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» Babysitters

Never let them know your weaknesses..
Mother had babysitting stitched up - send them all away to boarding school, problem solved! Screwed us all up but what the hey - we did it in turn!

The "care staff" consisted of one wizened old crone Called "Matron", who could just about tell the difference between a kid who would recover and one that would die, and occasionally called the Doctor for the latter. And a lovely young trainee who we will call Under Matron, 17+ and very pretty, her burgeoning womanly delights were lost on us prepubescent animals.

Under Matron let it be known she feared spiders..oops! Several weeks later Under Matron said it was her birthday.. oh dear.. poor girl..

A big old and cold victorian mansion housing 50+ boys under 13 (a delight to the queer old boy who ran it) had its share of large and juicy spiders, that we boys could ferret out to practice science and biology - pulling off legs and frying with glasses etc.

We made her a lovely card - A4 neatly folded, sweet picture on the front. The card was carefully folded around the largest spider we found, keeping it fully intact and fully alive, we inserted it into the envelope. Gentle sealing then took place.

At nine O'clock Under Matron came for the universal ritual of lights out. Twelve expectant faces peered at her from the dormitory beds as she was presented with her surprise birthday card. Much implored by us she relented and agreed to open her card right then.

Fortunately the hands which had bought us some small comfort with their delicate touch did not let us down, she opened the card chastely and gently. She was a lovely Under Matron really, kind to us all and occasionally affectionate, which was deeply re-assuring to kids in that kind of place..shame really!

My last memory of her is a blur of HUGE spider racing across an expanse of matronly starched white uniform, followed by a blur or starched white leaving the yr11 dormitory at a pace only matched by her screech! I'm certain that if the window had been closer than the door we would all have been done for manslaughter!

Under Matron did not return to work the next day.. or ever.

Occasionally i feel a bit guilty, cos it was my idea.

Result? lights stayed on for another 45 minutes till crone Matron came and switched them off, and the whole school laughed about it for weeks!

Length? We once added the whole school together and bent a bed!
(Tue 2nd Nov 2010, 22:22, More)

» Drugs

Smoking stunts your growth
Travelling up the great Congo river, even non smokers end up high from the fumes of calabashes full of ganga. For us smokers it was a heavenly experience of long sultry days, music and mary jane.

Then after disembarking in the heart of the forest we visit the pygmies. The pygmies have several thousand years of cultural heritage that pretty much revolves around the smoking of great quantities of marajuana. Using a long piece of bamboo (about eight feet) with a river clay bowl that contains about a coke can full of the wicked weed. Sit down in a circle with the bowl in the centre, add a bit of burning wood from the fire, and pass the mouthpiece end of the bamboo from one to the next, brilliant way to chill.

So after several thousand years of smoking dope - well, have you ever seen a tall pygmy??
(Thu 23rd Sep 2010, 1:26, More)

» Complaining

In days of yore kinda pre Y2K...and a bit... I wrote a letter enclosing a bill i couldn't pay to the venerable BT.
The letter was my shortest ever, it said "In error, kindly credit." and they did!
(Thu 2nd Sep 2010, 16:43, More)