Late For School

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Location: Bargara, Queensland.

Late For School

Post by thestoryteller » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:51 pm


I guess all of us reflect back on school days from time to time, recalling perhaps, the subjects we loved or hated, sports days, the teachers and last but not least, the friendships we shared there. Of the many teachers I shared a class room with, the crankiest and most strict was without a doubt, Missed Needham. We called her Missed, because she was well into her forties and had never married. We figured no bloke in his right mind was game enough to take her on, so she had missed her opportunity.

My best mate was a kid by the name of Bomber Bidell. He was a big lump of a kid for his age and though he was a bit slow at schoolwork, he played a mean game of footy. Bomber had a bad habit of coming in late for first lesson and it was one thing old Missed Needham hated.

She was ten minutes into our English lesson that morning when poor old Bomber turned up late as usual and tried to sneak into the classroom without being observed. Old Needham though never missed a trick and caught sight of him out the side of her spectacles.
"So you think you can sneak into my class unobserved do you Master Bidell!" the old dear yelled.
"If there's two things I hate in life young Bidell, it's you're coming in late for my class and never having a note to explain yourself."
Bomber used to her verbal bashings, lowered his head and apologised for being late and assured her he'd try not to be late again.
"I certainly hope not my lad and if you should feel the urge to be late again you make sure you have a note from your parents."

Bomber and I always played footy in the lunch breaks and after school we played "forcing back". We both reckoned we had a fair chance of making the school side this year to play against the local convent school. There was always a fair bit of ribbing went on between the state school kids and the convent kids as we passed each other on our way home from school. We'd always tease the convent kids by saying:
"Convents, convents sitting on logs, pulling bellies out of frogs!" My first attempt at rhyming verse I guess.

Next morning we were fifteen minutes into our Geography lesson when I noticed Bomber sneaking in late once more and hoping like hell not to be observed. Poor bloke nearly made it, but old Needham's eagle eye caught him out.
"That's it Bidell, out to the front of the class this instant!" she bellowed.
"There'll be no excuses this morning my lad, where's your note?"

Bomber with his hands behind his back and head down slowly edged his way down to her table.
"I won't ask a second time Bidell," she reminded him, "Where's your note?"
"I don't have one Miss," Bomber quietly blurted out. His chin tucked into his chest.
"Didn't you ask your mother to write you one?" demanded Missed Needam.
"Me Mum's gone away to visit her mother for a week, Miss." explained young Bomber.
"Then couldn't you get your father to write one for you?" she asked, using what she had always reminded us, was logic.
"I tried to get him to Miss, but he was too busy fighting."
"Fighting!" exclaimed the old dear. "What do you mean fighting?"
"He's out the front of the school, fighting, Miss." explained Bomber.

"We'll see about this master Bidell, my boy," and grabbing Bomber by his right ear she marched him out of the class room and out towards the front of the school.

Keen not to miss out on the spectacle we all looked out the classroom door and sure enough, there under the pepperina tree by the front gate of the school were two grown men fairly into it. Both had black eyes and bleeding noses and determined to belt pick handles out of each other.
"That'll be enough of this," old Needham blurted out, "I'll put a stop to this immediately."
"Which one of those men is your father Bidell!" the old dear demanded.
"I don't know Miss," cried Bomber, "that's what they're fighting about!"

From the book A Muster of Verse and Yarns
Some days your the pidgeon and other days the statue.

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