Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Did The Same Thing Happen to Chris Carter?

Salutations, Wary Readers!

If you've read just one of my blog posts then you're already well aware that I have a distinct contempt for authority figures.  If you've read every single one of my blog entries then you probably believe that this bitter hatred is a symptom of being screwed over by unscrupulous corporate pinheads.  Well, you're absolutely wrong and everything you've read thus far has clearly failed to provide even the most basic insight into my mindset and all of that wasted time would have been better served digging trenches in your front yard and then filling them back in again.

Seriously, folks, thanks for reading.

No, the cold, hard truth that supposedly "responsible" adults don't always have your best interests in mind was revealed to me even earlier then that.  It all started with a very odd event that happened to me and my school-mates back around Grade Five or Six.  It's a memory that's haunted me for so long that I'm not even sure if it happened anymore.  Only a small handful of people who attended St. Stephen's Elementary School in Stephenville, Newfoundland in the early Eighties would be able to corroborate this for me, and I really hope that they do.  Maybe then the hallucinatory feelings I harbor over this event will finally be dispelled.

When I first saw the The X-Files  back in 1993 the show made a huge impact on me.  Thinking about this story again, it's not hard to understand why.  It's because, as a ten year old kid, I experienced something that could very well have dovetailed with that show's bizarre and elaborate mythology.  Something oddly conspiratorial which planted the seeds of distrust I harbor towards authority figures to this very day. 

One fateful morning our regular school routine was interrupted by some unusual visitors.  A doctor, accompanied by a small gaggle of nurses, went from classroom to classroom, telling us about a proposed experiment they intended to conduct.  Even as a nine or ten year old kid, I thought that these people seemed kinda suspicious.  First off, the doctor looked like this:

Okay, I'm kidding here; the doctor didn't look like Nick Riviera, but he was unfamiliar to me.  There were only a small handful of doctors practicing in our small town at the time, and this guy didn't look like any of them.  He looked like an outsider.  I can't really explain it but he looked too "doctor-ish" to me, like he was trying too hard to look like a doctor.  Kinda like this clown:

I wish I could remember his name.  It was probably Dr. Fakenstein, Practitioner of Deceit.  Or Dr. Fibby McLiarson, M.D.

The M.D., by the way, stands for "Medical Deviate".             

His harem of nurses were also suspect, tarted up in  "methinks thou dost protest too much" uniforms, or what my memory has since come to interpret as cheap costumes picked up from Spirit Halloween.

No, that picture's not quite right, even if it is kinda rad.  A-hem.  Sorry.  This is more like it:

Notwithstanding the fact that the chick in the photo is Asian and we only had two (potentially frightened) Asian families in Stephenville at the time, there was just something off about these people.  With my Spidey-Sense™ already a-tingle after laying eyes on these shysters, it suddenly kicked into hyper-drive just as soon as Dr. Giggles opened his cake-hole to speak.

"Hi, kids!"  Dr. Loki began, looking evasive.  "We're here as part of a new medical program to help determine what your health might be like as grown-ups.  By the time our tests are complete we should be able to predict your likelihood of developing serious ailments as an adult like strokes, heart disease, and diabetes.  And all we need to to do to determine this is just get a little sample of your BLOOD."

Okay, at the time, Dr. Quackenface probably didn't put quite that much emphasis on the word "blood" but that's just how I remember it, okay?

With silent complicity from both the principal and the teachers, these hucksters then handed out waiver forms to bring back to our parents to sign.  I promptly "lost" mine for a few days until the teacher finally insisted that I promptly "find it" again and bring it back bearing my parent's signatures.

I finally caved in and showed the form to my folks, who immediately dismissed my concerns as rampant  paranoia.  I begged and cajoled for them not to sign it. 

"Nonsense," they insisted, sealing my fate with a Bic stick pen.  "Sounds like a great idea."

"But...but...," I babbled, determined to present my case.  "I don't trust this doctor!  He's an outlander.  He doesn't even look like he's old enough to shave!  And the nurse...she's Asian fer Chrissakes!"

"Watch your mouth!" my parents snapped.  "Chinese people make great nurses.  Besides, you're just scared of getting a needle."

