Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Packed

I attended a private high school that was run by an order of nuns. As you might guess, religious classes were mandatory for all students. Some proved to be interesting, but when a teacher mentioned that religious scholars had once debated how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, I was just incredulous.

At fifteen, religious arguments had little place in my head. Already a budding geek, I was enthralled by my math classes. And, of course, the question of whether a certain handsome classmate would ever know that I existed. I'd like to tell you that one day he looked at me and realized what he'd been missing, but Grandma can't keep a straight face while she tells a whopper that big. He went steady with a pretty petite cheerleader and never gave a second glance to the chubby geek girl who placed 2nd in a state math contest. Well, he did notice me once. Asked if he could copy my math homework.

He might have been the reason that I developed a never-to-be-repeated interest in sports. Basketball was the big one at our school and my brother also played on the team. My parents allowed me to attend all the home games to support my brother. I made no mention of having other motives.

The school was six miles from our home and bus transportation was not available. Until my oldest sibling turned sixteen, my parents had to drive us. Many parents dread the day that their child gets a license. Mine were ecstatic. Dad purchased a blue Volkswagen beetle for us to use and my brother began driving us to school and basketball games.

When a game fell on a Friday night, we were allowed to go to a small restaurant after the game for Cokes and fries. When it was time to leave, there were always some friends who needed rides home. Those with cars would offer rides to those who needed them. We had been forbidden to give rides to anyone else. I'm sure my parents felt that dark and snowy roads were enough of a challenge without adding the distraction of a couple more teenagers. But it was a rare evening when we didn't end up transporting someone. And how were my parents to know?

One evening the folks who needed rides far outnumbered the ones with cars. We fit as many as we could into the little beetle and started towards the first home. Suddenly the car slowed and then stopped. We had no idea what was wrong. My brother and his friend, Mick, went to the nearest house and asked to use their phone. My brother knew that he'd be in trouble if he called my dad, so they called his friend's father. He arrived quickly and told my brother to have our friends come get in his car. He'd take them home and then come back and see if he could determine the problem. I wish I could have captured the look on his face as teenager after teenager emerged from that little car. He could barely fit them into his full sized wagon.

When he returned, he quickly determined that we had run out of gas. Perhaps Dad had mentioned that we had to watch the fuel gauge. Perhaps we hadn't listened. Mick's dad left and quickly returned with a can of gas. We were on our way. When our parents noted that we were a little later than usual, I mentioned that the game had been a bit late starting. We were certain that my parents would receive a call from Mick's father the next day, but nothing more was ever said about the matter.

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
I never got an answer and never cared.

How many teenagers can you pack into a Volkswagen Beetle? Eleven.

Trust Grandma. She knows.

Grandma

8 comments:

  1. What a great share!!!
    It's so reminiscent of my youth...including the nuns. Tho, at my day it was high school...I ended up going to a public high school. Oh those were the days.

    I loved reading your memory of days gone by...and now I kinda have a hankering for a coke and fries!!

    My H o T is HERE. Do come join me if you can find time today.

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  2. Great memories! We had a baby blue VW bug in which my sister and I both learned how to drive stick shift. It made pretty good donuts in the snow here in Indiana!

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  3. good one grandma good one sandy

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  4. This was so well written, so entertaining!!! I would almost expect to see it published in a magazine somewhere. *Applause Applause* Good job! =)

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  5. Thanks, Skittles. You just made my day!

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  6. I have to admit you gave me a chuckle and I knew the story before I got here.

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  7. I don't know hoe many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but it is something I would like to see.
    The story reminded me of school. But I walked to school. It was only 6 blocks. I went home for lunch. LOL.

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