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 . . ."