**(This is another import from my old blog)**
So, waaaaaaaaay back in high school, my bestest bud Brandon and I were "office assistants" in the Guidance Office. Which basically meant for an entire period we got to pretend we were helping out the guidance counselors, but in reality it was a free pass to do bad stuff and get away with it because the guidance counselor secretaries loved us to pieces. They were your classic high school secretaries....old, gray-haired, outdated glasses, hearts of gold, and a little slow on the uptake. Perfect for truancy-terrorists like us.
And thanks to them, this blog is about the time Brandon and I accidentally joined a cult, all thanks to the 'guidance' of our guidance counselors.
The guidance counselors approached Brandon and me one day and asked if we'd be interested in attending a luncheon to represent our high school. We were suspicious from the get-go. We definitely weren't the WORST kids in our high school. We went to school in Baltimore, which meant more than half of our fellow students already had a rap sheet. But we certainly weren't the BEST students, either. We wouldn't be your top pick as "representatives" for our school. Something was up...
Counselor: Hey guys, would you be interested in attending a lunch on CHS's behalf?
Brandon and Me: Um, you just need us to go to a lunch?
Counselor: Yeah, it would be you and a couple other seniors, plus the Vice Principal.
B and Me: And the catch is...?
Counselor: No catch. You just get to go to Martin's West (which was a la-dee-da kind of reception hall in Baltimore), have a free lunch, and do it all on school time. You'll get out of all of your classes that day.
B and Me: Sweet, we're in.
So a few weeks later, Brandon, myself, and a few other seniors show up at this lunch. We get to our assigned table, find our V.P. and the other kids, take our seats, make small talk, etc. (By the way, making small talk with the Vice Principal at your school when you're 16 years old...sUper uncomfortable.)
Before lunch is served, the host of the lunch gets up to the podium and asks us all to bow our heads to say grace before we eat. Now, those of you reading this who grew up in the South will think nothing of this. But to all my friends from back home in Baltimore, you'll understand that this just IS NOT DONE in the public school systems at all. I mean, people up North don't just go around willy nilly bowing their heads and thanking God for things out loud and in public. So that was weird activity number one.
Here comes weird activity number two....
We get through the prayer, and the emcee asks us all to stand while we sing along together. I'm thinking to myself, "Sing...What the?...What is going on here...I thought all we had to do was show up and eat lunch, now we're singing and praying. Too weird."
So Brandon and I throw each other a sideways glance, and sing along to the song as best we can. It's a song that NEITHER of us had ever heard, so we fudged and slurred our way through it as best we could, while trying not to laugh and piss off our Vice Principal. The song was something about Johnny Appleseed... which I managed to find online (God Bless Google), so here it is. How did that song relate to what we were doing there that day???? Good question. I have no idea.
So forever goes by, and we finally finish with all the praying and singing and whatnot, and they have us eat lunch.
Just when I'm thinking I'm free to leave and skip school for the rest of the day, the speaker asks us all to stand at our tables, raise our right hands and repeat after him...oh geez, here comes weird activity number 3.
So before I knew it, there was a room full of hundreds of high school kids, all taking some kind of oath or vow together, and I hadn't been paying enough attention to realize what was even going on. But there I stood, right hand in air, repeating whatever words were up on the screen.
Next thing I knew the speaker was congratulating us on becoming Rotarians, and we were given a membership card and everything. "Thanks for coming today, we had a wonderful time meeting you all, you are dismissed."
So, Brandon and I walk out to the parking log, get in the car, look at each other, and say "What the heck is a Rotarian? And what just happened in there?"
Our guidance counselors duped us!!! They were supposed to be there to guide us and shed light on our indecisions, and there we were, accidentally joining some group called the "Rotarians", thanks to their "guidance".
I was sure that after I got home that night I would realize that the food was poisoned and I would die in my sleep, along with all the other hundreds of kids who were tricked into becoming Rotarians that day. Man, that would really make for a story.
Instead, all I have is this old faded membership card, and an anticlimactic story about accidentally joining a cult, which turns out to not really be a cult at all.
Man, it's amazing what Americans will do for a free meal ticket.
Cellulite and Tell You Right,
Andy (Junior Rotarian)