Friday, July 24, 2009

Cloverdale's Youngest Narcoleptic

Lance “Baby Boy” Rider of 54 Spring Hill Road is Cloverdale’s youngest narcoleptic. His first attack occurred during the Sixth Grade's Maturation Clinic at Confederacy Elementary School. The school nurse stood to address the gathering of boys and dads. She asked them to be serious and “grown up” during her talk whenever she used proper vocabulary for body parts.

“Now, can we be grown up about this?” she asked the boys gathered in the school’s library. The boys nodded. Many were doing all they could to keep their smiles unnoticeable. Nurse Craghead wasn’t someone you wanted to get on your bad side. She knew how to inflict pain whenever pain was the remedy for a misbehaving boy. “All right then. We will continue with the first slide.” She said as she clicked the slide projector’s remote control.

The slide changed showing a boy’s anatomy. She pointed to the screen and said one of the “grown up” words. The dads in the room squirmed in their chairs. The boys in the class started to giggle, and as fate would have it, Lance experienced his first narcoleptic attack. He immediately fell asleep, hitting the floor with a thud. The room erupted with roaring laughter. The nurse rushed to Lance as he lay on the floor sound asleep. She slapped his cheeks thinking he had fainted.
“Some boys just aren’t grown up enough for this,” she mumbled under her breath. To Lance’s misfortune, one of the boys kneeling near the nurse heard her. That is how Lance earned the nickname “Baby Boy”.

Lance’s aliment seems to have a mind of its own, always picking the worst possible time to send Lance into slumber mode. Take Bobby Daren’s 12th birthday party. Lance fell asleep just as Mrs. Darin was passing out the party favors. When he woke up he found himself completely covered in Silly String. The boys were kind enough to leave openings for his nose and mouth.

Then there was the time he was learning to skate board near Becky Pores Ten Cent Lemonade stand. Just as he rounded the corner - out he went, falling into the stand, sending her lemonade crashing to the pavement and down the gutter into Cloverdale’s storm drainage system.

Lance is getting treatment from the Capital City Sleep Disorder Clinic. Until a cure is found Lance is learning to live with his disorder. He is careful not to get into situations where he could hurt himself or others should he suddenly fall asleep. All is well and good as long as everyone cooperates - which they don’t always do.

Last week Baby Boy Lance lost one of his sneakers while attempting to kick a goal during lunch recess. One of his classmates picked up the shoe and tossed it into a nearby tree. The bell rang. Everyone rushed into the building, except Lance. He stood at the bottom of the tree looking at his sneaker caught in a set of branches. He knew narcoleptics should never climb trees but he wanted to shake his ‘Baby Boy’ image. Climbing a tree to fetch his own shoe would be a start in his character rehabilitation process.

“Where’s Lance?” Miss Globber asked the class after completing her after lunch attendance. No one answered. Miss Globber walked into the hall to see if he was asleep outside the door. He wasn’t. She walked down the hallway to the exit. She opened the door and stepped out onto the playground. Lance was no where to be seen. She turned to reenter the school. Something red caught her eye. She looked across the playground and saw something up a tree. She thought it could be a wayward kite. She walked closer until the object revealed itself to be a young boy.

Miss Globber screamed and rushed into the building. The principal was notified. The fire department was called out. Every child had his or her face pressed up against their classroom windows to watch the rescue. It was one of Lance’s worst days.

The boy that took the shoe was suspended for three days. Lance promised never to climb trees again and life continues here in Cloverdale in our beloved Confederacy of Dunces.

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