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Black arts and black affronted

The assistant head - yes, we've still got them for a few months yet - knew that the approaching S3 pupil was heavily into black magic and the occult.

He also knew that he had skived a period earlier in the day. Full of righteous indignation, he addressed the miscreant: "Where were you when you should have been in history?"

"At the doctor, sir."

To his horror, the assistant head heard himself bellow: "Which doctor?"

His efforts to control his rising laughter were not helped by the pupil's reply: "Dr Payne . . ."

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