Here's a story that is both sad and hilarious:
I recently heard the news that my Year 6 teacher (who I won't mention by name here, just in case he happens to read this and then oh, I don't know, sue me afterwards), was forced to retire because of his age.
Oh, my. Let us just pause to reflect on what a poorly constructed sentence that was. Forgive me Shakespeare, I beg of you.
This guy was probably one of the best teachers I've had in my lifetime. Which - if you know me and my track-record with teachers - is actually saying alot. He was awesome. It's sad. What makes it hilarious is that I guess he really didn't want to leave or something, since he got another job there...as the school groundskeeper.
Dude! Talk about trading down. This guy was actually the principle at one stage - albiet of a pretty crappy school, but still! - and now he's what? Raking the oval?
The worst part is, all these new kids coming through the school aren't going to know how great he is! Was. Is! They'll have no idea that he was once a legend of the North Shore Crappy Primary School Community. They'll just assume that because he's the groundskeeper, he's a crazy ex-serial killer who has no family and lives under the school.
And I know! Because when I was at school there, the groundskeeper's name was Leo, and we all assumed that he was a crazy ex-serial killer who had no family and lived under the school.
Kids can be so cruel.
Speaking of kids and being cruel...before getting up and actually acting like a productive member
of society, I think I have time for one more childhood story.
Ahh, childhood. When I was little, I was allergic to everything. You name it, and if it exists on planet Earth, then I was probably allergic to it. Vegetables, wheat, dairy, most fruits, nuts, household pets, several kinds of grass, Goulburn Valley syrup, toothpaste, water, oxygen...everything. I was like Jake Gyllenhaal in Bubble Boy, only without the bubble. Something my family was pretty alarmingly relaxed about - my Mum thought nothing of letting me make a pine-cone bird feeder out of seeds and peanut butter, despite our doctor's insistence that both things could potentially kill me. But hey, at least the birds were happy!
Still. While my parents may have been careless with my life, I can at least say with confidence that it wasn't on purpose. My sister on the other hand...
Having allergies is always fun, especially when you have an older sister who will stop at nothing in her attempts to end your life. I'm honestly surprised I've survived this long. She was pretty ruthless. But I will have my revenge. I don't know when, where or how, but you can bet it will involve spray paint, marshmallow fluff, a box of ants, and me shaving my sister's head.
Or some combination thereof.
Catherine, you have been warned.
Anyway, this whole allergy rant leads to the story of How I Heard My Mother Swear In Front Of Me For The Very First Time.
Always a crowd-pleaser.
It was the Autumn of 1994. Catherine and I had been invited to our friend Mackie's for a look at his new cubbyhouse. Oh man, remember cubbyhouses? I wanted to LIVE in one. They were awesome, and this one was no exception. It had windows and a slide...awesome. Anyway, in the midst of all this awesomeness, Mackie produced a packet of biscuits from somewhere, and Catherine offered one to me. Keep in mind that at the time, I was only 4. Catherine would have been 6 - definitely old enough to realise that what she was about to feed me would probably cause my head to explode. But in the true Bitter Eldest Sibling spirit, she fed it to me anyway.
The plus side was that it actually tasted pretty good. The minus was that within 60 seconds, my throat had closed up. So I did the only thing I could think of - I ran to Mum. Since our Mum and Mackie's Mum were friends, they had been sitting inside the whole time, drinking tea or baking cakes, or doing whatever-the-hell it is Mums do as their children attempt to murder each other in the backyard. Here's how it went down:
My Mum: Mmm, nice cake.
Mackie's Mum: Totally.
(I run in, mouth wide open and arms flailing wildly)
My Mum: Oh FUCK!
And that is the story of How I Heard My Mother Swear In Front Of Me For The Very First Time. Oh, and I guess also the story of How My Sister Tried To Kill Me For The Very First Time (That I Am Aware Of).
It was a busy day.