CLANDESTINE: Clandestine Capers By Jane Malin

Word Count 467
Clandestine Capers
By Jane Malin
Sometimes little escapades just happen. There’s little or no real thought involved and certainly little regard to consequences. I’m going to tell you a story that, to my knowledge, has had very little publicity over the last 40+ years.
It was only a few weeks following high school graduation. Three teenagers and the janitorial staff of the high school were cleaning the building to ready it for the upcoming fall semester. They had worked together, scrubbing lockers, mending window shades, polishing bathrooms and locker rooms, scraping gum off desk bottoms, even re-painting parking lot lines. Although the tasks seemed endless, there was always a bit of boredom weaving through the teenage minds.
The custodians weren’t exactly accomplices, but everyone except Ozzie, the boss, was usually up for a good clandestine prank. For instance, they stood lookout when our teen crew cleaned the projection screen in the Senior Homeroom, then taped a Playboy centerfold in the middle and rolled it all back up to be discovered someday during a class filmstrip.
But I digress… it was late in the afternoon. Our teens had just finished setting up the Principal’s office outdoors in the center quadrangle. There on the lawn sat his desk, chair, file cabinet, credenza, even the telephone. As they admired their handiwork, Jane’s ride drove his Harley up to the back door to pick her up. Mike handed Jane her helmet, and she got on the back. As luck would have it, the back door was near the Principal’s office. “Hmmm, waxed floors,” Mike commented. Now you might ask, “What completely encircles a quadrangle?” Well, a perfect square set of hallways, of course! “Hang on!”
Charlie and Greg held the doors open, while Mike and Jane flew down the seventh grade hallway in a puff of blue smoke that obscured her little bobbing head. Around the corner to the fifth and sixth grade rooms. Jane had a death grip on Mike’s leather jacket, shrieking hysterically. He gunned it past the Teachers’ Lounge for effect. They skidded around the turn to the Home Eq hallway. “Hold on!” They had just the Admin hallway to go. Rounding the “clubhouse turn,” Mike really wanted to do a wheelie. He behaved so as not to throw Jane butt-first into the gymnasium. On the final leg, topping 20, he blew past the High School Office, the Girls’ Locker Room, the Principal’s Office, the Business Office and was airborne out the back door. Jane’s muffled screams from her helmet diminished as they fishtailed out of sight.
“Holy crap, I can’t believe he just did that!,” said Charlie. They packed up to leave for the night just as Ozzie came in from mowing the lawn. He asked, “You guys smell gas?” They shook their heads and replied, “Nah. Prob’ly just the mower. G’nite.”

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