I had never intended to become black listed with the teachers my first year of high school. In all honesty, I had always thought of myself as one of those well behaved children. I was praised by friends of the family when I was a small child.
I was praised by early teachers who hardly noticed I was in their classrooms.
And I was even praised by children my own age.
I was praised so much no one really believed I could do much wrong. This is probably why the teachers never suspected that it was my fault that half the freshman class had decided they were drunk and had begun to act accordingly on the freshman band trip to everyone’s favorite amusement park. I probably would have gotten away with it too it wasn’t for the boat ride.
I’ve never been sure how half the class got involved. Only years later when trying to puzzle out the chaos have I even begun to grasp the events I had set in motion. The idea on my part had been a simple one. Impress the boy across the table. Browsing our cheerfully decorated menu during a lunch I discovered that there, lurking among the boring normal foods, was pasta. But not just any pasta. No, this pasta was blessed with a magical sauce. Wiiiiine sauce. And, being ignorant of what cooking does to wine, I closed my menu and smirked at group of six sitting around the table with me only to make one of the boldest declarations of my teenage life.
I was an idiot. Luckily, all my friends were too. And as I saw the stars in the eyes of my peers I realized that I had just shattered their image of me. No longer was I Ember the well behaved girl who was too sweet for her own good. Suddenly, I was a rebel. I was a trouble maker. I was.. Cool.
Drunk with power, I casually tossed my order to the waiter, slightly confused by his lack of being amazed with my balls of steel, and managed not to grin and break my game face when all the occupants of the table eagerly echoed my words. I was invincible.
Being so sure of myself, and my genius, I’m sure you can imagine my shock when I was half way through my meal and felt no effects from my well cooked noodles. I’d never had so much of a drop of alcohol but I knew that if this sauce was going to do anything it should have done it by now. It never occurred to me that perhaps any service worker worth their salt would never have served booze to a group of obviously fresh-out-of-gradeschool kids. What mattered now is my devious plan was already doomed.
I needed to do something. Serious thought on the matter proved there was only one true way out of this with any chance of saving my reputation. So, I summoned every last bit of movie knowledge I had and took a deep breath before I turned to my friends and pulled the obvious last ditch effort.
I slurred, hiccuped and swayed in my seat as I acted for the other kids at the table. Soon, I began to discover that the acting was contagious. The others around me, desperate not to be left out in the high-school-life making claim of having gotten drunk, began to act along. We were the young. We were the desperate. And if we were going to fake it, we were going to fake it right. Together, we finished our meal and began to do over exaggerated stumbles from the patio area and back into the park proper. Then we parted ways, as all great people do, and span across the over priced wonderland to spread our own particular version of cheer.
Convinced I had dodged a bullet, I dropped my act and spent my time searching out a group of closer friends who were unaware of the effect my plan was having on the current student body. The six who had joined me for my meal met with their friends, who met with their friends, and it wasn’t long before the word of wine sauce had spread. The line in front of the patio restaurant began queuing, and the kitchen began serving of dish after dish of the over priced pasta. Chaos was being purchased at twenty dollars a bowl, and over acting kids began to make a run of the park.
I became aware of this when I was met in the line by the most disturbing sight of my trip.
My friends had bought a bit too much of what I was selling and now they were dragging me with them. Some how between the time I had spent trying to find them they’d all had their own bowl of pasta—Well, Two bowls for the boy—and where already well in character for their drunken spree. They puzzled a moment over my sudden sobriety, as rumor had it I was the genius who’d discovered this magical Italian wonder, and then hauled me onto a small slow boat ride that promoted that it was, indeed, a small world after all.
In retrospect, the teachers might have been able to prevent this if not for the fact they were spending that exact moment in time trying to round up another twenty five kids who had decided that they were drunk enough to try and drown a park mascot in the fountain.
And that's how I ended up inside of a automated ride with a group of drunk thirteen year olds singing along badly to the ever repeating music. Maybe it was the music, or maybe it was all the wacky drunk acting. All I know is half way through the ride one of my friends snapped.
He began to rock wildly in the boat, clawing at the little automated signing children of the world.
Sadly, the ride had been built for people who were not crazy, so it wasn't long before my friend found himself tumbling end over end out of the boat into shoulder height water. Which, wasn't a big deal. To us. The ride workers, however, take this very seriously. Sirens sounded. Our boat was forced to a halt by a bumper that appeared from no where.
To be honest, it was rather like we'd done something much more horrible than have the more retarded of our group take an unwanted trip into less than savory water. Yet still, the workers showed up and ushered us all out of the boat and fished my friend from the obviously dangerous river before marching us to the front of the park mystified by my friends acts of drunkenness the entire way.
Once there, we were picked up by the teachers, who grumbled about having to pick up the rest of our class for acting the same way. The fact that I had been the cause was never picked up on until my wet friend had to open his big mouth.
I guess you can't win them all.