The universe has many mysteries. Why are we here? Are we alone in the universe? And why does a stray pube always end up in everything you laminate? I can’t get to the front bottom of it.
Upon examining their perfectly laminated ‘wow words’, I’ve seen perfectionists weep to find them littered with short and curlies. I’ve witnessed others receive third degree burns trying to remove a molten straggler from their ‘Fractions Wall Chart’ as it yields to the laminator.
Groovy Group take it all in their stride. Not one of them questioned why a Rainbow Fish had netherhair as we played a board game. Groovy Group (previously Groovy Gang, until a senior manager of the school felt the word ‘gang’ had violent undertones) is my lunchtime club. Outsiders wonder what’s so groovy about it. We’re sworn to secrecy. The first rule of Groovy Group is that you don’t talk about Groovy Group.
That’s not to suggest any sinister undertones. Groovy Group is not a cult. It’s not as if I’m going to develop a messianic complex and eventually blow my classroom up with the entire group inside it. Never, and the fact I now wear robes and am greeted by the children as ‘His Grooviness’ is just part of the fun.
I felt less than groovy on the way in. I’d tried listening to euphoric trance but my stomach continued to play ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’. A visit to a restaurant called ‘Sticky Fingers’ had left me with ‘Rancid Guts’.
With this and a constant battle developing between me and the class (one devil child in particular), I was left with a shorter fuse. One child approached and asked me to put her name on the reward ladder. “I’ll decide when to put you on the reward ladder!” I barked. She persisted not once, not twice but four times. I slammed down the sand timer I was holding and shot her the kind of look that might explain why she was once caught urinating into a dustbin.
“You won’t be allowed to meet our visitors from the Far East!” I bellowed (at this point unaware that it was a typo and the people were actually from Fire Safety). This was one of two typos that week, the other being a poster giving the children the chance to be ‘Superherpes’.
At the end of the day, as I bid sayonara to our visitors, I wandered over to the reward ladder to do the usual movement of children either up or down it. It was then I realised what the girl had meant. Her name was not there. She hadn’t been asking me to move her up the reward ladder, rather just for her name to be there in the first place. I felt like the biggest shit and not because of my experience at Sticky Fingers.