Covering the bare essentials

21st November 2003 at 00:00
Recently, I went to see Calendar Girls with some friends from work.

Afterwards, we discussed what we would place in front of our naughty bits if our impoverished school decided to raise money by producing a risque calendar.

Miss January would be tastefully draped in a toga made of Department for Education and Skills literature (it is all bilingual in Wales where I work so there would be plenty of coverage). Miss February could feel decent holding one of those enormous Valentine cards that only Year 10 boys send (chosen from a selection confiscated because of their filthy verses). Miss March: what else but a copy of the cover list, long enough to satisfy a Victorian's sense of modesty at this time of year. Miss April chose the marking she takes home every holiday.

May means Sats, so we'd opt for standing behind mounds of exam papers, or alternatively a banner proclaiming "Boycott the Sats". Our large geography teacher fancied being Miss June as it is the month of the field trip and she would be nicely obscured by her tent, providing there were no high winds. July's lucky model would be wearing a strait-jacket, as will we all by the end of the school year. The endless list of things we mean to do in our holiday is what workaholic Miss August chose as her prop. September always sees the majority of staff peering from behind the weighty tome known as the staff handbook (revised), so why change the habit of a lifetime?

For October, the teacher in the "temporary" classroom suggested standing behind a portable heater. She is very practised at this. However, she requests that a thermal blanket be on standby for the calendar shoot, as the heater is useless and she doesn't want to add frostbite to her list of industrial injuries.

For Miss November the choice boiled down to suggestively holding a fire extinguisher (in constant use this month putting out rogue fireworks in the corridors) or going for broke and suggestively holding on to a real live fireman. No contest.

That just left me. Miss December. I rejected peering through the school Christmas tree (too bare and revealing) and opted for the ideal solution for a shy girl like me: the caretaker. I ask you, when do you ever see a caretaker? If you couldn't see him, you wouldn't see me hiding behind him.

Total invisibility guaranteed!

And to what use would we put the profits of this venture? Nothing fancy actually. I think we'd just about cover the bare essentials.

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