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How to Evacuate Church in Two Minutes Flat

Church was going fine, I guess; just the normal, "SHHHHH" to my children, and all that. When, about 10 minutes before the end, Oliver, my 16 month old, decided to screech and scream, for no apparent reason. It was very bizarre. So, I scooped him out and booked it to the lobby. I plunked he and myself down on the couch and thought, "What a weirdo."

Then I saw that Spencer, my three year old, had followed us out. 

"Spencer come here right now!" I hissed. He obliged and sat himself on the other side of me on the couch.

Oliver stood up and attempted to launch himself off the couch. So I turned to try and catch him. Catch him I did. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw Spencer.

I saw him reach up above the couch.

I saw his little pudgy hand close around a lever.

I saw him pull it down half way.

I nearly yelled (but not quite because we were in church!) "Spencer! NO!"

He yanked his hand back, and we both stared at the lever.

One second passed. Nothing happened.

Two seconds passed. Nothing happened.

I relaxed. Apparently, half a lever pull did not accomplish what a FULL lever pull would have accomplished.

Three seconds passed.

And then.

The fire alarm began to wail, "WONK! WONK! WONK!" and all the lights started to flash.

And the speaker in the chapel quit speaking.

And I wanted to 1. Die and 2. Take my three year old with me.

I heard the Bishop get up and say into the microphone, "Brothers and sisters please exit the building." A shuffle of confused, un-alarmed feet.

I was completely at a loss as to what to do next. So, I just stood there, glaring menacingly at Spencer. I picked him up and flopped him down on an end table, a bit out of the way.

The entire congregation filed past. I smiled serenely at them as they walked.

I mean, what else could I do?

Then my husband appeared. "I knew it," was all he said.

"Please go find the Bishop and tell him it was a false alarm," I requested.

Derek disappeared. Before long, the Bishop appeared and made the horrid noises stop.

"It was Spencer," I confessed, in a very matter-of-fact-tone. "There is no fire."

"Oh. Good." He replied simply. Then for some reason, the wonking started all over again, but I am certain none of my children were to blame this time.

The Bishopric finally got it all under control and let everyone back in the building. Of course, everyone marched past us again.

I was told later that it was not entirely my neglectful parenting that was to blame. There IS supposed to be a piece of glass covering the fire alarm to prevent such misuse. Where the glass had gone no one knows, but they have requested a new one.

Good to know, right?

Morgan writes all kinds of "how-to's" at The Diet Coke Diet. She also writes about her family life with three boys at The Ing Family

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