Neither Mirth nor Woe: School newsletter
Back in the day, TV's James May was sacked from Autocar magazine for childishly spelling out a secret message from the initial letters of each page of the edition he happened to be editing.
He might have gotten away with it if it were not for those pesky readers who thought it was some sort of competition.
A true prince of cocking about does it and gets rewarded for his efforts. Much like the time I edited the school newsletter.
~~~ Wavy lines ~~~
"Hey, Scary," said Mrs Gordon, "How would you like to do something special for me?"
"Mmgg flrbbl grmph."
Ah, Mrs Gordon. Our humanities teacher: Thirty-something and blonde; and what would best be decribed as 'posh totty'. She also had the ability to speak in very sexy italics and to reduce teenage boys into gibbering wrecks.
"I would absolutely love it if you edited the next school newsletter."
"Lmpf snpp glaaaark."
I didn't even know there was a school newsletter, but – despite fearing this might be some sort of sexy trap – I eventually declared that I would be delighted.
"Oh, I'm so very pleased."
I went home and lied down for a bit.
Then, I set to work on the school newsletter. And a fine work of fiction it was, too.
Thanks to THATCHER coming to power, I had no access to any kind of word processor, and my sister's Bontempi typewriter being only useful for blackmail notes, I had to write out the whole bloody thing long-hand and print it on the school Banda Machine.
So, high as a kite on the booze-flavoured ink, it was little surprise that I got up to no good.
If you looked very, very carefully, you might have noticed that the first letter of every badly copied news story, teacher profile and sports report spelled out the words "MRS GORDONS TITS". Not for any good reason, except for the incredibly dangerous fact that I was thirteen-and-a-half years old, completely unsupervised, and damn the poor grammar.
So impressed was Mrs Gordon with the end result, I was called into her presence one day after school.
"Scary," she told me, her chest heaving in a way that would leave me with issues for decades to come, "your newsletter was quite marvellous."
"Blp snerrrg wum", I said, thanking her profusely, and looking everywhere except at her chest, which obviously gave her the impression that I was, in fact, staring at her chest.
Which, in retrospect, I might have been.
"In fact, before I hand over the editorial reigns to somebody else," she said, fiddling with the top button on her blouse, "I've got something very special for you."
And... relax. She got me a box of chocolates. Nice ones, too.
I don't know whether this was reward for a job well done, or if it was some sort of come-on.
"Jolly well done, young man. I do hope you keep abreast of further editions."