Life, Living, Becoming...
Gerry Coughlan

 Say it. Don't Spray it!

O.K., at primary school - the same one with all the pyrotechnics a few chapters ago - one of the teachers, Mr. Hazlett, was a big culchie * (from County Cork, in fact) who played Gaelic football * *. When he started at the school, he had been in some sort of accident and needed to do physio daily.

In the afternoons, we'd be given some work to do and he'd go and do his exercises. He had a single mattress at the back of the classroom where he'd lie down and lift sandbags which he laid across his legs, one at a time.

At first, all you could hear would be the sound of his breathing as he exerted himself but it wouldn't be long before the sniggering would start.

He'd try to shout but was breathless -
"YOU... BOYS... DO... YOUR... WORK... AND... BE... QUIET ...
as paper airplanes flew overhead, rulers got twanged on the edges of desks and diligent guys got a sly kick or a slap on the head from one the bullies. The braver boys would go to the top of the class - out of sight of the bed - and do a mime of Mr. Hazlett teaching us. He tended to drool a bit, particularly when he got cross which encouraged the mime artist to let loose with some gob on the floor to the accompaniment of muffled giggles.

We were a terrible shower...

* Culchie = a Dublin person's name for a country dweller
* * In a nutshell, Gaelic football is a cross between soccer and rugby. The purists might have something to say about that, but let them write their own fekkin' story :-)

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