Sometimes you really should not drink the Kool-aid

Before you begin reading under the assumption this post is metaphorical (and I guess it could be and maybe it is), this blog post is based on a true story and actually is about why sometimes you really should not drink the Kool-aid.

It was the summer of 1985 and my fellow Presbyterians and I were looking forward to our first Vacation Bible School (VBS) using the church’s brand-new professional-grade kitchen. The kitchen was designed to accommodate Wednesday night meals, frequent social gatherings, such as weddings and funerals, as well as our annual week-long VBS attended by hundreds of children.

As per tradition, 1985 VBS snack time included cookies and Kool-aid, which were served by the matriarchs of our church, older women who over the years had moved from the classroom to the kitchen. The VBS Snack Ladies took their position very seriously and arrived early each morning to lovingly organize the cookies as well as make gallons of Kool-aid as they had done for many summers before.

What the ladies did not realize was the water faucets in the new kitchen not only offered the choice between hot and cold water, but soap as well. So, later that day when the children complained the Kool-aid tasted funny, the ladies chastised the children and told them to quit complaining and drink the Kool-aid. One person in particular, Joe, the VBS Recess Organizer, was so adamant the Kool-aid was just fine, he took an extra-large glass and with dozens of children watching downed it in one huge gulp only to immediately regret his decision to do so.

Yes, the Kool-aid really was tainted with soap. Yes, the Kool-aid really tasted funny. Yes, Joe really was sick as a dog shortly thereafter.

And, yes, you really should heed the warning of others because sometimes you really should not drink the Kool-aid.





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About barbarawmadden

I began teaching in 1981, but after a few years decided staying home with my children was what was best for my family. After almost 20 years raising four children, I returned to the classroom in 2005.

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