i am absolutely fascinated by one of the security people on my school campus. upon my first encounter with him, i immediately began referring to him as ‘dwight’, as he so reminded me of the character on the american sitcom, ‘the office’ who, when it came to the concept of security, was a bit overzealous to say the least. soon, other teachers began to believe this was his real name as i referred to him so often by that name, and over time, it just became a natural part of our school culture.
each day, my dwight stands at attention, across from my school, armed with his whistle and his stop sign, and a with tool belt full of ‘stuff’, like a benign batman, that really could not inflict any harm on any living thing, luckily.
he wears his neon vest, waiting to put his orange cones out, to deter drivers from turning left into the driveway once the clock has hit 7:30am on the dot, thus averting a potential ‘too many cars in the driveway circle at one time calamity.’ problem is, he is always a bit overexcited and tends to place his cones out a few minutes early on most days, inciting drivers to try to explain/outwit/go around him in this arena.
last year, he went after a teacher who violated his early cone placement, read her the riot act and tried give her a ‘citation’ of his own creation. (and what i wouldn’t give to have this in my possession). after this incident, he had a talk with his superiors and had his whistle taken away for a while.
and yet, the madness and mayhem continue. this week, ‘dwight’ abandoned his post, and literally chased down another teacher, while holding his stop sign, recently-returned whistle bouncing on his chest, tool belt accessories jingle-jangling, and vest flapping in the wind, for violating his wall of cones, and this was physically no easy task for him.
when he finally caught up with ‘the perp,’ they had a conversation about the exact time of his cone placement, and as he indignantly pulled his watch out of his pocket to prove his point, and as he was yelling about it having been 7:30, they both noticed it was actually only 7:31at this moment of confrontation. now, math is my weakest link, and i am no great detective by any means, but if i was to think backwards, and see how long it would have taken him to conduct his footchase, there is no conceivable way he could have reached his violator in 60 seconds. after some grumbling on both sides, they parted ways and once again, he returned to his post, ever vigilant, and watchful of any perceived wrongdoings.
after all this, i thought about him, and wondered what makes him so concerned with rules and order, and why he has such a strong need to enforce such things, when no actual harm or danger is involved. i’d like to find out his story, his given name, and while i can never move on from thinking of him as dwight, and while i admire him for caring and taking his job so seriously, i’m not all that certain he could save any of us in the case of some real danger, though i do feel he would always be watching, and perhaps run to find someone who could help, whistle bouncing, and in that way, he would at last be the hero he longs to be.
If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere. - Marilyn Monroe
The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions. - Oliver Wendell Holmes