Note to self: don't poison inspectors

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
The south London primary school was all ready for the inspectors. The science room was to be their base. Tea and biscuits had been set out on a tray and a bottle of water placed nearby. When the lead inspector arrived, he poured a glass and downed it gratefully.

Then, reader, he gagged. For the delivery of mineral water had been delayed and the wrong bottle accidentally put out. The inspector had drunk not mineral water but the well-aged results of an experiment to demonstrate the principle of Artesian wells. The bottle contained water, certainly, but also something variously described as "debris" and "flaky stuff". And lurking vengefully at the bottom was a 2-inch black plastic octopus.

So observant, these inspectors. But it was a very hot day. The school awaits its report with interest.

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