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Safety Patrol: The Original Secret Society

This fine picture of me rockin’ some bangs was taken the summer after 5th grade. The only thing missing from my glorious ensemble was the orange nylon strap of a Safety Patrol belt. You see, I didn’t make Safety Patrol.

Long had I gazed upon the proud protectors of elementary school hallways and hoped to join their ranks. My older brother Joe was among the vigilant watchers of his class and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I also couldn’t wait for my turn to pose for the traditional group panoramic picture on the steps in front of the Capital Building during the annual Safety Patrol trip to Washington D.C.

I was poised to accept my badge and orange strap of honor when I entered my last year of elementary school. After all, I made the honor roll. I earned a Book It award so often, the waitress at Pizza Hut knew all I wanted on my Personal Pan Pizza was pineapple and extra cheese. And I had no clue what the principal’s office looked like because I never got in trouble.

So it wasn’t until I saw practically all my friends one morning—geared up and patrolling the hallways—that I realized I wasn’t chosen.

What did I miss?! A secret handshake? Giving a citation to a lunch lady who forgot to wear a hairnet? Thwarting a hit taken out on a bus driver?

Alas, I will never know the reason. All I really know is I had to watch my friends get the glory for helping little lost kindergarteners and breaking up fistfights in the hallway. And I had to see the coveted group picture in front of the Capitol Building without me in it.

Forget the Illuminati and Freemasons. I hold firmly to my belief that Safety Patrol is the original secret society.

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  1. ash

    This is brilliant! Poor bus driver

    • beth

      If he was anything like the bus driver on Billy Madison, you can’t feel too bad for him.

  2. Oh, that is just too funny! And I love that you mentioned BookIt. My dual loves–pizza and books–in one program. This particular goody-two-shoes’ dream come true. 🙂 Thanks for the Friday laughter!

    • beth

      You’re welcome ma’am! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  3. Ashley Wolf

    I never made it either. Not sure why. I’m pretty sure I cried at least once about it. Maybe they knew that I didn’t have the self confidence to actually tell other kids they were doing things wrong.

    • beth

      That was probably the case for me too.

      You help prove my secret society theory though. 🙂 No one really knows the criteria for becoming a member…

  4. Joe

    I don’t know how I was selected. I have made a career of avoiding positions where I would have to tell people what to do or talking to people that I don’t know.

    • beth

      That’s how good the Safety Patrol Society is!

  5. Kelly

    I never made safety patrol either and wanted to so desperately! I feel your pain, Beth! ha!

    • beth

      If I ever come across any Safety Patrol belts, I’ll send one to you and Ashley. We can meet up in D.C. & take a picture in front of the Capital Building…

  6. Carolyn Trucano

    Hahaha! I think Beth, Ashley, and Kelly should form the post-fifth grade Safety Patrol and meet in Washington DC for your picture! All of you were Safety Patrol material – maybe it was a case of too many potentials in the graduating class of ’98?
    Having just attended my fiftieth year class reunion, I can feel your pain. There were so many intelligent, talented, witty, and popular members of my graduating class that I never received any “Senior Class Superlatives”. I was just one of the pack in class rank – near the top, but not quite there.

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