The Day of the Jackhole

The Day of the Jackhole

Celebrating 40 years on this earth

You can scroll the shelf using and keys

1983. Lock and key.

October 23, 2011

The school bus is small and runs a route that picks up farm kids. About eight kids, I guess. It’s white. With blue seats. I stand by the side of the road, under a gum tree, waiting for it in the morning. I hear it coming, pick up my case, and wait as it pulls to a slow halt in the dirt. Sliding the door open, I climb in.

My friend, Belinda, is one of the first kids on the bus, so she’s been there for 20 minutes already and has been saving me a seat. I’m a mid-point kid. There are a few more to come before the bus is full and we’re ready to dump at the public school.

On this day, there’s a teasing game going on and W, a boy from up the road, is distracted. I’m goaded into locking his school port, and being weak I do so. This is in the days before haversacks and backpacks. Cardboard ports (mini suitcases really), with plastic corners to protect against bumps are all that’s available. They’re all made by Globite. They all have exactly the the same locking key. This seems like such an obvious flaw.

I lock his port. It’s a joke. Funny ha ha. But conversations move on and there’s squealing and jokes and stupid farm kid laughter and the sliding door of the school mini-bus to distract us. And then we arrive at Kootingal Public School. We go about our business. I forget all about it.

At some point in the day, there’s a kerfuffle. W can’t get his lunch out of his port because it’s locked. I have a key—I have the same port—but I am so filled with guilt I can’t announce this fact to anyone, lest they realize it was me. It was me. I locked W’s port on the school bus and now he can’t eat his lunch. I am a terrible jackhole.

I guess they figured it out. But hey, if they didn’t want me to lock it, they wouldn’t have given all those ports the same keys!


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