A theft has been reported. Ms Poshberry has had an item of considerable value removed from her handbag. Any possibility that it might have been inadvertently misplaced has been summarily dismissed. The only explanation is that it has been stolen by a child or children unknown, and if it is not returned by lunchtime, there will be hell to pay.
The gravity of this offence should not be underestimated. It’s not like Kayleigh’s pound coin that shouldn’t have been left in her tray in the first place. Or Bryan’s coat, which frequently goes missing and always turns up again. Or even Harry’s Despicable Me 2 Fart Blaster, which has not been stolen but has been taken into protective custody and will be returned to his responsible adult at home time.
Between 10.30am and 10.50am – morning playtime – a child or children unknown entered Ms Poshberry’s classroom.
While there, the child or children removed her Michael Kors handbag from her teacher cupboard and proceeded to violate it. At 10.51am, the handbag – and several of its more intimate contents – were discovered strewn across the classroom floor. A search of the area revealed that the only missing item was her lipstick. But this was no ordinary lipstick.
I make a mental note to keep Mrs Eddison’s make-up case under close observation from now on. Apparently, Chanel Rouge Allure, luminous intense lip colour, retails at around £28 a stick. Twenty-eight pounds is more than the value of my entire collection of men’s grooming products, which includes a ten-pack of disposable razors, a can of shaving foam, an economy tub of hair wax and a gift set of Essential Toiletries for Men.
At 12.30pm, the likely suspects – along with several unlikely ones – are gathered together. Ms Poshberry has opted to use psychological investigation methods. The tang of cheese flan is in the air. The sound of children enjoying the freedom of the playground is growing. There is a collective desire for someone to confess and get it over with.
By 12.35pm, after a rather speedy elimination process, Ms Poshberry has whittled it down to three possible suspects, all of whom are at least complicit in the crime. Guilt is written across their faces in smears of inexpertly applied Chanel Rouge Allure, luminous intense lip colour. “I want whoever has it to hand it over now,” says Ms Poshberry.
The suspects realise they have been caught red-lipped. They squirm under their teacher’s perfectly made-up gaze. Her foundation is unshakeable, her eyeliner is unflinching, her lashes are dangerously curled. The only thing that might improve her look of flawless determination would be a re-application of…
Ms Poshberry’s Chanel Rouge Allure, luminous intense lip colour is recovered. It is indelicately retrieved, by Carmel, from its intimate hiding place deep within the confines of her woolly tights. When Ms Poshberry unexpectedly withdraws her outstretched hand it falls to the floor and rolls underneath her teacher table. It is still there several minutes later. Even armed with anti-bacterial wipes, Ms Poshberry is reluctant to pick it up.
Steve Eddison teaches at Arbourthorne Community Primary School in Sheffield