Twenty-two principals. One simple question: How many times have you called a snow day to use the school gymnasium for a last-minute date?


1. Jennifer Wells – “I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t understand the question.”

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2. Julian Crawford – “Oh, I would never do anything like that.”

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3. Chris Holmes – “That would be a gross misuse of power.”

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4. Marvin Hicks – “Never.”

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5. Joan Warren – “I can’t say that’s something that’s ever crossed my mind.”

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6. Rita Hoffman – “Zero times.”

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7. Georgia Watkins – “I’ve never done that.”

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8. Gary Francis – “Did you ask how many times?”

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9. Shannon O’Connor – “Just once, and my date ended up having to cancel. The snow day made his kid stay home and he needed to take care of him because he couldn’t find a sitter. Needless to say, I did not envision that happening. I thought about un-canceling school and calling off the snow day, but then I realized it would probably raise some suspicion as to why I canceled school in the first place. I guess it sort of backfired, but then again, I got the whole gym to myself, which was fun. Shot a bunch of half-court shots. You rarely get a chance to do that.”

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10. Kevin Fleming – “What?”

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11. Carlos Posada – “That sounds like it would be extremely difficult and risky.”

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12. Lydia Middleton – “I don’t understand.”

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13. Michael Heller – “Never, and I don’t think the gymnasium would be a very good place to take a date, to be quite honest.”

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14. Loretta Gary – “Zero.”

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15. Thomas Balboa – “I always do that the day after we hold our Valentine’s Day dance, so it’ll be 14 times after it happens again this year. Valentine’s Day just always sneaks up on me, and it will again this year, and I end up having no choice but to call a snow day and use our gymnasium for my date. It always happens the same way: When I realize every reservation in town has been taken, I panic; then, at the last second, I remember that the gym still has all the Valentine’s Day shit up—you know, paper hearts, red balloons, romantic signs, et cetera. So the gym it is. This has happened 14 years straight, including this coming Valentine’s Day, whenever it is this year. My dates always seem to like it, too, because it seems like I’ve really gone out of my way. I never have, of course. I just forget Valentine’s Day every year, and I am going to forget it again this year. I almost wonder if, on some level, I forget on purpose, knowing that I have the gym as a safety net. But who knows how the human mind works…the synapses firing left and right…completely out of our control…beautiful shaky soda can of facts and thoughts…happening just right in here…wow…the nice part about it is that even though it almost never snows where I live, no one’s called me out on all the snow days yet. People in this town are pretty afraid of confrontation.”

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16. Jessica Chandler – “I don’t think I could get away with something like that.”

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17. Robert Sullivan – “Two times.”

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18. Jonathan Glavine – “I hope this doesn’t have any repercussions, but yes, I once called a snow day to use the school’s gymnasium for a last-minute date. This was probably, oh, I don’t know, 15 years ago? My then-girlfriend had just found out her mother was sick, and she needed to move to Florida right away to help take care of her. I couldn’t leave my job to be with her, and she really had no choice but to move. Two ships passing in the night, I suppose. Anyway, she was set to leave the following night, and since I wanted to be with her one last time, I called a snow day. We actually ended up getting eight inches of snow, which was nice—not just because snow is romantic, but because it provided a convenient cover story for the snow day. That day, we had a candlelight meal at half-court, and I used the PA system to play Vivaldi as we danced along the arc of the three-point line for hours. Then she left, and I never saw her again. I don’t regret calling the snow day, even though if anyone found out, I have to imagine I would have gotten fired. Hey, I was young and in love—what can I say?”

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19. Dwayne Webb – “You can’t just do something like that.”

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20. Rebecca Levy – “It’s too warm here for something like that to work, you know, without people getting suspicious.”

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21. Alyssa Wakefield – “I’ve never tried that.”

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22. Peter Edwards – “Not once.”

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