Write On!

Playing Hooky

In Responses on January 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

by Tara Wiley

What happened that night, according to Pete’s conversation with his fellow jailbirds

Pete: Dude, you know, I was having a sweet time hanging with my bros, playing poker, when the old man texted me and said I had to get back to the home base.

So check it out: one minute I was driving, and then Bam! This turn came out of nowhere and next thing I knew my car was smack against a pole. Dude, it was like the freakin’ Fourth of July. Sparks everywhere, scared the crap out of me. The cops showed up before I had a chance to bolt. Put me in the back and left me there while they checked out some emergency at the old folks’ home.

Third DUI, man, and the old man won’t post bail. I’ll be here a while. This sucks.

What happened that night, according to Georgia, patient at Heartland Level One Memory Care Facility, as told to her roommate Bertha (with a little input from Georgia’s sweetie Roger)

Georgia: Oh, Bertha, honey, wasn’t the fire drill just the best thing since Elvis came to the Midland? I just had the time of my life, darling.

Bertha (scowling): I don’t see what was so good about getting scared to t’ death when I’d been tryin’ to sleep for hours.

Georgia (nodding and patting Bertha’s arm): That fire alarm just sent me bolt up in bed. Whoever thought of doing a fire drill in the middle o’ the night? But I was always a good girl about knowing what to do for a fire drill, yes indeed. I remember, you’re supposed to go out to the playground and line up until the teachers tell you it’s okay to go back inside, so that’s just what I did, honey. I headed out to the playground. Lord, I don’t remember it being such a long walk to that place, but I just wrapped my robe up around my middle and marched on out there, yes indeed.

Roger: Oh baby, and you looked like a dream come true to me! I saw you standing there, minding the rules, and I just had to loosen you up. Whoo-ee, that blue dress of yours made me feel young again. Why, fire drill always was the best time of all to play hooky, while the teacher was scurrying about looking for everyone. So I took you by the arm, yes I did –

Georgia (giggling): Land, scared and thrilled me nigh to death. ‘Fore I knew what was happening, he was walking me across the street to that all-night diner! I never been so bold. He marched up to the counter and picked out a nice pastry for each of us. That waiter needed a lesson in manners, though. He wouldn’t serve us coffee, made us go to the back and get it ourselves! What have places come to these days?

Roger: I was just getting Lucy –

Georgia: Oh ROGER! Why you call me that? I’m Georgia, silly!

Roger: Of course, sweetie, how could I forget? Well as I was sayin’, I was startin’ to pour that first cuppa coffee when in came the teacher. We been caught! Whooee, you’da thought we was streakin’ or something, she was so hoppin’ mad. Marched us back across the street and into our rooms, scolding us the whole way!

Georgia: But Bertha – Bertha? Wake up, honey! Bertha, I tell you, I never felt so free. Roger, what you say we mosey down to the dining room and get that coffee we missed out on?

Roger (smiling as he struggles to rise, handing Georgia her cane): Why Lucy, I mean Georgia, I do believe that sounds delightful.

What happened that night, according to Edie, the night supervisor at Heartland Level One Memory Care Facility, as told to her husband John the next day:

Edie: You need to pour me a stiff one, John, after what I went through today. I thought I’d seen it all.

So 5 a.m. this morning the FIRE ALARM goes off! Next, the lights go out, all electricity gone. Even the backup system wasn’t working right, and babe, that meant the doors were all unlocked! Lord have mercy, I got my workout running around gathering up the night staff to man the doors. Half the patients were all up and out of sorts, with the loud noise and flashing lights. The firemen arrived next, so I was talking with them, trying to figure out what triggered the alarm, while the rest of the staff tried to calm the patients.

We had just figured out there was no fire when the cops arrived to let us know some kid had run into a pole at the end of the street which triggered some sort of electrical thing. Shut off electricity to the whole campus. Can you believe it? They said it could be a few hours before everything was up and working again, and in the meantime that stupid fire alarm kept going off! The firemen finally bypassed the system, the cops left, and I tried to get everyone who was up settled.

But GET THIS: at that moment, we were all so caught up in everything, no one even realized we were missing two patients! We would have figured it out once things calmed down a bit, but we got a call from the gas station across the street. Two residents had left the building, walked over there, and were helping themselves to pastries and coffee! In their PAJAMAS!

Apparently, they thought it was a fire drill like you would have in school, walked into the parking lot, and then decided to play hooky and get something to eat at ‘the diner.’

Lord have mercy, I’m glad the cashier figured out what was going on before they walked out of there or got arrested for shoplifting. Who knows where they could have ended up? Funny thing is, these two haven’t left each other’s side since. I think they’ve fallen in love!

  1. ha! got the picture alright. I think you give them too much credit for remembering and even making up all the details! ; )

  2. I loved this 🙂 lot’s of fun and I’ve met these folks I think 😉

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