Baltimore, General Chaos

School's a real gas

At 1:30 today, my #1 son calls me on his cell phone.

“I’m at the library,” he said, meaning the Roland Park branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, which is across from his school.

“What are you doing there?” I asked, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“They closed school. One of the boilers broke and there was a gas leak or something.”

Just when I thought I was going to have an uninterrupted workday for once…

I drove up Roland, and as I approached the school, the air was heavy with the smell of combustible fumes. It smelled more like fuel oil than natural gas; but still, I figured that it had to be absolutely explosive inside the school. I called Kevin on his cell to tell him I was turning in front of the library, and he ran over to meet me.

As we drove, he explained that he had only had a half a class that day–that there had been a problem since that morning, and they were only getting around to dismissing students at 1:00. They had all of the students in the general purpose room while the fire department and health department inspected the broken boiler that was the source of the problem.

“So, the building was filled with fumes, and they had you go to the multipurpose room?” I asked in disbelief.

“Well, they had to wait for the fire department and health department to figure out if it was safe…”

Having dealt with some fuel oil leaks while I was in the Navy, it would seem that ANY fuel oil leak where I could smell the fumes from several blocks away would be unsafe. But, hey, that’s just me.

As it turned out, it was 2,000 gallons of fuel oil that had spilled out of a ruptured fuel line. WBAL reported on it at 10:30 am. But WTF with having everybody stay in the building until 12:30?

Hats off to the teachers who ran herd over the kids and got them over to the library. The BCSS should give them combat pay for today.


They Make Lovely Jewelry

At 11:00 pm last night, Paula is in a panic. She can’t find her school keys–the ones she was just told that she would have to pay $500 to replace (since it would mean changing all the keys and locks in the school for security reasons. “The only thing I can think is that Zoë picked them up off my desk and dropped them somewhere.”

Zoë, being asleep, was not available to provide any clues. We turned the area around Paula’s desk upside-down looking for them, and then surrendered.

This morning, after Paula had departed keyless, I woke up Zoë, and asked her, “Did you take Mommy’s keys off her desk?”

She nodded sleepily.

“Where did you put them?”

“In my jewelry box,” she replied. She then got out of bed and pulled a tupperware box out from under her bed; and there, among the pony tail bands and beaded necklaces, were Paula’s keys, with a yellow spiral bracelet keyfob.

After another night of interrupted sleep, I didn’t have the wherewithal to ask why she had taken the keys. I guess she liked them as an accessory.