ST. LOUIS – Third grader Emily Harris is reporting a high degree of confidence that her father, who has been stationed in Afghanistan for almost 18 months, is hiding in that large, conspicuous box in the middle of the school gym assembly.
“Everyone was making such a big deal about making sure that I would be at school today and coming to the assembly, so I started realizing something was up,” said Emily while taking her suspiciously reserved seat at the front of the bleachers, “and since no one is saying why we’re even having this assembly and since all the teachers have their cell phones out videoing the whole thing, it became kind of obvious.”
“Also, my mom was invited to the assembly too for some reason, so it’s pretty clear what’s about to happen here…” she continued.
Sources report that the box is an extra-large variety, easily allowing for the size of Emily’s father, Sergeant James Harris, with additional room for air holes and a giant stuffed animal. Those in attendance also remarked on the fact that the box was not sealed in any way, allowing Sergeant Harris to easily jump out and bring his daughter – and those watching the inevitable viral video later – to immediate tears.
“This is just a normal assembly, for normal school reasons,” Principal Redford stated to the audience as the assembly began, choking back emotion, “but I think there is at least one person in this audience who is going to get something a little extra out of this.”
In a recent Skype call from Camp Benton in Kandahar, Sergeant Harris told Emily that he might see her sooner than she thinks and signed off with a wink. Emily advised that it was that point that any possibility of surprise evaporated. And while she will still react with shock and excitement, she will likely do it just to meet the expectations of others in attendance.
“I mean the box is actually rustling a bit already so whoever threw this thing together just did a real piss-poor job. Oh well, better get my ‘”Daddy is that you?!” face on”, she remarked from her reserved seat in the front row, “why does everyone feel the need to share my private joy with the entire world.”
At press time, the anti-smoking improv troupe hiding in the box were eagerly awaiting their big reveal to teach the school about the dangers of cigarettes.