Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Puppy Raffles and Water Bottle Battles

There were certain advantages in going to a small, rural school in the fifties. We could play practical jokes on our classmates without being labeled a bully or being sent to the principal's office. Boys actually carried pen knives in their pockets and weren't suspended from school for possessing a dangerous weapon. To fear getting shot in school meant it was time for polio shots, not actually being shot by a fellow classmate wielding a pistol. There was a sense of discipline in students and great respect for our teachers. In light of all that, I wonder how my brother, Bill, and I were permitted to bring the mixed-breed puppies of our family dog, Baby, to the school science fair each spring. We sold raffle tickets and each winner was awarded a puppy. The money went to the school, and I don't recall ever taking a puppy back home. There weren't any parents who complained or refused to allow their kids to take a puppy home. Amazing, when you really think about it.

I had a penchant for water bottles which, when squeezed, performed like a super squirt gun. Every spring, I would bring one to school and squirt other students in the halls between classes. Pretty soon, other kids would also bring them and we would have water battles in the halls and sometimes on the school buses. No one ever got into trouble - I guess because our teachers were wise enough to realize this was good, clean (no pun intended) fun and the interest in the water bottles would end after a week or so. How things have changed!
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