21 November 2007

"Chinese Fire Drill"

Two daughters joined the Henrietta Hi-Lites, an all-female color guard that marched in parades around the county and participated in contests in New York and Canada. Chris was a flag, that is, she carried one of the large banners and had to go through some maneuvers while on the march. Gail was a rifle, so she carried a wooden rifle and had to perform a bunch of manual-of-arms exercises while marching. They weren’t members at the same time; Chris joined first, then when she retired, Gail joined. If I remember correctly, there were some rifle marks in the family room ceiling from over zealous practices.

The manager was Jim Fleming, who was assisted by his daughter Kathy. Parents were asked to help with transportation for distant performances, so I volunteered. We had a nine-passenger Ford station wagon, so I could load up the car with Hi-Lites.

One trip took us to Toronto, Canada, where they were entered in a competition, so lucky me got to be chauffeur, along with Jim and another parent. Jim led the way with me next in our caravan. Unfortunately, Jim made it through a traffic light, turning right, but we didn’t. By the time the light changed and I turned, there were very dim taillights way up ahead, so I sped to catch up. Well, that wasn’t Jim. We pulled into a gas station to get directions, but the fellow there couldn’t find the hotel or the street on his map. So we turned around and retraced our steps, finally seeing the lights of the hotel up ahead. Well, we drove around and around the hotel, but couldn’t find any way to get there because of the construction, until I drove through a barricaded street and there we were. We did manage to make it to the bar just as last call was announced.

The next morning, we were up bright and early so we could get to the competition hall where we spent the day in total boredom waiting for our turn. I don’t remember winning first place.

On the way back to Henrietta, we were stopped at a traffic light, when someone asked if I could roll down the rear window, which I did. Suddenly, someone shouted “Chinese Fire Drill” and all the doors flew open, Hi-Lites jumped out of the car and rolled out the rear window, then piled back into the car, making sure they were all in different seats. I was stunned and almost forgot to go when the light turned green. From then on, I was prepared for the confusion when anyone made the announcement, but people in nearby cars looked on in shock.

3 comments:

Life 101 said...

What a scream! I've heard that term but I didn't know what it was.
How have you been? It's finally raining a little here. We are still in a drought but it looks like the conditions are changing.
Love your work. Keep on Blogging.
Rick

chloespop said...

When I saw the title, I thought it would be about Xerox.

Ronabear41 said...

Funny story!