To any small children reading this and intending on utilizing my methods on family and friends I would like to say, firstly, well done – your reading skills are way above that of the average three-
On the plus side, however, it is around this age that alternative methods of causing upset and annoyance to elder brothers and sisters come into play. By far the most popular of these is the let’s call it a draw method of ending a board game you have no hope of winning by grabbing the board and tossing it into the air, scattering the pieces across the room and leaving no evidence whatsoever that you were, in fact, on the brink of losing. Though mainly used during childhood, this approach could well cause amusement if used in certain situations later in life. It would be a safe bet that cheers of delight would arise from your colleagues on the high school debating team if you were to put an end to any arguments your opponents may have by taking their notes, scattering them vehemently in all directions and proudly strutting out of the classroom to thunderous applause.
respect I possibly didn’t deserve. Without wishing to sound big-
Of course, all this bravado may lead you to believe that I was a confident ‘nothing can phase me’ kind of a child, but unfortunately that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I remember only too clearly that, at around the age of six or seven, I was so afraid of a certain infant school teacher that I wouldn’t even dare to raise my hand and ask to be excused for a simple visit to the lavatory. As a result I succeeded in putting a turd in my underpants of such spectacular proportions that, had it been a joint of beef it could have quite easily fed a hungry family of four with enough left over to serve up cold with mash and pickles the following day.
Luckily, and certainly in my infant and junior years, this teacher turned out to be a one-
Obviously, school bullies were not the only danger I was faced with during those early years. There was always the wrath of my mum to face anytime I would wittingly or otherwise stray from the straight and narrow. One example of which was the journey to school. The route I was to take to Chesterfield Infants and Juniors was clearly defined. I was to walk straight along the high road to the traffic lights, cross the road at the crossing and walk straight down Ordnance Road to Chesterfield Road – my destination. The problem was that it was a lot quicker to cross the main road straight away and cut through Alandale Road and Manderville Road, and this was more often than not my route of choice. Somehow or another my mum knew every single time I’d gone the speedier route and I would hear about it in no
uncertain terms when I got home. I never quite figured out how I could possibly be busted each and every time until the answer was revealed to me only a few years ago. There was a spy in the sweet shop! What I considered to be an innocent, sweet old purple-
Playtime was always fraught with danger. A craze for “riots” swept the school and, young or old, nobody was safe. A riot would consist of thirty to forty young terrorists assembling at one end of the playground, linking hands in a long line so that they reached from one side to the other. Then, amid chants of “Riot!” and screams from innocent bystanders they would race from the school gates end right across to the dinner hall