The Outsider: Colonel Kurtz would have been proud
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | March 8, 2018|
In the darkness, the blue and red lights flashed, highlighting the gory scene. Groups of adults stood huddled looking on, some dumbfounded, others in a state of near horror. The children’s screams were ear piercing, every new shrill cry cutting like a knife. And, then, somewhere amidst the carnage, the happy go lucky vocal strains of Justin Timberlake, singing about sunshine in his pocket ... soul in his feet ... can’t stop the feeling, so just dance, dance, dance ... the horror, the horror ... but what could we do, the kids were loving it.
You may have initially thought I was describing the scene of a multiple motor vehicle accident or similar horrific tragedy but in fact it was the first school dance for Grades 1 to 3 at Stuart Baker Elementary School.
If you listened carefully, if you somewhat screened out the high-pitched violence of 90 children ‘expressing their joy’ in unison, you might be able to make out which song was playing. If you focused in with blinkered vision, concentrating on the three or four small girls who were making a valiant effort at moving to the music, you may have been able to disregard the swirling vortex of small bodies that was spinning out of control with energetic joy all around the school gymnasium.
A dance is what it was called on the poster but an explosion of perfect chaos was the reality. They ran the juice box bar dry in minutes, they ate popcorn so fast the machine overheated and quit. They burst all the balloons and tore down as many of the decorative garlands as they could reach. The place was mayhem but almost
everyone had great fun.
I know because I was there, I witnessed the whole crazy evening. I had to because my lovely wife is on the school council and she was instrumental in hosting this first ever school dance. for these little kids. Had she been warned prior to the event about the noise, the chaos, the wanton drinking of multiple juice boxes, she may not have opted for a ‘disco’ as her first try at fundraising for the community. But then that would have been cowardly, for the dance was a resounding success for everyone apart from the parents who were forced to stay and endure it.
Our ears rang, our throats grew dry (not a juice box in sight, never mind a beer) as we tried to make ourselves heard above the cacophony. Our eyes ... well, after you’d stopped trying to keep an eye on your own kid amidst the melee it got better but only so long as you stayed focussed upon the horizon. Once or twice, I had that seasick feeling as I stared into the abyss that was the central swirling horde of children but I was snapped back out as I began to topple, a child stamping on my toe or careening headlong into me as they were catapulted
from the herd. Such fun, such horror! And all for a good cause.
It sounded like an accident of apocalyptic proportions at the start, and maybe still at the end, but Little Z and his peers had a great time, a pile of food and cash was raised for the food bank and all but a few of us parents will live to fight another day.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider