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Fantasy teacher

As played by Matthew Broderick in the 1999 Hollywood offering Election, Jim is not just a teacher, but an educator . . .

The two most important things about American teachers:

1 They love kids.

2 Kids love them.

The USA has always idolised youth and innocence, its refusal to recognise that cheerleaders, sophomores and homecoming kings can be totally obnoxious being an integral part of the great national naivety.

But Jim McAllister's different?

"I loved my job," he claims. "I was an educator." Unfortunately, Jim's been one for 12 years now and he's bored himself into the need for a sordid motel affair with single-mum, Linda. When that goes awry, Mr M takes out his frustration on Tracy Flick, the kind of senior who could give Doris Day lessons in wholesome cuteness. Blonde, bouncy Tracy has one big ambition: to be student president.

And Jim's is to stop her?

Absolutely. Never mind Tracy's giveaway cupcakes with "Pick Flick" etched in icing sugar, or her prayers which replace "Amen" with the words "God, I really must insist", Jim wants her defeated. So he encourages big, dumb Paul (who in true American fashion thanks the Lord nightly for the size of his genitalia) to run against her.

And has Paul got what it takes?

Well, almost. The big boy finishes just one vote behind Tracy, so an independent teller is called in, who happens to be . . . Mr McAllister. As Tracy jumps for joy at her rumoured victory, Jim does the meanest thing ever perpetrated by a professional educator. He slips two of Tracy's votes into the trash.

Who can deny they've had at least one pupil they could have done that to?

Sadly, Jim's GBE (gross breach of ethics) is witnessed by the disgusting old janitor and it isn't long before the Flick family have had him flung out for perverting the true course of Tracy's happiness.

This is beginning to sound like a moral tale. What happens to Wicked Mr M?

He washes up in New York where he becomes a museum guide (or "educator" as Jim still likes to term himself). Tracy, meanwhile, goes to college, is mean to all and sundry, and becomes the personal assistant to a congressman. One day Jim sees her getting into a limo and hurls his cup of Starbucks' coffee at her. It bounces off the car's rear window.

Seems all Jim's attempts to swat Tracy fail.

Thus perish all who fail to adore American school kids.

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