Hope you’re all having a spooky time! Before I dash off to eviscerate a pumpkin, I thought I’d share with you my winning entry for a recent VWC competition, the snappily-titled:
October 19th, ’06, Uncommon Era
(in which I channel the unquiet spirit of the late Joyce Grenfell)
Right, settle down, class, settle down. Ronan, leave it alone; you don’t know where it’s been. Even if you do know where it’s been, please put it down.
Now, I’ve marked your essays, and I have to say I’m a little bit disappointed, not least because of the rather poor turnout. Peter, nobody, least of all me, is going to fall for the old "zombies ate my homework" excuse.
What’s that? A zombie really did eat your homework? I hope you’ve got a note from one of your parents to substantiate that, then. Oh. I see. The zombies ate your parents as well… For heaven’s sake, boy, what on earth are you doing in school today, then? You know perfectly well you’re entitled to a day off for the loss of either parent. And a half day for each sibling—did you have any siblings, Peter?
I beg your pardon? You didn’t want to hang around the house with a bunch of zombies? Well, I can certainly sympathise—I’ve been to a few staff meetings like that, ahahaha. Ahem.
But, ah, Peter? I think perhaps you should pop along to see the nurse after class. That bite wound on your cheek is looking a little nasty…
Settle down, everyone! Really, you’re in year ten—I should have hoped you’d be aware there’s no possibility of infection. Not unless you’ve shared bodily fluids with Peter since he came in this morning, ahahaha…
Ah. Well, in that case, Leona, perhaps you’d better go along and see the nurse as well.
Cheryl too? Well, class, while you’re clearly to be commended for comforting your classmate in his bereavement, I should have thought—good heavens, Peter, Ronan as well? I must say, Ronan, this does make me rather doubt the sincerity of your central argument in your essay on the possible causes of the End of Days, "It’s them gays getting married what done it." A shame—I thought you had quite a promising theory going there, although I should have liked to see a little more deductive reasoning—or, indeed, anything at all other than that one sentence.
Running out of candles is not an excuse, Ronan. Just because the National Grid has collapsed does not mean we cannot maintain standards. Oh, and Ronan? Peter appears to be drooling. Perhaps it would be a good idea if you and the girls took him to the nurse right now…
Now, as you’re all aware, Halloween will shortly be upon us. I trust I don’t need to remind you that dressing up in costumes is strictly forbidden. I’m sure nobody wants a repeat of last year’s accidental staking of poor Simone—yes, Jonathan, I’m looking at you, here.
And the after-school self-defence class has, I regret to say, been cancelled for tonight, it being Mr Gibson’s time of the month. Yes, Melanie, I’m quite aware of the essential irony of poor Mr Gibson having failed to defend himself when it counted, thank you. And, I might add, leaving doggy treats on his desk is infantile and not at all amusing—Melanie, I hope I have your full attention here?
Well, dusk appears to be drawing on, so I think that’s all for today—oh, yes: the vigilantes have asked me to remind you that anyone found hanging around Rothamsted Park after dark will be decapitated and buried under a crossroads with their mouth stuffed with garlic.
Hope you enjoyed!