Surviving a Pipeline Explosion

All hell broke loose After The Explosion (or the day we survived a pipeline explosion)

A few years ago I was teaching chemistry at a local charter school.  During 3rd period the metal frame building I was teaching in was rocked.  ZA (one of the worst kids ever) looked up at me, his mouth a perfect O.  His two best friends were seated next to him at a lab table.  Seated behind him at another table were BH and BM.  Across the room were assorted students.

ZA screamed “Jesus is coming…”  He fell to his knees under the lab table and started confessing to some of the worst things I had ever heard.  He was slobbering and crying.  His two friends-KC and Little E fell to their knees in an attempt to “help him get right.”

The entire room was screaming.  BM (who was 6’3″) was attempting to climb into my arms yelling “Save Me Mama B.”  BH was attempting to get through me to get to the door.  Assorted kids were climbing under lab tables and onto lab tables…uncertain as to the safety of either position.

I held BM off with one arm, while trying to grab BH, while trying to hear the confession, while trying to assure that all my students were safe.  I yelled “Shut it down NOW.”  Every head (except the three praying) swung my way.  I said “Let me hear the noise, not you…”  I pulled off my shoes to feel the ground.  I announced “this is NOT an earthquake, it would have stopped by now.  It is not the rapture as you are all still here.  It is not a tornado.  So shut it down.”

WS (a brave football player)  screamed “it is 9/11 all over!”  prompting a major renewal of panic and prayer.

“No, why would someone blow up Podunk, La?  It is an explosion…I just don’t know what is going on. (the building was shaking and it sounded like WWWIII had begun) I tried to reason with WS

So, WS does the only illogical thing left to do…He RAN to the window and flung it open to see what was blowing up.  I yelled “White people , get away from the window!” At which BM started giggling and quit trying to climb me.  “What is your problem?  IF there are terrorists they will shoot you first… (we all knew there were no terrorists, so I yelled) “Wait, get back in the window!!!”  WS got out of the window looking sheepish.  BH quit trying to escape at that remark, perhaps realizing staying put was safer.

I got the room under control (after what felt like an eternity) just in time for the Fire Dept. to let us know that the pipeline across the road had exploded, killing one man.  School was dismissed and all students were safe.

Oh, yeah ZA and his two friends went to church that night and “got it right” after living through the day.

But, like I have always said…”Scare the Hell out of someone, and it will leave room for something worse.”  ZA was back to his usual (and worse)  within a week


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