Friday, October 24, 2003

Scaryduck's story from yesterday reminded me of an incident from my own days at school and I thought it would be perfect to share with you all.

One cold sunny morning we were sat in a maths lesson. Amazingly, I think we were all actually working hard but that seems so unlikely that I may be wrong. It doesn't really matter. One of the kids at the front of class, let's call him Crusher (big, rugby player, someone to stay on the right side of), made a mistake and asked a mate of his a few rows behind him , Drifter (no real reason for this one), for some Tippex.

The little bottle of correcting fluid was duly passed forward and Crusher let it do its magic. Now, at this point the sensible thing to do would have been to pass the bottle back from person to person until it got to Drifter again. That's certainly what I would have done.

If that had happened, of course, I wouldn't be telling you this story.

No, Crusher decided to go the direct route and throw it back to Drifter. And it wasn't some nice, looping, underarm throw that would have guaranteed the bottle would land safely in Drifter's hands, either. Crusher half stood, pivoted and, as he called out to give Drifter the heads up, brought his arm round in a smooth, baseball pitcher's action and released.

It's at this point that, in my memory at least, time slowed down. I remember with an unusual clarity the bottle flying trough the air towards where Drifter was sitting. He flung his hands above his head and looked like he was trying out for the England cricket team as the bottle sailed through his fingers bare moments before they closed. Drifter's head went back in horror as he realised he'd missed it and we watched the bottle continue along its path towards the back of the classroom.

It's at this point that time reverts to its normal pace.


Every head in the room, including the teacher's (who until now had been obliviously writing on the board) shot round at the noise. We were greeted with the site of a patch of white eighteen inches across on the back wall. Worse, not all the contents of the exploded bottle had ended up on the wall. There were drops all over the floor and a large patch on the side of a cupboard that saved a couple of kids from being covered. Unfortunately, the kids on the other side of the detonation point were not so lucky and had Tippex all over their clothes and in their hair.

Crusher, who hadn't had time to sit down again, just stood there staring with the rest of us for a long moment before somebody started to laugh. That triggered the rest of us (apart from the two unfortunates) and the teacher couldn't get us back under control. No more work was done in that lesson.

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