Mission Code Name: Final All Hands Debriefing
The Prince left 4th Grade behind today for the last time. Which meant he simply had to see his great 3rd Grade teacher one more time before he left for Early Dismissal. As we were walking back up off the 3rd Grade hall they called the bus riders out and a cheer went up throughout the school as all the kids rushed for the buses. It occurred to me that the teachers were cheering too and I had an epiphany. I know what happens after the last bus pulls away at 1pm.
It goes like this:
As the bus clears the stop sign at the parking lot edge the intercom comes on. It’s the CO, codenamed Principal, “This is the Principal. All hands! Set condition One Sierra Ohio throughout the School. Lock down all ports and rig for ultra party!.”
Teachers rush back into the building to their party stations. Exterior doors are sealed and locked, codes changed for security. Designated crews sweep the halls clearing them, the classrooms and closets to make sure that no kids remain.
The intercom buzzes again, “Principal to all grade halls, clear and report in. Sound off.”
“Pre K to Office, we are clear!” sounds one of them, “Kindergarten to Office, we are clear!” sounds another.
“First Grade to Office, clear!”
“Second Grade to Office, clear!”
“Third Grade… Stand by…” a hush radiates through the school. “Third Grade to Office, It was just the class hamster, clear!”
“Fourth Grade to Office, clear!”
“Fifth Grade to Office, clear!”
“Gym to Office, clear!”
“Library to Office, clear!”
“Nurse to Office, clear!”
“This is the Principal, all hands set condition Two Bravo Sierra. All hands to Bar Stations!”
All the personnel come to stations in the vestibule outside the cafeteria. Inside the CO and XO, codenamed Vice Principal, have already taken their places on opposite sides of the room. The CO goes to the milk box. With an expression of serious somber urgency he opens it. Inside he opens the secret compartment in the bottom and with several practiced turns of the combination lock, it opens. Inside the tiny safe is a red envelope.
On the other end of the cafeteria the XO has removed the secret panel in the rear of the microwave and has likewise entered a combination on a dial there. She also produces a small red envelope. Both of them open their envelopes.
The CO reads a card found in his. “I have day code Bravo Alpha Sierra Hotel.”
The XO replies, “Confirmed, day code Bravo Alpha Sierra Hotel.”
The CO continues, “Very well. Code is Alpha Lima Indigo Charlie Echo.”
“Confirmed, code is Alpha Lima Indigo Charlie Echo.”
“Party launch configuration is Charlie Ohio Ohio Papa Echo Romeo.”
The XO replies, “Final confirmation, party launch configuration is Charlie Ohio Ohio Papa Echo Romeo.” She removes a key from around her neck as the CO does likewise. She looks to the CO with an expression of doubt.
“Is there a problem XO?”
“Principal, under operating procedures governing the release of alcoholic beverages, we cannot launch this party unless both you and I agree.”
“Well do we both agree?”
“Oh Hell yeah.”
“Ok then, key insertion on my mark. Three… Two… One… Mark.” Both of them simultaneously insert their keys in the little keyhole in the walls which were previously hidden by PTA posters.
“This is it,” says the CO, “turn on my mark. Three… Two… One… Mark.” Both keys turn a quarter turn clockwise and click. From the ceiling a red flashing warning light comes down. Alarm claxons wail.
In the middle of the cafeteria, the floor cracks open and begins to separate. After a wide gaping hole has formed, a new floor begins to raise into it from below. On it is a bar and a beer case and liquor cabinet. As it locks into place the claxons cease.
The doors opens to the cafeteria and the chief of the school, codenamed Janitor, begins barking orders, “Man the bar. Man those bar stools. Man the munchie stations!”
The XO speaks over the intercom, “Load Scotch tubes one through four. Load vodka tubes one through four. Load rum tubes one through four.”
Another voice comes on the intercom, “Con, Bar, loading Scotch tubes one through four, aye. Loading vodka tubes one through four, aye. Loading rum tubes one through four, aye.”
The XO continues, “Chief, prepare depth charges, deploy countermeasures.”
The Chief, code name Gym Teacher, snaps his fingers, “Barman prepare depth charges, deploy countermeasures.” The bartender began making depth charges for the crew and a disco ball deploys from the ceiling.
The XO turns to the Sonar Tech, codenamed Music Teacher, “Sonar, Con, make us active.”
The Sonar Tech replies, “Sonar, Con, going active, aye.” Another gaping hole on the stage side of the cafeteria opens up. Up from below a band appears. It’s Otis Day and the Knights.
“Well you know you make me want to
Kick my heels up and
My guess is by this time tomorrow they’ll all be wearing cheap sunglasses and singing, “Just a little bit softer now…”
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