Thursday, December 6, 2007

Earthquake Mullet Helmet

This morning while I was cutting construction paper in preparation for Christmas card making, my vice principal started an earthquake drill for the kids to practice. I walked out into the hallway to see what the drill consisted of in case there is an earthquake someday and I need to take cover. What I saw in the halls was something out of a low-budget sci-fi movie from the 1970s.

Most of the kids had been outside playing, so they were still in their gym uniforms: Tiny shorts not even Brazilian girls would wear in public, knee-high socks and -----helmets made of pillows on their heads!! Yes, the kids were sporting a cloth cap fashioned like old knights' helmets that covered their heads and the back of their necks like a mullet. They had them in different colors: sky blue, pink, yellow, whatever they picked out with their moms at the "Useless Things That Will Absolutely Never Save Your Life" Store.

Just in case you have never seen a photograph of Tokyo, the city is a plethora of high-rise office and apartment buildings (ironically called mansions in Japan). In the event of a real earthquake students all over Tokyo are going to walk outside and stand in the street conflagrated by 50 story-high steel and concrete buildings, confident that their pillowed mullet helmets will cushion the impact of buildings falling on them. I'll be the basket case crouched in a door frame too scared to cry or scream.

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