In your own time - Fighting the fear of blood sucking and pound shifting

23rd July 2010 at 01:00
Forum chatter takes a turn for the absurd thanks to paper talk and Gove nightmares

After incompetent teachers and overpaid heads, a favourite game on the TES Forums has been to guess the next anti-teacher headline. "Teachers eat more cake and biscuits than any other occupation," says MeanAverageJoe. Eschewing the idea of public sector solidarity, manashee claims nurses have that one covered (hope there are no hospital visits coming up), and instead proposes "Hamster traumatised by unprovoked teacher attack", above a picture of everyone's favourite short person, Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond looking startled.

Subsequent suggestions include pinning the blame on teachers for everything from the BP oil leak and England's early exit from the World Cup to Lembit Opik's career. Tangerinecat gets more creative with "My teacher is a vampire and took my blood," but Traded wins the prize for the most far-fetched: "Primary school teacher in Princess Diana death link." Come to think of it, though, hasn't that already appeared in the Daily Express?

The news that WeightWatchers diets have been shown to work prompted a debate about the best way to shift the pounds. Exercise and diet may be the most effective, but if you had to choose one, asks dogcat, which would it be? Bunique suggests it depends on your goal: "Eat less if you want to shift the number on the scales. If you want to look better, then exercise." Crash diets only work to a point, says pinkflipflop: "Cut out carbs by all means, but as soon as you start eating them again prepare to put all the weight back on plus more." She avoids the gym, but swears by "dance classes and lots of power walking".

But those wanting to use the summer to walk themselves thin could do worse than listen to the words of Lurk_much, who walked 25 miles a day for seven days in the last holiday, and "lost nothing". It was the cheese that did it, apparently, rather than the regular visits to hostelries along the way.

Footwear is a regular obsession among teachers, as readers of the forums will know. Open-toed sandals or robust flats? High heels or court shoes? Trainers or steel-capped? TeddyB trumps them all after reporting going to school in slippers. It wasn't even as if they were nice slippers, either: "They are my oldest, tattiest, horriblest, mankiest, but most comfortable Birkenstocks." It was only when Teddy realised the error at first break that colleagues confessed they had noticed. "They admitted they hadn't said anything so as not to upset me!"

Finally, Mad_dog confesses to an irrational fear that comes at night: "Michael Gove is a two-foot high ventriloquist doll whose real name is Mr Snuggles."

"Only at night?," asks nutella. And hardly irrational.

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