Wearing two pair of undies was an amazing discovery of mine that I did not want my classmates to discover.
The alarm screeched. We lined up in double file, and excitedly marched out the door and into the hallway for a bomb drill. At home, Mom prepared for bomb survival by stock-piling thousands of plastic bread wrappers for use as pee and poop bags, while hiding in our basement from any radioactive fall-out.
We joined the first and second graders, squatting in two rows against a solid wall opposite a wall of windows, and covered our heads with our arms. I squatted carefully since girls couldn’t wear slacks and wouldn’t be allowed to while I remained in school. Nasty boys were on the lookout for carelessly squatting girls.
The loudspeaker squawked on. “The drill is over. You may quietly return to your classrooms in an orderly fashion,” announced our principal.
No bombs today. We marched back to our classroom, where I headed straight for the attached bathroom. I gathered up the skirt of my dress, sat down, and froze in horror as pee filtered through my underpants. Wait a minute! I looked down at my feet. Clean dry underpants lay draped around my ankles. I put two pair of underpants on that morning! I took off my wet undies and considered flushing them, but remembered my father’s warnings about clogging the drain. So, I stuffed them behind the toilet.
Gloria used the bathroom after me. I held my breath until she returned to her seat; my accident remained undiscovered. Overly observant Charlie followed her and came out running.
“I found someone’s peed underpants stuck behind the toilet!”
Miss Bronx stopped reading and went in to see if Charlie’s information was correct. It was. She ordered the boys back out to the hallway and closed the door. The heads of jumping boys bounced in and out of view at the bottom of the door’s high window. She gingerly held my soggy underwear up by her fingertips and asked whose they were. No one raised their hand.
“I’m not fooling around. I want to know to whom the underwear belongs to by the count of five. One, two, three, four–long pause–five.”
We silently stared at my wet underpants.
Frustrated, she ordered us to line up against the side wall out of view from the bouncing heads. “I’m giving the guilty person one last chance to step forward”–another long pause. “Okay, lift up your dresses.”
I can still see her puzzled face when none of us was au natural.
“I finally confess, Miss Bronx. It was me. You can keep my underpants, they won’t fit now.”
Lesson learned: Better two than none.
Now it’s your turn: Do you have a kindergarten memory?
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