Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Great Explosion of '82

If you have a weak stomach, you might want to sit this one out.

I was in grade five at the time, my teacher was Mr. Weldon. (Yeah, we punned his name pretty much every day.) Mr. Weldon's class was in one of those crappy green portables, sitting at the far end of the school property by the baseball diamond. We came back from lunch hour and jammed ourselves into the hot, tiny portable. The desks were arranged in groups of five. I sat with Steve, Dawn, Brent and Waleed.

Waleed sat in the off desk, the one facing the other four. This was either the worst possible seating choice (considering what was coming) or the coolest, depending on your point of view. Steve and Dawn were closest to Walleed, Brent and I were farthest away.

Everything was fine until Waleed said, "I don't feel so good."

Mr. Weldon stopped the lesson and talked with Walleed for a minute. Waleed decided he didn't need to see the school nurse and Mr. Weldon had us prop open the portable doors to get some fresh air inside. Problem solved. Back to learning.

I have no idea what Mr. Weldon's lesson for us was that day because I was fearfully watching Waleed as his face got paler and greener. This was unusual since he had dark middle eastern features. Pale just doesn't happen when you're brown. But he got paler, and greener. His eyes drooped, he started breathing heavy. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead and arms.

Steve spoke up. "Mr. Weldon, Waleed looks really bad."

Walleed let out a sad whimper. Mr. Weldon started moving toward our tables. Steve started to lean back.

Walleed erupted. Linda Blair had nothing on Waleed, nothing. It was thick, red and full of chunks. Walleed had eaten pizza for lunch. (I was unable to eat pizza for several years after the incident.) Walled had apparently eaten all the pizza by himself because it just kept coming. Steve's white tee-shirt was no longer white. Dawn got the worst of it, with chunks of undigested pepperoni in her long black hair. Brent shot out of his seat and out the back door so fast we never saw him move. I just sat and stared in awe at Waleed, the human volcano.

When the avalanche was over, everything on our desks was ruined. Dawn lived nearby so she got to go home and clean up. The rest of us hung out on the baseball diamond while the janitor sanitized the portable and Waleed's parents came and took their freshly purged son home.

I have never seen anything like it since. I hope I never do. Once was enough.
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7 comments:

Paule said...

I've seen that color of green before. It was back in 76, when I was in the navy, sailing through a hurrincan in the middle of the North Atlantic. The waves were over 20 meters high. We all felt like Waleed.

T. D. Fuhringer said...

Those hurrincan's are lethal! J/K, thanks for the cool comment paule.

Uncle C said...

I'm familiar with that shade of green too, since I turn it whenever on water with waves greater than 0.000000000002 cm.

Unlike Waleed, I've learned the Golden Rule of always having nothing in the stomach when feeling unwell. Consequently, I'm the Marcel Marceau of puking.

Anonymous said...

how can you remember everything in such striking detail? that happened 25 years ago!

P

T. D. Fuhringer said...

Ha ha! Good one Uncle C. And as for how I remember P, well it was a pretty vivid darn moment and it was unforgettable. Hard to forget, really. Like a scar.

P said...

ya but even the names of all of the people that were sitting with you...and the desk formations! I'm surprised you didn't start to describe how the rays of light from the east-side portable window were illuminating all your faces...

P

T. D. Fuhringer said...

Actually P, there were no windows on the east or west sides of the portable. The sunlight only came in from the south facing windows. so the light was behind Waleed. :)