Not long ago, I made a reference to the "patrol pledge" among friends and got blank stares. "Weren't any of you guys safety patrols in school?" I said.
"No. What's a safety patrol?"
The more I tried to explain, the dorkier it sounded: Well, in grade school you could apply to be a patrol and if you got it, you wore an orange belt with a badge on it and would get off the school bus and wave kids across the street when they were boarding and exiting.
It was a desirable position. Really!
I mean, not just anyone could be a safety patrol. You had to have good grades and a flawless obedience record.
Okay, it was dorky.
But still, I was psyched to be a patrol in (I think) fifth grade. First, there was the belt, which to me connoted leadership and also was an additional accessory that needed to be cared for and folded properly. Second, you got to sit at the front of the bus at all times, which I liked to do because the view from the big front window was much better than from the sides, and also I liked Mrs. Kidd, the bus driver. Finally, it felt pretty official to be helping kids cross the street and, most importantly, reciting the Patrol Pledge:
I promise to do my best to:
·report for duty on time
·perform my duties faithfully
·strive to prevent accidents
·always set a good example
·obey my teachers and officers of the patrol
·report dangerous practices of students and
·strive to earn the respect of fellow students.
Between this and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, I was doing a lot of pledging on a regular basis in grade school. And you know what? I like the Patrol Pledge. I still think it's a good idea to report for duty on time, perform my duties faithfully, strive to prevent accidents, always set a good example and strive to earn the respect of my fellow humans. Not sure about obeying the authorities or snitching on dangerous behavior, but I'm sure in some cases that makes sense too.
Any fellow patrol alumni out there? Anyone?
Music: "Goody Two Shoes"