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September 2017, vol 13 no 3

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Bill Waters

Getting Schooled

One Sunday long, long ago, I went to religious school and got roped into an impromptu play. One more person was needed to fill the ranks, and that person – despite my protests – turned out to be me.

It wasn't much of a play, really, which was good since I wasn't much of an actor. We said our lines from sheets of paper – a staged reading of sorts – and as for costumes, it was strictly 'come as you are'. For me that meant a favorite albeit somewhat old pair of trousers, a button-down shirt, and shoes that were only a little in need of polishing.

Being thrust headlong into a play was disconcerting, but once the play was over, I felt vaguely euphoric. It was done, and I hadn't made a total fool of myself in front of my classmates!

When I got home, filled with the glow of accomplishment, I ran inside to spread the news. "Mom," I shouted, "I was in a play!"

My mother spun around from in front of the kitchen sink, looked me up and down, and said, "You were in a play in those pants?"

"cut!"
the tragicomedy
of childhood


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