It's Halloween. This is my favorite holiday.
Dad teaches in a Somali high school. Their first Halloween is always hysterical. This has got to be the strangest day of the year.
But today, I am thinking of more serious topics. Specifically, protecting children.
I have never been a very good babysitter. Mostly because when I get to the kid's house and they have cable and all kinds of food that I don't have, I lose my mind. I don't give a sh*t what the kid is doing as long as he/she gets me another beer and hands me the remote.
I got the opportunity to babysit for the local Chief of Police's son. He's a sweet kid. He ran over me with his scooter, but I'm pretty sure it was a display of afffection.
I met Chief Jr. while I was working for a summer camp program. Every day, I picked up the attendance sheets and made nasty phone calls to people who hadn't dropped their kids off because they owed us money. It was an enriching experience for all.
One day, I noted that Chief Jr. had been dropped off late. I radioed his counsellor to make sure that he had joined his group. The counsellor hadn't seen Jr.
I looked around the facility. I searched the areas that seemed logical for a person to go to. I looked in the women's bathroom in case he was plucking his brows. I looked in the parking lot in case he was smoking. I even looked in Pier One a few miles away because they were having a great sale. He was no where to be found.
Calmly, I called his mother. I asked Mrs. Chief how she was doing. She replied that she was enjoying her time in Savannah and asked if everything was okay. Here's the part where I started to panic. Naturally, I lied to her. "Super," I said, "couldn't be better." I'm pretty sure that I sounded cool and collected.
I hung up on Mrs. Chief mid-sentence and called the precinct. I prepared myself for the worst moment in my brief career. The Chief was out. I left a message.
I paced the floors and made several important decisions. I decided that I would change my name (yes, Mist 1 does sound good). Then I decided to move to Cuba. Fidel and I were destined to be together anyway.
As I began to pack up my personal effects and practice my Spanish (otra cerveza por favor), the Chief called. I teared up and began my speech.
He interrupted me. "Jr. and I stayed up too late last night. We ate all kinds of junk food. When I dropped him off in the morning he puked on the floor. So, I brought him home. Please, don't tell his mom, she's out of town and I'm in charge."
I half laughed and half choked. We agreed to keep it a secret. I became their babysitter after that.
I still get out of speeding tickets in his zone.