Ever faced the possibility of spending a winter night outside because a locked door left you stranded? It nearly happened to me, but thanks to an orange, I found shelter.
When I was a college sophomore, our track team traveled to Washington State University, the school I transferred to after my two years of junior college, for an early season indoor meet. A couple teammates had a friend who lived in a dorm, and we arranged to stay the night after the track meet to have some fun.
In the photo below, I’m running the two-mile for Spokane Falls CC at the meet. I still remember my time – 9:46. The track program at SFCC has since merged with Spokane’s other junior college and today is called CCS (Community Colleges of Spokane).
In the evening following the track meet, the three of us went out. Our last stop was at a large dance club. I made a new friend there and when it was time to leave, I got a ride with her friends and ended up at her place.
I had a fifteen minute walk across the quiet, desolate campus after saying good-by to my friend. Arriving at the dorm, I found the door locked. It was 3 AM and after hanging out at the entrance for a while, it appeared I’d have little hope of someone entering or leaving anytime soon.
I searched for something to throw at the dorm room window, and the best I could do was an orange I found laying in the shrubs.
It took a strong throw to reach the window because it was five stories up. I had to stand close to the building, which meant even if I was on target, the orange would only tap the window lightly.
I threw the orange a bunch of times, but it took a while to get some accuracy. I also had to catch it coming down so it wouldn’t get smushed. The third time I made contact on the window, a light went on and our host looked out. He came down and let me in.The orange pictured above is not the actual one used, but it has an amazing resemblance. It’s the same color and shape as the one I used, and it even smells the same. Just for fun, I sometimes throw oranges high into the air and catch them to celebrate my orangey rescue from that cold, winter night.