So one morning a teacher finds something in our parking lot: a grocery bag maintaining it's boxy shape (with something in it), sealed with a few wraps of red duct tape. She lets one of the administrators know (not me), and he decides to play it "better safe than sorry" and calls the police. Within twenty minutes the bag is declared a "suspicious package" (a term that now gets a lot of play at school) and the Bomb Squad is on its way. In full accordance with procedure, I lock the campus down, more for crowd control than anything. The robot is sent in and blows the thing up with a water cannon to reveal the empty beer bottles inside.
I have no problem with the way the other administrator or the police handled it--nothing bad happened except the impromptu cancellation of second period, and the media that showed up really couldn't make anything of it, either. I do, however, take exception to the bag being labeled a "suspicious package" so quickly. If our parking lot is known for anything, it's for only two big problems: bad traffic and trash dumping. The way it was sealed with red duct tape is what set everyone off, and I have two theories: (a) if I were a kid trying to move my empties out of my house, that's one way I'd do it, and (b) red duct tape might be found at a construction site--just like the one on campus for the last three months. Either way, I wasn't going to interfere with a situation already in progress--but I was pretty sure as the robot went in that we were about to blow up somebody's gym clothes. In the end, it all went well, and the administrator who intially handled it should ultimately be commended for thinking of campus safety first.
None of this, however, has stopped me from wrapping most of my Holiday gifts--including the ones to the school staff members--in brown postal paper and red duct tape. It's just too funny to pass up.