Friday, February 12, 2010

Gadjo’s Skooldaze

My job may end soon and I have to think about what to do next. I’m actually taking this opportunity to review my entire life, starting from the start. Some of it went swimmingly well but I do usually prefer not to look back on my school days - they weren't so horrific, just so filled with naffness and embarrassment. In fact, so naff and embarrassing were they I’m inclined to imagine this end-of-year conversation in the staffroom:

Right, next up it’s Dilo and what’s to be made of him. Mr Bacon, what’s he like at sport?

Sport?? He doesn’t know the #!@%*& meaning of the #!@%*& word!! He can’t play anything proper, the only thing he can #!@%*& do is #!@%*& badminton and even then he swoops about like Isadora #!@%*& Duncan! Just give me an hour with him and a couple of Shōrinji-#!@%*&-ryū swords in the coal shed, Headmaster, and I’ll....

No, Mr Bacon, thank you, remember what happened last time. How is he in the metalwork room, Mr Sparks - did he ever fix the differential on your Cortina?

Did he bollocks.

Ok. Mr Shirk, you’re his form master, has he got any form?

None we can use. He lifted us a few Fruit Salads last term, but we reckon he just forgot to pay when he left the shop.

Pity. Oh dear, well, what about hobbies? Mr Sprot, is he still in your chess club?


Dilo. Weedy chap. Bad haircut. Stammer.

That doesn’t narrow it down much.

Well, if you haven’t noticed him then he’s probably not the next Boris Becker. Mr Brasso, didn’t he play trumpet in the school band?

Ay, he did. Bloody rubbish he was. Couldn’t get the high notes, or the low notes. We moved him to 2nd euphonium but ‘e were rubbish there an’ all. Tuba’s reserved for special punishments, as y’know, and triangle’s been stolen, so we kicked him out.

Oh, I see. Err, Mr Vaseline, has he been to any of your “art” classes? (God I’ll be glad when this man retires, only another couple of years now, and hopefully by then sodomy* will've been taken off the school curriculum.)

Duckie, we haven’t seen hide nor hair of him, not that’s it’s any loss I mean it’s not as if he’s particularly attractive is it!

If you say so. Well, seems to me another basket case, let’s move on...

Errr, Headmaster, just an idea, I know it’s a long shot but might we try him on, errrr, exams?

{A heavy silence descends. A silence you could cut with a knife, along a straight line between two points you’ve triangulated with a skool compass and drawn with a 2B pencil and a rather chipped plastic set-square.}

"Exams", Mr Chips?? This school never went in much for "exams". Strikes me you’re been sniffing the Chem. Dept.’s acetone again, eh?!

Well, I just thought we could try it. I’m sure if we wrote to one of those Examination Board thingies they’d send us some forms and whatnot.

Oh, alright, just don’t make a habit of it.

And lo, so it came to pass that young Dilo found he could focus his otherwise aimless mind for the few hours it took to take some academic qualifications. Though really none of this now matters a jot as he’s ended up earning a pauper’s wage in the European Union’s most despised and dishevelled country, so it let that be a lesson to you.

* It has come to my attention that Romanians may now be reading this nonsense, and I wish to encourage them not to jump to conclusions. This is all just A Laugh, for heaven’s sake, none of this actually happened like I’m telling it, especially not this bit. Thank you.


Scarlet Blue said...

Was the first line deliberate? It's very good; it grabbed my attention.
Anyhow, I can't think of a job where you have to take exams all day...
well, apart from sitting and passing exams for other people... but I think that's illegal.

Gaw said...

That first sentence is very good. It's as if you sobered up as the piece progressed. All-in-all v funny.

What about a career in exam invigilation? The holidays are good.

Gadjo Dilo said...

No, guys, the first line wasn't deliberate and it's now been corrected! (Good grief is that what gets me attention round here? Typos?)

Scarley, that probably is illegal is most places but here in Romania it's faily acceptible and I've already been doing English homework for people! (Mind you, that was 100% acceptible among the arts students in the UK university I went to too...)

Gaw, thanks, and yes, it was a rather sobering experience looking back at this period of my life. Exam invigilation, eh? Money for old rope, I'd have thought, and maybe a few extras as well from especially ambitious parents - I like it.

