Absent without heave

25th January 2008 at 00:00
'Tis the season to throw a sickie, and someone has to pick up after the slackers. It won't be Kate.

Dear Bex,

It's winter vomiting bug madness here and already 15 teachers have phoned in sick, so I hot-foot it to the local shopping centre during lunchbreak to avoid the germs.

It's only when I see Laura, the mousy NQT from the French department, darting behind a perfume counter in John Lewis that I get a whiff there's something amiss.

"I thought you were off with that winter vomiting thingy."

"I am. I'm just looking for something to ease the symptoms."

"What, like Victoria Beckham's Intimately Beckham?"

She slips the bottle into her handbag.

"Yeah, well you know, it's a great disinfectant."

Scuttling across the road to Boots, I spot Oliver from drama gliding around the outdoor skating rink practising his spinning jumps to the delight of a glamorous blonde.

"Surprised to see you here!" I shout. "I thought you were off with that winter vomiting thingy."

"Je ne comprends pas!" he growls in a fake French accent, before grabbing his date's hand and whizzing behind a convenient pine tree.

Finally, hanging around in the leisure centre to renew my gym membership, I catch sight of Graham from geography rock-climbing.

"I thought you were off with that winter vomiting thingy!" I yell.

He flinches, stumbles, and has to be winched to safety, while studiously gazing in the opposite direction and whistling casually.

I'm starting to feel pretty peeved about it when I spot Annette emerging from the Hat and Feather wearing Viking horns and waving a gin and tonic.

"I thought you were off with this winter vomiting thingy," I hiss. "It's been a complete nightmare. I've been manic all morning, covering about five people's lessons."

"I know," winks Annette. "That's why I decided to go off with this winter vomiting thingy."

"Do you know what," I reply. "I think I'm starting to feel a bit peaky after all."

Love Kate x.

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