No, really. That's how it happened. Didn't even know the kid's name.
I really need to repeat that. Ate some powder. Given by a kid he did not know. It was sweet and kind of sourish. So that narrowed it down from "Many major drugs and poisons" to "a smaller selection of rarer drugs and poisons". Which you know, was comforting, though granted, he'd taken it hours before, so whatever was going to happen would probably have happened.
So he got home, had a tragically bad case of diarrhea, and I tried to find the single most humiliating way to tell the principle about this (and work out wtf he'd eaten). Then I had a moment.
A moment of inspiration, if you will, when he said "It was called picana! Pica something!" Which reminded me abruptly to ask him what teh powder had come in. A little packet. In a big bag like lollipops come in. And powder + flavor + small packet with name pica on it....
Jesus. This. Or the lemon version. This stuff was popular when I was a kid, too, and sold by the packet at the local convenience store. And still is. There's also a surprisingly delicious strawberry and chili pepper ice cream bar made by the same company.
So he doesn't have anthrax. He does, however, have the memory of the long night of having to write out the series of events in autobiographical form three times and an hour of me explaining the various types of powder-related death and my first draft of a speech that I told him I'd give in front of his class about dramatic adventures in diarrhea.
This is going to make him anorexic, isn't it? Or not eat things randomly from packets from kids whose name he doesn't even know. I'm going to admit--I was ready for the sex speech and tolerance speech and religion speech and the speech on feminism and equality and racism and being a boy. I did don't talk to strangers, if kidnapped, bite for blood, kick for breaking things, and scream like you mean it. I explained good touch, bad touch, how to handle bullies, and why it's important to tell me. I covered homework.
I missed the mysterious white powder speech, apparently. Please add this to all parent curriculum plans in the future. Header "Darwin's Ways to Die".