Carb and chemical cure

For some unfathomable reason we had our Christmas bash on a Thursday night last year. Yes, this meant we had to teach on the Friday. It brings a whole new meaning to the word "teach". Can one educate when one can't distinguish the girls from the boys, the Ghanaian from the Brummies? No.

Accelerated learning becomes increasingly difficult if one has to accelerate to the loo every 10 minutes: "Just work quietly, I've got to get another file". I pass a student teacher that I demonstrated inappropriate behaviour on last night and we both nod in a "don't disturb the cranium more than you have to" manner.

Six hours ago we composed a sonnet together but, now, with my skin the colour of foolscap and my breath smelling like the sodden carpet after a rugby-club stag night, we just manage an embarrassed grunt. Thank God the love bites aren't visible.

Back in the classroom, I try to feign interest in various pupils' work but they each ask me to back off as the stench of a bottle bank seeps from every pore of my exhausted body.

This has to be the longest double lesson of my life. One hundred minutes of "Of Bloody Mice and Bloody Men"; six thousand seconds of "A Christmas Sodding Carol". One pupil writes that Scrooge's dead partner was Bob Marley and I realise that I'm still over the limit as I fall about laughing, then crash my head on to his desk. Please can I leave it there, please, bring me a blanket, my mummy, that bin in the corner... In the safety of the staffroom I fill a pint mug with coffee then accidentally barge into aforementioned student teacher. He has a handful of "film noir" essays in his hand that my coffee takes a magnetic fancy to.

The result is 22 "film brun" essays scattered over the floor.

A colleague that I suddenly despise announces that he has a free period next and hums with a gleeful, gloating inflection; another arrives with 10 cheeseburgers and thick shakes - it's clearly a kill or cure situation. I rummage in my drawer and find two Anadin and two Nurofen that I shove into my burger between the mayo and the gherkin. It's bloody divine.

Ten minutes later the carb and chemical cocktail has kicked in and I'm ready to rock and roll. Whoever said that weekday bashes were "Bah Humbug"

obviously had no stamina.

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