THE lesson today is taken from Ailments, Chapter 5, Verses 1-7: And it came to pass at that time, which is known as Sep-tem-ber, that the skies did grow grey and rain fell upon the country. And behold the heating was turned on again.
And the first and second born of all familes congregated together in groups of 30. Or thereabouts (because statistical information doth vary on average class sizes).
And behold at that time a great pestilence invariably arose in the land but especially in the nose. And nostril cleaved unto nostril and the first and second of each family did cast up their hands and call upon their teacher and say: "Behold we who were healthy through all the summer are now within days stricken down with a pestilence of the Dose that doth affect our speaking even when we call upon our Bummies and there is no health within us."
And the Bummies of the first and second born (And even the Point 4 born - for information doth vary on that as well) came running from wherever they travailed and did take home their childrenand did call upon their God lamenting: "Why doth this happen every time you go back to school for behold there is no more Playcare now so who is going to look after you, eh?"
And the teachers of the first and second born congregated in the room wherein is kept tea and coffee and also the kettle and a well-thumbed copy of The TES Appointments Section. And they saith unto each other: "It's all very well for the kids they can stay at home but we have to pile in here every day and sit in a room that is rent with the sound of coughing and sniffing and between you and me another year like this and I'm off to work for ICI."
And the fathers and stepfathers of that land lamented greatly also, for verily within a few days of the first and second born being smitten in the Dose they were smitten also and they did turn to their wives and long-term partners and say: "What is it with that school? Why is it that the whole nation must get colds every time a new school year begins?" But answer came there none except that it is written.