Were my parents right?  Was my stark fear of getting punctured clouding my judgement of what, at face value at least, sounded like a noble study?  But as I thought back to the medical mannequins that spoke to us in class that day, I still harbored some serious trepidations.  In spite of this, what else could I do?  My parents had already signed the warrant and my teacher was expecting it back.  There would be no stay of execution for me and most of my terrified schoolmates.      

I took the waiver sheet back to school the next day without any more fuss.  When the appointed day came the following week I faced my fate with grim resolve.

Admittedly, the morning started out rather pleasantly.  Instead of our normal routine, the camp guards...er, teachers led us across the parking lot to the gym where we were fed a specially-appointed breakfast which was supposed to be conducive to our "test".  I can't quite remember exactly what we ate that morning, but I'm willing to wager that it was likely a bowl of unsweetened Cheerios soaked in blood thinner-tainted milk.

The cheerful breakfast allowed us to forget about the looming threat somewhat, but as the nom-nom-noms started to wind down a palpable cloud of dread rolled in like a fog.  This mood became even more pronounced during the Bataan-style Death March back to the school.  The aura of discord slowly began to mutate into full-blown terror.  Some perceptive kids tried to heed their flight impulses and make a break for it but they were quickly wrangled by the fleet-footed teachers, who were strategically positioned around the perimeter.

As we were herded like cattle down into the bowels of the school, panic amongst the prepubescent throng flared up like a viral outbreak.  The distinct sounds of weeping and pleading could be heard.  My undropped testicles crept further into my body cavity like frightened woodland creatures.  

Like a veteran of Da Nang, I can only describe the rest of what I witnessed that morning in snippets.  I remember kids being strapped to gurneys.  I remember fraudulent Asian nurses getting punched in the mush.  I remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth as if I'd suddenly been incarcerated in the Eight Circle of Dante's Inferno.              

I tried to be a good little soldier that morning, even as the incompetent nurses punctured my arm no less then four times trying to tap into my tiny, resilient veins.

By mid-day it was all over.  Several parents were summoned to the school to recover their shell-shocked offspring, many of them so pasty they made Edward Cullen look like George Hamilton.  Those who initially opted to stay became victims of attrition.  As the day wore on, most of the students were overcome with dizzy spells and were promptly sent home.  Eventually the teachers gave up trying to teach us anything.  Our small contingent of dazed and logy survivors were left to wander free-range around the classroom to rock back and forth, mutter to themselves, assume fetal positions and/or re-evaluate their priorities.   

Of course, this was back when I was a spineless milksop who would never think of using a legitimately traumatic event as an excuse to go home early.  No, by God, if I wasn't legitimately dizzy, I wasn't going to lie and say that I was.  So, by the time 3 pm rolled around the only two people still left in our homeroom class was me and another sucker named Randy Penton.  Eventually our teacher told us to get the f#@$ out.

I think this was the first time I became laconic and uncommunicative when my parents asked me that obligatory question: "What did you do in school today?"  I think I even out-sulked Kristen Stewart that afternoon.  And yes, I'm well aware that I've made two Twilight references in this blog entry but what can I say, I'm in a fragile mental space right now.

The weirdest part about it all: no one, any I mean no-one, ever mentioned this again.  We, the students, talked about it occasionally, purely for therapeutic reasons.  But our discussions were always whispered, fleeting, hushed.  Our principal and teachers, on the other hand, never breathed a word about it again.  And the real pièce de résistance: we never did get a letter back from this supposed doctor as to what their "findings" were.

Occasionally my parent might lift the scab on this mental wound by lamenting: "Hey, whatever happened with that whole 'blood test thing' they did for you guys in school?  Never did hear back from that crowd.  Pretty queer thing, eh?"      

Yes, pretty queer indeed.  Can you imagine if that happened to a bunch of ten year old kids now?  Can you say "class action lawsuit"?  

So, I pose this question to you, Gentle Readers: what the hell happened to us on that fateful day?   Was it a legitimate test and the authorities only contacted those families who's children displayed a chance for medical peril?  Or do I have an entire army of evil clones roaming amongst the stars?

The truth, as they say, is out there.       

EPIC:  This memory (and some independent research) really makes me think twice about things like the highly-vaunted "flu shot".


FAIL:  Another creepy/sad story from a few years ago...  



Although I'm still hopeful for an X-Files resurgence, movies like I Want To Believe are unlikely to help... 


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