Wednesday, February 12, 2003

”Not Big. Not Clever.”

My son’s school encourages us parents to take an active interest in our childrens’ education. Which is A Good Thing. This active interest involves a – some would say – rather lengthy session when the kids are dropped off in the classroom where the parents are expected to stay behind for a while to help our little treasures with their handwriting. And God knows that Scaryduck Jr needs it.

The trouble is that after several months of “The cat sat on the mat”, some of the dads are beginning to get a tad rebellious and have started encouraging their offspring into writing down stuff that would vex any teacher of six-and-seven year old darlings. This is A Bad Thing. We know that Miss C is doing a fine, fine job in the face of overwhelming odds, but Operation Do-Teacher’s-Head-In has unfortunately been received with rather worrying enthusiasm by several of the parents in Class One.

For example, this morning the blackboard read: “How many words can you think of with the long ‘or’ sound? Write at least six interesting sentences with your words.”

More. Audacious. Organism. Orwellian. Morpeth County Durham. George Walker Bush. Formic Acid. Paul Gascoigne.

She wanted “interesting.” We gave her interesting. Your mission is to guess which one of these sentences actually made it into Scary Jr’s exercise book:

More: Bobby Moore was the greatest Englishman that ever lived.

Straw: Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is merely a pawn in United States imperialist policy towards the Middle East.

Floor: Square-faced pop singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor had a hit with “Murder on the Dance Floor”.

Poor: The huge majority of the World’s population is poor and unable to feed themselves without humanitarian aid.

Door: Shakin’ Stevens had a huge number one single with Green Door in the ninteeen eighties.

Caught & Tour: My Uncle Victor got caught up in the civil war in Nicaragua whilst on a cycling tour of Central America.

If you said it was Shaky, then award yourself a shiny! Miss C, if your ever read this (and I hope for my sake that you don't) we’re really, really sorry, and we promise to stop all the sniggering at the back of your class. It'll be "The cat sat on the mat" tomorrow and we'll like it.

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