As a restless third grader, I couldn't wait to get to high school. High school, compared with my small world, embodied my vision of paradise: Teachers and students were intellectual equals, every kid had a lifelong best friend and sidekick, and casual conversation was peppered with witticisms ranging from mildly hilarious to downright side-splitting. It was where homework and other academic matters were an afterthought and where every Zack Morris was offset by a Screech Powers.
Silly String is everywhere at lunchtime on Oct 7: on the floors, on the walls and entangled in the ponytails of a gaggle of squealing girls. Uttering an expletive, a surprised boy dodges another squirt of the sticky stuff, and the crowd that has formed to watch the spectacle quickly scatters. Less than ten feet away, a game of freeze tag has begun, and from what I can see, the winner will be whoever is last to slip and fall on one of the gooey pink snakes on the floor. There is running, kicking, laughing and just about every other component of a typical kindergarten recess.