A Losing Streak

When my daughter was in grade 9 she attended the end of year Farewell to the Grads assembly. She and her classmates were seated with the other grade 9 classes at the front of the auditorium.

Just before the graduates were paraded into the room, the door at the left side of the auditorium opened. An individual wearing a paper bag on his head ran through the door and across the stage. The only other articles of clothing he wore were a pair of runners. He had everyone’s attention.

After crossing the stage he ran out the emergency exit at the right side of the auditorium. As he did so, my friend Dave, a vice-principal, chased after him in hot pursuit.

Now picture this, a lean, teenage, naked boy with a bag on his head being chased by a not-so-lean, middle aged man across the soccer field. As Dave later explained, it looked to him like the boy was headed to the mall across the road.

As Dave continued the chase he realized that he wasn’t gaining any ground on the boy. He also considered the optics. As they got closer to the mall people would be seeing a man chasing a naked boy. He realized that that probably didn’t make for a very good picture. He broke off the chase.

It wasn’t long after he returned to the school that he was able to get to the bottom of things. The streaker was, in fact, a grade 12 student. For a collection of $40 he agreed to carry out the prank. One of the consequences of his actions was that he was not permitted to attend his graduation.

Dave later said, “As I was running across the field the questions arose, What do I do if I catch up to him? Do I tackle him? Do I grab him to slow him down?”

Returning to the school was a good call, Dave. And thanks for the story.

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