24th March 2006 at 00:00
Bill Hicks is drenched in saliva in a room full of overstimulated chocoholics

Just when we thought that the list of occupational hazards faced by teachers could get no longer, along come TES forum posters with a couple of new ones.

Well, not entirely new: both were variations on old themes, both involved the pleasures and displeasures of the senses, and together they added weight to the theory that, the more adults complain about teenagers, the more like teenagers they become, and vice versa.

Hazard one, courtesy of domster, was explicit in the thread title, "Lynx - the smell of Year 9".

"They come in reeking of sweat after lunch then spray that ****e all over,"

went the complaint. "I have arrested about half a dozen cans of that poison this term. It's the Sunny D of deodorant."

Domster was referring to Year 9 boys, and, while feeling disloyal to all the Year 9s of my acquaintance, I must admit I recognise the truth in the posting. As did Lilysmum: "Why do they have to top it up so often? They use three cans a week, they tell me - who buys it and can it be banned?"

Shellyf's offering had parental authority: "I laughed when I read this. My son is in Year 9 and reeks of this vile stuff. Is Year 9 when they discover girls?"

If so, the children at gembop's school are precocious: "Year 6 have the same problem at my school. Opening all windows is your only option! ('The cold will stop once the Lynx does, kidsI')."

Julianw arrived with distressing news: it was not just Year 9s or younger, and not just boys: "Sixth form are totally obsessed at my place. Girls'


Before our olfactory senses are ruined, let's move on to hazard two: death by chocolate. It started when 4t1 posted this request in Marketplace:

"Advice please! My wife and I are both teachers but we want to start selling our own chocolates. Anybody got a wish list of what they would like to see in a chocolate shop or website?"

The thread became a magnet for lurking chocoholics. And they were legion.

For example: "I love toffee, coffee, milk chocolate... when can I order?"

"Peanut butter as in Hershey's Peanut Butter Cups..."

"I love white choc and they never do many of those - also creamy vanilla fillings."

"Stick to truffles, as well as chocolate cups filled with things... I especially love chocolate with fruit flavours... so raspberry, apricot etc... mmmmm... good luck!"

"Coffee cream in white chocolate - only tasted it once and it was stunning."

And then post number 35: "Lots of fruit flavour cremesjellies - raspberry jelly and white chocolate, rose creme and milk chocolate, lime creme and white chocolate, cherries and dark chocolate..."

Enough! Like those teachers complaining about cheap body sprays, I was ready to swoon. 4t1 was obviously on to a good thing with his chocolate enterprise.

In search of fresh air, I blundered into the Music forum, only to discover that they were discussing Mozart Chocolate Balls - you know, "the ones with marzipan inside in a red and gold wrapper..."

Follow these threads at www.tes.co.ukstaffroom

* Secondary: What's the point of the national anthem?

* Student teachers: How should school ties be worn?

* Inspection: Ofsted in the morning!

* PE and sport: Sports for disabled pupils

* School managers: The hardest day of my career

Bill Hicks is editor of the TES website

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