My First By-line
By Chérie B. Stihler

Now you must remember that I was raised, not in a barn, not in the circus nor by wolves as some folks insist - but by television.

One episode of a popular "Cop Show" centered around the very dangerous plastic explosives left in a building by the villain. They had to be destroyed before people got hurt.

"Plastic Explosives?!" I was terrified. And quite certain that the large collection of plastic storage containers that my mother had just purchased from someone's 'party' was going to blow up any minute and flatten our dear little house.

So I quickly found a shovel, ran to the back yard and dug the deepest hole I could. Then I mustered up my courage, wildly grabbed the evil plastic storage containers lurking in the kitchen and buried them all in the backyard. For an extra measure of safety I piled every rock, brick, patio stone, and heavy thing I could find on top of the mound. Fortunately my mother arrived home from work before I could telephone the bomb disposal squad.

At first my mother was quite angry. All of her lovely new plastic storage containers were now buried and probably scuffed a bit. Then she saw the humor of the situation and soon took me (okay, so she almost dragged me there by the ear...) to the California State University, Los Angeles' campus library and helped me look up the REAL composition of plastic explosives. I was so fascinated by the nifty new words and cool looking chemical diagrams that I wrote a short report and eagerly shared it with some of my classmates at Bryson Avenue School in South Gate, California.

I cannot imagine what those classmates shared with their parents, but the poor principal Mrs. Gumbinger must have had some really interesting phone calls and visits from alarmed parents. I do not know what, if anything, ever came of all the hoop-la that was made over my report. It sure looked nice, had a nice shiny blue plastic cover and everything. I don't even remember any of the words I wrote except my name - and that looked really nice too.


© Chérie B. Stihler 2006 - May not be used without permission