Missing my shelf stacking days

21st April 2006 at 01:00
So. You're 12lb heavier after outsmarting all the village kids at the local Easter egg hunt, the Year 11 coursework you marked over the holiday is now doing a lap of honour round your beagle's small intestine, and you've received an official warning from your senior management team regarding your liberal use of gin to pacify key stage 3 classes. The unseasonably warm day has caught you off-guard, so that the Peruvian woollen tights you wore as protection against last term's biting east wind have created chafing catastrophe.

On arrival in the car park, a small hooded figure of undefined gender gesticulates anatomically at you, and, as you swerve to hit it, your front off-side panel is peeled away by the gate post. Thoroughly flustered, you begin gesticulating back, only to be rudely shunted from behind by the Sunshine Variety bus ferrying the PE department to work, causing your still-raised middle finger to be forced up your left nostril.

Unfortunately, after a holiday of vigorous cocaine snorting, your septum is by now only loosely affiliated to the rest of your face, and this final act of violence is sufficient to dislodge it entirely into your lap.

Reaching the hoped-for sanctuary of your classroom, you are slightly put out to find an all-new isotonic Ofsted inspection team installing spotlights, CCTV cameras and a live audio feed to the office of whoever happens to be head of English today.

But what really sends you woppy is that despite two years of careful nurturing, extra lunchtime and after-school revision sessions, not to mention the specially differentiated alphabet lists sent home religiously every week, you find that Billy-Bob Snotmaker has incorrectly spray-painted the word for a lady's pleasure zone on your classroom door. Again.

Beyond hysteria, and questioning your viability as an educator and shaper of young minds, you reach instinctively for your mobile and dial Tesco's.

Your one aim now is to reclaim your former post as assistant deputy undermanager - carbonated beverages. You are put on hold, then cut off as your credit runs out. Reality's icy breath envelopes you like bottom set Year 11 body odour, and there are 27 days until half-term. Enjoy.

Chris Adams-Reynolds teaches English at Archers Court school in Dover

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