Friday, January 20, 2012

You must be this cool to die...

Okay, for some reason I've decided to share with you this story from my childhood. It's absolutely not doll related, but not really sure why, it's been floating in my head for the past couple of days. Read it if you wish, perhaps it can reveal why I think like I do.

I was in High School, tenth grade if I remember correctly. It was around the time that kids were getting their licenses. And with that the fear of kids drinking and driving, so like most High Schools I assume, we got all of the talks, demonstrations, and scared straight programs. Not that I minded them, not to sound too snide, but I knew I wasn't going to do something like that, but I couldn't say the same for some of my classmates. And I'd sit through several boring lectures if it would hammer the point home to someone who might do something like that.
One of those "stunts" they did was that one day they had (I assume a student) dress up as the Grim Reaper and go around "claiming" student. If you were claimed that meant you died from drunk driving. You had to wear a sign around your neck stating something along the lines of that for the rest of the day. I thought it was kind of an interesting idea, and certainly made it seem a bit more hands on with the Grim Reaper roaming the halls, passing into classrooms and claiming his victims.
I even had my own close encounter with Death. It was between classes and I was in the halls for some reason, probably going to the bathroom or something and there comes the Reaper going the other direction. It was a tad nerve wracking thinking, is this my time? Is he coming for me? Luckily I survived all my classes "unclaimed". (Which, depending on the class, could have been a blessing.) But I did see some people wearing signs, so I knew that it was happening.
At the end of the day we all gathered into the auditorium to have the final wrap up to this lesson. They called up all the kids that had been claimed by death from drunk driving up onto the stage. And you know who I saw up there? The popular kids. Apparently death only wants you if you're a cheerleader or a soccer star (we didn't have football at my school). They made some issue about how the popular kids are more likely to die from drunk driving. So what I thought was totally random selection, was not at all. It was rigged from the get go.
So I was a little miffed by this lesson. I was not really affected by these people's "deaths", I was not popular enough to make Death's invite list, and my friends weren't included either. (We was certainly not part of the popular crowd). Quite honestly if these people just stopped going to school (for whatever reason), my day to day life would continue quite normally. In fact getting rid of one of these girls would make my life better, because I had a class with her, and she was as dumb as a stump, and she would insist on asking questions. And these were not trying to learn questions, they were her attempt at being cute, so I would have loved for her to no longer be in class, but her transferring would have been just as satisfying. You didn't have to go and kill her. So really, this lesson rang rather false to me. Had they selected students at random, choosing people from different clicks it might have made an actual impact on the entire school. I mean these kids were popular for some reason beyond my control. It's not like I had a say in how popular they were. High School is hardly a democracy. ("I really like Sally Jones, so I'm voting her for Popular Person!")
And really, why the popular kids? I know they're supposed to be the ones that are more likely do "cool" stuff like that, and suffer the consequences, but quite honestly, I'd say they were some of the most unlikely people at that school to be drinking and driving. Ask any student who they thought would do something like that, I'm sure most of them would come up with the same names of people who would do something like that, and none of those people were up on the stage (we were a small school and everyone knew everyone's business).
I just thought it was a really good idea, that petered out with a poor execution (no pun intended), or maybe I'm just mad that I thought it was a exciting way to make a point, but reality was just a ruse to remind everyone who the popular kids are.
Did anyone have something like this at their school?

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