Thursday, August 03, 2006

Don't Press That Button!

Buttons are tempting things. Especially if they are big and red and say 'DO NOT PRESS EXCEPT IN EMERGENCIES'. I cannot imagine being one of those soldiers who guard nuclear buttons. I would just HAVE to press it.

Back to the trip. We have sorted out which alien we are and now Mrs Trundle is standing next to a very tall man who is nodding alot.
'I bet he's the astronaut!' I say, nudging Dexter. 'I wanted Buzz Aldrin of course but...'
'There are so many buttons to press!' says Dexter interrupting. He is making a little blue alien creature shoot back into his spaceship over and over again.
I am about to say I don't care when Mrs Trundle blows her whistle and the tall man sort of bounces and then tries to look as though he is not shocked at all. We all stand to attention.
'Class! This is Mr Chuckle...' (lots of sniggering) She glares and and death rays beam from her eyes. The sniggering stops. 'Thankyou. As I was saying, Mr Chuckle, one of the senior curators, will show us to the spaceflight exhibition and will be judging the rocket competiton.'
Not an astronaut then. We follow Mr Chuckle. He drones on about how much fun science is and how we are all scientists and he does not seem to notice the buzz as everyone talks about the type of rocket they are going to build and who they are going to build it with.
'We're not having her,' says Dexter, pointing at Miranda. She is bossing some bug club mates, clutching her plastic lunchbox and trying not to be with us. 'We should get Tom, he's got four packets of crisps for his lunch - he'll give us some.'
It is tempting. My lunchbox has a carrot, a wholemeal cheese sandwich and two apples. I could do with some crisps. But I wonder about Miranda with her own cool club and mostly bs in the quiz; maybe she's not such an alien after all, she could even be good at building rockets.
'She might be OK,' I say, 'a bit, anyway.'
'Bet she doesn't have crisps in that tiny lunchbox,' says Dexter.
Mr Chuckle moves to one side and there it is - Apollo 10. I stop, my mouth drops open, I put my hand out to steady myself. Someone crashes into me.
'You're in the way!' says Miranda, shoving me into the wall and the big square fire alarm panel.
I put up my arms to stop myself.
'Don't press that button!' I hear Mr Chuckle shout. 'Not that button!'
Too late. I feel the glass crack beneath my elbow. The alarm is deafening. Mrs Trundle's mouth is very wide and angry. Mr Chuckle is running and waving his arms. I decide then that I don't care if Miranda has a space module stuffed with crisps. It would not be enough.


Moira Miller said...

Poor you!

You should have listened to Dexter. Maybe Miranda cheated in the alien test too.


Jude said...

Oh Wilf, how do you get yourself into these situations?! Hope things get better!

Wilf said...

Yes, Moira
I should have listened to Dexter for a change. Frankly I don't think that Miranda even bothered looking at the questions, just chose all bs to get in with us which is a bit of a c thing to do anyway.

Wilf said...

Thanks, Jude
I don't do anything! I don't know how it happens and now Miranda is asking for it.

Susan Abraham said...

Excellent, Addy!

I think first it was the memory of how tormenting it was for children to be told they musnt't press bright red buttons and yet how tempting that forbidden delight...

And as I read about Mrs. Trundle, how I thought she could so easily move into a novel or little story of her have developed her character in a superbly ..I could literally picture her soldiering her young charges around with thumps and bumps.

And also, the clear memory of going to school exhibitions years ago with that remembered feeling of curious observation and anticipation...your post brought it all back.

And then the exciting way you subtly threw in Wilf's careful thoughts about Miranda reminded me of how many colourful layers there were to this story.

That chldhood desire to impress is betwitching though she sounds like she could well be a terrible heroine, having escaped from Malcolm-in-the-Middle.

Atyllah said...

Oh poor Wilf! I think when the fuss has died down (I do hope you don't get punished because of Miranda's shoving behaviour) you should get a huge load of live bugs and spiders, sneak up behind Miranda one lunchtime and tip them all down the back of her dress. Let's see how much Miss BossyPants likes bugs then!

Wilf said...

Thanks, Susan! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. For myself I'm an old hand at school trips and I have seen worse behaviour!

Wilf said...

I'm with you all the way, Atyllah.