The Velcro Story

Winter in Michigan is really cold and windy.

I was a science teacher and always like the most high tech gear. In 1985 I bought a new high tech Gortex winter coat. The coat had all the bells and whistles with special wind reducing flaps and great big heavy duty Velcro collars around the wrists.

The story starts with me being a little late for school, so I’m rushing. I drive to school with my stick shift car and it took a lot of concentration to manage the hills in town on slippery winter roads.

About half way to school on an uphill with one foot on the brake and the other on the clutch, I heard a bottle of coke banging around the floor of  the back seat. So while I’m stopped I reach down behind me to to feel around for the bottle.

At this point I realized what I had done.  My new jacket with the super Velcro wrists had fastened to the carpeting on the floor which put me in a car arm lock.

This wouldn’t be so bad if the car wasn’t in fourth gear, one foot on the break, and the other on the clutch.

So now what to do? I’m on a hill with a line of rush hour commuters behind me.

Well, I let go of the break, jammed my foot on the gas and surprisingly bucked through the intersection without hitting the cars behind me.

I made my way to school lurching in fourth gear because my arm is still in an arm lock behind me.

Safely in my parking space, I turn off the car, and wiggle out of my straight jacket coat.

Time for school.

I grab the handle of my door and its frozen shut from the cold trip and the unusual amount of panting during my 15 minute trip. My car locks had done this before but I could always crawl over the shifter to the passenger door.

I try the passenger door, frozen, and the two back doors are both frozen.

Panicked for the second time that morning I start to bang on the window. I spot the librarian walking towards the school and bang on the window to get her attention.

She walks over, I write on the window “help” , She laughs, thinking I’m pranking her. (I have a reputation)

She walks into the school shaking her head. Another 20 min later the heat from the car melts the door locks and I escape running to my class.

After that day it was hard to dismiss my students strange stories  about why they were late.