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Oh to run a mile from sports day

A life in the year of Emily Shark

they should rename the summer term "the term that would not die". It's like a bad film that you keep thinking is about to end when it's not. Things like the leavers' assembly feel like the end because of all the crying and cheering. And today is sports day, whoop-de-doo, with more cheering. But there are still three more weeks to go.

"Oh, try to enter into the spirit of it," Sally Carton chirped at me this morning. There she goes with her beaming band of banner-waving Year 8s. I have tried. I like the sound of children cheering... from a safe distance - the way those howls of joy somehow hit the same note. How do they do that? Some of them clearly love it and those who don't at least get the chance to scream for a whole day. I'd be up for that, especially with Melinda Sleam melting all over Mr Gorgeous like an ice lolly on tarmac. What a waste.

So the cheers are nice, but the twinkly feeling fades when I find out what I've got to do for the day. I'm score-keeping this time. I have to sit here filling in a confusing chart. I'm not allowed off my chair until the relay races are over. By the time I get to the Year 7 cake stall there'll be nothing left but a few plates of squashed blue icing with flies in it.

Right, so how does this work? "Take the results slip from the messenger when they arrive. Only enter the scores when every tier has run. Keep the red slips completely separate from the green slips." Well, I know what a tier is, because when Alison Tenk did this job last year she forgot and messed up all the 400 metres. As for maintaining total slip purity, the red ones can stay on my knee, safely quarantined from the pox-ridden green ones.

There's the whistle. Right, watch for the messenger. Yuck! There goes the happy couple, Melinda and Jon, holding big plates of food. Lucky sods. And here's me, stuck in a cakeless desert of scoresheets. Sleam should be doing this. She likes filling in crappy little boxes. Wait, here comes the messenger - and Melinda's heading this way, too. Go away!

"Hi, Emily - where have you been hiding? Listen, Jon and I are having a barbecue in two weeks' time. We'd love you to come along and join us."

"Oh, lovely. Thanks!" (Hiding?) "Super. We'll give you a proper invitation soon. Have fun with your scoresheets!"

Ah, shuddup, you toxic harpy. Now, let's deal with this messenger. Wait... why is that slip in her hand orange?

"Miss Shark! Here's the slip. Sorry, the scribbled out bit says that tiers four and five were joint first and tier one was last. Byeee!"

Hmm. A slip you can't read in a colour that doesn't fit. This is gonna be a long day.

More from Emily in a fortnight

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