Why were Meeester M and I so nervous when it was our son Indy’s first day at secondary school this week? Simple really, because we both had pretty crappy first days ourselves. It’s the whole “don’t smile til Christmas thing” that teachers do- someone has to be made an example of and if you’re unlucky, it’s you. If you’re lucky you just get to watch and thank God it wasn’t you...this time.
I was a watcher, I'm relieved to say. If I had been a victim I’d have walled myself into my parents' garage to stop my parents from sending me back in the next day. But watching was bad enough, because you got to saw what some of these gits (and we’re talking pre-corporal punishment abolition gits in my case) were capable of. My particular strap happy dinosaur fond of a bit of child humiliation was Mr Treasurer. He looked like Satan in a polyester mix green suit (paired with a with cheeky lighter green nylon shirt) and a goatee beard. Yes, you heard right, he was top to toe in green; like a possessed Leprechaun. And Treasurer wanted to belt an eleven year old and he wasn’t going to rest until he got the chance, begorra!
The unlucky bugger who appeared like a blip on treasurer's sadistic radar was guy called Mark. I don’t even remember what Mark had done- I suspect he had done nothing, because whatever it was only Mr Treasurer that saw it. He had ginger hair, but I don't think that had anything to do with it. Certainly Mark seemed equally unaware of what it was that made the bearded green midget call him forward to the front of the class. Twenty five of us, whose only worry up until that point was what the extra buttons on their calculator were for an whether we’d EVER grow into our blazers, were about to get a whole other level of concerns to keep us awake at night. Teachers could whack you! In fact they could whack you with special whacky stuff with leather fronds. And you couldn’t whack them back. And another thing- if this was what treasurer brought out on the first day, what did he have for later when he had to go up a gear? Say, when someone had actually done something wrong? An Iron Maiden? A wooden cross?
We all watched stunned as the verdant dwarf took a couple of steps backward to get run up for the production of a good velocity as the leather strap hit poor Mark's shaking hands. Five belts later, quite a few of us were choking back a tear. Who were these people? Would they all be like this? When could we feasibly leave and just get a job somewhere? We could manage without trigonometry and religious studies, we were sure we could.
The fact is, I never saw anyone else belted the entire time I was at that school.
Mr Treasurer, wherever you are, thanks for making all the other teachers look good. And not picking me to make an example of on the first day, if I’m honest. (I hope someone bigger than you is battering you outside a pub somewhere- maybe someone with ginger hair...)Don't ever miss a Misssive, subscribe!