Hoodies hit back in eggy revenge

29th September 2006 at 01:00
I'm pedalling through the plush thoroughfares of Notting Hill, my school's catchment area and the richest patch on the planet. David Cameron has just moved in down the road with his wind and sun gizmos.

It is cutting-edge and rich. Trucks mow me down of a morning as toffs ferry their tots away from the kind of children I teach, those who come more from the blunter edges and blight.

Here come some of my alumni now, careening down Oxford Gardens in a clapped-out van. It crunches over sleeping policemen. It gets closer. I see three skulls snarling in a windscreen. I see something flying. Then whack, I see nothing.

Splat. Slap. Slurp. Something hits me on the pate. It seems to break.

Prickly and wet. Dripping cold yoke.

They have thrown eggs at me. I stop and curse. I do not want them Asboed. I want them locked in stocks.

"Eejit, Eejit," squawks a skull. I duck a tomato. Then they are gone.

I know them all. The O'Hooligan brothers. I taught them - well, we shared a classroom anyway.

This lot make Dave Mania seem a loveable rogue. I see them chilling under the Westway or dealing under Trellick Towers or cutting clamps off cars with industrial buzz-saws. Now they seem to have gone over to fruit and eggs.

Bright but raging, Shane and Charlie were boxers. Little Ned was mayhem. He gave it a go for two years. Nothing took. Literacy schemes, numeracy schemes, any old scheme.

His demons took over. He got sent to Miss Limpet the Freudian. She thought she was "getting through". She wasn't. He came back and wrecked my class.

Limpet failed. Freud failed. I failed. Then he broke Cordelia's nose. I kicked him out several years ago.

"I don't forget. Eejit, Eejit," yells the hooded Ned.

What other profession gets this? "Without teachers, society would slide back into the primeval slime," said Ted Wragg.

Well, some of it seems to be sliding down my bonce. Or is this just high jinks? Didn't I do this to my teachers? We used to puncture Chunk's tyres and dismantle Mr Merrylees' lectern. This feels different. This unforgiving, unforgetting rage is more disturbing - and it is out there all the time.

I wipe off the yolk. I go back to my creature comforts and they go back to Bedlam. I pedal past Mr Cameron's house. If he got an egg, would he still hug little hoodies?

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