on that door handle I first experience the primary school terror of the dreaded dare. “You’re a chicken!” Fearful of being labeled a coward and having the sound of clucking follow me until high school graduation, I answered back, “I am not a chicken and I’ll prove it!”
What was the dare that I faced on that frosty winter morning? “Touch your tongue to the door handle!” I was only six, I had no idea what bacteria were, let alone how to say the word, but how dirty could the door handle actually be? After all, it was winter right? Everyone was wearing mittens, most with the strings on them. Leaning in I placed my tongue on the handle and smiled at my bravery. I was no one’s chicken. Then I stepped back and found, with my tongue now bonded with the frosty brass handle of the door, I could not moved. “Don’t panic.” I thought, “Think this through.”
Then the bell rang. “Now panic!” With the sounding of the bell, in seconds, everyone I knew and many that I didn’t would be rushing into the school past the very door I was now frozen to. Everyone would see me stuck to the door by my tongue, there was no way this was going to impress that pretty red-headed girl in my class. No longer did I fear being called chicken for the remainder of my school days. No, now the words I imagined following me through my coming years at school were words like stupid, idiot, dummy and tongueless boy. All appropriate options. I had to save face, salvage my dignity. It was time to deal with my dilemma. Drastically.
I placed both hands on the door beside the handle and with one swift push and an intense flash of agony , I abandoned every single tastebud to the cold metal of that frosty door handle. I really wish I had of had the time to really think that through. Those that had dared me now looked at me with disbelief on there faces as I smiled and pretended I wasn’t in pain. “It doesn’t hurt,” is what I tried saying, hoping to convince them of the untruth of what I was feeling. What they heard me say sounded more like a demented cave dweller, “Eet dednnd huurd.”
It was weeks before I was able to taste again.
I don’t really know what germs lived on that handle but soon after that I ended up with the mumps and a broken leg. I can’t blame my broken leg on the doorknob. (The mumps may be a different story.) I slipped on melting ice outside the nearby all-girls catholic high school. Six high school girls tried to carry me to safety with a broken leg. If I was ten years older that alone would have been worth the pain but being six years old I was more scared of germs on the girls then the germs on the doorknobs.
COMING NEXT: CHAPTER THREE: THE DEVOURING DEPTHS