Nikos said...

There's a song by the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band that mirrors your school days.....and mine!

Nikos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brother Tobias said...

Your schooldays sound familiar. I was rubbish at fives, a useless cox, and only spoke to the headmaster twice - once when my shoes were dirty, and once when we wrote an anonymous letter complaining about compulsory chapel, and they traced the typewriter. How about a design job with Toyota?

inkspot said...

I play poker with inspiring people. One smears windows, one gets in the way at the local hospital, one's waiting to inherit from his granny, others "buy and sell things". If none of these fit you then come join us, it will be mutually educational.

PS what is it with art masters? Mine was the same, always putting his arm around you.

Gorilla Bananas said...

If you want revenge, become a teacher. All those sporting, artistic, musical, metalworking, chess-playing children will feel the contempt of a former exam swot. And it will make them less conceited, so it's for their own good!

Nikos said...

Sport(The odd boy):

Alice Scradcza said...

Welding. It's the new Venture Capitalism. If you feel sorry for yourself and don't concentrate,then you get bad burn on yourself. So you develop healthy lifestyle and early bed- then no shaky hands!

Lulu LaBonne said...

Please reinstate the first line.

I think Inky's offering you a great opportunity for an alternative education - he's a key player in the Mafia these days and I hear it pays quite well.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Nikos, thanks for the tip, I'm playing it now, it's striking several chords aleady.

Brother T., thanks for your support. Any decent headmaster should have felt stimulated by your disestablishmentarianism initiative - I hope he was. Toyota? I'd love to!

Inky, I fear I'd be a bit a rubbish at poker too, but the getting in the way appeals. Actually it was our metalwork master who was the skool pederast, but - rather maturely, I always thought - many felt genuinely sorry for him.

Bananas, ah yes, becoming a teacher would be a most exquisite form of revenge - and you're right, the meaner I'd be to them the better it'd be for them!

Nikos, got it.

Alice, lovely Alice, I think I like the early-bed/no-shaky-hands combo, and I may try it some day if I can find a friend to assist.

Lulu, I can't even remember what it was, or indeed why it was so totally hilarious! Inky's in the Mafia? I wonder if he can make me a "made man".

Camilla Jessop said...

For goodness sake, Dilo! Brace up, boy and stop snivelling! Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. There must be many organisations in poor Romania that need a man of your talents. Even if it is only mending the local population's toasters.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Cami, darl, I've been braced up for a long time now - you said you'd come round. Which country? England is no longer the England of my halcyon youth and Romania is, frankly, a karsi. Please advise me.

Percy Weiper said...

Germany. The Fatherland always delivers.

Madame DeFarge said...

I can see you as a pedagogue. Wafts of chalk dust preceding you as you drift about the groves of Academe. Just watch out for the hemlock.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Percy, Gutentag! Unfortunately, though, my father was born in Catford.

Madame, hmm, like the chalk, but I almost misread "pedagogue", then when you mentioned hemlock I realised you were referring to Socrates, but then that didn't entirely dispel my original disquiet...

Kevin Musgrove said...

Is there not a market for an Eric Pode of Croydon tribute band in Transylvania?

Gadjo Dilo said...

Kevin, Eric Pode of Croydon - was that Radio Active or The Burkiss Way to Dynamic Living??

Kevin Musgrove said...

Burkiss Way, well spotted!

Eryl Shields said...

Sounds like you went to the same school as me, but you must be younger as there were definitely no exams taken in my day.

Good luck with the job hunting.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Kevin, ah, it's a tradegy that I've ended up living in a Radio-less country.

Ms Shields, welcome to you! Yes, those were the days when a skool was for building "character", with none of this GCSE nonsense.

The Jules said...

Aha, but imagine where you'd be if you hadn't got those qualifications?

Possibly have sodomised your way to Lord Mayorhood by now.

The Jules

p.s. What did I miss re: the original first sentence?

Gadjo Dilo said...

The Jules, yes, I suppose if I hadn't had the satisfaction of a few qualifications I might have found my outlet in another way, though Lord Mayorship is not quite my bag! (Nobody knows what that first sentence was, especially me).