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School Daze Part 2

 I get all misty eyed whenever I think of my school days. Just kidding. It's time to lay it on thick and Bastard (who we met in part 1) features heavily today. Did I say how hairy his legs were? Goodness gracious, how neglectful of me. This man had an unfeasibly wiry growth of black hairs upon his legs. You couldn't help but stare at them.I don't believe that anyone wasn't mesmerised by this forest of hirsuteness. One could be forgiven for thinking that at a distance he could have been sporting leg warmers. But I digress. It was all about the bullying.

The big incident happened immediately following football practice at the end of a Friday afternoon. We returned to the changing room and Barry (not his real name) could not locate his underwear. To cut a long story short, Bastard menacingly informed us that this was such a serious issue that the only course of action was for us all - about ten of us, to follow him to THE PREFAB. This was an old prefabricated room that was separate from the main school building and used occasionally as an overspill. He kept us there for roughly an hour and a half. It was an interrogation. "Where are the pants?" he shouted "Who has hidden them?" The same phrases over and over. Lots of staring at us and telling us how serious it was. We were just kids, 11 or 12 years old. Nobody dared speak. Finally, Bastard having had his fun, frogmarched us back to the changing room. Barry found his underwear. He had put them in another bag by mistake. Bastard laughed and we all went home to our parents who had been worried about us being an hour and a half late. Some parents complained to the Headmaster and Bastard was reprimanded the following week. It actually made it worse for us.

One week, Bastard took us ten out for a drive in the new minibus, a mark 1 Ford Transit as I recall. The back of the bus was comprised of two long bench seats facing one another. Bastard deliberately drove that bus aggressively , throwing it fast into tight bends so that we all careered around  banging into one another and hitting the floor. The ones who managed to cling onto the bench were the lucky ones - they didn't get detention for "acting stupid" when we got back to school.
I remember swimming lessons and a particularly bad day for me occurred when we boarded a coach to take us to the swimming baths in Stoke. Filthy cockroach infested baths they were too, and the chlorine was so powerful that our eyes were streaming hours later. Bastard accused me of talking on the bus. I wasn't talking at all. It was just my turn that day to get it. He made me stand by the pool and watch as my friends got their costumes on . I had to just stand there watching them have the lesson. Five minutes before the end, Bastard made me get changed, jump in the pool, get out and get dressed again without allowing myself to towel dry.
It would be some other poor soul the next week...........

On rainy days, the "sports lesson" took place in the school hall. Bastard would occupy the centre of the hall. We would be made to run around him as he kicked a professional football at us. The winner was the one without red welts on his body On those rare sunny days we would be bouncing on the trampoline. He would make us wear the schools PE kit and not our own. It was a mad scramble in a cardboard box for anything that fitted. Nothing did of course. Most of us had to wear shorts and pumps that were large enough for the older kids. So we spent the lesson holding up the shorts with one hand whilst trying not to trip up .Of course, after this jolly lesson, we would be forced into a freezing shower whilst Bastard watched us and not allowing to towel ourselves dry before the next lesson. What fun! The best days of my life.

Bastard was allowed virtual free reign of the school during a time when the Headmaster was off with a long term medical complaint (we shall come to him at a later date). This lack of supervision allowed Bastard to run free with all manner of mental and physical cruelty. Two incidents spring to mind......
Two lads had a long-standing feud. Bastard decided that the best way to settle it was not by mediation, but by a good old fashioned punch up. He ordered some poor kids to empty a classroom of it's contents - some thirty five desks and chairs whilst he used newspaper to cover the inside of the windows, thus preventing anyone from seeing inside. The "secret" boxing match actually took place. I don't recall the winner, but I do remember how bizarre and wrong it felt. No other teacher got involved. They must have known what was going on. Perhaps Bastard had got heavy with them too. Who knows?

The other incident involved me (again). One hot summers day on the tarmac playground during a "football lesson", Bastard decided that we would never achieve peak fitness unless we followed his strict regime. One such method involved giving a piggy back to a friend  across the length of the playground . My best mate  (Steve, we'll call him) was lets say, of a rather bovine frame. We looked like Laurel and Hardy (my comedy heroes by the way). I think I only managed a few yards with Steve whilst Bastard screamed in my ear (and I remember this bit like like it was yesterday) to "RIDE THE PAIN". Unfortunately, Steve got it worse. He had to carry Bastard on his back, all 15 stone of hairiness. Oh how we laughed on our way to casualty.
It was some years later that I was speaking to an old school friend about our experiences there. It wasn't long before the subject of Bastard came up. Now this friend had it particularly bad with Bastard. He was singled out for regular punishment for no reason at all. He, like myself couldn't wait to leave. However, The Headmaster returned. Return he certainly did. Very soon he found out about Bastard's unusual teaching practices and amazingly, he was "asked to leave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". Joy of joys. It gets better. My friend heard that Bastard had joined up to be a Fire Fighter. It transpired that Bastard tried to bully his way around there too, but it wasn't to be. He went too far with the wrong man and ended up in hospital. I was surrounded by a warm glow for a long time afterwards............


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