Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Because once I got stuck in a locker

This story was well known among my elementary and high school friends as the "Time you got locked in the locker" story, but I'm going to go ahead and clear something up right now: I did not get locked in the locker, I got stuck. I know, you're saying to yourself right now, "Why is that better? Why would she rather have wedged herself into a locker in such a way that her body could not escape than have been shoved in by a group of 80's movie bullies and locked away?" Well, you make a good point. But it matters to me.

So, anyway, on or around the year 1988, when my family had recently moved [back] to Minnesota and I was settling into writing in cursive with the big loopy loops instead of the spikey loops and the idea that check marks meant correct instead of incorrect and the fact that there were no brown or yellow people in my class and no one said "cussing" and all in all it was a pretty good scene I think. The school at that time was K through 12, and had just (in the last 10 years or something) gotten a pool, though they still had no swim team, but it meant that once a year we little nine year olds got to trudge hand-in-hand into the high school end of the building and have swimming lessons during gym class. Since it would have been weird for us to go to school all day in our swimsuits or to get changed in the classroom or out in the street for the benefit of the neighbors, we got changed in the locker room, of course.

And, after we learned to backfloat and froggy kick and whatever, we also got to change back into our Osh Kosh B'Gosh in the locker room, and since we had little to no adult supervision, as the gym teacher was male, I learned that pastimes in Minnesota include slapping your wet swimsuits and towels against the poles and benches and other third grade girls until your teacher yells at you to hurry up. I was not conscientious about actually getting my swimsuit dry before shoving it in my bag, or getting myself dry before shoving myself in my clothes, but for some reason I was really picky about not getting hit with flying water after I was dressed. So, I made the informed decision to step into a locker until the madness was over.

Now, I wasn't stupid. I knew, just as Lucy in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe did, that if you climb inside something like that that you'd better leave the door open a little so you don't get trapped. Unlike Lucy I didn't find a magical land, though. Instead, one of the girls walked by slamming locker doors, didn't see me (or did, and thought it was funny), and slammed the door to my locker/hiding place. Which would have been fine, except all the locker doors were a little bent, probably from all the slamming, and they stuck. And this one really stuck. Really really stuck. Me on the inside and 10 nine year old girls on the outside could not get it open. A male gym teacher and female third grade teacher could not get it open. A male principal and a janitor needed some kind of very long and scary metal instrument to be snaked around the inside to wrench and tear it open.

In a graduating class of 100 students, you can see how this story was still brought up nearly ten years later on our AP History class trip, as in "Remember that time you got locked in the locker in third grade? That was HILARIOUS!"








  1. Um. This is awesome. That is all.

  2. OMG! This must have been scary for a 3rd grader.
    And terribly embarrassing.

    Did you know who slammed the door?

  3. Shine: Yes, awesome is the word.

    Janna: I never found out who slammed the door... I was told by a friend at the time that "the lifeguard did it," and I only found out in high school when I became a lifeguard that that was impossible since they weren't on duty during swim class, they were in Algebra. I now suspect it was probably that friend. Good times.