Friday, March 10, 2006

Mirth and Woe: Dibs


Now, this is a first: the first time I've actually chickened out over publishing a Friday tale of mirth and woe because it is too manky for sensitive eyes. This isn't the story Zoe chose - which is currently getting a drastic re-write for next week - so here's one you never vote for.

Dibs: A game the entire class can play!

And we played it hard, and we played it often.

Far too often as it turned out.

The rules of Dibs, like all the best classroom-based games were simple.

And the rules were this: When you do a fart, you have to start tapping your temples with your index fingers to broadcast the fact that you have dropped one. This act is called "dibbing". Other people will notice this otherwise normal behaviour, and they too have to start tapping their fingers against the sides of their heads in the approved manner, until the entire class is "dibbing".

The last person to start dibbing (usually one of the swots who is far too busy doing actual work to notice that kind of thing) is forced to take a mouthful of the fart gas. This, on occasion, may involve a short, merciless act of violence, teaching the unfortunate non-dibber a lesson or two about the innate cruelty of the human condition.

This all went smoothly until Mr Wallis* came back from sorting out the soon-to-be Mrs Wallis in some faraway stock cupboard. His usual entrance ("Sorry I'm late - I've got a spunk bubble") was cut short as his gaze fell on a room full of O-Level maths students dibbing away like there was no tomorrow.

"And what the bloody hell's going on here?" Wallis raged, the pain from his legendary spunk bubble twisting his brain, his NHS glasses flying from his head in the contortion of rage, scuttling under a radiator, never to be seen again.

"Well sir," said Michael S, "Every time someone farts you have to..."

He never got a chance to complete his explanation, which I thought was rather unfair, although you could argue that it was, too, a hard-earned lesson about the innate cruelty of the human condition.

The fact that Wallis also, in his rage, took a large mouthful of disastrously pungent bum-gas probably didn't help our cause much, either.

Result: 2,000 word essay on the digestive system of the cow. From that day on, "Dibs" was a clandestine activity, practiced only by the very bravest of the brave.

The glasses were hot property on the school black market, and I believe they were eventually purchased by the remainder of the maths faculty and used in a bizarre, yet effective voodoo ritual. I always knew that Mrs Smith and her see-through dresses were up to something.

* Barnes Wallis Jr, son of Barnes Wallis, the bouncing bomb inventor and genius engineer. Like his father, Barnes Jr possessed a massive intellect, but alas, as a teacher to disinterested bottom-gas obsessed secondary school pupils, he sucked greatly.

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