My life would have been smooth sailing if just one of my good deeds managed to go unpunished. Those in my immediate vicinity would have appreciated it too.I sat in the front seat of our school bus, behind Mr. Carlton, polishing an apple I planned to give Mrs. Bennett. And yes, even in 1961 this action was lame for an eleven year old.
I huffed on my apple and rubbed it against my sweater until it shined.
Liz and Caroline, two high school girls, squeezed onto my seat.
Mr. Carlton almost drove past one of his stops. He slammed on the brakes, making me lurch forward. The apple rolled off my lap, onto the floor, and to the left of Mr. Carlton’s feet. I bent under the railing behind his seat to retrieve my apple, at the exact same moment he leaned down to pick it up.
Mr. Carlton bumped me into the fire extinguisher.
I don’t know how the extinguisher went off, but I’m sure it wasn’t my fault. A white cloud immediately consumed the front half of our bus. We turned into white albinos.
Girls whined, boys cussed, gagging and coughing filled the air, and everyone blamed me for Mr. Carlton’s bad driving.
Mr. Carlton stopped the bus, grabbed my apple, and opened the bus door. He threw Mrs. Bennett’s apple so hard that he almost dislocated his shoulder. I opened my mouth to complain, but had second thoughts.
The bus windows were opened with minimal effect.My tossed-out fruit truly was Snow White’s poison apple. I never sat in the front seat again, and tucked Mrs. Bennett’s next apple out of sight in my coat pocket.
Lessons learned: Don’t blame others for your mistakes. A lesson I hoped Mr. Carlton would learn in the future.
And once again, my good deed did not go unpunished.
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Now it’s your turn: Did you ever have a run-in with a fire extinguisher?
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